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:
- 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:
- 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.
Here is a lonely shoe I found while walking from the gym to my friend’s apartment, complete with creepy filter:
Where is the other shoe? How did foot and shoe become separated? Perhaps we’ll never know. (Although I have a strong suspicion alcohol and foot pain were involved – those heels look pretty teetery.)
Here’s a Mystery Berry:
It’s so spiky! It looks nefarious and irresistible. Naturally, I brought it home so that while I slept, it could disperse its evil spores and hatch little berrylings as part of its plan for galactic domination.
Here we have a fine Bathroom Graffiti Specimen:
It reads: “Ladies, you made me feel more like a lady tonight than I’ve felt for soo long. You are beautiful, I am too and love yourself, try to forget insecurities and mistakes! Love, Elaine 06/21/10″
Elaine’s self-esteem pep talk was, of course, located in the ladies’ room at a vegan strip club. Portland is rife with them. Anyway, I suspect the men’s room graffiti leaned more toward the Sharpie-penis genre of wall art, but again, we’ll never know.
Found anything interesting lately?
Cruising around the neighborhood last week turned up all kinds of items of note. Here are a couple of freebies, a la the November Toilet:
It amazes me how generous people are with their large appliances. Until I haul them home to discover they don’t work and there’s a fee associated with disposing of them. Pfft.
And here’s the requisite old used condom, a la the Courthouse Rubber of ’07:
Scientific condom-carbon dating proves this to be a much older specimen, perhaps offering more clues to the origins of the species. Further examination by teams of condo-thropologists needed.
And, the pièce de résistance: some kind of fag-related graffiti:
I’ll transcribe it for you, as it’s hard to read: “GO FAGS.” The message, although scrawled in emphatic caps lock, is unclear. Do they mean, “Go home fags”? Because that is precisely what I was doing when I saw this! Perhaps it’s a message akin to “Go Blazers!”, in which case, hey thanks! Although I didn’t realize faggotry was a competitive sport. Perhaps it’s meant to be read from bottom to top, as in “FAGS GO”? Which makes me wonder: Fags go where? Where are all the fags going, and why did no one tell me??
I found ANOTHER vegan tag. Clear across town, in the Northwest industrial district, stomping ground of the wild, untamed yuppie. I actually stopped so I could photograph this “manchild” tag (imaging the rooftop portraiture possibilities. Go on, imagine!):
I was quite pleasantly surprised when I pulled around the corner of the very same building to come across another pro-vegan (and also pro-anarchy?) missive:
I thought that this dilapidated, graffiti-covered building couldn’t possibly be topped, until I almost slammed into* the back of a car with this rad sticker** on it:
Anyway, happy Friday, everyone! It’s off to the booze-factories for me, starting with this delicious prickly pear martini:
*No, I’m not a careless terrible driver. I just need new brakes.
**I tried taking a picture of the actual sticker, but it just turned out fuzzy and rain-streaked. Google images to the rescue!
Related posts: The Rogue Vegan Strikes Again; Today in Animal Rights
All ya’ll remember the vegan defacer, right? The city painted over her or his original work a couple weeks ago, but today the word “vegan” has reappeared in the same spot, complete with a versioned naming convention!:
I can’t wait to see if this cycle will continue indefinitely until such time as we see bible-verse sounding phrases like “Vegan:126″ scrawled on walls all over dear old Portland.
Related posts: Today in Animal Rights
I found another piece o’ graffiti of interest in my ‘hood, conveniently located next to a dumpster and an overturned dining room chair:
I’m posting this for the benefit of my fellow readers of a worthy blog called I Blame the Patriarchy, but also because I very much consider myself a Blamer of Things. Yes, I blame the patriarchy for a number of social ills, but I also blame:
- Beamer-driving a-holes for making my commute suck
- Capitalism for ruining democracy
- DRM for my inability to listen to the rest of “Anna Karenina” during my commute
- Yuppies for taking the fun out of being a foodie
- Hipsters for taking the fun out of facial piercings
- Society for my misanthropy
- Oregon for making my feet wet 9 months out of the year
My main point here is that while it may be psychologically easier to accept and work with a reality that is often very much no fun, it makes a helluva lot more sense to see things as they are, find the source(s) of injustice and point your rage and blame in the correct direction.
Add your own stuff worthy of blame in the comments!
Related posts: Today in Animal Rights