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City as Loser?
June 11, 2002 5:48 AM   Subscribe

City as Loser? Iron City was ranked last out of 40 cities in this year's "Best Cities for Singles" in Forbes magazine. Not that Forbes is the ultimate arbiter of the single life (don't they specialize in male readers over 35 with money?), but your best defense of Pittsburgh or your own medium- or small-sized town would be appreciated.
posted by engelr (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I will admit, that almost every single one of my friends from da 'Burgh have moved away to larger cities. I did get a chance to visit for about a week a few years ago, and I was under the impression that a big change had occured. The nightlife downtown had improved a great deal, and the city was 'cleaning up' it's cultural district quite nicely. Allegheny Center Mall was still a mess, I'd hoped something good would have come from that building, being so close to the Warhol Museum didn't really seem to help the struggling businesses as others thought it might.

I still love it, I still call Pittsburgh home. (obligatory Pittsburghese link.)
posted by gummi at 6:08 AM on June 11, 2002


occurred. i didn't use spell check. dammit.
posted by gummi at 6:10 AM on June 11, 2002


My town:

But all the goodwill in the world can only take you so far in our rankings, which ranked the Triad dead last in culture and nightlife, and 39th out of 40 in number of other singles. Indeed, a high turnout in the reader's buzz poll--along with plenty of positive votes--were all that saved Greensboro from finishing last this year, behind Pittsburgh. As it is, 38th place was the best Greensboro could manage.

I'm not single, but ranking dead last in culture and nightlife sucks monsters. I want to move to Pittsburgh.
posted by corpse at 6:39 AM on June 11, 2002


Well, that's depressing. I live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and it ranked #8 and yet I'm still single. I am surprised we did so well, since it seems most everyone gets married at like 24 here in the midwest.
posted by jodic at 6:44 AM on June 11, 2002


I'm from Boston... umm Yay Boston. :)
posted by LinemanBear at 6:46 AM on June 11, 2002


Charlotte got #27, which isn't surprising, I guess. Due to many factors, the nightlife is pretty lacking, and there really isn't a lot for single folk to do. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of coffee shops, and the Dilworth district is starting to brim over with that "Creative Class" sorta vibe, but we still have a few years to go before this city really cuts through.

Well, that and some of the club ordinances need severe overhauling and/or repealling.
posted by sigma7 at 7:10 AM on June 11, 2002


What does it say when your city doesn't even make the list? Buck up Pittsburgh singles -- at least you don't live in Buffalo.

Thank heaven I gots me a good woman afore I got here.
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:10 AM on June 11, 2002


I grew up in a small Ohio town about 30 miles outside Pittsburgh (#40), I now live in Denver (#5). [Insert obligatory Thomas Wolfe title here]. Not true actually, I can go home again, just not to live. I love it there but I love living here more.
posted by m@ at 7:24 AM on June 11, 2002


Note that while San Francisco / Oakland made it in at #6, the third (and largest) member of the Bay Area Triumvirate didn't even make the list. San Jose is notoriously hideous for singles (well, it's notoriously hideous for single guys -- if you're a single woman looking for an overpaid geek...). I have several friends who've actually moved back to the midwest in search of love.
posted by hob at 7:26 AM on June 11, 2002


I have several friends who've actually moved back to the midwest in search of love.

hob, what's a sister got to do to get the hookup?
posted by jodic at 7:30 AM on June 11, 2002


Woo-hoo! Chicago's #3!

Too bad the suburb I live in is probably #999 or so for singles.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:34 AM on June 11, 2002


Comin atcha live from #28 (and their description is such a load of crap, so much so that I doubt the integrity of the entire list-I mean, can you really complain about the city with the most boobie bars per capita in the entire country?), I knew that Pittsburgh looked familiar somehow. (two season renewal, yeehaw!!)
posted by verso at 7:39 AM on June 11, 2002


One of the wackier things about this Forbes piece is that their ranking of these 40 cities by cost of living shows Pittsburgh to be more expensive than Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Denver, and Houston, among others. There's just no way that's true.
posted by engelr at 7:41 AM on June 11, 2002


Comin atcha live from #28 (and their description is such a load of crap, so much so that I doubt the integrity of the entire list-I mean, can you really complain about the city with the most boobie bars per capita in the entire country?), I knew that Pittsburgh looked familiar somehow. (two season renewal, yeehaw!!)
posted by verso at 7:41 AM on June 11, 2002


Verso, if Pittsburgh were only half of what that show makes it out to be, I would have never left. :)
posted by gummi at 7:44 AM on June 11, 2002


Calling in from #3. I have to agree that this is a great area for singles, though the cost of living is a bit of a strain.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:01 AM on June 11, 2002


St. Louis = cheap and uncool at #22. All right!

But if there's a burgeoning jazz scene around here like they mention, it is kept deep deep DEEP undercover.
posted by UncleFes at 8:41 AM on June 11, 2002


hob, what's a sister got to do to get the hookup?

the ones who were looking for love in the midwest found it, i am happy to report.

if you're looking for an overpaid geek and are willing to come to san jose... the best story i know is the (female) friend of mine, an interface designer, who simply took up residence at Netscape and started attending meetings. she never actually drew a paycheck, but was eventually allocated a cube and is still living with one of the sys admins.

as i say, sometimes finding love in the south bay calls for desperate measures.
posted by hob at 8:57 AM on June 11, 2002


Wow. How desperate am I to be leaving #34 (Indianapolis) soon? Can't find an honest job as a journalist here to save my life. Can't get a date either. I'm now kicking myself for leaving the Triangle (#4! how about that?).
posted by salsamander at 9:02 AM on June 11, 2002


Salt Lake City, #24. Buzz, #40. That sounds about right.

Not that it matters to me, I've never been a single adult (married at 18 years and 8 days old).
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:38 AM on June 11, 2002


Forbes missed the real reason for Pittsburgh's singles woes: they can't find each other because the city is a well-known traffic nightmare. It's too hard to find any place there.

I'm a Pittsburgh native and lover of the city. But if you've been there, you know it grew up around all those rivers and hills and it's a logistical nightmare.

I found love and marriage in Milwaukee, a very similar city in many respects, but much easier to get from point A to point B.
posted by jhiggy at 10:08 AM on June 11, 2002


Damn... I've been at #1 for 5 years without even a viable sniff, and find a girl in Wichita, KS... go figure.


And about Boston finishing below Pittsburgh in cost of living... not bloody likely.
posted by turacma at 10:12 AM on June 11, 2002


I like Pittsburgh (libraries, universities, cheap housing). My SO doesn't (only whites and blacks, and segregated at that). If I were single I'd be more likely to live in Pittsburgh. But I'm a hermit, so I guess I wouldn't expect Forbes' rankings to make much sense to me.
posted by mlinksva at 11:19 AM on June 11, 2002


I visit Pittsburgh often, and it's a fabulous town. The Oakwood district is gorgeous, the Carnegie Mellon campus is breathtaking, the Carnegie Museum is first rate. It's got my absolute favorite restaurant in the country. The physical character of the place is unique, with the hills and bridges. The downtown has lots of northern big city soul, and you can actually walk around it. The local history museum is worth setting aside a day for. Plus, it's the home of Get Hip records, the only label cool enough to bring you the Kaisers. Pittsburg is NOT a loser city.
posted by Faze at 11:47 AM on June 11, 2002


One of the wackier things about this Forbes piece is that their ranking of these 40 cities by cost of living shows Pittsburgh to be more expensive than Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Denver, and Houston, among others. There's just no way that's true.

Living in Houston (#8), I can attest that I'm not at all surprised that our cost of living ranked #3. Our housing costs are, according to the mayor's office, "40% below the average of 22 large U.S. metro areas". The story I've heard on that is that way too much housing went up in the 1980s, I think in anticipation of an oil boom that never really came. But I'm not certain. It's definitely cheaper than Austin and Dallas, among others, and yet they still rank pretty well (well, Austin does). The non-Texas ones, I can't explain to you.

And those of you complaining about not being on the list: note that Forbes used the 40 largest metro areas, not the 40 best. So your city isn't as large... no big deal.
posted by nath at 12:36 PM on June 11, 2002


Get Hip records

Rock on, Faze! (I am partial to The Cynics myself.)
posted by gummi at 12:46 PM on June 11, 2002


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