Say what you want to say, feel how you want to feel, but Portland is THE City! And you are free and welcome to disagree. But if you live here, and especially if you were born and raised here, you know what I mean when I say that Portland is quite an interesting city with much to explore and plenty to be proud of. And yes there is plenty to complain about; and I confess I'm guilty as charged of being a critic of old Stumptown.
Here is my challenge and stake to any who would still adamantly disagree: Give me one at-bat (three swings) at showing you what the town has to offer before you throw in the towel on Bridgetown.
We're bordered or split by two flows of water; not prime drinking water, but it is wet and deep and good for trolling and sunbathing. Our rose garden is world class in the spring, our food carts to die for and our basketball team… OURS! We also have a great music scene and awesome live arts including dance, theater, and gallery shows. And with all this, folks still complain there's nothing to do. There is something more to that, something deep and hidden, but not for now. Don't have the time or space to delve into the cultural-racial-economic undertones through the city. Check next week for more on that. Like I was saying, we've got a plethora of options for the tourist and the resident alike.
But I hear more than a few cats mention that they want to get out as soon as they can. And I have to admit there does seem to be an abundance of ex-Portlanders in the Atlanta area, but I digress. Oh, and let us not forget the rain has been the culprit for many a relocation. If I told you those drizzles were only temporary, you would punch me after two years. So I say you just have to deal with it. I actually appreciate it. Somehow though, it feels like we need something. For the record: anyone who simply has found another place more desirable and/ or fitting to live, or for business purposes -- I respect and commend that. But for those that live the 503, not just live in it -- we need a shot to the heart!
With all of the jewels of the City of Roses- -- like Saturday Market, and MAX, and MAX trains on Saturday Nights, and iMax and probably a few thousand males named Max -- how can you not love this weird place? And we have to act on that love! Absent of all Max references, we've got to start calling out the good things about our city! For ALL PEOPLE! Portland is a hodgepodge of people, although true diversity is still a challenge, it's one we're facing. From the folks I know, most of them complain about Portland and yet love her just the same. Some of the others really truly love Portlandia (the show and/ or the area) and reside here on purpose. I even know a guy who moved here, couldn't get into his line of work so he went back to where he was from and when he could he came back to look for work again. Only to finally land a gig that worked to be able to call him or herself a web-footed Portlander. And then I've got those that flop in between "I hate it and I am going to leave" (but only go visit relatives in the Central time zone for 3 months or less) or "I hate it and just hate it". I'm saying there are people who complain about life here because that is the popular thing to do, and then for others it's just not a good fit. Either way DO YOU! Don't get caught up in the next man's story of glory and riches in another time zone. There is a reason why he is telling you those stories in THIS time zone!
Those of use that love Portland, and those of us that like Portland, and those of us that "tolerate well in public" Portland need to start pumping positive blood back into OUR CITY! Not tiger blood like Charlie Sheen, unless it's proven and tested by the FDA to work for cities of our size, demographic and socioeconomic status, whatever it is it had got to be good! Just like media-geeks, we've got to target our message, shape our brand and create our image. We're far from a small town, although we still enjoy many small town amenities, like manageable traffic, and clean air and water (Oh, I love the water here!!!). In a concerted effort, we need to start commanding what people think, and invariably say about Portland. If we don't who will? Better yet, where will they get their information? When you think about it, bad information plays a critical part. If you've not lived here for a considerable amount of time, or you haven't gone out and found those little hidden treasures my city has to offer, or if you stumbled upon a landmark and just didn't get the experience you were expecting, anyone of those scenarios and I can see why someone might not love P.O. Like I said, three swings and I can show you some things this city has to offer…
When I first got here, I don't remember anyone being all too excited about being here. Yet this seemed like a pretty alright destination for a little brother out of Cali by way of Seattle. And no, I didn't like it at all when we first moved here. But I had no information. Now that I can honestly say that I know Portland, I love Portland! And I want more people to know that, and know why. One way or another, I'm going to make sure people know that my city is a great city, full of great people, places and things. And any day now we're all going to wake up and realize that, and scream it from the mountain top. Not saying Portland is the very best city. It has some to-be-desireds, and some growing to do, and I'm not even saying it is my very favorite city. It is not the city I was born in, and is barely the city I can say I was raised in, but it is my home, and will be! And more of us that feel that way ought to stand up and say it! Come on, we can do it! It's up to us to breathe new blood into the heart! For the record, Atlanta, California, Nevada, Chicago and DC/ DMV. It's All Love!