Pittsburgh’s cool, according to National Geographic Traveller
Eritrea, Matera, Setouchi, Zimbabwe, Sibiu, Pittsburgh. Wait. What?
Right there in the midst of the National Geographic Traveller Cool List 2019, published Tuesday, is our fair city, the only U.S. place among 19 destinations the United Kingdom-based magazine and website (www.natgeotraveller.co.uk) projects will “hit the headlines in 2019.”
“Steel city reveals its refined side” is the headline for Pittsburgh, which is No. 3 on the list. The list makers go on, gushing:
“While Pittsburgh is a blue-collar town at heart, it’s much more elegant than many visitors might expect. And there’s plenty for culture vultures, too.”
Cultural attractions cited include “Destination Moon,” an exhibit about the Apollo 11 moon landing at the Heinz History Center in the Strip District, the Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland and The Andy Warhol Museum on the North Side.
They didn’t get everything right. Local art insiders know that the Carnegie International is not the world’s oldest contemporary art exhibition. It’s the second-oldest, launching a year after the Venice Biennale in Italy. And some Pittsburghers might not appreciate how they describe another attraction:
“Don’t miss: The giant Gothic Cathedral of Learning, which contains gloriously kitsch nationality-themed rooms.”
The U.K. list makers also give a hint as to why Pittsburgh is their only cool place in the U.S. “Why now? On 2 April, British Airways launches direct flights from Heathrow to Pittsburgh, making this underrated Pennsylvanian city much easier to visit.”
The complete list, in order, is: Setouchi, Japan; Antarctica; Pittsburgh; Corsica, France; Cambodia; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; West Yorkshire, England; Hong Kong; Zimbabwe; Guyana; Oslo, Norway; Eritrea; KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Bhutan; Dundee, Scotland; Uganda; Matera, Italy; Indonesia; and Sibiu, Romania.