LAST WEEK the Willamette Week published a testimonial from one of its contributors. This particular writer was upset that people had mocked one of those LIFESTYLE CENTRIC PARK YOUR BIKE HERE AND KAYAK TO WORK ON A WAVE OF MICROBREW apartments that are springing up in the haunted graveyards of Portland's recent, beloved past. It turns out this Willamette Week contributor lives in one of these "hipster" mausoleums. And it turns out he's kind of a SPAAAAAAZZZZZZ. (These days WW comes off like a politician trying to appeal to a younger demographic by being "hip" and "cool" and "my wife and I just love the Novemberists." Just go be an important newspaper, dummies, your fanny pack will never not look like a fanny pack.)
I don't live in Portland anymore, and even if I did, I've never had anything against people moving to this city. Portland is/was (we need some word between "is" and "was" to describe what's happening here) a wonderful place to live. It's no surprise that people want to leave Chicago and Ohio and whatever the fuck Kent, Washington, is and come here to be a part of a city that is having its moment bathed in the validating glow of worldwide cultural relevancy. It's fun to be the goose at the front of the flying-V, right? You can complain about people moving to your city and diluting its magic, but you mostly complain about it the way you complain about getting older. It's a lamentation. It's a bummer that things aren't the way they used to be, but you can't really change it, and there's a new generation of people drinking at your bar now (or drinking in a whiskey club where your old bar used to be). Sincerely, if you're new here, welcome to town. It is/was great.
What's annoying about people like our intrepid Willamette Week contributor is what he thinks it means to be a Portlander. This dipshit, and people like this dipshit, think that all one needs to do to fit into Portland is to learn all the words to the city's latest, greatest hits. These people have one album spinning in their rotation, and it's NOW That's What I Call Portland! Vol. 503.
Being a Portlander isn't about drinking the right beer or the right coffee, it isn't about wearing a Timbers scarf or going to all the right farm-to-table restaurants. It's not simply rocking those new PDX Airport Lillards. Every time one of you dorks says, "Stumptown," we can hear your accent, and that's fine, you're new here—but don't fucking spit venom when we notice you trampled our rose garden.
Portland isn't Disneyland. Portland might be a fun chapter for you, it might be an adventure, but it's also a real city. You can always go back to your parents' house in Chicago or Ohio or fucking Phoenix if things don't work out—but for some people, Portland is all they got. Some people can't go back to their mom's house if things don't work out, because there's a condo there and some of us don't give a fuck if the maintenance guys are nice.