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Old Yesterday, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Montreal
739 posts, read 871,226 times
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Is Greater Pittsburgh (as well as Southwestern Pennsylvania in general, including Altoona) more like Northeastern Pennsylvania (e.g. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) or more like West Virginia, with regard to the culture, the landscapes/hills, and just the whole atmosphere?

(Regardless of the fact that Pittsburgh is so much larger of a city than anything in NE Pennsylvania or in West Virginia.)
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Old Yesterday, 08:05 PM
 
Location: The Flagship City
2,458 posts, read 3,055,768 times
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I would say neither. The only similarity might be the hills in Pittsburgh and the hills/mountains in West Virginia. The culture is completely different and Pittsburgh has really changed in recent years. Scranton and West Virginia are significantly poorer than Pittsburgh and this gap has been increasing at a rapid pace as incomes have increased significantly in Pittsburgh. This is just my opinion, but I think the best comparison for Pittsburgh in terms of U.S. cities would be Cincinnati. Cincinnati has several hills and is located on the Ohio river, there are multiple universities in Cincinnati and similar to Pittsburgh bordering West Virginia Cincinnati borders Kentucky. The metro populations between the two cities are similar and Cincinnati has a similar amount of Fortune 500 companies as well as similar pro sports and culture. It is truly hard to compare and contrast cities, but I think Cincinnati and Pittsburgh compare a little better than the areas you mentioned.
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Old Today, 04:34 AM
 
2,222 posts, read 3,109,630 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trackstar13 View Post
I would say neither. The only similarity might be the hills in Pittsburgh and the hills/mountains in West Virginia. The culture is completely different and Pittsburgh has really changed in recent years. Scranton and West Virginia are significantly poorer than Pittsburgh and this gap has been increasing at a rapid pace as incomes have increased significantly in Pittsburgh. This is just my opinion, but I think the best comparison for Pittsburgh in terms of U.S. cities would be Cincinnati. Cincinnati has several hills and is located on the Ohio river, there are multiple universities in Cincinnati and similar to Pittsburgh bordering West Virginia Cincinnati borders Kentucky. The metro populations between the two cities are similar and Cincinnati has a similar amount of Fortune 500 companies as well as similar pro sports and culture. It is truly hard to compare and contrast cities, but I think Cincinnati and Pittsburgh compare a little better than the areas you mentioned.
Cincy looks like Pittsburgh, but I don't think the two cities are really that much alike. Buffalo reminds me of Pittsburgh much more than Cincy, although physically, they are quite different.
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Old Today, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Etna, PA
1,547 posts, read 924,324 times
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The Scots-Irish influence is strong here in Pgh in regards to its culture, it has that in common with WV.
Its very parochial, hyper-localized, and very clannish/focused on family. People in both places truly believe that they're God's chosen people, in God's chosen place - which is a trait that they brought with them from Ulster.
They're superficially very friendly, but they're remarkably thin-skinned and will stick a knife in your jugular if they feel that you've insulted them in anyway.
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Old Today, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Montreal
739 posts, read 871,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trackstar13 View Post
I would say neither. The only similarity might be the hills in Pittsburgh and the hills/mountains in West Virginia. The culture is completely different and Pittsburgh has really changed in recent years. Scranton and West Virginia are significantly poorer than Pittsburgh and this gap has been increasing at a rapid pace as incomes have increased significantly in Pittsburgh. This is just my opinion, but I think the best comparison for Pittsburgh in terms of U.S. cities would be Cincinnati. Cincinnati has several hills and is located on the Ohio river, there are multiple universities in Cincinnati and similar to Pittsburgh bordering West Virginia Cincinnati borders Kentucky. The metro populations between the two cities are similar and Cincinnati has a similar amount of Fortune 500 companies as well as similar pro sports and culture. It is truly hard to compare and contrast cities, but I think Cincinnati and Pittsburgh compare a little better than the areas you mentioned.
Or let's say, not Pittsburgh itself but rather the seriously depressed post-industrial towns like Braddock and McKeesport along the Monongahela, upstream from Pittsburgh proper? Or Johnstown or Altoona? Are all of those more like Northeast PA or more like West Virginia in culture, topography, the industrial past, etc.?
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Old Today, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, Hilly South, Land of Doors
1,301 posts, read 687,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyovan4 View Post
The Scots-Irish influence is strong here in Pgh in regards to its culture, it has that in common with WV.
Its very parochial, hyper-localized, and very clannish/focused on family. People in both places truly believe that they're God's chosen people, in God's chosen place - which is a trait that they brought with them from Ulster.
They're superficially very friendly, but they're remarkably thin-skinned and will stick a knife in your jugular if they feel that you've insulted them in anyway.
Totally false. Obviously an opinion from someone who wasn't born and raised here.

Truth is Pittsburgh mostly a great family town. Hard-working, welcoming friendly people who would do anything to help. Family and traditions are important. As it should be.
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Old Today, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Etna, PA
1,547 posts, read 924,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zalewskimm View Post
Obviously an opinion from someone who wasn't born and raised here.
Been here for 10 years.
Raised in Lancaster County in a Mennonite culture.
Raised in a different culture, but I've lived here long enough that I feel very comfortable commenting on my perspective of the local culture.

Sometimes outsiders can see a culture more clearly, particularly if the natives haven't lived elsewhere.
Ask a fish to explain water, when its only every lived in a fishbowl. Its all it knows and doesn't have any points of reference. Same thing with Pittsburghers who haven't lived elsewhere.
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Old Today, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
3,775 posts, read 3,663,564 times
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Neither, but if I had to pick one, probably Scranton. West Virginia South of Morgantown is more akin to the upland south than interior northeast like Pittsburgh.

Scranton is slightly new England-esk. Almost a mix of inland new England and interior northeastern (PA/NY)
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Old Today, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
6,072 posts, read 7,466,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speagles84 View Post
Neither, but if I had to pick one, probably Scranton. West Virginia South of Morgantown is more akin to the upland south than interior northeast like Pittsburgh.

Scranton is slightly new England-esk. Almost a mix of inland new England and interior northeastern (PA/NY)
I agree with you. Also in terms of demographics, this area has a lot more in common with NE PA than West Virginia, as like Pittsburgh NE PA has a lot of Catholics and Southern and Eastern Europeans unlike most of WV.
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Old Today, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,542 posts, read 68,013,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyovan4 View Post
Been here for 10 years.
Raised in Lancaster County in a Mennonite culture.
Raised in a different culture, but I've lived here long enough that I feel very comfortable commenting on my perspective of the local culture.

Sometimes outsiders can see a culture more clearly, particularly if the natives haven't lived elsewhere.
Ask a fish to explain water, when its only every lived in a fishbowl. Its all it knows and doesn't have any points of reference. Same thing with Pittsburghers who haven't lived elsewhere.
I agree with this. I've lived in Pittsburgh for nine years and grew up in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area. Pittsburgh is a very provincial city and metro area overall unless you're in a few pockets of affluent transplant-heavy areas (i.e. the East End of the city proper or the outer North Hills suburban areas like Wexford or Cranberry) where people tend to be more transient and are often affiliated with the academic community.

In my office I'm one of only two people who aren't native Pittsburghers. The other colleague grew up in Vermont but has lived in Pittsburgh now for decades. Everything with my colleagues revolves heavily around family and friends they've had since high school. I've made in-roads (somewhat) socially with native Pittsburghers, but by and large there's a limit to how close they'll let you in since they already have extensive built-in social networks and neither need nor want more social connections beyond those long-standing ones. In that sense the parochialism is very much the same as it was where I grew up equidistant from Scranton or Wilkes-Barre along the I-81 corridor where it seemed like everyone knew everyone through someone else (the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon", if you will). Is this really any different from any other metropolitan area with limited in-migration, though?

I don't get the "friendly" Pittsburgher thing, either. In my experience native Pittsburghers are of average friendliness---some are "Minnesota Nice" and some are "Seattle Freeze". It's not like native Pittsburghers are uniformly these bubbly extroverted "Welcome Wagon" types like Bree van de Kamp with a muffin basket, and that's because the metro area has been stagnant in terms of population for generations, so the natives (outside of the East End and outer North Hills) generally don't come across transplants that often in their day-to-day lives.

I'm very familiar with Pittsburgh, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NEPA), and West Virginia (WV). I can't say Greater Pittsburgh more closely aligns with either NEPA or WV, although it does share attributes with both. Both are rugged areas where a lot of people like to spend time outdoors. Greater Pittsburgh leans left politically. WV is hard right politically. NEPA used to be more moderate politically but has definitely turned more to leaning/tilting right since President Trump was elected. A lot of my old friends and family in NEPA who were formerly politically apathetic are now die-hard Trump supporters, and my native Luzerne County, which has over 300,000 people, went hardcore Republican in 2016 for the first time in generations, if ever. On social media I'm seeing more and more people from NEPA posting xenophobic, homophobic/transphobic, and otherwise prejudiced commentary. It's sad, really. Pittsburgh leaves both areas in the dust in terms of socioeconomics, as both NEPA and WV are generally depressed.
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