An open letter to Jeff Bezos

Dear Mr. Bezos,

So you finally announced it. One of the biggest brand marketing campaigns in history is finally over, and you picked not one, but two cities for your additional Amazon headquarters.

And neither one of them is Pittsburgh.

Jeffrey, we hardly knew ye. Sure, we’re disappointed, just like the other 18 cities coveting Amazon’s presence. Almost Famous doesn’t count, unless you’re dining at Primanti’s.

And while we don’t agree with your decision, we’re not crying in our Penn Pilsner. We’re Pittsburgh, after all.

Besides, all the work that led to our Amazon bid sparked an unprecedented collaboration of people and organizations from the county executive and mayor to local businesses, universities and foundations. Pittsburgh will use that experience to continue advancing the best aspects of our region: teamwork, innovation and resilience.

But we can’t say goodbye without gently reminding you one last time what you and Amazon are missing by dissing the ‘Burgh:

  1. Our Front Door. Pittsburgh likes to greet visitors in dramatic fashion. So when you arrive at the airport and drive through the Fort Pitt Tunnel, the city opens up like Oz. It’s spectacular! We know how to make an entrance, and it never gets old.
  2. Football. Steelers. Period. Redskins? Jets and Giants? Really?
  3. Fitness programs. We know Amazon is into wellness. Canton Avenue in Beechview is the official steepest street in the continental United States. Think of the great workouts those package delivery folks will miss, not to mention a direct bike path (The Great Allegheny Passage) that runs all the way past your new digs in northern Virginia.
  4. Holy Headline, Batman! Pittsburgh is Gotham, not that other town. “The Dark Knight Rises” was filmed here. Michael Keaton is from here. So yeah.
  5. Good morning, Mr. Robot. Pittsburgh is a world center of robotics research, just in case the world’s largest online retailer ever needs to automate anything. And we have loads of millennial tech talent ready to work. Ever hear of Carnegie Mellon U?
  6. Pierogi races. Whether the Pirates are up or down, people come to PNC Park for The Great Pierogi Race at the end of the 5th inning, not to mention one of the best ballpark views in America. We’re not talking your standard sausages and hot dogs, but beautiful, magical dumplings filled with heavenly mashed potatoes. And they’re racing around the warning track. It doesn’t get any more American than that.
  7. Language learning. On your many visits here, you would have learned how to speak Yinzer, Pittsburgh’s official language. Instead of just tawking Amazawn, yinz could be drinking a couple of cold Arhns and going Dahntahn to watch the Stillers ‘n at. (See No. 2 above.)
  8. The mayor’s beard. Fellow philanthropists Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick also sported one. Though you appear to be anti-hair, we certainly applaud your recent efforts to pay employees better wages. And we would have given you a black and gold toque to be welcome in Lawrenceville.

We could go on. As cities go, Pittsburgh may be America’s best-kept secret. A big city with a small town feel. Parks and trails within minutes of pro sports stadiums. Affordable homes near world-class arts and cultural venues. Some of America’s greatest universities.

But word is getting out. In the last several years, the city has been collecting accolades from around the world, showing up on lists of best cities and making a splash in such publications as London’s Sunday Telegraph, The Financial Times and even China Daily.

And while we don’t like to brag, you’re also missing out on a valuable asset to your business plan: one of the best airports in the country. Pittsburgh International is growing and has lots of room to expand. We’re building a brand new modern terminal that will become the industry standard for future technology, customer service and travel enhancements.

Just sayin’.

So Mr. Bezos, we’re OK with your decision. Pittsburgh will be fine. Feel free to stop by anytime and see what might have been.

*Waves Terrible Towel.

Sincerely,

Blue Sky Staff

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