The G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh is finally over. The Obamas and the world leaders have come and gone already, and everything is back to normal. They even had a Pirates game last night. I'm kind of proud and embarrassed by my hometown.
Proud because the city has accomplished a lot and they're a worthy pick to host the summit. Proud because the city has continuously reinvented itself, cleaned up its acts, beautified its environments. Proud because Pittsburgh is a winner, never a victim.
Embarrassed because Pittsburgh is still so provincial, small-town. Embarrassed because Pittsburgh doesn't know how to stay in the International spotlight. Embarrassed because Pittsburgh has so much to offer but they don't know how to advertise itself. Embarrassed because there are still so many close-minded people in this town.
An KDKA reporter asked Obama, at the summit -- of ALL the questions he could ask the President -- what he thought of how the protestors ruined such a wonderful gathering. Obama, rightfully, set him straight: "Look, there were 20,000 protestors in London. I'm very proud of the Pittsburgh police for handling this summit." One-two-punch. Yes, Pittsburgh's journalists are provincial -- they never went to TRUE International cities like London or Beijing or Paris where 5000 protestors are a child's play. And it was gracious for Obama to turn that around to praise the, IMHO, overreacting Pittsburgh police. But at least things were under control (even though Pittsburgh's downtown was cleared out like a ghost town for the world to see), and there were no serious outbreaks or terrorist attacks. Still, it embarrassed me. Pittsburgh has come a long way, but there's still some distance for them to go to be truly International.
Or perhaps Pittsburghers don't want to be International. They actually pride themselves for having a small-town feel and hospitality. These are hardworking people and they are winners in every way. So maybe I shouldn't be so hard on them. It's just that I came from an International mecca (Hong Kong) and I've heard so many people tease and chide my second hometown, Pittsburgh, for being small and provincial. In a way, I just hope people will change their minds about what this wonderful city could offer. No, it's not London or New York or Chicago or Hong Kong, but it's a damn fine city.
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