Top 6 Things Pittsburghers apologize for in advance:
1) The Pittsburgh Left- If the first car in the opposing lane of traffic has its left-turn signal blinking, be careful. As soon as the light turns green, the driver likely will try to streak through the intersection before you do. Pittsburghers are, for the most part, wonderful people, but they can be awful drivers. [GUILTY!]
2) Liquor stores and beer distributors - You can't buy beer at liquor stores, you can't buy liquor from beer distributors and you can't buy any alcoholic beverage at a grocery store. Beer distributors are privately owned, but they're not allowed to sell you anything smaller than a case. And even though liquor stores are owned by the state, the state still charges an 18 percent tax on liquor. BYOB.
3) Road layout - The geography around here doesn't allow for a grid, but clearly the city planners could have done better than this. Streets seem to stop randomly or, worse yet, turn into a concrete staircase before continuing a block or two later as if this was completely normal behavior for a road. Right angle intersections are precious commodities, and roads have two or three names each, but that doesn't matter because they're often not marked.
4) Pittsburghers' casual relationship with stop signs, speed limits and turn signals - This comes from years of driving under the conditions explained above. It's sort of a passive-aggressive rebellion -- since they can't defy the roads, they defy the rules.
5) Directions from natives who use landmarks you only know if you live here - Nearly everyone who lives in Pittsburgh was born here. Not knowing the location of Gateway Center is as alien to them as not knowing where the sun is. Also, some residents take pride in having spent a lifetime learning the road system, and this sort of thing is their only chance to show it off.
6) Parking prices - Pittsburgh's 50 percent parking tax, increased two years ago when the city went broke, is by far the highest in the nation. When you pay your parking tab, think of it as a lesson in civic engagement -- when you go home, you'll know what happens if you let your local leaders spend every dime in the city's bank account.
For any of you who visit or used to live in Pittsburgh...can you identify?