Sue's Reviews > The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century

The Paris of Appalachia by Brian O'Neill
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's review
May 10, 2010

really liked it
Recommended to Sue by: Matt
Read in January, 2010 — I own a copy

Brian O’Neill has written a love letter to his adopted city. He’s right, of course. Pittsburgh is manageable, walkable, green, and full of things to do. The hills, the rivers, the bridges, the sports. What’s not to like?

Love isn’t blind, however, and O’Neill notices a few warts. The distinctly 21st-century challenges for Pittsburgh might not be so different from many other political entities, especially those which have lost whole industries and struggled to revive themselves. In other words, the Rust Belt.

A particular irritant to O’Neill includes the overflow of tiny and inefficient communities around Pittsburgh which cannot agree to merge their needs for essential services, a move which would address a lot of financial issues. He longs for metropolitan consolidation. Somehow the rough-and-ready American who once grappled energetically with adapting has a very great difficulty making changes today. Sigh.


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