A Conversation for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Puppeteer Posted Jun 26, 2000
That's interesting that "Hoopy" made it into a Pittsburghese site.
The only relation that I know of is from one of my old friends who was in the Pitt University marching band. (I won't bloody call it Pittsburgh University, the uppity buggers.)
Apparently, the WVU marching band call themselves "The Hoopies," for some undisclosed reason. I know this, because a Pitt band 'war cry' at WVU v. Pitt football (American) games is...
"Hoopies rape sheep!"
Obviously referring to some West Virginian's affinity to sexual relations with the four-legged mammal.
John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" Posted Jun 26, 2000
Julian9ehp Posted Feb 27, 2005
One can actually eat at these bars. (Though they may not last much longer, with competition from the stupid chain restaurants, and with the tightening of money caused by gambling.)
I'd have mentioned the Strip District, Allentown, The Steps of Pittsburgh, some churches and synagogues, and the many hidden places one can loiter.
wayde_k Posted Jun 3, 2005
I know it's been a long time since anyone posted to this conversation, but I just discovered it and can't help but put in my two-cents on everything that preceded.
First of all, I'm amazed that no one mentioned the flaw in the Pittsburgh entry in h2g2. Three Rivers Stadium no longer exists. It was imploded a few years ago (plans for demolition were on file in a disused lavatory and guarded by a leopard, I'm sure). It was replaced by two separate stadiums (stadia?). One for football (Heinz Field, naming rights purchased by the Heinz Corporation, locally-headquartered purveyors of ketchup, pickles, and various other condiments, not to mention a late senator and his harridan of a widow), and one for baseball, PNC Park. PNC Park is named for a large bank headquartered in Pittsburgh, the former Pittsburgh National Bank, which, in a senseless fit of initialization, renamed itself PNC, which is short for Pittsburgh National Corporation. PNC Park is named in most polls as the most beautiful ballpark in America. I've visited quite a few ballparks, and, all hometown pride aside, I have to agree.
I also need to reply to an earlier assertion that Pittsburghers are proud of their town without ever having ventured elsewhere. Numerous among my friends, relatives, and acquaintances are people who moved away, lived in some other city for years, and then came back to Pittsburgh. The price of housing is outrageously low. There are innumerable opportunities for cultural and social interaction. And the people are friendlier than anywhere else you are likely to find. I, myself, have lived in Philadelphia, PA; College Park, MD; and Oil City, PA (YES, there is a place called Oil City. It's quite nice). None of them held a candle to Pittsburgh in terms of the congeniality of its inhabitants.
The long-standing feud with Cleveland is probably more like a sibling rivalry. The two cities are so similar that they might as well be the same place. I have a lot of friends in Cleveland and visit there often. It's a very nice place, although I'd never say that to them!
And, finally, I have to say a word about the Pittsburgh accent. It is distinctive, but so are most other accents. Although a lot of it is the product of years of bad grammar (c'mon... yinz?) it is at least understandable. I worked hard to eradicate my Pittsburgh accent when I lived elsewhere, but I clung to the one word that makes more sense to me than its alternatives. What most people call a "rubber band," is, in Pittsburgh, called a gumband. It's an easy word, shorter, and more fun.
There, I think that does it. Now I'll be able to sleep tonight.
John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" Posted Jun 3, 2005
Hi there, wayde_k. I still keep tabs on most of the stuff I've had a hand in producing, including this. I think someone did mention the Three Rivers demolition in another thread somewhere. This Entry is in dire need of an update, preferably by a Pittsburgh native. My impressions were based on a weekend trip to see DNA at Carnegi Mellon University - God, that seems a long time ago! There's obviously a lot more that should be said. We had a great time there. Maybe that impression doesn't come across very well. In the old days, the Entries were nowhere near as long or as factual as they are now. I think this one was written on the cusp of the new era. Anyway, it's way past it's sell-by date.
Jimi X Posted Jun 4, 2005
You could do a whole entry on the dialect.
Drinking pop instead of soda and wearing tennis shoes rather than sneakers...
Lots of little quirks that don't fit with the rest of Pennsylvania. The Burgh is also one of the largest cities that I know of with distinct neighbourhoods.
It is rather lovely. One of my college roomates lived in Carnegie and we were in town when they were filming that terrible Bruce Willis film about the boat police.
And I do still carry a fondness for Iron City beer even though I know better.
*waves to John*
wayde_k Posted Jun 6, 2005
I'm glad to see there's still so much interest in Pittsburgh out there. Yes, Jimi X, the distinct neighborhoods are a great feature. There is one called Squirrel Hill which was always (and still is) well-known for being heavily Jewish in population. As a result, the banks were open late on Thursday evening instead of Friday, so as not to interfere with the Sabbath. This was a handy thing to know in the pre-ATM days. If one needed cash on a Thursday evening, it was not too long a drive to Squirrel Hill for the convenience of being able to cash a check.
To J-T-G, I'm glad you liked Pittsburgh so much on your brief sojourn. When I can carve out a minute in my busy schedule I'd like to do a really comprehensive entry. Among the numerous things that people might (or might not) like to know, I have always found it particularly fascinating, for example, that Pittsburgh was known as "The Gateway to the West" long before St. Louis built itself an arch.
What a town!
John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" Posted Jun 8, 2005
Hey, Jimi. How's the garden coming along? I'm surprised that, as h2g2's champion of the Keystone State, you haven't taken this Entry in hand yourself. What's a Cannuck like me know about the Steel City anyway?
wayde_k, my wife and I had a great time there, highlighted, of course by the DNA talk. The only disappointment was that a spotty undergrad at Carnegie Mellon didn't get my incredibly witty reference to the Steelers' 'terrible towels' and Hitchhiker's Guide lore. Oh, well. Maybe I'm dating myself by knowing about such things. Kids today...
wayde_k Posted Jun 11, 2005
I'm not too surprised at the CMU undergrad's lack of knowledge about Terrible Towels. They are still in vogue, but if you don't follow the Steelers (or football in general) you're less likely to know what they are. It's been my experience that most CMU students are unaware of any event that doesn't directly impact their ability to interact with their computers.
The inventor of the Terrible Towel, Myron Cope, who also announces Steeler games on the radio, had a few health problems this past year and was hospitalized for a while. You could just hear all the local newscasters licking their chops at the thought that they might be called upon to do a posthumous on-air tribute. He pulled through, though, to the delight of everyone in the 'Burgh. Anyway, he donates to charity all the money he makes on Terrible Towel merchandising.
John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" Posted Jun 11, 2005
That's interesing. I didn't know that anyone in particular is recognized as having started the tradition. I remember Myron Cope, now, from a tv documentary about Joe Greene. He seems a very colourful character. I'm glad he's still around.
wayde_k Posted Jun 22, 2005
Looks like my last entry was premature in proclaiming that Myron Cope had completely returned to good health. He announced his retirement from broadcasting yesterday. It's a sad day in Pittsburgh. He was his usual humorous self, though. He said something along the lines of "One of these days, when I'm not around any more, I'm afraid my tombstone will read, 'Myron Cope. He invented a towel.'" What a guy.
John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" Posted Jul 1, 2005
The end of an era, I guess. Still nothing lasts forever, not even Three Rivers Stadium or the reign of the Steelers. Let's hope Myron has a long and happy retirement. I'm sure his legacy in Pittsburgh will live on.
Happy retirement, Myron!
Key: Complain about this post
- 21: Puppeteer (Jun 26, 2000)
- 22: John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" (Jun 26, 2000)
- 23: Julian9ehp (Feb 27, 2005)
- 24: wayde_k (Jun 3, 2005)
- 25: John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" (Jun 3, 2005)
- 26: Jimi X (Jun 4, 2005)
- 27: wayde_k (Jun 6, 2005)
- 28: John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" (Jun 8, 2005)
- 29: wayde_k (Jun 11, 2005)
- 30: John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" (Jun 11, 2005)
- 31: wayde_k (Jun 22, 2005)
- 32: John the gardener says, "Free Tibet!" (Jul 1, 2005)