In recent months there has been an influx of "cool" here that really twists my balls around. Thanks to Fred Armisen dropping his 50% assed Obama impersonation in order to do a show about Portland and how ironic it is, we've had a large contingent of douche bags that think something is actually going on here. Well, they're sadly mistaken and here's why:
1st.: Portland is in Oregon.
I know what you're saying "But Bill, oh manly, sexy and witty Bill. Oregon is beautiful and has a vibrant and living history that has roots in the very discovery of the west!". Well yeah, that's true. Oregon has some of the most beautiful geography in the world, from the craggy and windswept coast, to the high desert of Eastern Oregon, the state is something to behold.
Well yeah, natural beauty is great and all and you can get plenty of it by driving just a short distance from Portland. Most often times an hours drive in any direction will get you to a place of natural splendor.
An hours drive from Portland also gets you closer to this:
That's right hipsters, as most of you found out on your first drive to the coast, Oregon is only "blue" in like three locations. Luckily those locations are the places you'd actually want to live, but if you travel anywhere get ready to explain why your boyfriend is wearing a flannel shirt but has a girl's haircut. The dude pictured above is a real piece of shit teacher from a city here called "Beaverton" (no joke). He told his kids to make art with racist slogans on it to make sure all of the kids in his care would feel "welcome". Check it out. I have no idea what that website is, but it's the only one that has an article on this HUGE dickhead.
That embodies what I'm talking about though. The second you leave the caring sugar-walls of Portland you encounter the zombie horde of Palin supporters and people who think gay is a "choice". You know the type (especially if you're from Everett or Montana)! So there, reason #1 Portland is much less cool than you think.
2.: People here drive like shit.
Ok, so everyone complains about the way people drive in their town, so I know you might not think much of this, but hear me out. People here drive the way I imagine downs syndrome kids do math, slowly and very badly.
For one, the speed limits here are set ridiculously fucking low. When you first cross the river to get here from Washington, get ready to see a lot of these:
That is a speed limit you will see on a 4 lane highway. ON THE FUCKING HIGHWAY! That is a speed most Vespa Scooters could achieve. The rule of the road should be; If a euro-douche could reach the speed on a gerbil powered magic-carpet scooter any American speed limit should be no less than forty miles an hour faster.
Not only are the speed limits set really fucking slow, the drivers go even SLOWER! No joke, I have seen Oregon drivers going 30 on the freeway. More than once... This week!!!!
The vast majority of Oregon drivers do not realize that things are happening outside of the interior of their vehicle. They drive like they are in a fishbowl. The one upside to this is that when you honk at an Oregon driver, they duck like they're being shot at. I witness that effect all the time because I'm constantly honking at the "speed bumps" as I affectionately call the other drivers on the road here.
Here is a final point on the shit nature of Oregon drivers; our bus drivers all learned to drive from watching the Road Warrior flicks. Seriously, I feel like bus drivers down here are either killing someone(s) or getting in trouble for video taping themselves doing something really fucking stupid and posting it on the internet. Tri-met is like a mix of Jackass and a terrible episode of the "Hitch Hiker". This is what I'm talking about!
OOOOOOOH! These assholes get my goat. They get my goat and they fuck it before they get it again and give it a stupid haircut and make fun of how out of touch we are for not wanting to "get" people's goats and fuck them.
When I first moved to Portland around 2000 I kept thinking how rad it was that the entire town was populated with burned out Northwest Punkers from the eighties and chicks that looked like a mix of Wendy O. and a librarian. I told no one. I kept Portland a secret to most as a way of protecting it like a wetland. A wetland of hot girls, good music and cheap beer.
Somehow the word got out.
Suddenly I started seeing a bunch of lily white, skinny guys wearing clothes that I used to get made fun of for wearing in the 80's. I couldn't figure it out, I thought they were a gang. I would literally bump in to one of these fuck-holes at a bar and ask him about another fuck-hole from another bar thinking to myself that they simply had to be related.
They started infiltrating every bar in my then not very "hip" neighborhood. I would go to get a pounder at the bar down the street and I'd have to wade through a huge contingent of "dudes" (I use that term loosely) who were really stoked to hear C+C Music factory on the jukebox. Read this shit, sums these cum-stains up better than I can.
Here's my stance on it; If you are wearing clothes that someone needs to "get" or that your uncle who graduated in 1991 gave you, FUCK YOU. Hipsters are so prevalent here that I often wish that someone would just blow the whole fucking place up. Which leads us to....
4.: It's not fucking safe here!
Portland has tons of crazy VIOLENCE. We have gang shootings all the fucking time. Like at least a few a week. We have a shitload of domestic violence, a shitload of theft (of which I have been a victim on more than one occasion), tons of junkies and some of the highest rates of identity theft in the country.
Now hold on to your asses! Not only do we have the run-of-the-mill shit down here, same as any other town, we have some straight up INSANITY as well. Like the woman who killed the pregnant lady and cut the fetus out of her dead body.
If that shit isn't quite crazy enough for you, there's also the lady who threw her two kids off a bridge. I mean really? This shit is just nutty!
But wait, there's more! Portland has been the subject of a straight up terrorist attack! Like full on! It was totaly botched, but still! No bullshit!
He must have been getting sick of the hipster assholes too.
5.: There are "bike commuters".
Ok, now this is going to get some of you a bit irritated, but hear me out.
I have no issue with people that commute by bike, that is like the Chinese do, riding your bike as a conveyance from point "A" to point "B" (as in Bike, right?) . My proverbial "beef" is with the bike "commuter" sub-culture.
I have nearly killed a thousand of these shart-jockeys on the roads here. Not by almost hitting them with my car but by strangling them with my bare hands for cutting me off at big intersections.
As I mentioned earlier, people here drive like senior citizens fuck, then you add these smug-merchants in to the mix and it's like the world's slowest clusterfuck.
Most of these guys think that they are the cast of Quicksilver, the most stupid movie on Earth.
The vast majority of you know that I am a fairly eco-friendly person. I recycle, I conserve energy, I eat granola sometimes. So I'm not morally opposed to riding a bike, I'm morally opposed to being a dickhead in public.
I don't really have any cool facts about why bike commuters suck so much, I just really hate them! Maybe because I'm a driver and I just generally hate vehicles that are primarily made of meat.
So in summary; If you were planning on moving to Portland, it's great! Just be prepared to take up drinking in order to stop yourself from jumping off the Fremont Bridge.