By: Ella Van Niel

This past weekend I went to Pittsburgh, expecting it to be the same as Cleveland but a little bit bigger. I am not ashamed to admit that Cleveland is not the most glamorous of cities, but I was still hoping that its grungy, underdog type of vibe was enough to compete with other major cities, at least in the Great Lakes region. I mean, we have the “A Christmas Story” house. How could Pittsburgh beat that?

But when I actually went to Pittsburgh, I was shocked. I could actually feel my heart sink a little as I realized that it might actually be better than Cleveland. Because, and it hurts to say this, Pittsburgh is actually pretty cool. 

I always thought that Cleveland had a better art scene than other Midwest cities. Nothing is more picturesque than the view of CMA from across the lagoon. But Pittsburgh has a number of art museums, too, like the Mattress Factory, which shows modern art; the Andy Warhol Museum; and the Frick Museum of Fine Art. All three are in interesting neighborhoods, surrounded by a mix of restaurants and old churches and skyscrapers. Of course I’m still proud of Cleveland’s museums, but now I have to admit that we have some competition.

I also pride myself on the fact that, if nothing else, Cleveland has a lot of bridges. But then to my horror I found out that Pittsburgh has even more! It still doesn’t seem possible. How could anyone appreciate bridges more than a Clevelander! We even had a war over one in the 1800s! I’m not sure if I’m willing to let go of Cleveland’s claim to the best bridges just yet. Sure, Pittsburgh’s might be color-coordinated and one of them might have won the 1928 Most Beautiful Steel Bridge Award, but that doesn’t mean that ours aren’t just as cool. Does Pittsburgh have a pink bridge with huge stone statues of guys that are supposed to be our Guardians of Traffic? No. It does not.

Anyway, one last thing that I think differentiates Pittsburgh from Cleveland is its sense of pride. Just from being there, it was obvious that people actually liked to live there. The sidewalks were full of people who were happy to go out and spend time in their city, which doesn’t seem that unique until you go to downtown Cleveland and the only bustling area is East 4th. I’m not saying that Clevelanders don’t have pride in our city, because we do, but it’s more of an “us against the world” type of pride– we know our city has its faults but we love it anyway. 

Well, if Cleveland isn’t as cool as Pittsburgh, at least we’re not Detroit.