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Jonathan Barnes

Focusing on what is cool about Pittsburgh is not the only kind of focus to have on this city.
What is "hip" about Pittsburgh may ultimately be much more fleeting than the steel mills were.
I understand your frustration, but if we lose all of the old mills (and there are a few still operating, a big updated one in Braddock, for example) then we as Pittsburghers will begin to lose that tie which binds so many of us to our past--the thing that even connects us with our family histories.
Finding what is cool about Pittsburgh also leaves a lot of people out of the loop--older people, people without money, and sometimes, even, the poorly educated.
Besides, Pittsburgh's working class grittiness is one of the best, most "real" things about the place. It is reflected in the forthrightness of Pittsburghers' speech, and it is one of the things we all can still be proud of.
Places that overemphasize their coolness end up having far less economic diversity, because they cater to the middle class and to the wealthy. Look at Seattle, for instance. It's a rich boy's town.

Sam MacDonald

To be clear, I agree. I think it would be a terrible shame to forget or otherwise downplay this history. In fact, I am interested most in seeing how much of this "history" can be translated into new pursuits.

Thanks for the comment

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