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Pittsburgh, PA

Great for families - 1/3/2023
I will give Pittsburgh 5 Stars for the ability to raise a family but it certainly has deficits that I'll cover at the end.
I grew up in a small river town 45 minutes south of the city, then lived in a close-in suburb for nearly 30 years. I then spent five years in a city neighborhood--Mr. Roger's actual neighborhood, by the way.
The low cost of living, a truly wonderful suburban school district (and there are many like it around Pittsburgh), easy access to collegiate and sports events, and an amazing array of cultural opportunities (many museums, a zoo, a ballet company, a symphony orchestra, performing arts theatres, etc) meant our children had an almost ideal childhood. We had access to one of USA's best health systems, too.
Recreationally, biking trails now line all the rivers, and we and our children could take weekly treks all over the hills and dales of the valley.
The food scene really changed over the years for the better, and during our last five years there we were able to eat out daily on a variety of reasonably priced, freshly made dishes that weren't dripping in fat or loaded with sugar and salt.
The cost of living, again such a plus, meant we could use our income to travel the world to so many cities we enjoyed. And it would amaze us that as soon as we returned home, coming through the tunnel to see the three rivers, the fountain at the Point, and all the bridges, we would fall in love with our city all over again.

The downsides?
1) Weather. Spring and Fall are great. Winter is gray, gray, gray. Pittsburgh gets a lot of rainfall.
2) Transportation. We were able to use the PAT bus system easily our last five years; the options for anyone not living on the South Hills trolley line is very limited. And we still don't understand why there is not some train that could take people from the city to the airport.
3) It's an insular community. Families stay rooted, which can be a really good thing or a huge negative.
4) Yes, the diversity of the many colleges and universities there provide ethnic variety, but I do not feel the systems are in place to allow upward mobility for the black population.
5) I think the social scene for relocated young adults has changed for the better, but it's not one of the city's strongest points.

So if one is thinking of relocating here to raise a family, I'd tell you that it would be one of the best decisions of your life.
If you are relocating here to find a youthful, vibrant social scene, I'm unsure of what you'll find.
If you don't like a gray sky, I would not move here.

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