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Amos the Poker Cat

Actually, that would be holding an Islay's chip-chopped ham sandwich. (Strange, that PIT has co-opted Islay's as its own since it was really founded in Youngstown, not here.) Heck, you are lucky that the little parking information do not refer to thinks that are not here anymore.

Even if there was excellent parkikng information, I doubt that it would bring many people from outside of PIT. If you have ever talked to someone living out of the suburban PIT area, like New Castle, Sharon, Y-town, etc, they are convinced that the streets in PTI are all unlabeled, and are randomly shuffled with construction just to make it impossible for anyone that does not live here to be able to successfully drive to a destination on the first try without making a grid search.

sean mcdaniel

uh...if there's not a pirates game that day or some other event at pnc or heinz field...you can park on the street for free...and walk across the bridge...the interns will be there to make sure you walk across the correct bridge...i mean, they're all painted yellow so that could confuse someone. if i have time, i'll paint a trail for you but it looks iffy because my foot is really itchy.

Sam M

I know. It seems like handholding.

But if you are going to stake the future of the city on tourism and visitors--which the city does seem to be doing by investing hundreds of millions onto stadiums and convention centers--you better get ready to coddle.

Tourists are a sick, fickle bunch. And if you don't want to spend the time, money and energy it takes to make it as pain-free as possible for them to visit a city that isn't exactly the Riviera, you might as well not even bother with all the "fun" stuff.

Remember, when our leaders built these things they promised more than "something to do." They promised economic development. And to get that you need to bring in outsiders. I think that is a crappy way to do development. And I would have voted against it. But here we are.

So get thee some interns and start making nice. Because that's what people want. And when you are a tourist town, what the people want is all that matters.

Sucks. I know. But tell it to the people who built a couple hundred million dollars worth of tourist attractions with your money.

sean mcdaniel

judging from the crowds downtown and on the n.side, none of the visitors seemed to have trouble findging their way around this past week. seriously, you just need to get out more.

Sam M

A charming anecdote, Sean. So charming that perhaps we should apply it across the board, with sime minor adjustments:

A better connected and more rational transit system for the city? Well, why would we need that?

"Judging from the crowds downtown and on the n.side, none of the visitors seemed to have trouble findging their WAY INTO THE CITY this past week."

Subsidies for downtown development? Looks like there's no need.

"Judging from the crowds downtown and on the n.side, THE CITY APPEARS TO ALREADY BE REVITALIZED."

A coalition of leaders to develop a better marketing strategy for the city and a better image? Hell no.

"Judging from the crowds downtown and on the n.side, none of the visitors seemed to have trouble IDENTIFYING PITTSBURGH'S NEW IMAGE AND ACTING UPON IT."

Or does it only make sense to speak anecdotally when it suits your purposes?

sean mcdaniel

you're right that anecdotal stuff does work, for example...

judging from the crowds downtown and on the n.side none of the visitors seemed to have trouble HAVING A DAMN GOOD TIME IN A CITY THAT LOCAL BLOGGERS THINK IS WASTING MONEY ON IMPROVING DOWNTOWN AND SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOODS.

and...

judging from the crowds downtown and on the n.side none of the visitors seemed to have trouble AVOIDING THE ENDLESS NEGATIVITY OF THE ANTIRUST BLOG

Sam M

Sean,

Careful readers will understand that that's just a big load of crap.

Rather than bitching (God help anyone who points out something negative about your precious 'Burgh) I was pointing out something that might make the city more approachable for people not intimately familiar with it. Specific ways.

When Jack Piatt or anyone else does that you talk about how forward-looking they are. Geniuses! Saviors!

When I do it you act like I am some kind of scrooge.

Perhaps if my plan had called for hundred of millions in public dollars you would have approved. (Yes. Go back. There is a plan.)

So is a plan needed? After all there were a lot of people downtown for the All Star Game. Perhaps we should all sit around and talk about how we're saved.

Or perhaps we should read this article in the Post-Gazette:

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/06194/705451-28.stm

Since your reading comprehension seems to be on the fritz, allow me to point out the section I have in mind:

"He thought Pittsburgh would benefit in the long term from its moment in the television spotlight and from generally making a good impression on its guests, despite those parking rates."

Boy. What a jerk that guy is. Talking about how the event was a success but deigning to mention that there might be some work to do on parking.

Perhaps he needs to get out more.

Or perhaps the city isn't perfect. And perhaps people might be more forthcoming with solutions if they didn't get slamed for mentioning places in which they see room for improvement.

What's your plan? Perhaps a huge crew of volunteers to go around jeering at anyone who has a question to ask or a suggestion to make.

We'll call it "The Sean Plan."

By the way, be sure to read the rest of the article if you can get through it. That jerk-ass reporter kept talking about how not every single person in the whole city made millions and millions off the All Star game. What a negative jerk!

sean mcdaniel

it's funny how wordiness gets in the way of all the pretty photos in the PG. i actually went to the all star game and spent less time waiting in lines to get in than during a normal SRO (fireworks, quadruple bobblehead night) pirates game or a steelers game. so someone did something very fan friendly there, especially with the ridiculously tight security (the guy in front of me had to take off his suspenders to pass through the metal detectors).

sam, what bugs me is that you seem to find that dark cloud to drape around every silver lining. seriously.

obvioulsy, i'm not in your master's program league of thought...i also don't have the capacity to get nearly hysterical and condescending either. you might win some more converts without the super sanctimonious tone.

as for visitors who ask questions...i answered plenty of them while i was around the ballpark sunday monday and tuesday (i went there the other two days just to enjoy — now there's an ability lacking in your makeup — the atmosphere). i also took a couple dozen photos of guests who wanted the skyline or pnc in the background i'm always nice to visitors. in your case, i'm still nice, but extremely puzzled by how such a know-it-all about what's best for this town that he's chosen to live in can't seem to get from one end of the city to the either without a personal Tonto to led the way. my point is that if you can't move about in pittsburgh without a special website or guide, then maybe you should hold back on your judgement of the place. maybe once you know pittsburgh like the back of your hand, i might not find you so amusing. honestly, you do make me laugh, and not always ironically.

calm down, boy. just calm down. or at least save the righteous indignation for those poor freshman comp students next month.

sean mcdaniel

by the way, the pirates and mlb (major league baseball, if you don't know) had thousands of volunteer goodwill ambassadors helping during fanfest, the game and all the other all star activities. did you notice? or were you busy sticking more pins in your robert moses voodoo doll?

as for business in the strip not cashing in, well the next time there's a street fair on smallman that draws people away from a sixth street eatery, i hope those who complained during the all star break keep that in mind.

as for those people who stayed away from the city during the past week...well shame on them for missing one of the best parties outside of superbowl week. then again, some people will do anything for a chance to whine.

sam, please remember that as your kids grow up to point that even though they may excel at writing (or whatever subject they do well in), they also really suck at math. and make sure you do it on a special occasion like a birthday or christmas.

sometimes, you just have to sit back and bask in the glow of something that went right and felt good.

Sam M

Sean,

I am not sure what you mean by "what bugs me is that you seem to find that dark cloud to drape around every silver lining. seriously."

Go back to the original post. I said that the Regatta boasted a very nice website, and one thing that might put it over the top is more information about parking. I think the fact that you took such immense offense at that suggestion speaks more to your demeanor than mine. Look, you know Pittsburgh. Great. But maybe it's YOU who needs to get out more. Go to another city that you don't know so well. See what kind of questions that generates. Think about what might have made your visit easier and nicer. Then try applying that to Pittsburgh. Because what you are doing now amounts to, "What Pittsburgh has is nice. Anyone who questions it is a jerk."

But even more confusing is this:

"I'm still nice, but extremely puzzled by how such a know-it-all about what's best for this town that he's chosen to live in can't seem to get from one end of the city to the either without a personal Tonto to led the way."

When did I ever say that I "know what's best for this town"? Give me a link. Or something. Because I don't think I ever said anything like that. In fact, that is the exact OPPOSITE of what I have been saying.

See, I am incredibly wary of people who say they "know what's best." Especially when they come armed with bulldozers and eminent domain and a 70-year history of failed projects.

No. What I prefer is to let it all shake out. You think you know what's best for the Lazarus building? Then get some financing and do it. Can't get the financing? Become a better salesman or go back to the drawing board.

The only people who "know what's best" and force it on people are the people you chide me for not supporting now. Why do the Piatt's get an "exclusive" on development? Because someone at city hall decided that he knows what's best.

You say they are doing it different now and we should cheer them on.

But they always say they are doing it differently.

But come on. How can that be true? I mean, no one is proposing to use eminent domain to knock down a section of the Hill District anymore to build a hockey arena.

Uh... wait...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06194/705533-53.stm

Here's the money shot:

"Ms. Conturo would not rule out the use of eminent domain to acquire the properties if agreements aren't reached, but said the authority is hopeful it will not come to that. She said eminent domain would be used only as a "last resort."

"We don't expect to use eminent domain," she said. "We're hopeful that we can negotiate fair agreements."

Sound familiar? Still think they are doing things different today? How about some subsidies for a skyscraper? And a few immensely expensive transit schemes? Check. Check. Check.

Hey, look, you want to be a cheerleader, great. We need those. But would the city be a worse place today if maybe we had a few skeptics in 1940? 1950? 1960?

I sure hope there are a few left in 2030 when they start talking about the next hockey arena.

sean mcdaniel

okay, here's what happens when i go to another city, be it NYC, san francisco, seattle, chicago, montreal, london, paris, philadelphia or des moines...i get a map, a guide book and feel my way around. if i get lost i ask the locals how to get to where i want to go...or i enjoy where i am and move on from there. you need to be a little more intrepid, scout.

my issue with you is that you do live here and don't seem willing to take the time to learn how to get around without special directions from whatever event you're interested in.

as for you knowing what's best for pittsburgh, you're right about that. but you certainly seem to know what's not best.

yeah, i agree that eminent domain sucks. it always hurts the "little people." i grew up in a town that was practically wiped off the map by two major road projects. but when a couple local country clubs pointed out that they would go out of business if a nearby interstate followed its original route, officials changed the plans to spare a couple of golf course greens. by the way, i think the n. shore subway spur is a joke. it's almost faster to walk to PNC Park from the nearest downtown train stop. then again, if the spur helps you get to the ballpark without any hassles, then i'm all for that. maybe the next link should right to your front door.

no, i don't know what's best for the lazarus building. but i'd hate to let it all shake out and see 7-story (or whatever) dollar general store there with a giant tanning and nail boutique on the top floor instead of lucas piatt's plan.

as i said, you're great at pointing out the negative, but honestly, can't you temper that with some optimism once in a while?

and please remember, the demise of big steel (and the resulting death of all the companies and services that thrived off it) is what really dealt a big blow to this town. You should have seen downtown in the 1970s, even as late as the end of the decade. It was lively, fun and diverse. That all changed dramatically in the 1980s. Hmmm...do you really think it took nearly 3 decades for the so-called corrosive effects of the Renaissance to take hold?

I think that coming from NY gives me a completly different point of view. First of all the resemblence between lower Manhattan and downtown Pittsburgh is pretty obvious. ( two rivers, point etc.. ) Also the history is very similar in that lower Manhattan untill very recently was a pure business district that could barely stores and would empty out at night. Well anyway the area has been transformed by the addittion of housing both within the area and also nearby in places like Soho, Tribecca
and Battery Park City.

The one thing about Manhattan is that you can't say that it's easy to park
In fact, I think that the very difficulty in parking creates a strong underpinning for the real estate in the area. I think that years ago, this was an issue that NY faced.

It was being gutted by highway construction and had lost a large chunk of it's middle class to Long Island and New Jersey. The issue then was how was one going to provide parking for the office workers who left town. I think that pretty soon it became clear that the desires of the people who did not live in Manhattan for parking was in direct conflict with the desires of Manhattan residents for a convenient and walkable city. In the end the city dwellers won the argument and parking in the city is very tough. This has almost helped the tourist trade. The scumbags who left now pay through the nose every time they come in or they act like New Yorkers and leave thier cars at home. The few who can afford to have a city apartment.


John Morris

Wow, You guys seem mad at each other. I am here to stoke the fire. In my opinion you both hate Pittsburgh.

What I mean is that the entire topic is about event parking. Someone who loved the downtown or nearby areas would be talking about how could they live there. Instead, what you are saying is of course you wouldn't live there but you want a gleeming shiny active vibrant city just sitting ther for when you want to go to a baseball game. Well dirt bags that is not how a city works. A city is an organic entity that requires the constant interaction of residents and visitors. It cannot support itself on occassional visitors alone.

People who don't want to live near the city and who demand easy parking are creating dead space in the city that kills it's life and wastes it's real estate. Pittsburgh is a city of hills so taking the main areas that are easy to build on and can support density and wasting them on parking is a crime. That is why Heinz Field is an absolute disaster, outside of a few days a year it is just a blank hole sitting on some of the best property in the city. This was the Donald Trump land with views of the city and easy convenience to the downtown.

The city needs to realize that it is in a brutal war for cash with it's suburbs. It is not going to get anywhere providing free ammenities for them. It has to start looking at the stadiums and Theaters and parks as amenities for it's resident's first. If you find it tough to park well then move into town.

sean mcdaniel

any city with a residential downtown district has parking issues. the point of living downtown is to be close enough to every thing you need to not need a car. thank god that every aspiring artist,actor, architect, writer, business grad, computer geek who dreams of living in nyc or san francisco or boston or minneapolis or (gasp!) pittsburgh doesn't say "jeez, i don't think i'll settle there because parking is really tough." hell, a lot of them probably don't own a vehicle to begin with or sell them to be able to afford to get to their new hometowns.

face it, pittsburghers are a bunch of whiners when it comes to parking. the want that space in front of their bloomfield apt. or in front of the door the kaufmann's in the mall or at showcase cinema. they want PAT to drive a bus to their front door and drop them off no more than 12 steps (the only 12 step program they really want to be part off) from where they work. and oh yes, parking must always be free and bus rides short and cheap.

i really wonder how many of the complainers have ever walked from the downtown side of the 6th street bridge to the smithfield street bridge. do they know it takes less than 15 minutes? do they know that from wholey's in the strip to the o'reilly theater is less than a mile? do they know that the asses they sit on have legs attached to them that are the cheapest, most efficient form of transportation available? do they?

sean mcdaniel

hey, sorry for the typos and missing words in the last post. but i'm really upset that the borough of avalon didn't designate a special parking spot for me when i moved here.

John Morris

And I hope you all are enjoying your $3.00 gas. Stock up. You are likely to remember that as a really cheap price.

Here come all the letters to the editor about how Exxon is exploiting you and forced you to buy a Hummer.

sean mcdaniel

honestly, i can't tell much difference between a $3 gallon and a $2.50 gallon of gas. they all pretty much taste the same when i'm siphoning my neighbor's tank.

sean mcdaniel

Mr. Morris:

i live in a small town about 8 miles north of the city. however, i'm in pittsburgh (all of it constantly). i go to baseball games. and shop in the strip. i see shows at the o'reilly. i eat at christo's on 6th street (the best greek food in town). i love movies at south side works (and eat and drink on the old part of carson). i buy my bike stuff in squirrel hill. chow down on the best burgers in the world at tessaro's. i shop (unabashedly) at whole foods. yeah, i'm hometown proud...and support it every way i can. for the life of me, i can't understand why many of the posters here seem to be rooting for the worst for pittsburgh (and yes i know this will draw the usual response about subsidies for the rich, $90,000 paybacks for high ticket condos, neglect of the poor neighborhoods, etc.)

John Morris

So like, I might as well admit it. I love Pittsburgh but I don't think much of Pittsburghers. I sort of see the city as a good place to take over.

In a nut shell this is the history of Pittsburgh as I see it. You have a bunch of people who came here because of jobs. They didn't come here because they want to live in a real city. So the obvious thing to do is to market the place to people who like cities and want to live in one. There is now such a huge price gap with so many other cities that a small swell of demand would be like a deluge here. But one has to realize that those people are likely to want a real city- a twenty four hour city and a high convenience city. I personaly know a number of people who are sort of looking for an urban lifesyle on the cheap.

sean mcdaniel

mr. morris:

welcome to town. you're invited to take over. i really think that it's going to take a 100 percent transfusion of new people to change things here.

and sam, i checked out two places selling all star stuff for half off. the one guy had mostly high golf shirts and jackets and mostly in large sizes. and the places across the river near the ballpark fell into the same catergory, though with a bit more selection, if you're an XX-large. as for the 50 percent off hats, he had 12 and four of them were pink. and both the owners of those stores said they did well, despite an influx of outsiders who set up shop in many empty storefronts.

using the logic that places were selling staff at half price the day after the game is like saying the christmas retail season is a bust every year because of the sales at all the store on Dec. 26. hell, i always wait until easter monday to buy my chocolate bunnies. seems like you don't understand retail all that well.

Sam M

Dammit! I just lost a huge reply to the latest string of comments.

Damn shame, too. It was witty and charming, but devastating in its logic.

Really. I promise it was.

I will try to recreate it later. For now, the family reunion!

Jeeves; My drinking shoes, forthwith!

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