The piece by longtime Pittsburgh fan Jim Russell originally appeared on the website Pacific Standard and opened with this provocative lead paragraph:
“What does a dying city look like? Brains are draining. The population is shrinking or aging, or both. Vibrant, creative class cool Portland is the antithesis of dying. Yesterday, journalist Annalyn Kurtz tweets: ‘See! The Portland labor force lost 25,000 workers in the last year.’ “
The next sentence was the real killer: “What in the name of Richard Florida is going on here?” Pittsburghers of a certain age will remember when Richard Florida was just a local phenomenon. The Carnegie Mellon professor from 1987 to 2004 literally wrote the book on what constitutes a livable city.