By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com
As the second-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh is known for its strong economy, education opportunities, and exciting cultural attractions. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a newcomer moving to the city, check out our lists of reasons why living in Pittsburgh is awesome!
1. A CITY OF FIRSTS.
2. ONE OF AMERICA’S SAFEST CITIES.
While most people picture high crime rates when it comes to major urban areas, Pittsburgh has actually been named one of the safest cities in the country. In 2013, Farmers Insurance Group ranked Pittsburgh in the #3 spot on their list of most secure large cities in the U.S., ranking ahead of San Francisco and Dallas.
3. AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
Something else that makes this city stand out from other large cities? Pittsburgh has a cheap housing market. As of April 2015, the national median home price was at $297,300. According to Forbes, Pittsburgh’s median home price is just over $131,000. What’s more, the median household income in Pittsburgh ($50,225) is just shy of the national median household income ($52,250). And with a cost of living at 4.5% below the national average, Pittsburgh might just be the perfect place for you to settle down.
4. RENOWNED HOSPITALS.
Whether you’re looking for a job in the health care industry or simply like knowing that you have good hospitals nearby, Pittsburgh definitely stands out as a good option. Not only is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center the city’s number one employer, but it’s also been named the best hospital in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report. In fact, it was here, under the supervision of Dr. Jonas Salk, that the first polio vaccine was developed. The hospital’s specialties include geriatrics, pulmonology, and neurology. Other major hospitals in Pittsburgh include Allegheny General Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania Hospital, Jameson Hospital, and St. Clair Hospital.
5. GREAT FOR RETIREMENT.
In 2013, Pittsburgh was named one of the best places to retire by financial advice website NerdWallet. It’s no wonder why given the city is home to major health care providers and affordable housing. In fact, more than 25% of Pittsburgh’s permanent residents are between the ages of 50-70.
6. SPEAK PITTSBURGHESE.
Don’t speak Pittsburghese? Yagottabekidden! (“You’ve got to be kidding!”) The East Coast is well-known for its unique dialects, and Pittsburgh is no exception. Locals have developed all sorts of nifty phrases: Choobinuptoo (“What’ve you been up to?”), Open da light (“Turn on the light”), Bo fuss (“Both of us”), Yabbut (“Yes, but…”). Of course, the dialect isn’t so strong that other English-speakers can’t find their way around, but if you’re going to become a resident of Pittsburgh, learning a little Pittsburghese wouldn’t hurt!
7. SPORTS FOR EVERY FAN.
When it comes to professional sports, Pittsburgh is a well of entertainment. The city serves as home to teams from three of the major sports leagues. Representing the NFL are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have won the Super Bowl six times, the most recent victory occurring in 2008. For the NHL, there’s the Pittsburgh Penguins. And, of course, there’s the MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates. If you love sports, Pittsburgh is your town.
8. GET YOUR STUDY ON.
A number of prestigious educational institutions are located in Pittsburgh, the most well-known being the University of Pittsburgh (which houses the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Pitt educates more than 34,000 students each year in undergraduate and graduate programs such as philosophy, health sciences, social work, and business. Other local colleges and universities include Carnegie Mellon University, Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.
9. THE PITTSBURGH ARTS SCENE.
Pittsburgh is home to the Andy Warhol Museum, the largest museum in the U.S. dedicated to a single artist, and the Carnegie Museum of Art, the world’s first museum of modern art. You can also check out the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, where kids can learn about seeding and composting in the garden, play with vehicles in the garage, or explore the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood exhibit commemorating the Pittsburgh icon. Can’t get enough of the arts? The city has performing arts venues like Heinz Hall and Benedeum Center, where you can the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Opera perform.
10. FAMILY-FRIENDLY AMUSEMENT.
For families in Pittsburgh, there are two major attractions: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and Kennywood Amusement Park. Originally opened in 1949, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium features seven major exhibits: Kids Kingdom, PPG Aquarium, Asian Forest, Tropical Forest, African Savanna, Bears, and Water’s Edge. Of all these, the PPG Aquarium is the most famous. Completed in 2000, it houses a variety of freshwater and saltwater species of fish, penguins, and other aquatic animals. As for Kennywood Amusement Park, there are rollercoasters, water rides, and haunted houses to give visitors the thrill of a lifetime! Take a 70-foot dive on the Jack Rabbit rollercoaster or swing through the air on the SwingShot!
11. VISIT DOWNTOWN.
Known as the Golden Triangle (because it’s located at the point where the Allegheny Monongahela Rivers converge to form the Ohio River), Pittsburgh’s downtown area is full of life. Downtown Pittsburgh also serves as the city’s cultural district with parks, apartments and condos, shopping, dining and nightlife, and more. It’s also got 30 gigantic skyscrapers with the U.S. Steel Tower looming over all of them!
12. STRIP DISTRICT FESTIVALS.
Located just south of the Allegheny River, Pittsburgh’s Strip District is home to two popular local festivals: Strip District Music Fest and Strip District World Festival. The Strip District Music Fest is a newer event that hosts bands and features art vendors and food trucks while the Strip District World Festival is more established with its incorporation of music, food, games and activities, and entertainment from all around the globe. If you’re moving to Pittsburgh or visiting during these festivals, check ’em out!
13. CITY OF BRIDGES.
Did you know that Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in the world? With a grand total of 446 bridges spanning multiple bodies of water, Pittsburgh’s record outmatches even cities like Venice, Italy! Some notable bridges include the Fort Pitt Bridge (part of I-376), Liberty Bridge, and 31st Street Bridge.
14. TIES TO FILMMAKING.
Although not as popular as its neighboring city Philadelphia, Pittsburgh has been a filming site for a number of motion pictures over the years. George A. Romero filmed his cult classic Night of the Living Dead in the city. More recently, Christopher Nolan used Pittsburgh as one of the locations for The Dark Knight Rises, the finale of his Dark Knight trilogy. In fact, the city is so invested in film that it hosts the Three Rivers Film Festival, which has been going on for more than 30 years and is the oldest, largest film festival in the region.
Is there anything we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.