Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why I Chose Stumptown

Since I moved from New York City to Portland Oregon four months ago, the top question I've been asked is "Why?"

Willamette Week, the top local indie paper, just released its annual Best of Portland poll. These answers sum up why I now call Stumptown home:

Best Reason to Love Portland

A strong plurality of you folks said the friendly, caring, weird and otherwise great people who live here are the best reason to love this city. You know what? We agree.

Runners-up: The Portland Timbers, craft beer, the food, the bike culture, the weather.

Some other notable suggestions:

“All the beautiful gardens people have in their front yards and parking strips.”

“Big-city resources, small-city community.”

“Bull Run water—fresh and natural.”

“Cafes, bikes, vintage stores, people and Forest Park (and days that take advantage of it all).”

“Casual attitude in a beautiful landscape.”

“Girls in miniskirts on bicycles!”

“Great gardening! Neighbors have chickens!”

“Hot, curvy tattooed chicks as far as you can see.”

“Is this even a question? Liberals, gays, green, and good music!”

“The best Argentine tango community in the U.S.”

“Its like Amsterdam but cleaner and with better bud.”

“It’s my hometown, motherfuckers! And bikes.”

“It’s the best parts of every Urban Utopia you’ve ever heard hyped, mashed together and slightly drunk.”

“Least-scary city ever—how times have changed.”

“No sales tax!”

“Rectangle glasses.”

“So many great restaurants, even though everyone would rather eat at food carts.”


I worry about the permanent record as it shifts from paper. China already does a number on a billion+ people with The Great Firewall. What happens if (alterable, revisionable) digital texts leave comparatively permanent paper behind? Ray Bradbury's firemen wouldn't need flamethrowers, just a figurative delete key.