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Old 11-28-2009, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Boston area, MA
311 posts, read 522,912 times
Reputation: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Dose of reality appreciated, but you have me wrong. I come from a family of mechanics and junkyard owners, and dirt track car and bike racers, and bible thumping zealots, etc., so I have no problem with working folk. Even those who differ quite a bit from me. I have never been rich, nor my parents, and my education was public schools, junior college, and regional universities. The thing about many western cities and towns is that they can be actually quite pretentious, materialistic, and spectacularly overpriced. $500-800k homes with in towns with $40k wages and high unemployment? Give me a break! As you point out a few threads up, I came to that party too late. And I am not kid starting out. I am mid-forties, and still trying to get on base. That is why affordability and value are so important to me.

I don't doubt you know a lot about your city, but I suspect there are more folks than simple blue collar types. And even those folks have plenty to share. Just on this board, I have had discussions with and learned from some pretty darn articulate and knowledgeable people. I prefer the culture of an Irish pub. There money and position don't matter; it is all about the craic (good jokes, discussion, warmth). Some of the folks are amazingly knowledgeable about the world, but anyone who starts posing is cut down very quick. I sense that vibe from the Burghers, that is, a love of knowledge, but a disdain for posing (Shadyside excluded), but I could be wrong. As for grittiness, I appreciate your perspective, and I suppose I will not know what I think until I check it out. Might love it or hate it, don't know. I know I don't like what I hear about trashiness and litter.

I promise this. If I do get to Pittsburgh, I will post back with my candid impressions-good,bad, and neutral. Always funny to see how reality compares with mental images we develop from afar.

Me too.

I'm only the 2nd person in my family to go to college, and now I am finishing up my J.D. as a non-traditional student in May so I don't quite fit in with, ah, most of the people at my school/area.

This thread is great. I'm searching for a place for me and the discussions here have been very interesting!
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:36 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,231,015 times
Reputation: 2823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
What is the CONUS?
Oops, sorry, that is short for "contiguous United States", which means the same thing as "Lower 48" (I did a bunch of satellite-related work once, so I tend to use terms from that part of my life without really thinking). Basically, when talking about rain in the U.S., it makes sense to exclude Alaska and Hawaii, parts of which have rain conditions completely off the charts as compared to the CONUS/Lower-48.

Quote:
Also, how is rain good for a homeowner? Just curious.
It is more specifically good for the lawn/garden owner (if you owned a flat in a highrise you probably wouldn't care). We don't have to water much to keep things in good shape thanks to the fairly steady rain--usually just a couple periods in the summer when we might go a few too many days without any rain.

Quote:
For me, I've always liked cloudy days. I found them the most tolerable of all. Intense sunshine means sunscreen, sunburn, etc. Point being though, I don't mind clouds, overcast or drizzle whatsoever. I find it refreshing.
Personally, I definitely like a variety. I guess that is part of why to me it doesn't particularly matter if a place's sunshine percentage is 45% or 55% or anything in between--some people read that 45% as less sunshine than the 55%, and therefore a bad thing, but to me that is all just 50% +/- 5%, and therefore consistent with a lot of variety.

Last edited by BrianTH; 11-28-2009 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:45 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,231,015 times
Reputation: 2823
On a couple Pittsburgh neighborhood issues:

First, just to echo another poster above and to reiterate what I have said before, I do in fact think that if you like historic walkable urban neighborhoods, it is very, very hard to beat Pittsburgh once you factor in affordability. There are other places with lots of neighborhoods like that, and other places with lots of affordable neighborhoods (not too many larger cities are overall as affordable as Pittsburgh, but there are a few). But the combination of the two is where Pittsburgh really stands out.

On a related point, there are also a substantial variety of such neighborhoods available at a range of prices. In a case like Lawrenceville, it could be great or not-so-great depending on your preferences (even within the greater category of urban neighborhoods). For a certain sort of hipster/artist/bohemian type who actually values the blue-collar vibe and other grittier aspects of Lawrenceville, it could be great. If those are negatives for you, then you likely should consider some other neighborhoods. But again, one of the nice thing about Pittsburgh is that it has a lot of different neighborhoods, so it isn't a big deal if Lawrenceville in particular isn't quite right for you.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Westsylvania
2,405 posts, read 2,915,260 times
Reputation: 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
On a couple Pittsburgh neighborhood issues:

First, just to echo another poster above and to reiterate what I have said before, I do in fact think that if you like historic walkable urban neighborhoods, it is very, very hard to beat Pittsburgh once you factor in affordability. There are other places with lots of neighborhoods like that, and other places with lots of affordable neighborhoods (not too many larger cities are overall as affordable as Pittsburgh, but there are a few). But the combination of the two is where Pittsburgh really stands out.

On a related point, there are also a substantial variety of such neighborhoods available at a range of prices. In a case like Lawrenceville, it could be great or not-so-great depending on your preferences (even within the greater category of urban neighborhoods). For a certain sort of hipster/artist/bohemian type who actually values the blue-collar vibe and other grittier aspects of Lawrenceville, it could be great. If those are negatives for you, then you likely should consider some other neighborhoods. But again, one of the nice thing about Pittsburgh is that it has a lot of different neighborhoods, so it isn't a big deal if Lawrenceville in particular isn't quite right for you.
Another great thing about Pittsburgh that I especially noticed when looking to buy is that unlike out west, or in the northeast, there are only a couple of neighborhoods that most people are instantly priced out of, instead of the opposite where there are only a couple neighborhoods where "normal" people are able to look, especially when buying.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:10 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 18,231,015 times
Reputation: 2823
Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
Another great thing about Pittsburgh that I especially noticed when looking to buy is that unlike out west, or in the northeast, there are only a couple of neighborhoods that most people are instantly priced out of, instead of the opposite where there are only a couple neighborhoods where "normal" people are able to look, especially when buying.
That is also true--many of our more expensive neighborhoods still have some modest properties available. And although there are some suburbs in particular where this is less true, even in those cases there is usually another suburb with more modest properties available close by (and maybe in the same school district).
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
8,985 posts, read 5,756,878 times
Reputation: 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
It's a demand thing. There's a shortage of skilled trademan compared to teachers. Everyone wants to be a teacher.

Pittsburgh is different compared to many areas of the country when it comes to teacher pay though.

Teachers make near 100k within 10 years at many of the area public school districts.

That's one reason it's hard to find a teaching job in the area...
Interesting on two points. I would not agree that most folks want to be a teachers. Most people want to micromanage and second guess their teachers, but that is another topic. It takes five years of college education, minimum, and that would seem to thin the ranks a bit.

As for teacher pay, those figures seem off the charts to me. Not saying they are, but Pittsburgh pays WAY better. Out West, with the exception of the urban areas of Washington and California, and possibly the Front Range of Colorado, teachers really are very poorly paid at all levels except high level administrators. It goes with the anti-tax culture of the area, I suppose. We also do not pay for our libraries. And that is another reason why I feel the Midwest (sorry, I'll include Pittsburgh for brevity), in particular, has more sensible values with respect to civic responsibility and investment.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
8,985 posts, read 5,756,878 times
Reputation: 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Oops, sorry, that is short for "contiguous United States"

Personally, I definitely like a variety. I guess that is part of why to me it doesn't particularly matter if a place's sunshine percentage is 45% or 55% or anything in between--some people read that 45% as less sunshine than the 55%, and therefore a bad thing, but to me that is all just 50% +/- 5%, and therefore consistent with a lot of variety.

Funny about acronyms, I was on another blog once and someone was going on and on about POTUS, and I was scratching my head about that one....(hint, this acronym also goes by Barack...). I work for the feds, and the use of undefined acronyms is absolutely horrendous.

I completely agree about the climate variety part. I love our weather in S. Oregon because it changes just about every week or two. Rain, fog, cold clear frost, snow, spring hints of warmth, thunderstorms, summer heat, crisp fall days. I love all of them if they keep rotating in and out.

Constant sun and heat, winters that run from October to May,or summers that run from April to October, incessant rain, constant temps or any type, and persistent fog all get old to me. That said, I realize climate is definitely a "to each their own" kind of thing. All we can do is share our subjective impressions in the hope that a poster gets the info they need to make a decision that works with their priorities.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:32 PM
 
42,507 posts, read 47,662,781 times
Reputation: 28067
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Interesting on two points. I would not agree that most folks want to be a teachers. Most people want to micromanage and second guess their teachers, but that is another topic. It takes five years of college education, minimum, and that would seem to thin the ranks a bit.

As for teacher pay, those figures seem off the charts to me. Not saying they are, but Pittsburgh pays WAY better. Out West, with the exception of the urban areas of Washington and California, and possibly the Front Range of Colorado, teachers really are very poorly paid at all levels except high level administrators. It goes with the anti-tax culture of the area, I suppose. We also do not pay for our libraries. And that is another reason why I feel the Midwest (sorry, I'll include Pittsburgh for brevity), in particular, has more sensible values with respect to civic responsibility and investment.
Pennsylvania's mean is right in line with the rest of the country at 54k, but teachers who work for the school districts in Pennsylvania's metro areas earn close to 100k after 10 years.

Here's the low down if you want to be a public school teacher in Pennsylvania:

Primary Education: Don't hold your breath for a job anywhere in Pennsylvania without being an eternal substitute or knowing someone
Secondary Social Studies/English and everything I call Soft Studies: You can find a job SOMEWHERE in Pennsylvania, but chances are better in rural areas.
Secondary Math/Science (Hard Studies ): You'll have a choice of jobs in the metro areas.
Rare Languages (such as Latin): You'll find a job in the metro areas.

Pennsylvania has an abudance of people who have teaching credentials.

That's partly attributed to Pennsylvania's 3rd place rank in the nation for the number of teaching colleges (California 1st and New York 2nd).

The high pay and summers off are probably another draw. There main overload is in primary education because it's an easier major.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
8,985 posts, read 5,756,878 times
Reputation: 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Pennsylvania's mean is right in line with the rest of the country at 54k, but teachers who work for the school districts in Pennsylvania's metro areas earn close to 100k after 10 years.

Here's the low down if you want to be a public school teacher in Pennsylvania:

Primary Education: Don't hold your breath for a job anywhere in Pennsylvania without being an eternal substitute or knowing someone
Secondary Social Studies/English and everything I call Soft Studies: You can find a job SOMEWHERE in Pennsylvania, but chances are better in rural areas.
Secondary Math/Science (Hard Studies ): You'll have a choice of jobs in the metro areas.
Rare Languages (such as Latin): You'll find a job in the metro areas.

Pennsylvania has an abudance of people who have teaching credentials.

That's partly attributed to Pennsylvania's 3rd place rank in the nation for the number of teaching colleges (California 1st and New York 2nd).

The high pay and summers off are probably another draw. There main overload is in primary education because it's an easier major.

Interesting. Thanks for the info! Sounds like it could be a good place for Tiger Beer, world-traveling teacher. I am looking into research/teaching positions, which on top of being modestly paid, are incredibly competitive, so....not holding my breath..

Hope we did not hijack this thread... but I suppose we can rationalize that the good pay for teachers, and competition for the best jobs, would potentially lead to better teaching overall in the Burgh. Perhaps that is a factor for Bench Warmer. I know nothing about the Denver schools to compare though. Then again, he does not sound like he even has kids!
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:49 PM
 
42,507 posts, read 47,662,781 times
Reputation: 28067
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Hope we did not hijack this thread... but I suppose we can rationalize that the good pay for teachers, and competition for the best jobs, would potentially lead to better teaching overall in the Burgh. Perhaps that is a factor for Bench Warmer. I know nothing about the Denver schools to compare though. Then again, he does not sound like he even has kids!
Bench Warmer has made up his mind (whether he realizes it or not).

I saw your rant about the unfairness teachers' pay (in general anywhere), and I thought I'd share that I think they are paid very well here.

So, yeah! We hijacked this thread since we're not even talking about Denver!
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