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Pittsburgh's smart; survey says so

| Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 3:48 p.m.
Steven Adams | Tribune-Review
Gus Kalaris has been serving shaved ice balls out of Gus and Yia Yia's cart outside West Park in Pittsburgh's North Side since 1951. June 5, 2016.

Smoky City.

Steel City.

Most Liveable City.

Time certainly has changed the way the world views Pittsburgh. On Tuesday, the city beat out 99 of the nation's most populous cities to earn a new moniker: America's Smartest City.

“It was definitely a surprise. Pittsburgh beat out places like Washington, D.C., and New York City,” said Sally Olsson of Movoto, the national online real estate brokerage firm that conducted the Smartest City survey.

The new survey ranked cities on the number of universities and colleges per person, libraries, museums, public schools, education levels and local media.

Behind Pittsburgh to round out the top five were: Orlando, Washington, Atlanta and Honolulu.

“They left out the school of hard knocks,” said Gus Kalaris, 81, of Brighton Heights. Kalaris, who has been serving up ice balls and popcorn from his West Park cart since 1951 says his customers definitely contributed to the city's new honor.

“They're coming here to get a good ice ball; you know they're smart,” Kalaris said.

Plumber Patrick Watt, 28, who works in the city, said he was a little surprised by the new survey, but he'll let it stand, so long as no one tries to take away Pittsburgh's “City of Champions” honors for Steelers' Super Bowl wins, Pirates' World Series pennants and Penguins' Stanley Cup trophies.

Joseph Latimer, 31, of the North Side grinned when he heard the news.

“I don't know what those other cities are made of, but there's some pretty smart people around here,” Latimer said, as he paused on a walk with his daughter, Alayna, 6.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com.

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