I spent a long time trying to articulate exactly what it was about Pittsburgh that drove me insane. I kept coming back to "culture of low expectations." Workers don't show up as promised because no one expects them to. People whom I paid extra to deliver and install a purchase were surprised when I wanted it installed anywhere but the driveway, because no one expects more of them. People hired to improve indoor air quality think you're nitpicking if you complain about their tracking lethal neurotoxin around the house, because they usually charge extra for this service.
Heinz Field is go-to example of the effects of this culture. It's a horrible stadium. Where other cities built beautiful, or at least visually neutral, civic assets, Pittsburgh built a hideous, ad-infested yellow eyesore on their beautiful waterfront. It looks like a NYC cab, if a cab could seat 65,000. Functionally, it’s the worst of the league’s new stadiums. The sight-lines are such that if someone exactly my height sits in front of me, fully a third of the field is blocked from view. This is a principle understood since the time of the Romans, but Pittsburghers uniformly think I'm being patikilir [sic].
"So just move your head. Jesus, John."
"The point is I shouldn't have to. If you're going to build a stadium, why build a terrible one?"
They'd just blink at me, uncomprehending. To them, the way things are was and remains unavoidable. The future is a dimension as unseen by Pittsburghers as “up” is to an ant.
Here in Cooterville, we had some high winds last week. A tree branch split, dangling precariously above power lines. Within a few days, it was removed. This is delightfully unremarkable in the real world. In Pittsburgh, I saw fallen trees’ entire weight being supported by straining power lines for 14 months. They were there when I moved in, and they remained there when I moved out, if substantially lower. Every time I drove past them, I felt a wave of disgust. Of course these people are waiting for the lines to snap before they do anything about it. I could hear their incredulity in my head. "How else would you do it? Jesus, John."