04/24/15 1:15pm
Ryan Lammie, an artist and founder of the artist collective Radiant Hall in Pittsburgh, which he calls one of the most supportive arts communities he's been a part of. Photo: Ben Filio

Ryan Lammie, an artist and founder of the artist collective Radiant Hall in Pittsburgh, which he calls one of the most supportive arts communities he’s been a part of. Photo: Ben Filio

When the borough you call home becomes known as one the most expensive places to live in America, it’s natural to look around for better alternatives. For a hot, Internet second, Buffalo—which recently made that list of cities that young college graduates are moving to—looked like a fine choice, so long as you enjoy brutal winters and more economic initiatives than jobs. But there is another metropolis the 25-34 cohort is gravitating toward that is considerably more buzzworthy, filled with James Beard Award-nominated chefs, tech startups, and the cool factor of a soon-to-open Ace Hotel. The city that holds all this promise? Pittsburgh. It claims more brainpower than Silicon Valley, based upon the number of its college-educated residents, and offers good jobs and a low cost of living for its young transplants. Think Portland, Oregon, except half the size, and with higher employment.

To find out how Pittsburgh stacks up as a second chapter for Brooklynites in search of greener pastures, I spoke to seven expats. If they all sound a little boosterish, it’s not a coincidence. Pittsburghers seem to have a hard time finding fault with their city, despite being landlocked and getting twice the amount of snow as New York City (on average). Nearly everyone I interviewed who has relocated there speaks about Steel City as if they were on the payroll of the city’s tourism board.

“For so many years, when you said Pittsburgh, the first image that popped in people’s heads was this gloomy, dreary, smog-filled city, and that’s not who we are anymore,” Alexis Tragos, 32, told me. (more…)

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12/05/14 9:22am
Cream, a new shop in Bay Ridge, bakes a hot chocolate and marshmallow doughnut. Photo: David Chiu

Cream, a new shop in Bay Ridge, bakes a hot chocolate and marshmallow doughnut. Photo: David Chiu

We’re in it–holiday party season. Whether it’s chatting up your boss at your work party, or charming your significant other’s family over dinner, you’re going to need something to talk about in the coming weeks. Here’s what we’ve been reading lately.

1. It’s a heavy shopping time of the year (check out all our holiday gifting coverage, if you’re still in a buying mood). Some parents, though, have had it with all the toys, clutter and kid junk, and are taking drastic steps toward minimalism, with interesting results.   

2. Remember when there was a huge black market for stolen Tide? Well, baby formula is the new Tide, says Vocative, complete with formula fences and kingpins.

3. Racism, police brutality and the deep flaws in our justice system are THE issues of the day. At The Atlantic, Peter Beinart argues that if Eric Garner, the Staten Island man killed by an NYPD chokehold, had been white, he would now be a Tea Party cause celebre and martyr. Chris Rock told Frank Rich that “racial progress” has nothing to do with black people and everything to do with the gradual decline of white ignorance.  Salon counseled Democrats on how to address systemic racism in a meaningful way, and our own borough president, Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer, took to the pages of The New York Times to explain and condemn the police culture that led to Garner’s death. (more…)