Photo: Matt Petras (Pittsburgh Current)

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the organization that produces the annual Global Livability Index, Pittsburgh is America’s second most livable city. (Honolulu is first.)

This is a status that Pittsburgh is proud of, bragging about and displaying it the way a parent might share their kid’s report card in a text thread. If I remember correctly, it’s prominently displayed on benches and shit at Pittsburgh International Airport, seen as you ponder whether to call an Uber or take a selfie with Franco.


It also served as Pittsburgh’s most effective response to the terrorist attack at The Tree of Life synagogue. Pittsburgh is not like those other places where terrible things sometimes happen, people said. Pittsburgh is better. Pittsburgh is unique. Pittsburgh is special. Pittsburgh is stronger than hate.


Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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