I needed to find an affordable place to live that possessed character, identity, history, and soul. That is why I chose McKees Rocks. That is why I chose Pittsburgh. People who fail to appreciate those qualities are generally the same people who do not appreciate the city, and may be the reason why those things are so few and far between in the world we live in today.
The people who left Pittsburgh over the last half century were not just running away from the city. They were running away from the blue collar roots it represented, the social stigma, the coal and the steel. They were tying to run away from themselves. And so the city was left to rot, and this is what is left -- ghostly industrial sites, abandoned Victorian buildings, decayed neighborhoods. The gracefully forsaken and neglected city represents more than a collection of ruins. It is everything that has ever been loved and left to die, adored then abandoned, cherished then forgotten. It is, more importantly, a reflection of the the fickle nature, and decline, of America. Perhaps that is why many see Pittsburgh as depressing, rather than as the beautiful symbol of a more glorious era.
What represents the America of today? Walmart, the McMansion, the SUV, Jersey Shore? Take your pick. I'll take what's left of Pittsburgh.