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barnes

Wasn't O'Toole with the Post-Gazette until recently? Wasn't she in the D.C. bureau that the P-G closed?
Or did she leave the P-G years ago?
And who cares if people in D.C. think Pittsburgh is cool, as if Carson Street is representative of Pittsburgh...
I lived right by Carson Street, young man.

Sam M

JB,

I am not at all familiar with her history. And I was not aware that she had been with the PG.

As for what people on the outside think... I don't care if anytone things Pittsburgh is cool or not. In fact, I don't even know what that might mean. Particularly in terms of how the cool people on East Carson Street might think about it. Isn't it pretty lame to be cool in a conventional sense? Isn't anti-cool much cooler? Does any of this have anything to do with being hip? Camp? Kitsch?

I am far too old to make such distinctions. And when I was younger I spent so much time in bars that I never formulated an opinion. I suppose that complete disregard for my own coolness made me the coolest guy around. Except that it is also possible that my complete lack of ironic detachment negated whatever cool appeal my slobbery might have had. Maybe I was just an actual slob.

I have my suspicions...

At any rate, I do think it is interesting (and important, even) to check in on Pittsburgh's "image" from time to time. Especially since so many people want to spend my money figuring out how that image is broke and how to fix it.

If these articles are correct, after all, doesn't it seem that efforts to brand Pittsburgh as hip and cool might be redundant? After all, the New York Times and the Washington Post can't get enough of our hipness and coolness.

But is it in any way problematic that our hipness and coolness is being measured in terms of Station Square? Wouldn't REAL coolness reside in buying pierogies out of some old drunk lady's basement. (Extra coolness points if she does not speak English!) In which case, shouldn't our redvelopment efforts focus on bringing in old immigrant ladies rather than large corporate chains?

I am confused. And probably not very cool.

But to be clear: What I REALLY consider cool (and what I was trying to refer to in the post) is the fact that a writer from here-abouts has managed to land pieces in some heavy-hitting places. Which is no small trick.

sean mcdaniel

"Extra coolness points if she does not speak English!"

i'll up the ante if the drunk immigrant swears at you in her native tongue because you can't speak her tongue.

as for o'toole, there are others like her. most pittsburgh writers bitch too much about not getting noticed instead of actually trying to get noticed by becoming better writers.

Jonathan Barnes

Good observations:
"If these articles are correct, after all, doesn't it seem that efforts to brand Pittsburgh as hip and cool might be redundant? After all, the New York Times and the Washington Post can't get enough of our hipness and coolness.

"But is it in any way problematic that our hipness and coolness is being measured in terms of Station Square? Wouldn't REAL coolness reside in buying pierogies out of some old drunk lady's basement. (Extra coolness points if she does not speak English!) In which case, shouldn't our redvelopment efforts focus on bringing in old immigrant ladies rather than large corporate chains?"

I didn't say that O'Toole was for sure from the P-G--I could be wrong, very often I am wrong. I just thought she was.

Sean, many writers have every right to bitch about not getting noticed by an old boy network of journalists that refuses to allow outsiders in. I've been able to do some writing that has been published globally, but in this town, I am the exception.
I agree that folks ought to write more and bitch less. I'd send that advice back at ya.

sean mcdaniel

hey, JB, i'm just bitching, period. i'm not trying to get published. you never heard that from me.

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