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'What is it? Yinzer?' GeekWire reporters talk plans for covering Pittsburgh

Aaron Aupperlee
| Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, 5:33 p.m.

Perhaps GeekWire should consider spending more than just a month in Pittsburgh.

The Seattle-based tech website announced Tuesday that it would send a crew of reporters to Pittsburgh in February to cover the city as GeekWire's HQ2.

"Let's hear it for Pittsburgh," GeekWire co-founder John Cook said as he toasted the selection with an Iron City beer during a Facebook live stream Tuesday with co-founder Todd Bishop and reporters.

And let's hear it for the GeekWire crew, who were drinking Iron City at 9 a.m. Seattle time.

In case you missed it, GeekWire hosted a national search for a second headquarters. It was an obvious riff on Amazon's search for second headquarters. Pittsburgh won .

With that in mind, a handful of GeekWire reporters shared what they looked forward to covering or doing in Pittsburgh.

The list included everything from exploring how the city is reusing its old industrial space to self-driving cars to concussion research at the University of Pittsburgh to try as many pierogies as possible. Way too ambitious for just a month.

"I'm excited, after having not been to Pittsburgh in probably 25 or so years, to get back and see if it's anything like as I remember it or what the changes are that might be worth reporting on," said Kurt Schlosser, who covers the Geek Life beat for the site and lived in Pittsburgh for a summer before his senior year in college.

Schlosser added that if there is new beer in Pittsburgh beyond Iron City, they will find it.

Monica Nickelsburg, GeekWire's Civic Innovation Editor, said she has heard that Pittsburgh is in many ways similar to Seattle but much older. She heard right. Pittsburgh was founded in 1758. Seattle was founded nearly 100 years later in 1851.

Nickelsburg was interested in exploring how a municipal government goes about planning for this new wave of transportation in a city with roads built long before there were cars.

Nat Levy, a real estate reporter for GeekWire, said he was interested in looking at Pittsburgh transformation from an industrial powerhouse to a tech hub and what the city is doing with all its old buildings.

"You've got to tour a steel mill or two" Cook said.

"Don't worry about it. I got that," Levy added.

Levy also wants to try as many pierogies as possible and check out some Penguins hockey. The GeekWire crew has its eye on the Penguins game against the Las Vegas Knights, not because they, like all of Pittsburgh, dearly loved Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, but because Seattle is in line for a NHL expansion team of its own, said Taylor Soper. Soper, who covers sports tech for GeekWire, said he was also interested in checking out concussion research at Pitt and YinzCam , a sports video technology company that does a lot of mobile app development for the NFL that was founded at Carnegie Mellon University.

"I think they take their name from the yinz reference in Pittsburgh, which I still need to get down," Soper said.

"What is it? Yinzer?" Nickelsburg asked. "We need help?"

Yinz need help? We got you.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the goaltender for the Las Vegas Knights. The story has been changed.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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