Anytime a new resident of Pittsburgh is cornered by a group of not-so-new residents of Pittsburgh, the question inevitably arises: "So, how do you like Pittsburgh?"
It's a hard question. I've lived here for three years, and I still don't know how I feel about the city. My response to the question has always been prefaced by a lingering pause before I say something like, "it's a nice place to live," or "I'm getting used to it."
The truth is, when the first major city you live in is Tokyo, pretty much anything else is going to be sub-par. I imagine moving from NYC would have a similar effect- nothing else is as big, as convenient, as interesting. My husband, who grew up just outside of Kuala Lumpur, feels the same way. Pittsburgh isn't a real city.
But over the past few years I've found more and more good things about the city. If I'm going to be living here for at least a few more years, why complain? Why not focus on the advantages?
We've got some great museums, excellent restaurants, and some pretty cool shops. There is a wealth of architecture to be found across the city, and it's actually pretty easy to get around just by using the public bus system.
If you look, there are plenty of weird and entertaining details to be appreciated.
And right now, there is a giant rubber duck floating in the river.
"The Rubber Duck Project" is an art installation piece by the Dutch artist Florentjin Hofman, and it's presence in Pittsburgh marks the first U.S. city to house one of these sculptures.
Not half bad for a fake city.