You are on page 1of 2

More than Stillers nat

hen native Pittsburghers stray from the City of Bridges, they are most likely asked: What does a Primanti sandwich taste like? Or, How about them Stillers? While these questions are familiar to Pittsburgh residents, recent accolades by major publications have put the spotlight on the city and its Downtown culture as more than a place for sandwiches and football. I would have never thought the city had more than great sports teams, said Rob Godart, a University of Pittsburgh graduate student and Pittsburgh transplant. If you really take time to look around, theres so much culture besides the sports. The most recent honor to be bestowed upon the city comes from Monica Hesse and Dan Zak, Washington Post writers and compilers of

Pittsburgh emerges from football, sammich haze


Story and photos by Brittany Johndrow

The List. The pair declared Portland, Ore., out and Pittsburgh in, citing in a follow-up blog post that more reasonable rents, pleasing scenery and Downtowns transformation into a preferable retreat for hipsters make Pittsburgh a desirable place to live and visit. Another annual list by National Geographic Traveler put Pittsburgh alongside London and New Zealand as one of the 20 Best Trips of 2012. The only other U.S. destination listed is Sonoma, Calif. National Geographic cited Pittsburghs makeover in the past decades from a steel town to an area of unique architecture and fine art as reasons for visiting. Godart, originally from the Boston area and a current Downtown resident, was initially apprehensive about living in a

city and attending a school where football is a central part of culture. Ive been to theater shows and gallery crawls (in the Cultural District) and love to hang out on the South Side, Godart said. This has turned into a second home. Like Godart, Downtown boutique owner Cidalia Duarte has embraced the emerging culture of Downtown. You feel warm in this city, Duarte said in her shop, Boutique La Passerelle. The architecture is beautiful. Duarte operated boutiques for more than a decade in Portugal before moving to New York City in 2005. Duarte and her husband moved to Pittsburgh in 2009 for work, but the decision was not final before visiting the city. When you go through the (Fort Pitt) tunnels, I was like, Wow,

Page 10 The Pioneer

Duarte said. I told (my husband), OK, we can move here. Duarte opened her womens clothing boutique at 417 Wood St. soon after relocating, and has embraced the amenities of the city. The (Market) Square reminds me of home, Duarte said of the square located steps from her business, and was, in fact, constructed with European influences. She and her husband enjoy eating at NOLA on the Square and choose a new restaurant in the area to try out each week. In 2011, GQ Magazine gave the city a less notable ranking as the third worst-dressed city in America, behind Boston and Los Angeles. However, Duartes experience working Downtown has been to the contrary. People here are pretty openminded. The biggest thing I hear from clients is, This is too busy for me, Duarte said of her clientele, mostly women who work Downtown. Recently she has had more tourists and residents stopping by. he Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, an organization comprising both Downtown businesses and residents to help foster overall

Boutique La Passerelle owner Cidalia Duarte in her shop on Wood Street. lifestyle, with nightlife and cultural attractions and a growing riverfront park system just outside your door, PDP President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup said in a statement. More people are moving Downtown because it is convenient. You can walk to work or the Strip District, or meet neighbors at a restaurant down the street. isit Pittsburgh, the tourism bureau for the city, has When National Geographic talks about you, its something special. We knew we had to take advantage of this opportunity, MorrowJones said. Pittsburgh is Pop is part of an annual Visit Pittsburgh campaign does in conjunction with the tourism bureaus of Columbus and Cleveland to stimulate travel among the cities. This years theme was chosen in honor of Andy Warhol, one the citys most famous natives and one of the highest caliber celebrities, according to Morrow-Jones. A national campaign, Best of the World, was formed to utilize the National Geographic recognition. About $250,000 has been set aside for marketing efforts. These efforts include an insert in Delta Airways Delta Sky Magazine and a spot on Delta Sky videos. Morrow-Jones said this campaign should reach over 5 million Delta customers. In her eighth year as executive director, Morrow-Jones has witnessed the progress made in improving the image of Pittsburgh, but the hardest part is getting people here. The city has had a difficult job of getting away from the smoky, dirty environment (the media) have written about, Jones said. Weve come a long way.

The G20 focused all eyes on Pittsburgh ... (the city) has become a shining example of change
growth of the area, has kept record of this increase. According to Brian Kurtz, PDP project manager, Downtown residency has gone from 2,721 residents in 2000 to 3,629 in 2010. This may come as a surprise, because the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the total residency of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area decreased 8.6 percent from 2000 to 2010. The PDP updates its records quarterly and Kurtz said that occupancy Downtown, on the North Shore and Strip District is at 95 percent. It is one of the only places in the region that offers a unique urban

Beverly Morrow-Jones

paid close attention to the publicity. According to Beverly Morrow-Jones, executive director of marketing and communications for Visit Pittsburgh, Pittsburghs recent tourism revival comes from hosting the G20 Summit in 2009. The G20 focused all eyes on Pittsburgh. (The city) was seen as an emblematic transformation, Morrow-Jones said. Pittsburgh became a shining example of change. In response to this years attention, Visit Pittsburgh has launched two campaigns: Pittsburgh is Pop, and Best of the World.

Spring 2012

Page 11

Related Interests