Photo: blvdone/Shutterstock

12 Signs You've Been Away From Pittsburgh Too Long

by Doree Simon Apr 2, 2015

1. Your Terrible Towel is missing or destroyed.

After treasuring this Pittsburgh gem for a long time, you finally used it to clean up a spill, or you somehow lost it all together. Now you’ve disgraced your city by abusing your Terrible Towel instead of honoring it for all its worth (priceless, obviously). Its golden threading has become a shade of yellow/brown and you’ve taken to using it as a hand towel. Or worse.

2. You can’t remember which Racer is faster.

Time away from Pittsburgh means time away from your beloved Kennywood Park. That means no post-Thunderbolt headaches from riding an ancient coaster, no moist rides home after sunset splashes from the Log Jammer, no Potato Patch grease on your hands, and no recent tallies on your Racer record. (But seriously, Red is the clear winner.)

3. You’ve started to lose your Yinzer accent.

And every time you talk to your Pittsburgh friends theirs seem to get stronger. You don’t think you ever sounded like that…

4. You haven’t been to a doctor in far too long.

To you, Pittsburgh’s hospitals are second to none, so when you realized that the doctors in other cities fall far below the standard you’re used to, you decided to wait until you could see your real doctor back in the Burgh.

5. You think Bayardstown is a nearby city and Randyland is a candy story (for adults?).

In fact, you don’t even know the best places to go in Lawrenceville. You still think the South Side is the only hot spot for a night out. Eventually you discover that Bayardstown is a café, light-dotted, members-only social club in The Strip, and Randyland is that eclectic bright yellow building on the North Side, which is actually a free public art display.

6. You’ve started to say “soda” instead of “pop”.

When you first left, you didn’t even realize that “pop” could be such a foreign word in other places. Then you had a long phase of adamantly defending it and refusing to acknowledge whatever “soda” is. But eventually, tired of the strange looks and confused waiters, you began jumping on the soda bandwagon.

7. You’re starting to get carsick from cities much less “hilly” than the Burgh.

And you’ve stopped unnecessarily using your emergency break. Without a daily ride through Pittsburgh’s sloping streets, the tolerance you once had for winding, dipping, pothole-ridden roads is slowly diminishing, as is your habit of pulling the e-break every single time you park, no matter the road’s incline.

8. You’re still searching for trails that compare to Pittsburgh’s.

Whether you bike, hike, run or even just walk, Pittsburgh always offered you an array of fantastic trail options. Between North Park, Frick Park, Schenley Park, The North Shore/Three Rivers Heritage Trail, and more, you never had to look far for the perfect trail for your activity. But outside of Pittsburgh, you’re realizing it can really be slim pickings. Nostalgia sets in along with an appreciation for the nature and beauty of this once-steel miner town.

9. You have yet to spot Sofia Vergara at a sports outing.

And yet your Facebook feed is blowing up with iPhone pics of her, spotted at a Steelers game on Mt. Lebanon HS alum / Magic Mike hunk Joe Manganiello’s arm.

10. You forget what a proper sandwich tastes like.

Because you’re having trouble finding a Primanti’s equivalent outside of the Burgh and for some reason putting fries and coleslaw on sandwiches hasn’t caught on elsewhere.

11. You’ve adapted to a higher cost-of-living.

Away from your Most Livable City, you’ve almost forgotten how affordable, welcoming and comfortable Pittsburgh can be. But now your Pittsburgh friends are buying amazing apartments and still paying $2 for a beer, and you’re still just getting by in your overpriced studio, occasionally treating yourself the $7 beer on tap at your nearby dive bar. Maybe it’s time to rethink and relocate.

12. You finally appreciate the perfect size of this town.

Is Pittsburgh a big town, a small city, or something right in between? You hear there’s a thriving job market, cool neighborhoods and a great cultural scene. Time away has proven to you that the big city life is overrated, the small towns are underwhelming and Pittsburgh is, really, just right.

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