I spend a lot of time hating on Portland, and for good reason. There are several forms of distasteful and pervasive elitism here, including but not limited to geographic elitism (more than half the city is subject to public services discrimination), nerdly elitism, and general vehicular asshattery. Also, it’s cloudy all the time, public transit sucks, and we have three times as many miles of unpaved road than Nashville, Boise, Seattle, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Boston, Austin and San Francisco—combined. Also?
In the city with the reputation for having the largest concentration of lesbians on the West Coast, they closed the only lesbian bar.
However, in the spirit of fairness to this not-so-fair city, there’s a lot of cool stuff here, too. For example:
- Awesome radio! I love good radio. Even radio static. Especially I am a fan of when two or more stations get mixed up so music and talking and static fade in and out, creating a creepy and old-timey and oddly comforting cacophony that would do well at the beginning or end of a certain genre of techno song. Anyway, Portland has some great radio stations:
- A new one I discovered recently is KZME, found at 107.1 on your Portland FM dial. So far it is tons of really amazingly good (and local!) music.
- Good ol’ classic, KBOO. They have a feminist talk show! And a queer one! And a show called “Fight the Empire”! And super-early morning mellow commuter tunes!
- Unexpected Art:
- Someone hung a disposable camera from a bridge with a note that said “Take one picture.” The results.
- Vegan graffiti is a thing, apparently.
- Free appliances as found art.
- Community-y things:
- Multnomah County Libraries: Second only to New York City in the volume of rad books and what-have-yous that are checked out. Pretty significant when you consider that it’s No. 29 in population, but No. 2 in readers. Yay books!
- City Repair Project is here.Their whole mission is pretty much all about painting trippy stuff on the streets, hippie-style. I have every intention to avail myself of their services come paintin’ weather. Which is approximately one week a year, in mid-August.
- Friends of Trees: These people will come to your house and plant trees for you. We got two trees last spring. I like to water them, because I like trees.
- Event-y things:
- Science Pub! My roomie told me about this thing where scientists talk about cool science-y things while audience members enjoy pub grub and boozey things. Yay science! Yay cocktails!
- Arts for All! Even po’ folks here are allowed to watch cool dance-y things and play-y things and music-y things. Imagine that.
- Music for All! See above.
- The meetup groups here are not sketchy like they are in other cities that shall not be named.
- Snobbery I agree with: I am not the only person who lives here that hates:
- Shopping malls
- Wal-Mart (even though sometimes they dohavegreatdealsonstuffsoIgothereanywaydon’tjudgemeyoubigjerkyhipsterpersonnoteveryonecanaffordNewSeasonssofuckoffok?)
- Fancy cars
- Dressing appropriately for cold weather
- And, last but not least: Our neighbors bring us cookies! Then we keep their plate for way too long, because we are all too antisocial to go over and bring it back to them. We suck.
If you live here: What do you love/hate about Peeland? What did you think of it before you moved here? After? If you don’t live here: What do you love/hate about your hometown/the town where you currently reside? And what is your perception of Portland from lands afar (I know at least one of you thought it was near Chicago…).
*Or rather, shitty in entirely different ways than TV would have you believe.