Back in the 412

So, for those who don’t already know, Laura, Maggie, and I moved back to Pittsburgh from Austin 6 weeks ago. Laura has a new job here, and I’ve been writing the final chapters of my dissertation and looking for a job. [I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while, and I was most recently reminded to when TypePad asked me to update my credit card info (with my new address) so they could keep billing me. I figured if I’m going to keep paying for this blog, I should post to it at least once a year.]

It’s been nice being back, nicer than I expected in many ways, but there were some interesting and unexpected contrasts with Austin (other than the weather). I’ll try and post about them in more detail, but here are a couple quick notes (hopefully to remind me for later):

  • The people are really friendly to strangers here. In Austin, we barely had any contact with our neighbors in any of the places where we lived. Here we met our neighbors from both sides and across the street on the day we moved in. It’s also much easier to strike up a conversation with a random stranger in line at the store, or whatever.
  • So much smoking! I can’t believe how many smokers there are here, and how much public smoking there is. This is something we noticed even coming back for xmas before the Austin smoking ordinance was enacted.
  • What’s with Pittsburgh’s inferiority complex? Like PIttsburghers, long-time Austinites often have an irrational love for their city, but it’s hard to imagine the Sienna Miller thing taking up so much news time there.
  • I’d forgotten how pretty the fall colors are here!

I’m sure I’ll think of more. Hopefully, I’ll find more time to blog, though it’s been pretty hard, with everything else going on.

Posted in Misc. 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Back in the 412”

  1. Leslie Says:

    I am commenting about a much earlier post – pre-2004 presidential election – regarding Bill Clinton running for vice president. Given the attention that Obama is garnering, don’t you think an OBAMA – B. CLINTON ticket might be a good solution for the US at this point?

  2. Yosi Says:

    Great to here that you are back. Maybe someday I’ll be back in the ‘burgh and we’ll have some pizza on a Wed night!


  3. Jefferson Provost Says:

    Hey Yosi!

    Mmm. Pizza. That reminds me, the pizza is way better here than in Austin. Back there we used to drive across town to get good pizza, and here there are usually several good, locally owned pizza shops in every neighborhood. OTOH, in Austin, driving across town is a relatively easy thing to do. ;-)

    On another note, I wish there were some kind of on-line community system I could use to communicate efficiently with all my old (and new) friends — I could use it to organize a regular “pizza night”. Maybe I should start one. It’ll need a good name, maybe something beginning with “Z”? ;-)

  4. Jefferson Provost Says:


    I’ve answered your question re: Obama/Clinton in comments of the original posting.

  5. oldmanneill Says:

    a few years back i moved from chicago to pgh. the inferiority complex of pittsburgh drives me crazy. your take on austin’s unfriendliness is interesting. my in-laws live in austin, and my wife is always trying to move us down there…

  6. Jefferson Provost Says:

    Don’t get me wrong. I loved living in Austin. The friendliness of Pittsburgh has a downside: Everyone thinks their your friend, even customer service-type people who are getting paid to serve you — and because they assume you’re already friends, they often assume that you’re gonna let them slide if they’re slow or inaccurate — ‘coz you’re pals, after all.

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