For Labor Day weekend last year the family and I drove to Pittsburgh to spend the weekend with friends who had been living there while working on a movie. Being a Philly guy I had always thought of our cross-state rival not so much as a competitor but more like an under-achieving cousin.

Boy was I wrong. I returned from that holiday weekend and explained to my Philly friends that Pittsburgh is what Philly could have been if it had a decent mayor and set of business leaders during the last decade. I pitched a few articles about it and AirTran’s inflight mag Go let me do a Pittsburgh 101-style piece for its “The List” feature.