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Brian O’Neill’s The Paris of Appalachia

Submitted by on December 19, 2009 – 3:46 pm

BrianOneilWe are quite pleased to host acclaimed author and writer Brian O’Neill live in our studios. Mr. O’Neill discusses his new book, “The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century.” An insightful and poetic look at our city, “Paris” is a must read for fans and denizens of the tri-state area.

Paris of Appalachia

Download Audio FileBrian O’Neill’s The Paris of Appalachia


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  • John A Amorelli says:

    “Only In Pittsburgh can you” Turn off the beaten path or main highway and become lost and find yourself and Pittsburgh again. You learn how to navigate the area and discover new lands or sites or historical places. The art of becoming a Parisian in Pittsburgh should be a topic of discussion for people who are still set in their ways.

    I think people from other areas learn about the “secrets” of Pittsburgh because have to and don’t feel self imposed limitations.

    I am Niagara Falls NY and wanted to move to Pittsburgh when I saw the Pirates beat the New York Yankees in 1960. While I liked the Yankee players I hated everything about New York City. As often commented it only drained the taxes from the people who lived in upper New York State. Eleven years later I moved to Pittsburgh and registering at CCAC they made an announcement they need vendors at Three Rivers Stadium for the World Series against Baltimore. So I saw the Pirates win the next world series while selling beer in the “cheap” seats in 1971.

    Your book make some interesting comments. My wife is from Pittsburgh (Forest Hills) and if you mentioned you had to go to Pleasant Hills she would not know where it is. You referenced in your book that people have as much idea of where places are as they know where Botswana is.

    My wife worked at Braddock Hospital and when it closed she was out of the job she held for over 25 years. She found a job right away at Kane Hospital in McKeesport. For her it was like finding a job on the moon. Yet it is only two or three miles from our house.

    In your book you stated that most people do not work in the community where they live in. I worked in Baldwin and Mercy Behavioral
    Health was moving a site to Wilkinsburg. I put in for transfer and got it, which made a 13 mile trip to work a 2 mile trip to work. MBH was moving a site on the South Side to Wilkinsburg. To the other worker it was like they were being transfered to Sibera. We were moving into the old Jane Holmes Home for Elderly Protestant Women. It took longer to refurbish the place than expected. So the workers and residents were able to gradually get adjusted to the move.

    The point is that if people will go out of their way to find places to go to work, why can’t they find places just for fun or excitement. When I was working in Baldwin I used a tank full of gas each week between $25 and $35 depending on the price of gas. I figure I should be able to use some gas for my own pleasure.

    My wife will always complain “I only go to work the store and my Dad’s” a radius of two or three miles, “I never get to go anywhere else.” Well the argument is nobody is putting a gun to your head and there is no restrictions put on your car. But being from Pittsburgh she feels fenced in and has become accustomed and familiar with her surroundings and these self imposed limitations to her seem real.

    Which goes to my point the only way to find the true Parisian as a Pittsurgher is to take the unbeaten path and become lost and find your self again.

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