Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pittsburgh Thankful Vol. 3: Comfort in Community

(For the month of November, I'll be thankful for a Pittsburgh thing every Thursday, leading up to the day when I eat my weight in mashed potatoes. Today is installment #2. Last week I was thankful for the most colorful city.)

I'm thankful for living comfortably in a place with a sense of community.

In a recent interview with Doug Kochmanski on the blog Yinzpiration, he took the words right out of my brain after being asked: Why do you choose Pittsburgh as your home?
Really, though, I just love the ease and affordability of this place. You know, you can actually DO THINGS here. Go to shows, go out to eat, shop, buy good beer. And STILL have some money left over at the end of the month—as opposed to all the people I know who have tried to live that New York dream and usually end up with with too much month left over at the end of their money. You don't have to struggle just to survive in Pittsburgh. If you have your act together, you can really LIVE here.
Since returning to Pittsburgh, the ability to live comfortably has been and will continue to be a cherished thing. In Boston, I always had to have a roommate, and I was still paying way too much money for the size and quality and location. And going out in Boston costs an arm and leg. It's not a very fun financial position to be in. Now, in Pittsburgh, I managed to find myself an awesome and affordable apartment - that I live in by myself. I found an interesting job that is nearly 90% writing, and it actually pays me pretty well. I consider myself "Pittsburgh rich." I have plenty of money to pay rent and my bills. And I can go out and do the things I want without having to worry about being completely broke by the middle of the month. Friends, for my money, there is no better city than Pittsburgh.

Another thing I'm thankful for this year that is the feeling of community that has been more prevalent in my life than ever before. This takes many forms, one being my ride to work every morning. As I go the length of Penn into the city, I see the same people almost every day. I judge my lateness by whether or not my friend Pete is waiting at his bus stop. I see a man with an orange backpack running/walking down Penn, in what I believe is an attempt to lose weight. I park my bike in the same garage every day, and one of the attendants always says "good morning." I've found myself becoming a regular at places in my neighborhood and downtown. The best example of this being Wingharts, which feels like the closest to Cheers I'll ever get.

One night at Wingharts, I finished the Terrapin keg. Chris/Fallout made me this certificate. (My brother did the drawing at the bottom.)

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