CHANGE IS HARD
RE: "Welcome to Portland!" [Feature, Sept 16], the Mercury's guide to Portland for newcomers, including how to make friends, avoid the overrated, get around town, (not) apologize for moving here, and adjust to the weather.
Thank you so much for this. I've felt the tension as a newcomer. But I'm really hopeful and starry-eyed about starting a new chapter in my life and bringing out the best parts of myself in this awesome city. Don't let me get cynical!
posted by Rosario Viggiano
My boyfriend and I moved here from Chicago two months ago—we are hardworking professionals, are involved in improving our community, shop local, recycle our asses off, and volunteer. We appreciate what this city has to offer and would love to feel more [welcomed]. We all have to end up somewhere.
posted by vsilva1
The "don't honk" thing doesn't mean you shouldn't honk if you see a driver do something dangerous—please honk then. Just DON'T honk if you're in traffic and think the people ahead of you could be moving or turning a little faster. (Especially if you can't see the reason they're moving slowly—pedestrians, other vehicles, bikes, a crow in the middle of the street, or the goddamn freight train could be blocking them.) (You don't want to piss off the crows.)
posted by E Bex
Well shucks, I'm just a poor heathen boy from Indiana, and my goodness gracious me, thanks so much first of all for having the Herculean generosity to admit me to your fine city, and secondly for pointing out the eggshells I need to step around in order to avoid being stoned to death in the street! Or you could grow up. Or you could eat some humble pie. Or, this is America, and we move where we please.
posted by oopsbleh
I remember back in 2000 when the Mercury rolled into town from Seattle and all us old-timers, like me who got here in the 1970s, said, "Bah humbug, bring back The Oregon Journal and The Rocket!" (Also from Seattle.)
posted by Grandpa Jack Bogdanski
This is about CLASS, not some card-carrying brunch eaters getting upset over nothing or whatever rest of the nonsense you wrote, which is also written for the classes who have the privilege to be thinking of brunch at the moment and not where they are going to live with their families or where they are going to work to feed their family. Portland was a working-class city, now it's not.
posted by threecardmonty
If you are blaming an only-sometimes-decent TV show on a boutique network like IFC for thousands and thousands of people moving to Portland, you are delusional.
posted by JTR
I can't think of much that I'm less likely to do than apologize to strangers for moving. Oh, your city has changed over the course of a decade? Congratulations, you live in the real world where things change.
posted by Dogen
If we didn't have cool people moving here from Cali and New York, I would not still be living here.
posted by lazaar
As a kid I remember when we were just a rest stop for people traveling I-5. Since '98-'99, a steady influx of young people from EVERYWHERE have been arriving in droves, attracted primarily by rents so affordable that you could work part time and still pay the bills. Seeing as how most of you think your inherent coolness and useless master's degrees place you above living on the Eastside, I look forward to your mass exodus to Idaho.
posted by Um, ICE?!
I just wanted to say that as a Northwest boomerang-er (grew up in the Northwest, moved to California for the work, moved back when California ass-rammed me with rent too hard), I've stopped apologizing to Portlanders who hate on transplants. At first I was kind of apologetic. But then you find out that those same outraged people who claim Portland as their own are in fact transplants. And then you meet true Portland natives, born and raised, who are glad their hometown is growing and changing. Anyone who expects a city not to change should probably not live in a city.
Posted by dentheadd
New blood in the city has, by and large, been a good thing. The problem is that we've reached a critical point in the infrastructure capacity of this city, and that is creating problems: unaffordable rents, traffic problems, and the like. I hope that it remains a wonderful and vibrant place, although I'm frankly heartbroken that my hometown is irreversibly changed, and I feel it is to its detriment. It's really impossible to try and explain the loss to newcomers, and I struggle every day not to be bitter about it.
posted by seant1972
DEAR MERCURY—RE: Ann Romano's burning desire to see Channing Tatum in the kale chips section at her local New Seasons: Gentrification has already resulted in swelling amounts of male muscle in this city. Neighborhoods once full of skinny, bearded white dudes are now full of clean-shaven fit white dudes with biceps and pecs that catch the eye, if you're into that sort of thing. Believe me, as a guy who pays close attention to men's bodies on the street, the male landscape in the Rose City has changed.
DEAR MS. [BRI] PRUETT, MR. [ALEX] FALCONE—I take exception to your snarky and condescending attitude toward the Portland Saturday Market (PSM), and most especially toward the many talented, hard-working artisans who sell their wares under its auspices. Despite your cruel portrayal, there are high-quality crafts in woodworking, jewelry, glass, painting, pottery, and photography. Why show such gross disrespect for these vendors, who give up their weekends nine months out of the year, in the hopes of being able to share their craft with locals and tourists? Some years back, I wouldn't have been in a position to defend PSM and their vendors. But four years ago, I met the love of my life, now husband, a classically trained glassblower with a BFA from the California College of the Arts, who studied in Italy and England, and whose work has been featured in art shows and galleries around the country. He started showing his work at PSM back in the '90s, and when parenthood made hitting the road too taxing, it became his primary outlet for his work. I know that he and his fellow craftspeople work long hard days, tolerating inclement weather; droves of homeless persons smoking, using drugs, and littering; and frequent travel detours during runs and other city events so they can make their living. I have gained respect for their dedication and creativity and have appreciation for their persistence in the face of obstacles, not the least of which comes when they receive unkind and unfair criticism from local press. We should consider ourselves lucky to have such ready access to so many handcrafted works in the heart of our city most weekends of the year.
ERIK [HENRIKSEN]—Your piece about the gloomy, depressing months was AWESOME! I read that after enjoying a beautiful sunny 75-degree September day outside. It crashed my mood immediately thinking of what lies ahead... very effective. And it's worse where I live, out at the west end of the Gorge. Some days in winter, it'll sit at 35 degrees in the fog and rain all day... geez. I have to tell myself to put down the broken pieces of the thermometer; don't hold them too close to my wrists. And how did you know??? How did you know that deep down inside I pray endlessly for a debilitating flood, ice storm, or windstorm? Does it show in my eyes? Very perceptive. I may do a reading of part of your piece during the OMSI Winter Weather Meeting we have each year. Of course I'll give you all the dark and gloomy credit you deserve.
Mark Nelsen, Chief Meteorologist, KPTV
OH... WOW! Give us a moment to wipe the stars out of our eyes long enough to humbly extend this week's Mercury letter of the week to Mark! We are so very pleased. Mark, please accept two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, the perfect escape for those drabbest of days.