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Old 09-25-2009, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
9,247 posts, read 6,107,249 times
Reputation: 4746

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Hi everyone,

I am a scientist in Oregon who is exploring academic jobs. I saw an interesting position at U of Pittsburgh and visited the campus virtual tour-interesting!Then I began reading about Pittsburgh, and it seems quite interesting. When I mentioned the possibility to my wife she freaked!
From what I can see, Pittsburgh has many interesting elements, but there are definitely pros and cons.

What you need to know about us. Outdoorsy, fitness-oriented, low-key, liberal, bookish family of three (6 year old son), with two active dogs to run each day. Wife loves to jog on wooded trails or throw frisbee with the dogs. Me and the boy love science museums, playgrounds, and working in the yard. We are used to hiking each weekend, canoeing on local lakes, backyard BBQs, and meeting cool, unpretentious people. The cityscape of Pburgh seems very majestic, but need greenery too to strike a balance.

Is Pittsburgh for us?
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:29 PM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,867,263 times
Reputation: 2827
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Is Pittsburgh for us?
Off hand I don't see why not. The City itself actually has pretty good outdoor recreation options thanks to some large parks (Frick, Schenley, and Highland being the most prominent) and the rivers. There are also lots of outdoor recreation options within a short drive, including hiking, camping, rock-climbing, canoeing, fishing, whitewater rafting, and so on.

As for other things you mentioned, we have a very good science museum (and some other museums cool for children), a huge number of playgrounds, and chilling in your backyard BBQing with some friends is a common pasttime.

If you would like some specific recommendations on neighborhoods let us know, but I would note there are a lot of nice neighborhoods around the parks very close to Pitt in the "East End" section of the City, so that might be a good fit for you.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, Pa
76 posts, read 238,210 times
Reputation: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Hi everyone,

I am a scientist in Oregon who is exploring academic jobs. I saw an interesting position at U of Pittsburgh and visited the campus virtual tour-interesting!Then I began reading about Pittsburgh, and it seems quite interesting. When I mentioned the possibility to my wife she freaked!
From what I can see, Pittsburgh has many interesting elements, but there are definitely pros and cons.

What you need to know about us. Outdoorsy, fitness-oriented, low-key, liberal, bookish family of three (6 year old son), with two active dogs to run each day. Wife loves to jog on wooded trails or throw frisbee with the dogs. Me and the boy love science museums, playgrounds, and working in the yard. We are used to hiking each weekend, canoeing on local lakes, backyard BBQs, and meeting cool, unpretentious people. The cityscape of Pburgh seems very majestic, but need greenery too to strike a balance.

Is Pittsburgh for us?
Everything but liberal. The people here hated the G20 protesters more than the police.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
49 posts, read 86,008 times
Reputation: 20
I just moved here, but I can answer one of your questions. As far as greenery goes, the area immediately surrounding pittsburgh is gorgeous. I'm from northern Wisconsin originally, and the drive out of the city in certain directions is definitely as nice (if not nicer) than our great north woods.

You can live 10-20 minutes from downtown and still be in a very nice area as far as greenery goes. I would take some time to look at the smaller towns around the north side of the city, maybe Oakmount, Verona, or one of the other cities that more informed posters will recommend to you shortly. Good luck!
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh PA
49 posts, read 86,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokecitytdi View Post
Everything but liberal. The people here hated the G20 protesters more than the police.
The police wouldn't have had to be out in force if the G20 protesters had half a brain. I'm in Oakland, downtown campus area, and watched as a bunch of kids smashed a window of a Subway and an American Apparel. Yes, the window of a clothing store that is made in the US and that doesn't even use sweat-shop labor. The cops weren't around for a few seconds, and the chicken**** wanna-be radicals just broke whatever they were near.

Pittsburgh so far is at least partially liberal, it depends on what area of the city you're in. The OP will be working with the University, and I'm sure that he will meet plenty of like-minded people.

EDIT: I'm a hardcore lib, by the way. I oppose the same things that these un-educated misinformed wanna be renegades do, and that's why I hate them even more than the cops that were down here. Talk about shooting yourself (and your movement) in the foot.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
9,247 posts, read 6,107,249 times
Reputation: 4746
Aargh! Computer ate my post!

Short version: I am a liberal, but pretty moderate.

Need to convince the wife that Pittsburgh is worth a look. She is pretty against it based on old stereotypes. Then again, she grew up in Rhode Island, and I am a naive Californian, who has never lived east of the Mississippi.

My suspicion is that we would both be happy with being in a friendly, welcoming community with good work to do and good opportunities for our son. So long as she could jog in the woods twice a week with the dogs.
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
9,247 posts, read 6,107,249 times
Reputation: 4746
I should add that this native Californian has lived in Sweden (two years) and Colorado (two years), West Ireland (5 months) and Oregon (11 years), so I have seen, and can deal with cold and rain. Actually, I love lively weather and seasons. I really dislike aseasonal climates like S. Cal or Florida. Ugh!
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Old 09-26-2009, 12:46 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,867,263 times
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Jogging in the woods with dogs is definitely not a problem in Pittsburgh, and again it is something you can do right in the City. For example, I live in a neighborhood next to Frick Park, and lots of people jog with dogs in the park--it has miles of wooded trails winding through its 561 acres:

Frick Park

Don't overlook the photo gallery. Frick is surrounded by nice residential neighborhoods, and is about 3 miles from Pitt--and it isn't even the closest large park to Pitt (that would be Schenley).

But I guess in the end only you can figure out what your wife needs to hear (or see, since Pittsburgh tends to come across pretty well in pictures and during visits). The best I can do is suggest that nothing you have told us so far sounds like a bad fit to me--just the opposite, in fact. So it definitely seems worth an effort on your part to try to persuade her to at least give the idea a chance.

Of course we would be happy to specifically address her reservations as well.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:44 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,400,919 times
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Which stereotypes concern your wife?

The polluted, smokey city?

Those days are gone. Pittsburgh is leading in environmental innovation and is one of the greenest cities in the country.

Start here: http://www.waterworld.com/index/disp...135492624.html

Conservativeness?

Pittsburghers tend to be fiscally liberal and socially conservative How so? Pittsburgh's strong history as a predominantly blue collar union city has transformed today's Pittsburghers to embrace current liberal fiscal ideals. Pittsburghers tend to be socially conservative when it comes to constitutional rights, like right to bear arms and personal liberty. As a result, Pittsburghers are rather tollerant of personal decisions. You won't see gay pride parades in Pittsburgh, but I believe that's partially because Pittsburgh doesn't have a strong history of violence towards homosexuals. Think about it. San Francisco might be known as the gay capital of the United States, but it has a terrible history in that regard. Remember, I said tollerant. Pittsburghers aren't activists when it comes to social issues. Those who embrace conservative positions on issues like abortion are mostly inactive. Pittsburgh is more of an 'as long as you don't interfere with my life, I won't interfere with your life' type of town. Historically, Southwestern Pennsylvania has voted for all democratic presidential candidates, Nixon (1972) being the exception, since Hoover (1928)

Uneducated Yinzers?

Pittsburgh holds high national rankings for having one of the most educated populations. Pittsburgh has one of the heaviest concentrations of universities. (IMO the lack of an unskilled immigrant population also plays a part in the educated workforce rankings. As a result, you can expect to pay more for housekeeper and landscaping if that's your lifestyle.) That said, Pittsburgh does have its yinzers. As previously mentioned for liberalness, it really depends on the neighborhood when it comes to yinzers.

Worth Noting

Pittsburgh ranks second to Boston for the most people (92%) with health insurance.

Pittsburghers are very unpretentious people. We're not stylish. We're not trendy. You won't find the most up-to-date home interiors during your house hunt (newcomers complain about this). Pittsburghers are frugal people. The keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality is isolated to only a few select townships.

The actual city itself has greenery throughout the hillsides surrounding the rivers. There are many parks and woods within the city limits too. But it sounds like you would want a more suburban environment with lots of open space. Fear not, Pittsburgh's suburbs are within 10 to 20 minute commute from downtown. A 30 minute commute will find you in a downright rural area.

The region has all the recreational activies you mentioned and more. You can kayak on the rivers, canoe at Maraine State Park. Although others have already mentioned a long list of other actives, I'd like to add that skiing is only an hour away from the city. It's not the Rockies, but it's nice to get away for an evening or a weekend to go skiing with family and friends.

Pittsburgh's cost of living is 23% lower than Portland's: Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed

Last edited by Yac; 09-29-2009 at 06:48 AM..
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Greensburg, PA
1,104 posts, read 1,544,169 times
Reputation: 176
Pittsburgh would be a good fit for you and your family based on the information that you have given us. We have the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Children's Museum, the Pittsburgh Zoo and a number of other museums that are located within the city. Considering that you are used to hiking and all the outdoor stuff, you may want to look into the Eastern suburbs such as Monroeville, Plum, or even Murrysville right across the border in Westmoreland County, which has an excellent school district in Franklin Regional and doesn't have the high property taxes that Allegheny County currently has. The homes in those neighborhoods range from moderate to super high. The area itself is pretty wooded but heavily developed. There's also a number of parks and walking trails nearby. You can learn more about the parks in Murrysville here (http://www.murrysville.com/muni_parks.html - broken link). You'd be looking at a 15-20 minute drive to U of Pitt from those areas. You'd also be relatively close (20-30 minutes away) to the Laurel Highlands with its abundance of outdoor activities.

Last edited by neurodistortion; 09-26-2009 at 09:48 AM..
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