Which city would be easier/more fun to explore for a day?

  • Columbus, OH

    Votes: 8 28.6%
  • Pittsburgh, PA

    Votes: 20 71.4%

  • Total voters
    28

strictlyanon

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I'm from California and I have two interviews coming up, one at Pittsburgh and one at Columbus, OH. I have one day of freedom in between the two interviews. Which city would it be cheaper/more fun to spend that day in?

Edit: And any suggestions on what to do from locals or from those of you who have been before would be much appreciated :)
 
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starlite911

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"Cheaper" and "more fun" might be at odds with one another. Although I don't know much about Columbus, I must confess.
 
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Doug Underhill

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It's OK to say that you have interview invites at Ohio State and Pitt. You're not really being any more discrete: pretty sure there's only one med school in each of those cities.

Pittsburgh is a better sports city, but I've heard of some really interesting events in Columbus.
 

md-2020

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Neither city is ideal but downtown Pitt has some nice spots, especially down near the river junction next to Heinz Field.

Jerome Bettis has a kick ass sports bar (Grille 36) right on the water that you should definitely hit up.
 

Flashfan

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Columbus is a great college town with good bars and great ice cream. Pittsburgh is a great sports town with sports bars and hearty food. I imagine Columbus would be cheaper
 

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The OSU campus or Germantown if you're going to be in Columbus. Downtown and the Arena district are kind of "meh"
 
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I guess if you grew up in or arond NYC you may feel differently, but IMHO the Eastern Midwest cities are great American cities and VERY underrated -- Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Louisville (maybe). I spent 5 years living in Pittsburgh so I'm a little biased (going up to Mt. Washington for the view is a must), but I would rank them as follows....Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland (tie), Louisville. Some great med schools too. What I like the best about all of them is UNPRETENSIOUS.
 

BurghMed

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Pittsburgh, hands down. Why? Because I'm from Pittsburgh and know little about Columbus.
 
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md-2020

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I guess if you grew up in or arond NYC you may feel differently, but IMHO the Eastern Midwest cities are great American cities and VERY underrated -- Pittsburgh, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Louisville (maybe). I spent 5 years living in Pittsburgh so I'm a little biased (going up to Mt. Washington for the view is a must), but I would rank them as follows....Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland (tie), Louisville. Some great med schools too. What I like the best about all of them is UNPRETENSIOUS.
Cleveland sucks. It has nothing but derelict factory warehouses and a massive, dangerous, run down part of town.

Maybe 2 blocks around Cleveland Clinic/UH is nice and the small area around the Browns stadium, but that's about it
 
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GrapesofRath

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As someone who spent a fair amount of time living in Pittsburgh if you are here for a day or two here is what I would consider doing

1) Southside: Lots of stuff here. Bars, restaurant, night scene, plays etc. You'll find something you like. Shadyside is very similar in this as well but a slightly different scene.
2) Mt Washington; Absolutely worth the time it takes to get there to see the view. Great fancy restaurants for your liking as well.
3) Downtown: Buccos are still playing and one of the best in baseball. You could check out a game if they are in town. If not, lots of good places to watch the game in North Shore and Downtown. If you are by chance in town on a Sunday Steelers Sunday is always a good time. The 3 Rivers View is also fantastic.
4) Strip District: Great restaurants. Great scene. Very Yinzer type of place worth checking out.
5) IF you want to spend time on the Pitt Campus do yourself a favor and check out the Cathedral of Learning. View from 40+ floors is worth the wait. Some great places to eat here as well. Uncle Sam's, Fuel and Fuddle, Hemingway's Cafe, all classics.

I've only spent limited time in Columbus but it's not a bad place either. My biased opinion is obviously going to be Da Burgh though.
 

WingedOx

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What I like the best about all of them is UNPRETENSIOUS.
Well if you don't count the fact that OSU and Pittsburgh Steelers fans are both obnoxious a-holes about their teams.
 
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Well if you don't count the fact that OSU and Pittsburgh Steelers fans are both obnoxious a-holes about their teams.
Haha. Obnoxious is still a little different than pretentious. Try Patriots fans....obnoxious AND pretentious.
 

WingedOx

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Haha. Obnoxious is still a little different than pretentious. Try Patriots fans....obnoxious AND pretentious.
The in laws are St. Louis Cardinals fans...
 

md-2020

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GIRL YOU DID NOT. Cleveland is an amazing city. Of course there are rough areas, but if you only spent time in the areas you describe then you missed the vast majority of the city. The "nice 2 blocks" around the Clinic/Case is University Circle, which has the highest density of cultural attractions in the US, including multiple art and science museums, a botanical garden, the cultural gardens, and one of the top five orchestras in the country. The area around the Browns stadium has the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gateway District (area around The Jake/Quicken Loans Arena) is also awesome if you're a sports fan and has been extra awesome since Lebron came back. The city is full of excellent restaurants founded by world-class chefs and several have been featured on the Food Network. There's West 4th/Ohio city which has some excellent bars, concert venues, and breweries, not to mention the historic West Side Market. On the east side there's Little Italy, Coventry, Shaker Square, and TONS of other awesome little neighborhoods with great shops, events, and restaurants. We also have a national park with great hiking less than an hour away. And best of all, the people are awesome and Cleveland's not at all touristy. It's a hidden gem. Not trying to flame but I can't just let a dig on CLE pass me by like that. Sorry you didn't enjoy your experience there, but to say it has "nothing but derilect factory warehouses and a massive, dangerous, run down part of town" is totally inaccurate. Take it from someone who lived there for four years.
You left out the part about it being one of the top 5 most dangerous cities in the US, and a city that singlehandedly sinks the state of Ohio's economy. "Mistake on the Lake," no?


I lived in Cleveland for a summer doing research at the Lerner Institute/Cleveland Clinic and the city is definitely rough. I know Ohioans are obsessed with their hometown but it's not the best place to be. I'm not saying that there are zero redeeming qualities, but it is definitely not exactly a tourist destination. FWIW, I've been to most of the spots on your list, and there are some that are nice. But the city in general is not.
 
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GIRL YOU DID NOT. Cleveland is an amazing city. Of course there are rough areas, but if you only spent time in the areas you describe then you missed the vast majority of the city. The "nice 2 blocks" around the Clinic/Case is University Circle, which has the highest density of cultural attractions in the US, including multiple art and science museums, a botanical garden, the cultural gardens, and one of the top five orchestras in the country. The area around the Browns stadium has the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Gateway District (area around The Jake/Quicken Loans Arena) is also awesome if you're a sports fan and has been extra awesome since Lebron came back. The city is full of excellent restaurants founded by world-class chefs and several have been featured on the Food Network. There's West 4th/Ohio city which has some excellent bars, concert venues, and breweries, not to mention the historic West Side Market. On the east side there's Little Italy, Coventry, Shaker Square, and TONS of other awesome little neighborhoods with great shops, events, and restaurants. We also have a national park with great hiking less than an hour away. And best of all, the people are awesome and Cleveland's not at all touristy. It's a hidden gem. Not trying to flame but I can't just let a dig on CLE pass me by like that. Sorry you didn't enjoy your experience there, but to say it has "nothing but derilect factory warehouses and a massive, dangerous, run down part of town" is totally inaccurate. Take it from someone who lived there for four years.

Sorry for derailing the thread OP. I interviewed at Pitt and OSU too and had a friend take me around Columbus for a day, which was nice. There were some good restaurants and downtown was cool.

...but also maybe stop over in CLE for a day ;)
Yep, many have images of these cities that are all decrepit steel mills and smoke stacks. Just reading your description of Cleveland makes me want to visit. I remember the first time I went to Pittsburgh and came through the Fort Pitt tunnel which opens up to an incredible vista of the city. I'd love to live in any of the 4-5 that I mentioned.
 
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You left out the part about it being one of the top 5 most dangerous cities in the US, and a city that singlehandedly sinks the state of Ohio's economy. "Mistake on the Lake," no?


I lived in Cleveland for a summer doing research at the Lerner Institute/Cleveland Clinic and the city is definitely rough. I know Ohioans are obsessed with their hometown but it's not the best place to be. I'm not saying that there are zero redeeming qualities, but it is definitely not exactly a tourist destination.
I love you @md-2020. That was the summer in Cleveland. And then there were the summers in NYC, Baltimore, Paris, Beijing, and Melbourne. And you're still just 20 years old, two sport college All-American, chess champion, and concert pianist. If you get your ECs pumped up a little more you should have good fortune this cycle!
 

md-2020

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I love you @md-2020. That was the summer in Cleveland. And then there were the summers in NYC, Baltimore, Paris, Beijing, and Melbourne. And you're still just 20 years old, two sport college All-American, chess champion, and concert pianist. If you get your ECs pumped up a little more you should have good fortune this cycle!
I don't see what you're getting at here. I have diverse interests (though not as diverse as your post suggests lol). So what? BTW, I'm actually old enough to (legally) have a beer now--that's right, I feel pretty grown up :p

As a Marylander I'll be the first to admit that B'more is also quite rough around the edges. Beijing is great if you don't mind absurd amounts of traffic congestion and the occasional smog storm. I'd love to visit Australia and Paris at some point (that's right...I haven't had time to fit that in yet!)

NYC rocks IMO.


I encourage you to visit Cleveland sometime to verify the authenticity of my criticisms/concerns. They're pretty obvious.
 
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I don't see what you're getting at here. I have diverse interests (though not as diverse as your post suggests lol). So what? BTW, I'm actually old enough to (legally) have a beer now--that's right, I feel pretty grown up :p

As a Marylander I'll be the first to admit that B'more is also quite rough around the edges. Beijing is great if you don't mind absurd amounts of traffic congestion and the occasional smog storm. I'd love to visit Australia and Paris at some point (that's right...I haven't had time to fit that in yet!)

NYC rocks IMO.


I encourage you to visit Cleveland sometime to verify the authenticity of my criticisms/concerns. They're pretty obvious.
I'm just kidding you. I still can't fathom how you have done all that you've done. Impressive to say the least.

I hope I do get to Cleveland. Every big city has bad areas. We could drive someone to the roughest parts of NYC, DC, etc and someone would have a very bad impression. Same with Pittsburgh.... the Hill District there is rough (you're too young to remember Hill Street Blues). I have a kid at Univ of Rochester and I actually love Rochester, while admitting there are definitely sketchy areas to avoid.
 
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WingedOx

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Haha. Obnoxious is still a little different than pretentious. Try Patriots fans....obnoxious AND pretentious.
Michigan: pretentious
Ohio State: Obnoxious
Penn State: Creepy Truthers
 

md-2020

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#5 ranking: http://lawstreetmedia.com/crime-america-2015-top-10-dangerous-cities-200000-2/

34.2% below the poverty line....that's downright disturbing.
Avg income of $26k/yr...rising annual crime


Sure I may not have had a long term exposure to the city but you can't ignore the facts. It's a struggling city in every definition of the concept.

I have no idea why I'm making it my job right now to trash Cleveland, sorry.
 

GrapesofRath

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#5 ranking: http://lawstreetmedia.com/crime-america-2015-top-10-dangerous-cities-200000-2/

34.2% below the poverty line....that's downright disturbing.
Avg income of $26k/yr...rising annual crime


Sure I may not have had a long term exposure to the city but you can't ignore the facts. It's a struggling city in every definition of the concept.

I have no idea why I'm making it my job right now to trash Cleveland, sorry.
You'll be a perfect fit at Pitt next year if you go there.
 
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md-2020

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You'll be a perfect fit at Pitt next year if you go there.
Not sure if I can betray Ravens nation like that though


Baltimore is just as much of a ****hole as Cleveland, but we have the best football team on the face of the planet.

Come at me.
 

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md-2020 is right about Baltimore being a *****ole. The Wire, the lackluster number of super bowl rings, need I say more.
 

GrapesofRath

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Not sure if I can betray Ravens nation like that though


Baltimore is just as much of a ****hole as Cleveland, but we have the best football team on the face of the planet.

Come at me.
Try having the best team in your own division first
 
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md-2020

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md-2020 is right about Baltimore being a *****ole. The Wire, the lackluster number of super bowl rings, need I say more.
Excuse me, how many hit TV shows and recent Super Bowl parades does your city have?
 

md-2020

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I'm a Steelers fan so I'll jump in here: Steelers 6 Ravens 2. Math can be pretty easy sometimes.
Well if you're going to be that liberal with the meaning of "recent," we should probably include the Colts' rings as well :p


Sorry we wiped you out of the playoffs last year!
 

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Pittsburgh, this isn't even a choice lol
(biased obviously since I think Western, PA is really nice)
Can't judge Ohio much though, never been there although it's not a very long drive.. Only 5 hours..

Also @md-2020 is totally correct about Bmore
If you go to the Hopkins hospital before it is a section 8 neighborhood, a run down school, and there are security guard posts everywhere.
In order to even get into the Hospital you have to stop at the security desk lol
It's kind of sad, such a great Hospital/Institution in such a rough area.
That's not even the bad part of Bmore! Go to West Bmore come off 40 and it's just nuts.. Stopping at a red light at night is dangerous itself. I seen people run em' often.
 
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And as a someone who is actually from Baltimore, the Hopkins area has been under some major changes since the early 2000's. It's not nearly as sketchy as it was because of the increased security presence.
 
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Go to PNC Park and watch the Pirates play, if they are home that day. They are great this year, and if you check on stubhub.com you wouldn't have to pay more than $10. If not, there is a sweet (Carnegie?) natural history museum there. The dinosaurs are pretty gnarly.

Besides that, just get lost in the city. (Don't actually get lost, or go into sketchy parts) but walk around and get to know the city. See if you like the feel of it, if it has cool parks, gyms, bike trails (or whatever you are into) somewhat close to the college. Make sure it is somewhere you can keep your sanity for the next 4 years!
 
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