Thursday, April 27, 2006

Vesuvio is right.

Portland, Oregon is a big city with a little town feeling. The metro area is well over a million people (though very few seem to be natives), however it seems like each subculture within the city is very tight knit. All the indie rockers know each other. All of the heshers know each other. All of the Wall Street wanna-be's know each other. Or at least it sure seems that way.

Portland has a long list of great things to offer, including Powell’s Bookstore, Washington & Forest Parks, countless micro-breweries, a beautiful waterfront, no sales tax, and an ever growing downtown.

On the flipside… Portland is filled with earthy, veggie, atheist, fleece-wearing, left-winged extremist that would make most card carrying democrats barf. There is not as much rain as people are lead to believe, just countless days of mist and drizzle that would make anyone depressed (listen to an early Elliott Smith record). Downtown is filled with so many aggressive panhandlers and restless smelly youth from the 'burbs (Gresham) that it makes you not want to walk around by yourself at night. Property taxes are sky high (due to no sales tax). The school system is in shambles... you'll notice this when you walk around during the early afternoons and notice a ton of school aged kids not in class.

"We are itching to get away from Portland, Oregon" are the words painted across the front of Vesuvio, the Beat Cafe & Bar in San Francisco. And how right they are.