I've been to Pittsburgh, which, as the name suggests, seems to be an ugly place with much industry of the sort that goes in SimCity yellow tiles, including the Heinz factory (a Terry Gilliam-esque dark brick monstrosity), big rusting steel bridges, and a huge sports stadium (Heinz field). Admittedly we only saw the downtown and downstream Ohio River area. One good thing that you could say is that the place does look as if it has a history and people struggled to build it.
Pittsburgh is also, somewhat incongruously, home to the top-tier Carnegie Mellon University, as well as other good technical universities. I guess Mr. Carnegie and Mr. Mellon, who had yellow-tile factories in the area and still have sections of the map in their name, founded it there. I don't know if the universities are intended as a means to prosper in Pittsburgh or to get equipped to leave it as soon as possible. Certainly the areas around Pittsburgh looked like deeply small-town America with stars and stripes on the telephone poles, pickup cars, and presbyterian boy-scout chicken barbecues.
We went for dinner to a cheap Cambodian restaurant off Liberty street and, after sitting and overhearing conversations for a few minutes, discovered that practically all other tables were filled with computer scientists. I discovered (well, she said) that my colleague also has a blog, but no URLs were exchanged. So hi there dear colleague! :-)