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Old 09-15-2009, 06:22 PM
1 posts, read 7,203 times
Reputation: 15


Having lived in Portland (on-and-off) for over ten years, I feel I've come to know the city pretty well. Like any city, Portland has a range of attributes both good and bad. Yet whenever I travel, I am constantly met with starry eyed ecstasy over how cool Portland is and how they would just love to live in Portland. They visited last year and it was the coolest. Donuts covered in kids' cereal, overpriced bookstores staffed by snotty twenty (now thirty) somethings making minimum wage (and spending it all on cheap beer because they are poor even though their parents still pay their cell phone bills), plenty of green spaces (despite the fact that it drizzles all year long and the parks are often empty). Nerd Paradise. And maybe these are enticing features indeed, especially for bespectacled bookworms from grimy northeastern town or bleached out cities in the sun belt.
But I just can't help thinking that Portland is...well...disappointing. Rather than go on to list my least favorite traits about Portland (like the utter lack of decent jobs), I'll mention a few that I do like and continue to wonder...what's wrong with Portland?

Mountain(s) and Ocean
The Gorge
Plenty of places to spend money if you have it (decent coffee/tea shops, some good restaurants, a smattering of okay bars)
Vegetarian, Vegan, and Meat Lovers eating in harmony
Preposterous things like shops that sell $40 socks made from the wool that was handpicked by a tribe of indigenous women in Peru, that comes from the underbelly of a rare albino llama of which there are only 40 in existence. (This is opposed to $40 designer socks that have some rapper's name stitched on the ankle.)
Walkable areas and drivable areas (hey, in some cities, driving is a nightmare)
Nice variety of grocery stores (especially the Japanese market by the convention center)
Coolness (good because lots of cool musicians/performers come to Portland, bad because they sell out immediately)
Housing is still somewhat affordable (but barely)

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:35 PM
Location: Pahoa Hawaii
2,082 posts, read 5,151,743 times
Reputation: 2806
I'm thinking if it's so awful, why are you still there?

Last edited by leilaniguy; 09-15-2009 at 06:43 PM..
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:42 PM
Location: Dayton, OH/Portland, OR
398 posts, read 1,227,564 times
Reputation: 208
What's wrong with Portland? Well, I grew up there. We used to blame it on Hanford and Trojan. Can't do that anymore. LOL I, too, get that starry-eyed look from everyone, wherever I go, as well. And it always amazes me as well. I live in the Midwest now, and people here are always wanting to grill me about the paradise they think Portland is. And it *is* paradise for some. I really don't think anything is "wrong" with Portland. I've learned a new phrase here in the Midwest that is super annoying, but very fitting for P-town: "It is what it is". Cheers.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:45 PM
Location: Hades
2,126 posts, read 2,253,239 times
Reputation: 675
I think it's great to dialogue on what you feel are the positives and not so positive attributes of a place. Community spirit also derives from a honest self reflection of what "issues" the city is struggling with, no matter how much a 'green paradise city' many others in the nation (and marketing material) view it as. Let it inspire healthy debate and exchange!! Just because you are able to recognize the shortcomings and struggles of a place doesn't mean you have to, or want to, leave it.

I like Portland a lot, but there are some things that irk me about it as well. I tend to enjoy a good amount of racial and ethnic diversity in my environment and Portland is just not the best place for that. But it is a pretty darn livable city, strains of job market aside....
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:02 PM
4,282 posts, read 15,068,348 times
Reputation: 3974
Moderator's Note:

Please, folks, let's respect the wildlife and not feed the trolls.
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