Back in the 'Burgh

I landed in Pittsburgh late last night after 2+ weeks of camping, conferencing, and vacationing. Some impressions:
Wellsboro, PA lies in the heart of a beautiful area, home to the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania and the Pine Creek Rail Trail.
In Chicago, by chance I ended up staying near one of the city's most impressive architectural landmarks, the Monadnock Building. What a city.
And I spent almost two weeks in my native territory, in and around Menlo Park and Palo Alto, in the heart of the Silicon Valley. In San Francisco, I got reacquainted with the fantastic steamed pork buns at Yank Sing). A visit to REI's Berkeley store encouraged me about that firm's impending arrival in Pittsburgh. Finally: camping without hunting. Late one night at the Union City In-N-Out Burger, I was reminded of how the Asian, Asian-American, and Latino populations are exploding throughout California. Mostly, though, I was overwhelmed by the sheer ostentation that has overtaken most of the mid [San Francisco] Peninsula, and the intolerance toward economic diversity that Silicon Valley wealth has come to embody. Housing prices (median price of a Bay Area home these days: $600,000) aren't the worst of it. The mini-mansions being built lot-line to lot-line aren't the worst of it. For me, the worst of it is the automobiles. SUVs seem to be out; Porsches and very high-end Mercedes are in. They're everywhere.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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