Never Have I Ever

PittGirl admits that she is not who you think she is.



Probably the dumbest thing I’ve done in the last 10 years was dub myself PittGirl. But when it’s 2005, and the cursor is blinking expectantly in the username box on Blogger, and you’re set on staying anonymous, your brain burps. You shrug and say, “Batman. Pitt … Girl? Whatever.”

The problem with “PittGirl” is she doesn’t live in Pittsburgh. I’ve worked my whole adult life downtown, and I own a business in Market Square. But facts are facts: I live 16 miles from Grant Street. This bothers some people, and they let me know with snarky Internet comments and air quotes when they refer to me as “PittGirl.”

The problem with “PittGirl” is that there isn’t a perfect English word that describes the time of your life between being too old to be a “girl” — which makes you sound like you’re still eating kindergarten paste — and feeling too young to call yourself a “woman,” a word that makes you sound like you’ve started paying attention to Depends commercials. PittLady? PittChick? No.

The problem with “PittGirl” in general is that I regularly receive emails from readers who assume that because I was brazen enough to call myself PittGirl — and maintain a blog about the city for eight years — I must know more about Pittsburgh than Rick Sebak, Sophie Masloff and VisitPittsburgh combined.

So the emails roll in, usually with an intro line of: “Because you’ve got your finger on Pittsburgh’s pulse …”  Do I really? No, but I do have my spit-moistened thumb ready to go Mom on Pittsburgh’s stubborn cowlick.

“Can you email me an eight-hour, kid-friendly itinerary for my visit next month?”

“I’m moving to Pittsburgh. Which is the best neighborhood that meets the following criteria: …”

“I’m coming in for Christmas. What should I do? Also, what should I wear?”

“Farm-to-table, vegan-friendly, gluten-free, bus route-accessible BYOB Italian restaurant next door to a pastry shop and within three blocks of a bowling alley that plays only ’80s music?”


Well, that escalated quickly.

I’m not complaining; I’m just telling you I’ve long felt the pressure to put up a Little Miss Know-It-All façade. After all, I can’t be “PittGirl” if I have never eaten the South Side delicacy called “Cat-on-a-Stick,” right?

Are you judging me right now? Then bring that gavel down hard, Judy, because this girl (ugh) has never been to Cambod-Ican Kitchen to try what (despite the restaurant’s own whimsical assertion on its website) I assume is not actually speared cat meat. 

Recently, while planning a fun Pittsburgh-centric weekend with my sisters, my oldest sister asked me to reserve a morning for shopping in the Strip District. Because despite my sister living here for 18 years, spending summers home from college and visiting dozens of times since moving to Virginia, she had never visited the Strip.

I went Judge Judy on her — and then it got me thinking: Maybe I don’t need to be ashamed because I haven’t yet done every ’Burghy thing. Maybe it’s OK to be *air quotes* PittGirl while still learning about Pittsburgh.

Maybe there are New Yorkers who have never visited the Statue of Liberty or DC denizens who have yet to tour the White House.

Likewise, I haven’t yet visited The Andy Warhol Museum. I haven’t seen the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s dinosaurs since I was 6. I haven’t ice-skated at Schenley Park, or set toe or tire on the Eliza Furnace Trail. I can’t point out Observatory Hill on a map. I haven’t visited Allegheny Cemetery or Highmark Stadium.

Sure, I’ve checked out countless local places and learned a great deal about our city since I fell in love with it. But Pittsburgh is big, wide and, in some ways, endless. So it’s OK that I haven’t done every quintessential ’Burgh activity. And it’s OK if you haven’t either. We will get to it. It doesn’t mean you don’t love the city. It doesn’t make you any less of a ’Burgher — unless you live more than 15 miles from downtown; then, in that case, you’re just a *air quotes* ’Burgher.

There’s no shame in exploring the new-to-you corners of Pittsburgh. Don’t fake it; don’t walk into the Fort Pitt Museum acting as if you’ve been there before, too embarrassed to admit you’ve always lived miles away and hadn’t stopped in sooner.

It’s OK. And that’s coming from PittGirl, the woman (ugh) who has never eaten a church pierogi.

You’re judging me again, aren’t you? 


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

The annual New Year’s Eve event features food, fireworks, music and more.
Antonio Brown Makes Catch on the Field but Loses the Pizza

Antonio Brown Makes Catch on the Field but Loses the Pizza

The Steelers wide receiver stars in a new commercial where he first loses out to a Patriots' cornerback, but gets his revenge when it counts the most.
Never Wait in a Long Line For a Drink in a Crowded Bar Again

Never Wait in a Long Line For a Drink in a Crowded Bar Again

A new app developed in Pittsburgh, is designed to get more customers served more quickly when the bartender is swamped.
Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

Sweet Surprise: Kelly Frey Awarded for ‘Sharing Her Heart‘

The mother of a child with special needs, Frey tirelessly shares what she has learned with other families in similar situations.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in December

This month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

50+ Things That Will Make You Enjoy Winter in Pittsburgh

Love it or hate it, winter is upon us. Because some of us may think there's a lot not to like, we bring you 50+ things to eat, drink and do –– and some helpful tips –– that'll keep the blues at bay.
Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2016 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine presents the honorees from its inaugural Excellence in Nursing awards. Meet our judges' choices and learn what makes them remarkable in their field.
Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

Choreographed Style: Winter Fashion with The Pittsburgh Ballet

A regal ruggedness characterizes the season's menswear looks.
Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Restaurant Review: B52 in Lawrenceville is a Levantine Lifter

Omar Abuhejleh taps deep into his roots at his vegan cafe that's focused on Levantine cuisine.
Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

Why You Can't Beat The Weather in Pittsburgh in The Winter

I’ve traveled a lot of miles, and I still stare in bewilderment at people who tell me they’ve moved to a place because “You can’t beat the weather.”
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

Welcome New Year With New Things At Pittsburgh's First Night

The annual New Year’s Eve event features food, fireworks, music and more.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

Miracle on Liberty Pops Up in Pittsburgh

The holiday themed cocktail bar is one of around 20 international Miracle popups.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

Best of the Burgh: Pumpkin Patches in the Pittsburgh Area

We’ve compiled the best pumpkin patches for fall family fun.

Comments


Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

Why Wait For Summer? Head to Kennywood's Holiday Lights

The park's winter celebration is great for families and a fine choice for anyone who loves Christmas (and/or funnel cake).

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pittsburgh The Heart of the NFL? Yinz Got that Right

Pittsburgh The Heart of the NFL? Yinz Got that Right

At the NFL Scouting Combine, at the NFL Draft and wherever NFL games are played, there’s often something of a Western Pennsylvania reunion taking place.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Locket Full of Joy

Locket Full of Joy

The handcrafted piece opens to hidden treasures.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

Ten Upcoming Flicks Every Oscar-Watcher Should See

PM film critic Sean Collier picks ten forthcoming flicks likely to rake in nominations for the 89th Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Real-Pittsburgh Weddings: It was Not Love at First Sight

Real-Pittsburgh Weddings: It was Not Love at First Sight

These romances were years in the making.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

Seasonal Shopping: CMOA Store Holiday House, J.Crew Mercantile Opens Doors

The Carnegie Museum of Art is full of Christmas cheer — and great deals. Plus, get the scoop on The Block Northway’s latest retail offering.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Tuba and Euphonium Players Invited to Join in Christmas Concert

Waynesburg University will present a TUBACHRISTMAS concert on Dec. 9.

Comments