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6 Lies You Tell Yourself When You Move to Pittsburgh

by Kayla Washko Feb 13, 2015

1. “I won’t root for the Steelers.”

Eh — we’ll see about that. Because even if sports aren’t your thing or your home city is a division rival (I’m talking to you, Ravens fans), you still live here. When the Steelers lose, you’ll have to deal with grumpy Pittsburghers for a full week until the team has a chance to redeem itself and the pride of this rust belt city. Plus, being a Steelers fan has its perks when you leave Pittsburgh as well. We have the most Super Bowl championships and an extensive network of fans, making it easy to find a Steelers-friendly bar in any city you visit.

2. “Driving across bridges and tunnels is no big deal. I’ll see my friends all the time.”

No, you won’t. Pittsburgh is relatively small, but getting around can be an absolute nightmare when there are tunnel closures and/or traffic on the bridges. And since Pittsburgh has something like 446 bridges and three major tunnels that bookend the city, it’s nearly impossible to navigate a route without them. You’ll use traffic as an excuse to stay in your own neighborhood (the bars are better there, anyway) and only catch up with old friends on nights when there are absolutely no sporting events, festivals, or concerts going on within the city limits. Spare yourself the guilt and the hassle: make new friends in your own neighborhood.

3. “I won’t put French fries on my sandwiches and salads.”

You may think you like cucumbers and green peppers now, but when you move to Pittsburgh, French fries will become your new favorite vegetable. (Hey, potatoes are technically vegetables, so fries count, too—sort of.) The Primanti Bros. made Pittsburgh-style sandwiches heaped with fries and coleslaw “almost famous,” and you’ll find knockoffs at any serious sports bar in the city. Also on the menu: Pittsburgh-style salads heaped with yup, you guessed it — French fries. Hearty meals and even better hangover cures.

4. “I will not speak in Pittsburghese.”

“How’s come ya don’t wanna learn Picksburgese, ya jagoff? Ya must be an aht-of-tahner.” See how quickly that can get ugly? Basic fluency in Pittsburghese is necessary for your survival here. Even if the people you hang out with are using it ironically, words like “nebby,” slippy,” and “yinz” are still incredibly handy to know. Start boning up.

5. “I don’t need a ‘parking chair.’”

Look, you may have lofty ideals now about how street parking is public and being able to reserve your spot with a chair is ridiculous. Parking can’t be that bad in the winter, you’ll argue. Trust me, it is. The first time you spend all morning shoveling your car out from a pile of snow so you can run errands only to come home and find some jagoff parked in your space, you’ll get territorial. The next space you dig out will be blocked off with whatever foldout chair, trash can, traffic cone, ironing board, or other large household item you have available. And don’t even think about moving someone else’s chair.

6. “I’ll probably move in a year or two.”

No, you won’t. Pittsburgh has a way of growing on people, especially now that it’s making a comeback. It’s been named the nation’s Most Livable City and ranked among the best for millennials and entrepreneurs. What’s more — Pittsburghers are proud of their city’s history and excited for its future. You’ll contemplate applying for jobs in Philadelphia or New York or even Chicago before realizing that a bigger city isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Besides, with all the bridge and tunnel closures, you couldn’t leave this city even if you wanted to. Oh well, guess you’re stuck with us. Wave that Terrible Towel. Bleed black and gold.

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