I work at Powell's City of Books and spend a lot of time traversing the adjacent blocks, and I get hit up for cash INCESSANTLY. Just today while waiting for my lunch at the food carts on SW 10th, I was asked for money three times by three different people in the span of five minutes. It was astounding for lack of a better word. I've definitely noticed an uptick in panhandling in general, but there are days when it feels like every third person on the sidewalk wants something from me. In my estimation, the problem is out of control. If it weren't for my job, I would seldom if ever go downtown. Don't get me wrong; I have empathy for people on the street, but it's easy to feel overwhelmed to the point of indifference. I'm not sure what the solution is, but nonetheless it's good to see a conversation happening around this issue.
I just wanted to give a shout out to Peet's, where the staff is always friendly and efficient, and the iced coffee is smooth, never bitter. It's my go-to coffee shop when I'm at work, where I literally have at least six different coffee options within a two block radius (including Starbucks and Stumptown).
Natasha is hilarious! But why isn't she listed on the Bridgetown performers page?
I think this was directed at canvassers in general, not just the voter registration folks. I work a block away from Whole Foods in the Pearl and am accosted on a daily basis by upwards of 4-8 different people with clipboards. Mind you, this takes place in the span of one city block, where there is literally one canvasser per street corner at the same goddamn intersection(s). They cast this unavoidable net and proceed to act like assholes in their lame attempts to engage passersby. If wearing headphones and walking purposefully actually deterred these people, their presence wouldn't bother me. However, many of them forego basic politeness for aggressive and obnoxious displays of assholery. Just last week as I was leaving work and walking to my bike I was immediately approached by a young man who was waving his clipboard around like an idiot. Despite my best efforts to deter him, he got all up in my face acting like we were best friends. I ignored his shenanigans, to which his coworker responded by yelling "I got your back, bro" from across the street. Then the second guy proceeded to work his magic on me with this gem: "Hey ma'am, you dropped your smile!" as walked away. I wish this were an isolated incident, but similar situations happen nearly every day. On the flip side, I appreciate the incentive to take the long route and walk out of my way to get from point A to point B. I could use the exercise.
Move to Austin. You just answered your own question by stating it has better weather, more job opportunities and is closer to your family. Seems like those are better reasons to relocate than hippy chicks and people who are debatably nicer.
I always wear a helmet, but one time I absentmindedly left the house without it to run a quick errand. As I was tooling through the placid Irvington neighborhood the driver of a car yelled "Get a helmet!" at me so loudly and vehemently that I nearly lost control of my bike. Something tells me Ms. Smug Driver Lady might have liked that. It's one thing to be chided by another cyclist for riding without a helmet, but being yelled at by someone in a moving car is inexcusable and presumptuous. If I ever see that woman again I'm throwing my helmet in her face.
Great post, Ian! You're a talented writer on top of being a hilarious human man. Looking forward to the next Portland performance!
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