Dropping 'Steel City' Moniker a Bad Idea

By Heyl, Eric | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 2, 2009 | Go to article overview

Dropping 'Steel City' Moniker a Bad Idea


Heyl, Eric, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The stationery costs alone make it a terrible idea.

The smarty-pants over at The Christian Science Monitor, an internationally read publication of some renown, are sticking their noses squarely where they do not belong.

They are sticking them in Western Pennsylvania's business.

Apparently finding unappealing the prospect of covering that boring war in Afghanistan or the stupefyingly dull health care reform proposal, the Mon -- as its bohemian, clove-cigarette smoking readership often refers to it -- is suggesting Pittsburgh needs a new nickname.

In its less-than-humble opinion, "The Steel City" doesn't cut it anymore. As if anyone asked Laurent Belsie, the Mon's economics editor.

In a take on the Group of 20 international economic summit coming to town this week, Belsie opines that Pittsburgh "is more software than smokestack these days."

Belsie implies he realizes it would be difficult for us to abduct our regional heritage, drive it to a deserted area such as the old Carrie Furnace site in Rankin, violently beat it to death and then spit on the shallow, unmarked grave in which we buried it.

Belsie nonetheless is a strong proponent of doing just that.

"Pittsburghers are a proud sort for whom 'steel city' is a kind of badge of gritty honor," he wrote. "But Pittsburgh has come a long way in cleaning up that dirty past and is working hard to build its reputation as a leading American green city."

Not so fast, bub. …

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