Bourdain’s Field Notes

I’m fascinated by great American cities in transition. Onetime centers of industry. Company towns like Detroit, where you can see the hopes, dreams, and boundless ambition of the builders in the architecture. Back when American steel, American cars, American manufacturing were the envy of the world.

What happens when the company leaves town? The pride remains long after the jobs disappear.

Pittsburgh still views itself in many ways as a blue-collar, hardworking city—even though the steel mills have mostly closed down, the population and tax base have shrunk drastically, and there have been many years of hard times.

But lately, as in Detroit, there have been new arrivals—a renaissance of excellent restaurants, brewpubs and, most significantly, tech companies. Which is surely good.

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