A great place to live - a detailed review
Having lived in Pittsburgh for over 30 years, I think I can give a pretty detailed summary of what it's like here. As with any place, there are positives and negatives, but overall this is a great place to live. Let me start with the negatives though, since it's a shorter list. The weather sucks in winter, it's cloudy, and cold, but we don't typically get a lot of snow. An occasional blizzard, yes, but the last time that happened was 10 years ago. Typically it's just 2 or 3 inches of snow a few times a year and that's it. But it is cloudy and dreary almost every day from December to March. Roads are typically in rough shape, lots of potholes. This is an old, industrial city. If you're looking for shiny new neighborhoods and shopping centers you won't find many here. On the positive side of things: summers are wonderful, warm but not oppressive, and lacking the high humidity of the south. Many days are sunny and warm and many evenings, even in July, can be cool. You can actually open your windows and get fresh air at night quite often in summer, if you want a break from the a/c. Real estate is extremely reasonable here and you can find a very nice house for $150-$200k in all but the most exclusive neighborhoods. The cost of living in general is low compared to the U.S. We have plenty of museums, a nice zoo, and a beautiful walkable downtown. From Mt. Washington you get an amazing view of the city white eating at some of the cities best restaurants. We have a fantastic public library system and a very good public transportation system with buses that cover almost all areas of the city and suburbs and a light rail system as well. We have 3 major sports teams AND you can actually go to a baseball game in the most beautiful park in the country for $25 bucks or less. Lately Pittsburgh has earned (rightly so) a reputation for foodies, we have some wonderful and diverse restaurants. We have world class colleges and universities, with Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh leading the pack, but by no means the only options in town. Duquesne University is here, Point State Park, Robert Morris. Our health care system is one of the best in the country. We have a strong and growing tech job market; Google has a presence here, for example. Traffic is not nearly as bad as most cities of this size and there are typically at least 3 different ways to get from point A to point B relatively easily. People here are friendly, approachable, and helpful. Shopping is plentiful with 5 or 6 really great shopping areas you can choose from. Oh one last negative I did want to mention. Although Pittsburgh is nothing like the steel town of 50 years ago, with dark skies, soot filled air and belching smoke stacks... we do still have pretty poor air quality overall here. It's 98% better than it was even just 40 years ago, but it's still poor compared to most places in the country. It's unfortunate but it's the truth.
In summary, I would give Pittsburgh 4 1/2 stars but that is not an option to I gave it 5. It's just a great place to live - period. Not perfect, but great.
M | Murrysville, PA