For Love of My Hometown.

Having lived in three major areas in Pennsylvania (sidenote: Has anyone else noticed that only people from PA refer to our state with abbreviations?) - Pittsburgh, State College, and Philadelphia - I have to say that I really like Pennsylvania. Sure, we don't have everything New York City has, or the beaches that SoCal has, or the mountains that Colorado has, but we have a pretty respectable mix of all kinds of good things. I think we have it pretty good here.

Living in Philadelphia, though, has subjected me to a lot of talk that trashes Pittsburgh as a city. Now, rather than address any of that specifically (because it's pointless to argue with irrational people making irrational claims/haters gonna hate), I just want to celebrate my hometown with a bunch of links to the cool things being said about Pittsburgh lately.

In no way am I saying that Pittsburgh is the best city ever, or that it doesn't have its flaws; I'm just sayin': It's a pretty good place.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Pittsburgh as the best U.S. city to live in (and 29th in the world).

Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as America's most livable city due to its "arts scene, job prospects, safety, and affordability," as well its strong university presence.

National Geographic has Pittsburgh on its "Best of the World 2012" list of trips to take: "This western Pennsylvania city changed jobs and reclaimed its major assets: a natural setting that rivals Lisbon and San Francisco, a wealth of fine art and architecture, and a quirky sense of humor."

Alisha Hipwell of did a piece on how Pittsburgh is becoming "the new Hollywood" of film: "In the last three years alone, 24 movies have filmed in Western Pennsylvania, including "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Promised Land," which stars Matt Damon and will be released next year."

NBC News listed Pittsburgh as one of "9 places you haven't visited - but should": "Forget the notion that Pittsburgh is a gritty, steel industry town. The city has reinvented itself with a vibrant arts scene, cool outdoor spaces and unique festivals." listed Pittsburgh as the #1 city in America to relocate to: "Pittsburgh...has also made a major transformation from an industrial town – in Pittsburgh’s case, steel -- into the 21st Century as a hub for education, health care and the arts."

PNC chose Pittsburgh as its destination for its new eco-friendly headquarters.

And really, the list could go on, including hosting the G8 (or G20?) summit in 2009. I think you get the point. Enjoy.