Friday, June 19, 2009

Welcome to Portland, Oregon...don't stay!

You are on the Humorbloggers Roadtrip today! I’ll navigate you forward or back at the end of your tour today and on Sunday (yes, you get a two part post-set...just like those slicer-dicer things on the info commercial).

Welcome to Portland, Oregon. Can I see proof that you will leave? No, seriously, for years Oregon had advertising and a big push to keep people from moving here. It didn’t work; all the damn Californians moved up here after selling their ridiculously overpriced homes and raising our homes to ridiculously overpriced amounts.

But I gotten ahead of myself, haven't I? I’m actually a Portland native so I’m obviously in the best position to share my city with you. In reality you are lucky because I do know my city whereas most people rarely visit anything in their own city…they tend to overlook things because they live there and they get caught up in their own mundane programming. Like reality TV...

In Portland, it either rains or is cloudy for practically 8 months of the year. But most of the time it is a light rain or even a mist. The weather people here are nearly always wrong; weather comes in off the Pacific ocean which is a mere 80 miles away and they have no indicators floating around out there in the ocean so it’s pretty much a crap shoot. However, the summer weather here is the best in the country. Low humidity, clear blue skies, 70s to 90s, no smog, and lots of green! This is when people move here. They get horrified by the drizzle later…we locals laugh at them then...

Portland is a mega-outdoor person’s destination.

- We have skiing on Mt. Hood less than two hours away; the only year round skiing in the entire United States. That gives you many opportunities to break bones!

- We have beaches and surfing less than two hours away too. The water is cold. It’s nice to look at because we have beautiful beaches; just bring the ski parka….you’ll need it!

- We have a world class rock climbing location (Smith Rocks) about 3 hours away. Don't go there. I don't need you hogging my damn climbing routes!

- We have world class whitewater destinations within a reasonable drive. Just don't drown; it raises our guide rates because of their liability insurance...

- We have the Columbia river right next to us; it’s one of the largest and longest rivers on the continent and is perfect for wind surfing, sailing, and fishing. If you're not into actually getting into the water you can watch beginner wind surfers get sucked under the barges that go by. Always a guesome and fun afternoon...

- We have hiking right in the city with a 33 mile trail in an undeveloped forest that is accessible within minutes of most people. Feel free to come hike with the homeless and the survivalists.

- We have more bike lanes than Lois Lane...

Portland is pretty liberal and the rest of Oregon other than Eugene and Ashland are pretty conservative. How liberal are we? Well...how many cities can say they've converted a grade school into a brewpub? I'd say that's the test for liberal...

We have only one national sports team to clog up traffic: Portland Trailblazers (basketball). Yes, we’re the ones that chose Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in the NBA draft. Yes, our team once had so many bad boys that we were calling them the Jailblazers. Yes, we recruited a number one draft choice two years ago and he immediately broke a bone and was out the entire season. SO WHAT! It’s the only team we have…

There are a lot of great things about the city. We don’t have to pump our own gas (and we laugh thinking that you do). We don’t have a sales tax here. We don’t have anything important around that would make us a good bombing target. We have a cool plaza downtown where they hold free concerts and other events.

But we do have (or did have) many unusual places. Portland likes unusual places and weirdness. They even have bumper stickers to encourage weirdness.

On Sunday I'll give you a visual tour of just how weird things are around here. Until that time, feel free to navigate the other stops on the tour.
We just got done visiting here (you might have to search back a little bit...time flies when you're a blog and you actually post)
And our next stop after Portland will be here (and don't expect a post right away; that's why they are the NEXT stop. You can't visit it before it is done...sheesh. You're probably one of those people that set your clocks 10 minutes ahead, aren't you?

57 comments:

Deb said...

I'll trade you the summer months with no humidity in Portland, Oregon for our one day of summer (AKA July 4th) here in Portland, Maine. Please? The fog here is making me insane! Your Portland sounds wonderful!

nonamedufus said...

Why do they call it Portland? There's no port. I get the land part and it sounds great. Thanks for the "weird" tour!

Beth said...

Never mind all that beautiful nature stuff – it’s tempting to move there simply because you don’t have to pump your own gas. I hate doing that!

Jacki said...

With all the rain we've been having (over twice our normal amount for this time of year) I feel like I am living in the Portland/Seattle area!

Kurt said...

I lived in Ashland as a boy. I went to plays and drank Lithia water.

Me-Me King said...

Twice, during the 90's, I was on assignment in Portland, I loved it. Thanks for the tour and thanks for the memories!

VE said...

deb - Ah yes, our twin city on the East side. Errr...fog? No thanks. I cherish my Portland summers.

nonamedufus - Actually, there are a ton of ports. We're right next to the Columbia River and the Willamette River comes right through downtown. This means that large freighters can come right up the Columbia River from the Pacific and dump lots of crap we do not need to consume.

beth - And people complain about it here...like they WANT to pump their own. Dumbasses!

jacki - Actually, we get mostly drizzle and clouds. If you look at real rain accumulations; we are much lower than a surprising number of places in the country.

kurt - This explains a lot! ;)

me-me king - Must have been during the summer/fall months then. Well, actually, it's a nice town even when it is cloudy or rainy if you don't have to experience it all year long.

Roy Scribner said...

BridgePort, Pyramid, Full Sail, Hair of the Dog, Portland Brewing, MacTarnahan's, Widmer Brothers - need I say more?

VE said...

roy - Nope...you've said it all! And God help us Portlanders if we have to walk one block without a coffee shop (mostly Starbucks).

Anonymous said...

@nonamedufu - It's not because of any port. Portland is named because one of it's founders was from Portland, ME. The other founder was from Boston & they decided by tossing a coin.

-displaced Californian living in Portland

moooooog35 said...

You forgot that Portland has more strip joints per square mile than any other place in the United States.

I know.

I used to go to Eugene all the time for business trips.

Business trips.

Sometimes I make myself laugh.

subtorp77 said...

8 months out of the year? That's a lotta wet! To heck with the parka, I'll just bring extra towels, wot? Cool tour, as well :)

Gladys said...

I am a very adaptable person. Rain, drizzle and cloudy skies don't bother me. Do I have to have a passport for Portland? Do all the citizens wear those damned gumby shoes, crocs or cracks, whatever the hell they are called? Do they all have dreadlocks and tattoos? I need to know these things before I visit.

Nessa said...

We don't pump our own gas, either. So, nanner, nu, nu.

How do you plan on keeping people away, if you make the place sound so nice?

VE said...

subtorp77 - It's not all rain; mostly a lot of cloudy. Cloudy gets old after awhile.

gladys - I can give you a temporary vistors pass. At the end of it the pass will teleport you back to your original location though.

nessa - You must be in the only other state in the USA that doesn't then. Good for you! Oh, and how do I plan on keeping people away? Tune in to Sunday's post; we have a surprise resident that will surely keep people away.

Elizabeth said...

My husband is a Portland native and his mom and sister still live in the city. The first time I went to visit them I was surprised to see all the lovely gardens and beautiful flowers beds!

Quirkyloon said...

Don't worry VE as long as YOU live there Portland will always be WEIRD.

Ha!

VE said...

elizabeth - I guess we do have the rose garden and are known as the city of roses. I see you've been witholding information from me about your Portland connection, eh? The gnomes will be right over to have a little chat...

VE said...

anon - I'm guessing you are Roy! And even if I am wrong...you are correct!

moooooog35 - That's right! I forgot about that fact. But you shouldn't have to ever go more than a block or two without a strip club or adult shop available...

VE said...

quirkyloon - Ha! Excellent point of view. I will try to ensure my duties of weirdness are done with irreverance and indescretion! I won't let you down...

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

Now I don't have to actually visit!

Baino said...

Noice! I love travelling vicariously. I can't believe there are still places where you don't have to pump your own petrol!

ReformingGeek said...

I love Portland. I've been to Mt. Hood, the Columbia River, and to Smith Rock. I wasn't climbing so you can't yell at me for hogging your route!

I'm looking forward to Sunday!

Gladys said...

So this means after my time is up I will be teleported back under the rock?

nursemyra said...

I want to know more about the weird stuff

gab said...

My dad lived in Portland when he was a young man and now that he's older (90)thats all he seems to talk about. For awhile we talked of moving out there(hubby fell in love with it when he was OTR)I hear you all get rain alot! but I think I won out and we going to FL.

HeyJoe said...

Wait, I'm getting mixed signals. Are you saying you DON'T want me to move to Portland?

My sister and her wife live there; does that give me any sort of dispensation?

VE said...

perpetual - Excellent...one less car on the freeway... ;)

baino - Yeah...there are only two states in the USA that won't let you pump...

reforminggeek - Wow, you really get around. (I always wanted to say that without getting in trouble...)

gladys - Yes...that is how it all works. I hope it was a nice rock...

nursemyra - Ha! Of course you do...and you shall!

gab - When it's nice here, it's really nice. And that is what attracts people.

Jaime said...

portland trailblazers? never heard of them... you sure that's not a high school team?

quilly said...

Portland -- I lived there during Chief Penny's rein, when burglaries, muggings and other petty larceny sky rocketed, but anybody that even drove down Burnside was ticketed for prostitution.

When Portland is beautiful, nothing can top it, and when it's wet, it's WET!

The Incredible Woody said...

I could really get on board for a job out there but I guess there isn't much need for irrigation.

Ronda Laveen said...

I love to watch the Blazers play. They are an exciting team. Who cares whether they can win or not.

Grade schools converted into brewpubs? That's one way to keep the little beggars quiet (passed out).

VE said...

jaime - What are you talking about...they kick high school teams butts! Mostly...

quilly - Yeah, well then you knew not to park your car in NW Portland and expect anything inside it to still be there then...

incredible woody - Yeah...not in Portland there isn't. Go about two hours East and there sure is though. That's how quicky it turns from lush green to desert brown...

ronda - Yeah Blazers...

tony said...

Even In England weve heard about Weird Portland! But,Hey,Some Great Bands!

yellojkt said...

I love those waterfalls. We did some cool hiking around there a few years back.

And Portland is home to Powell's Books, one of the greatest bookstores in the world.

VE said...

tony - That's true, my friend...there are some good bands here in Portland. I've heard of a few good bands coming out of England too! ;)

yellojkt - Powells is amazing and I'm glad it's still doing great. It's like going to land of the books or something; I half to spend half a day there at least.

Uncivil said...

I must say, "I'm Impwessed"!
Gotta question for ya?
What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu?

Janna said...

No sales tax? Really?
(**starts packing and buying plane ticket**)

Note to self: After moving to Portland, don't tell VE.

Maureen said...

So you are a Portlander, eh? Beautiful place... but I won't tell anyone.

Although it looks like it's too late anyway; after this post, the influx of new citizens will be all your fault.

I hope you're pleased with yourself.

lime said...

i tried to comment yesterday and blogger was not working :( anyway, one of the things i said was that your state nickname shoudl be the "garnish state" because when i passed through oregon i saw fields and fields or parsley and mint

unfinishedrambler said...

Don't worry. After your description of it, I won't be moving there any time soon. ;) Actually, I would if I could, but I live on the other side of the country and right now it's not in the cards money-wise, but it looks like a beautiful part of the country to be in. I really had no idea of all the attractions within Portland. I just thought it was the home of the Trailbazers until your informative post.

VE said...

uncivil - One you can flip with a single finger, one you cannot...

maureen - Dang. I thought for sure the Tanya Harding pics would scare people off...

lime - Funny thing about the mint. They discovered growing it here in the 80s and it grew so well they overran the market. Much of them had to switch back to other things. Boy did it smell strong come harvesting time!

VE said...

unfinishedrambler - Actually I was surprised how many of my readers had been or had relatives that had been to Portland.

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

no humidity, no sales tax, and you don't have to pump your own gas? Damn, sign me up! We in Chicago have the highest sales tax in the country, we have to pump our own gas, and today was so humid I was drenched in sweat within 15 minutes. Our mayor is about to start slamming visitors with a "sweat lodge tax"....

Janna said...

Me: Finally! My evil invisibility plans are all ready!

Evil Henchman: Really? Are you sure?

Me: Yes! I am invisible and I can prove it! See? VE skipped me when answering comments, therefore my invisibility field worked perfectly! Now I can conquer the world! There's just one thing I have to do first...

Evil Henchman: What's that?

Me: Move to Portland. I hear it's really nice there.
.

Mrsupole said...

VE,

When anyone reads your description of Portland, it has to make them want to move there. I just remember rain and more rain, from the times I have been there. But it has been quite a few years.

My father and step-mom used to live in Klamath Falls, which is way south of you. Heck I live way south of you. I even did not realize that I was closer to the ocean than you by 20 miles.

We wish we had some of that dang rain you have there, but no such luck, with the drought and all. I guess the rain gods keep thinking all those rain dances we do down here are for you up there. When are they ever going to bother to look at a map and at least share some of the rain with us down here.

God bless.

PS...You really do live in a beautiful city and area.

Frank Lee MeiDere said...

I think I want to live there. It sounds kind of like it's got the best of the late '60s, early '70s captured in one place.

Dee said...

Great post Ve....no worries tho, I'm not moving to Portland....EVER! :)

VE said...

arizona - But you have deep dish pizza...

janna - Ha! You're right...how did I miss you last time? Damn...you've probably set up residence by now. Nooooo! There goes the freeways...more back up. There goes the comedy spotlight for me. Oh...wait...I never had it anyway. By-the-way, the gnomes know the evil henchman; they get him deals on his black robes...

mrsupole - I lived in Klamath Falls for a couple of years when I was a little kid. I also had a girlfriend that lived there.

frank - There's still some of that spirit here.

dee - Good for you! We'll send you updates should anything happen around here...

Anne said...

thanks for the heads-up.

i'll rethink that trip

VE said...

anne - You can visit...just don't stay! ;)

Carla said...

I guess it's been a little too long since I last visited. Lots of rediscovering to do.

VE said...

carla - You have been gone awhile. Traveling again?

Floridian said...

I am leaving for Portland on Saturday and have
never been before. I live in Florida and the weather
as you know is very warm here. Do you all wear the same things that we do in the summer, or do you have to forget the flops and short sleeve shirts? When the ladies wear dresses there, do they wear hose with them? Here in Florida...it's a no no. If I dress like a Floridan will I stand out like a sore thumb? Please help me out, I am almost out of days and need to get packing. We are doing the brunch cruise in Portland down close to the Benson....what do people wear there? I really don't want to be too over-dressed and not to under-dressed! Thanks!

VE said...

Foridian - I was just in Florida in April. I know what you speak of. It's summer here in Portland. That means dry heat, not humid. That means you have the potential of cloudy days that burn off in the afternoon. It'll get down to the low 60s in the evening; you might need a sweater or light jacket if you're prone to cold. As to fashion; think columbia sportswear type clothing. Most people are wearing shorts and casual clothing. You definitely don't need hose! For your feet, just sandals or flip flops. I wear Nike sandals all summer long. I wear a simple T-shirt and a pair of shorts; earthy tones usually. If you're going to go out; it's not nearly as formal as you'd find walking around Miami Beach, but you can get a little fancy in what clubs we have. Be in for a shock in that for the most part; the city shuts down early in the evenings when compared to the bigger cities like Miami. For the brunch cruise, it'll be shorts and blouses; perhaps a summer dress and definitely sandals or flip flops. Things you should see: The Rose Garden in Washington park if you like beautiful gardens like that. The Pittock Mansion if you're into neat old mansions. Powell's book store if you like books; it's the largest west of the Mississippi. Be sure to have a Spanish Coffee down a Hubers. It's right downtown and the oldest restaurant in Portland. The waterfront is lovely to walk along in the evenings; it's safe. Northwest 23rd and 21st street are great for curio shopping and eating. So is the Pearl district right by Powell's books. If you're hear on Sat or Sun try the Saturday Market down by the waterfront; neat eclectic place. If you want to see spectacular nature then find a way to get to Multnomah Falls about 30 miles outside of town up the Columbia River; it's crowded but spectacular. That should cover it...

Floridian said...

We really appreciate the suggestions on places to go and do. We are doing the white water rafting on the White Salmon River, so I don't know if you have any comments about that! I am kind of nervous about the level IV part!! Thanks so much for your help!

VE said...

The white salmon river is a lot of fun. It's not a huge river like some of them here. The class IV isn't bad. There's one waterfall section but you can get out and walk around if you wish. That's about 50 miles outside of Portland. Hood River is a great place to explore too. Wind Surfing capitol of the world. Take a lesson if you have time. There are hot springs in Wash., there are vineyards, there are lots of things to see around there. I'd recommend the old highway in the Columbia Gorge too. Lots of waterfall right off the road or a short hike in. It's between the White Salmon area and Portland on the Oregon side.