HeavenWood wrote:Are you familiar with Pittsburgh? If not, I would strongly suggest visiting here a few days before/after the ASW. I love the Burgh, but it's definitely not for everybody. A Pitt degree is very regional. Make sure you like Western PA before committing.
Not familiar with Pittsburgh at all. I have been to Philly and enjoyed it on the most part. How different is Pittsburgh from Philly? I do plan on visiting a few days before the ASW to get a better feel for the place.
Completely different. The two cities aren't even in "direct competition." Pittsburgh more closely compares to Cleveland, Rochester, Buffalo, etc. than Philadelphia.
Some key distinctions:
Pittsburgh is much smaller. Downtown is less than a square mile. That being said, for a 300,000+ person city, Pittsburgh has a lot to offer: great, affordable housing stock; beautiful parks and recreation; a spirited nightlife [but unlike Center City, downtown is dead]; a vibrant and still growing arts scene; and loads of cultural facilities. This is relative to its size, of course. In absolute terms, Philly has Pittsburgh beat in all of these categories.
Pittsburgh people are much friendlier. Pittsburgh is the gateway to the Midwest. People take things a little bit slower here. Strangers are much more likely to smile and say hello on the street. In general, the Pittsburgh pedestrian culture is more "open" and "warm" than Mid-Atlantic Cities.
Pittsburgh is much less diverse. The city is about 2/3 white and 1/3 black, with just a smidgen of Asians and Latinos. Philadelphia has a much wider, more established, range of races and ethicities. Pittsburgh's neighborhoods are divided between white and black; Philly has white, black, Asian, and Puerto Rican enclaves, among many others.
Pittsburgh is still trying to shed its reliance on manufacturing. For the first time in 60 years, Philadelphia has gained population. Pittsburgh is still losing at a rapid rate. The white collar sector is quickly expanding; Pittsburgh is seeing tons of corporate growth. But remember that the Burgh was once a city of steel mills, most of which have gone belly up. Most of this migration is blue collar workers to the sunbelt. I would imagine that because of this corporate influx, once the economy straightens out, Pittsburgh will see some growth in the legal sector.
Pittsburgh's cost of living is amazing. An $800 1-bedroom luxury apartment in Pittsburgh's East End would go for over $1,300 in Center City. And it's not just housing that's cheap. Food (both groceries and restaurant) and recreation are as well. Pittsburgh's biggest draw is its low cost of living relative to its high quality of life. As a point in comparison, here's what a million dollar home looks like in Fox Chapel, one of Pittsburgh's (and America's) wealthiest suburbs:http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1602- ... 6415_zpid/
Here's what a million dollars get you in Lower Merion, Philly's wealthiest suburb:http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/434-W ... 9020_zpid/
3/5 the square footage and less than 1/6 the land. Don't get me wrong, the Wynnewood house is beautiful. But it's clear who gets a better bang for their buck.
When you come for the ASW, you'll see for yourself. A lot of people fall in love with Pittsburgh, but some don't. Just make sure it's the right city for you!