A-Listed

Pittsburgh was featured in many rankings in 2011, from the good to the bad to the utterly confusing.


Illustration by Wayno

If there’s one list every Pittsburgher worth their Terrible Towel knows, it’s the Most Livable Cities list. Not that we live and die by where we rank, but we wait, knowing what a gem we’ve got here — and we hope that the rest of the world will take a look at the list, hunt for the highest-ranked city in America and then say, “PITTSBURGH?!” Just like that — equal parts exclamation and question mixed with a sprinkling of horror as they realize the Steel City beat Honolulu.

Pittsburgh spent 2011 as the Most Livable City in America, an accomplishment we (surprisingly) didn’t celebrate with a parade or two hours’ worth of fireworks. Conversely, we spent 2011 as GQ’s third worst-dressed city, as I mentioned in this column a few months ago. Now it’s time for us to look at some other lists we made in 2011.

Where can we improve this year? Where are we doing just fine? Where are we so perfect that there’s actually no room for improvement? Where, Pittsburgh, are we on the mustache-friendly meter?

Woo!

Pittsburgh was named the top “Large City of the Future” in fDi magazine, while National Geographic Traveler magazine listed us as one of 20 best destinations in the world for 2012. Morocco, Iceland, Costa Brava … Pittsburgh?!  We all need bumper stickers that say simply, “Yes, Pittsburgh!”

Financially we’re the seventh-best city in which to retire, and Forbes calls us the nation’s sixth-most recession-proof city for real estate. If that gets you thinking about moving here, lucky you: We’re the second-best city in America to buy a home (according to Forbes) and the 10th-most affordable place for renters.

If you want to talk jobs, we’re the ninth-best city in which to find one. In addition, we saw the 10th-largest growth in tech jobs, while coming in as the fourth-best city for working mothers. I think that means working moms in the tech industry have hit pay dirt here.

If you’re a single mother, we’re the eighth-best city in America for you — and better yet, you can feel safe here because Pittsburgh is the 11th-most secure city (of large metro areas) in the nation.

Boo!

Forbes has ranked our air as the fifth-dirtiest in the country. Before you panic and start wearing a surgical mask 24/7, take heart that we didn’t make WebMD’s “10 Worst Cities for Asthmatics.”

(wink) We’re the most flirtatious city in the whole country. (eyelash flutter) No. 1! (“accidental” caress of your arm) In my opinion, this is just fine, as long as you aren’t using that ridiculous “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” line — unless you’re talking to Sidney Crosby … because it may have really hurt when he fell from heaven.

We’re the eighth-worst city for dating — in spite of which, we’re ranked third in the nation for casual sex. I blame all that gratuitous flirting we’ve been doing. (wink) On the bright side, it doesn’t look like alcohol is a factor because we’re only the 59th-drunkest city in the nation.

We might not be drinking, but we sure are smoking. We’re the 14th-worst city in the nation, smoking-wise.

While you’re smoking and flirting your way to ill-advised casual sex, check your hair because Pittsburgh is the 12th-worst city in the nation for hair. With a quick scan of a Steelers tailgate crowd where mullets and hairspray-cemented Yinzer bangs refuse to die, this isn’t surprising.

Huh?

We’re the third-most mustache-friendly city in America. So give yourselves a pat on the back — we’re apparently not shouting “GO SHAVE!” at random mustachioed passersby.

I’m shocked that we’re only The Sporting News’ sixth “Best Sports City,” losing out to archenemies Dallas and Philadelphia. I blame the Pirates, the black sheep of professional sports here in Pittsburgh.

Finally, Maxim ranked Pittsburgh as the eighth “Best Man City,” but Men’s Health ranked us a dismal 70th “Best City for Men.”  Let’s allow them to punch each other in their perfect six-pack abs to settle who actually got that one right.

I’d say we’re doing pretty well. We have some room for improvement, but we should be proud of what we are and who we are, and we should be proud that we didn’t make the worst teeth list … or the dangerous driving list …  or, most surprisingly, the worst cities for commuting list.

Right now, the Parkway East is crying, “What more do I have to do?!”

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.
Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

If you’re on the hunt for Friday night plans with a purpose, consider sleeping outside to benefit those in Pittsburgh who have to spend every night on the streets.
The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

More than 80 years after its demise was erroneously reported, the David McCullough Bridge still stands as an engineering and architectural highlight among the city’s many spans.
Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Their tic-tac-toe passing would impress Mike Sullivan.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

In a year when youth-hockey participation is expected to increase, Pittsburgh Penguins players weigh in on the role of the hockey parent.
Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

There’s a magical, snowy landscape right in your backyard.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

It's the third year running for the concept, which was created by Simon Huntley of Pittsburgh's Small Farm Central.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

The one-of-a-kind night of bingo, trivia and madcap monologues returns in a new spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

The Hanson Brothers and other stars of the classic hockey film will return to Johnstown this weekend for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up

Doodle while you dine, or let your imagination run wild, with chalkboard placemats from Pittsburgh-based Chalk Lots.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Breaking down what we know and only think we know about the 2017 Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

This couple’s centerpiece from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings shines brighter than the traditional table bouquet.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Columbus-based store, where you can customize your own candle fragrance, is expected to open in March.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

An art director from Warner Bros. Studios will visit La Roche College to talk about the Oscar-nominated film with ties to Pittsburgh.

Comments