Top 10: Reasons Amazon should come to Pittsburgh


Garrett Aguilar

(Illustration by Garrett Aguilar | Senior Staff Illustration)

By Henry Glitz | Opinions Editor

Picking a “best of” for any category is a difficult job for us Pittsburghers — our City is just a cut above the rest in general. How can we be so sure? Amazon told us.

The latest dispatch from Jeff Bezos’ Seattle seat of power yesterday narrowed the race for the honor of hosting his company’s secondary headquarters from a crowded field of 200-some proposals to a field of 20, and Pittsburgh made the cut.

Whether we’ve caught our soon-to-be corporate overlord’s eye because of the best local band, best tattoo parlor or best resident assistant is hard to say. All we know is they like what they see so far, and they want to see more.

In the spirit of self-promotion, we’re expanding our “best of” list to give Amazon ten reasons why Pittsburgh is the best of its remaining choices and the corporate paradise it’s been searching for all along. Take a close look, Bezos.

  1. Best weather

If temperatures colder than Anchorage, Alaska, aren’t enough to lure Bezos from his mild, maritime West Coast hideout, the cloud coverage is. Although we’ve lost quite a bit of our artificially produced air particulates since the ‘60s, we’re still up there as far as air pollution obscuring the sky goes. Besides, we rank high on scales of natural dreariness — second only to Seattle and Buffalo, New York.

  1. Best liquor laws

After a hard day at work, Amazon’s 50,000 Pittsburgh-based employees might understandably want to relax with a nice whiskey and Coke or ten shots of vodka. Fortunately for them, Pittsburgh has a scattered system of liquor stores with weird hours that close early and only sell certain brands for these future employees to patronize. We’ve got to thank the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on this one.

  1. Best housing costs

This one’s a challenge — with housing costs among the lowest of any major metropolitan area in the country, Amazon has a mostly blank slate in Pittsburgh to start out with when gentrifying Pittsburgh.

  1. Best universities

Amazon is looking for a community to host its new headquarters that has access to top-tier institutions of higher learning, so it’s only natural they should pick Pittsburgh and pass over State College and Morgantown.

  1. Best city government

We’re lucky here in Pittsburgh to have a government that can distinguish a low-priority issue — like filling in potholes or clearing snow from the roads — from a top one — like keeping secrets about what benefits it’s planning to give to enormous multinational corporations.

  1. Best bridges

In states like New York and Maryland, gephyrophobiacs — people with a fear of bridges — have to travel far outside major urban areas to cross big bridges and face their fears. Here in Pittsburgh, Amazon could take its gephyrophobic employees anywhere around town to cross one of Pittsburgh’s 446 bridges. They’ll be over their fear in no time.

  1. Best Amazon drop-off center

The company’s already dipped its toes into Oakland’s day-to-day life with the establishment of a brick-and-mortar delivery and drop-off site on Oakland Avenue last semester. And clearly it was an important addition to our collective lives that we all needed — what we really need is more.

  1. Best millenial fusion food restaurants

Trendy Amazon employees won’t have to miss out on the hottest new food trends just because they aren’t on one of the coasts. Pittsburgh’s pierogies with egg and avocado are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to oddly appealing hipster mash-ups in the City.

  1. Best 18+ club scene

Any city of worth has a vibrant nightlife and dance scene, but how many places can you think of that specialize in the awkward combination of middle school dance and irresponsible alcohol use that is embodied in Pittsburgh’s famed 18+ club life?

  1. Best college student media

If you’re reading this, Bezos, you already know this one is true.

Henry is the Opinions Editor of The Pitt News. Write to him at

Leave a comment.