It's no secret Pittsburgh has some of the richest sports history in the country. Each month we ask one of our favorite Pittsburghers:

What else makes this city great?

Aaron Clark

Cultural Engineer, Ace Hotel Pittsburgh; Organizer/Partner, Hot Mass/Honcho,
Live: Garfield
Work: East Liberty
How Long: 13 Years

Where did you grow up?
Canton, Ohio. The home of the NFL FOOTBALL HALL OF FAAAAAAAME!

Where else have you called home and what brought you back to PGH/keeps you in PGH?

Ohio and Pittsburgh. I did a brief stint in San Francisco over the winter to get it out of my system. Because of that I’m comfortable scratching “live somewhere else” off my list for a while. I’ll stay here because Pittsburgh puts it’s claws into you and doesn’t let go.

Besides our sports, what do you think makes PGH great?

It’s the aesthetic, above all. It’s trees, on top of water, with a city slapped down, bridges crisscrossing over each other, insane roads that go nowhere, gorgeous old architecture, tons of grit. Pittsburgh has such drastic contrasts everywhere you look. You’d be hard pressed to find a place that is this visually stimulating. As a little kid, that’s what really drew me in and began the love affair. I think everything else going on today has built off of this. It lures the right people into this visual stew, and then they create on top of it. It’s incredibly inspiring and supportive to be here.

What are you most excited about for PGH future?

It’s hard to say, because it’s really unknown. We know we’re all riding a rocket ship to a new Pittsburgh right now, but it could take many turns. There’s the big influx of tech and newer industries, rising costs, new people. That is a bit scary, but I’m an optimist and think it’s a net positive. This city is idea central right now. Pittsburgh 2015 feels a like a concept drawing – the exciting part will be watching that sketch mature into a fully-realized city as people get better and better at what they do.

Oh yeah, and I’m excited to show the city what we’re going to do at Ace Hotel when we open. 😉

Where do we need to grow to continue to better ourselves?

I think we need more constructive criticism. There’s this knee-jerk reaction at times to get defensive about our faults – I fall into the trap myself sometimes. You can’t really improve on things if you don’t admit that there are shortcomings. We also need to close the racial disparity and income gaps as our economy transitions. The neighborhoods need to mix up, and less lines should be drawn between them.