Opinion L.A.

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They like us, they really like us


As a multi-generational Pittsburgher who spent most of my career in the erstwhile Steel City, I have mixed feelings about the media's G-20-inspired rediscovery of my home town. The stories about the city's comeback have ranged from the puffy to the perceptive. (I recommend a Wall Street Journal sketch that quotes my boyhood pal Chris Donahue, though it misspells his name). But a lot of the commentary was patronizing. "Pittsburgh is a nice place? Who knew?!"

Of course, it's always a bit disillusioning to read a news story about a place or a phenomenon you know well. Sometimes nuances get lost. Sometimes there are downright howlers.

Years ago, a reporter for a major national newspaper swooped down on Pittsburgh to troll for opinions about some big story or other. Rather than spending all his time in shot-and-a-beer bars, he canvassed Burghers all over the area, dutifully taking down names and neighborhoods. But Pittsburghers cackled when they read the story, which referred to one interviewee as a resident of the "neighborhood of South Hills Village."

South Hills Village is a shopping mall.

The macro-mistake of some of the coverage of Pittsburgh has been an exaggeration of the city's very real remaking of itself after the implosion of the steel industry. If you're interested in a balanced view of post-industrial Pittsburgh, I recommend this piece by my old boss John G. Craig Jr., the editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in its heyday. It's astute, complimentary but gush-free.

-- Michael McGough

Photo: Downtown Pittsburgh. Credit: Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images.


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hello. after having shattered both my lower legs beyond repair, i owe a depth of gratitude to the progressive professionals treating at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, as i am now able to walk again on those same legs without any additional braces, screws, or parts. UPMC is a regional legend. and i will not forget the great pizza. and they deserve credit for their rhythm and blues. this three river city is much more than coal, steel, and plate glass. thank you Pittsburgh: hockey pucks and footballs and baseballs; how can you not have fun there.

kim whyte

YEAH Its so nice to hear some positive comments today. I was in the middle of it all for 2 days. I work in Pittsburgh and made it in and out and around town without too much difficulty. I witnessed the peaceful demolnstrations here. I was able to get a peak at a few dignataries, and walk to the convention center to witness the beautiful walkway underneath to the river. Maybe some one should post some of the nicer things. I have lived elsewhere and I have always returned home. There is nothing more breathtaking than coming out of the Fort Pitt Tunnels to view our city I love everthing about it......



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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