In the late 1800s, the City of Pittsburgh was the country’s center for steel production. By the 1980s, however, a great deal of its steel companies left the area, and Pittsburgh simply became another cautionary tale of Rust Belt history. In the twenty years since, however, the city’s economy has diversified. As a result, Pittsburgh has risen from its steel past to become a modern, forward-thinking metropolis. The Steel City, also known as the City of Bridges, is an exceptional place to live or visit.
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Today, Pittsburgh still retains much of its steel identity. Even if the majority of those who live in Pittsburgh work at white-collar jobs, the city has a genuine blue-collar feel, with residents proudly displaying the city’s tough-as-steel identity. During football season, many Pittsburghers are glued to the television, rooting on their favorite sports team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. If they aren’t in their living rooms, these fans are sure to be out at Heinz Field, cheering on their home team. In the spring, they also faithfully follow the city’s other champion sports team, the Penguins. Recent winners of the Stanley Cup, the Penguins are just another reason why Pittsburgh residents are proud of their city.
Aside from boasting exciting professional sports teams, Pittsburgh attracts its fair share of travelers who enjoy a variety of other activities. Those looking for art, culture and history will find numerous venues in Pittsburgh. In the Oakland neighborhood, visitors can check out museums named for the city’s famous steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie. At the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, individuals can tour through the building’s extensive collection of dinosaur fossils, including its awe-inspiring T-Rex display. Carnegie Museum of Art offers up permanent and temporary exhibits of leading artists. From impressionist paintings to contemporary pieces, this museum showcases a variety of different works.
In the heart of Oakland is the University of Pittsburgh, known by the locals as Pitt. The university’s gothic Cathedral of Learning looms over a vast urban campus which comprises an eclectic array of historic buildings. The area is also the epicenter of the city’s leading industry: healthcare. Home of one of the nation’s top hospitals, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Oakland is a place that attracts patients from around the world who seek innovative medical care.
Traveling down Forbes Avenue from Pitt, a visitor encounters a host of other great sites. Carnegie Mellon University is a national leader in engineering, business and nanotechnology. It is one of the East’s most elite schools, and a visit to its campus is a must. Phipps Conservatory is also located within this same area. Built in 1893, this turn-of-the-century glass structure has close to nineteen different gardens. The surrounding Schenley Park is the ideal place for a bike ride or a leisurely stroll away from the urban hustle and bustle.
Perhaps Pittsburgh’s best features are its historic neighborhoods. The historic South Side is a terrific place to kick back at places like Fathead’s, a renowned local micro brewery, and Ibiza, a Spanish wine bar. At South Side Works, individuals can find trendy shops, a large movie theater and Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh, which offers diners genuine ethnic fare in a traditional German environment. Other historic neighborhoods like the Waterfront, Strip District, Squirrel Hill and Shady Side are worth checking out for their world-class cuisine, fun bars, and numerous shopping venues.
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