Pittsburgh from New York

After four and a half years of living in New York City, my wife and I will soon be calling Pittsburgh, PA home.

Thankfully, I have the opportunity to work remotely for R/GA, so that means I will continue working with super creative people on really exciting projects. That makes me very happy. They’re also sending me away with a shitload of testing devices to help create and test great multi-device web experiences. That makes me very very happy. And on top of all that, a good deal of my role moving forward will be to help educate, write, speak and create tools for the agency and the community at large. That makes me very very very happy.

Things I’ll Miss about NYC

  • All the fantastic friends I’ve made over the years
  • The melting pot of humanity that somehow manages to coexist
  • Riding my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge
  • The inspiration that comes from being constantly surrounded by art, culture and diversity.
  • The amazing food, including the massive selection literally right down the street from our apartment
  • A whole lot more

Things I Won’t Miss about NYC

  • Rats
  • Cockroaches
  • Relentless jackhammering at 3AM thanks to Jay-Z’s stadium being built right across the goddamn street from us
  • Our asshole neighbors who have blasted their rage-inducing reggaeton music through our walls for 3 years
  • The smell of hot garbage/decomposing matter/human piss/dog piss/dog shit/human shit on a summer’s day
  • An ever-present pressure to perform
  • The rent

I’ve had an absolutely amazing time in New York and I wouldn’t trade my experience here for the world. The great thing is that I’ll still get to visit on a regular basis (including just a few weeks after moving), so I know that New York won’t be too far away.

So Why Pittsburgh?

Naturally, people have asked “Why the hell would you want to move to Pittsburgh?” Well, there are a lot of reasons:

  • I’m extremely excited to see my family a lot more
  • Our twin nieces! I mean just look at them!
  • Seeing many of my lifelong friends that are still in the Pittsburgh area
  • A different pace of life. We’ve been going balls-to-the-wall ever since we’ve been in NYC. The crazy pace has gotten us into trouble many times and has negatively affected both our physical and mental health. We still want to kick ass, but realize we need to take a breather from time to time. I’m hoping the relatively slow pace of a smaller city will be good for us.
  • Access to nature. I’m originally from a small town north of Pittsburgh that’s right on the river. I love hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, etc and can’t wait to take advantage of the gorgeous rivers and mountains.
  • I want to see what it’s like working from home.
  • I’m super excited to contribute to the Pittsburgh web community. Between Jason, Val, Bearded, Full Stop (the Pixelworker guys), and many many more, there’s so many talented people and great initiatives going on. I love Pittsburgh and want to do anything and everything to make the web community there great. There are great things happening in NYC, but I feel I can make a bigger impact in a relatively smaller city. I can’t wait!

Ultimately, I’ve learned over the past few years that physical location matters less and less. Every day I talk to and learn from people from all over the world. That concept still blows my mind. So while my physical location will change, my source of creative inspiration will not.

I’m extremely excited. Life is good.


  1. I find this news exciting! Plus, it’s one step closer to Seattle. My plan is just starting to come together…

  2. Congratulations on the move, Brad. You’ve gotta respect the priorities you have towards friends & family. Way to be.

  3. welcome back to PA!

  4. That’s awesome congrats! The remote thing is really sweet actually. I work for Treehouse from NC:)

  5. Awesome… Congratulations on the move! As a member of another couple feeling worn with NYC pace, I look forward to hearing about your settling in.

    Good luck to you both!

  6. Brian Naja

    Don’t forget about Primanti Bros

  7. lauren

    We will all miss you Brad (and Mel!).

    Some words tumbled out my drunk mouth the other day when someone said “I’m just in NYC temporarily” “We all are” I replied, and the more I think about it, the more I realize how true it is.

    Pittsburgh will be better for having you guys around. Godspeed.

  8. Great news, Brad! The city of champions is happy to have you back. 😉 Congrats and best wishes!

  9. Welcome back! It always a good thing when great talent returns to The ‘Burgh.

  10. Only 2 hours from Cleveland! Perhaps you should start expecting impromptu get togethers with your Ohio neighbors, like Brad Colbow (and others). 🙂

  11. flora worley

    Congrats on your move! I left NY/Brooklyn five years ago after 3 1/2 years, and although I miss it almost every day, well….let’s just say there’s life after. Though, if my experience is any indicator, that Reggaeton beat will probably be playing in your head when you’re trying to sleep at night for the next year or two…or three or four.

  12. Wow! Super high fives!! Hope it’s totally radical!! (Insert joke about the Steelers being awful here).

    • Something something 6 Super Bowl Rings something something that is all. 🙂

  13. What Bridget said. We’re just a day’s drive away, and vice versa! Now if only there were anything of note halfway between…

  14. W00t! Congrats Brad!

  15. Man, that’s great. Good luck! As someone who recently moved from a high-pace, work-all-the-time spot to a more regular one, I can say that the benefits are huge. I’m still learning and getting better all the time, but with a much healthier overall outlook (less stress, more time for relationships and reading, etc.). Hope you get that same balance, too. And, sidenote: Wish I had that many phones! Slowly building my own set, which now consists of five.

  16. michelle leonette

    This is fantastic news! Look forward to catching up with you at Refresh Pittsburgh. Pittsburghers have a boomerang gene…they always come back.

  17. Living the dream!

  18. I left US 20 yrs ago..keke

  19. Welcome back, Kotter!!! Very happy to hear this news. Pittsburgh is great and it’s been blowing up lately with a lot of talent. We have a burgeoning startup scene. Lots of cool music. Great parks. Yadda yadda yadda.

    Glad to see you coming back.

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