Comment: I lived in Portland for just less than a decade and it has taken me the last five years of being away to really appreciate just how beautiful the city and its surrounds are.
Just an hour ago I was drove past this sign above and it made my heart feel light. There are still a lot of things wrong with Portland. The worse being its too white composition but that is changing.
In the five years since my departure more folks of color have come to the Portland area and it feels a lot less racially suffocating than it did in the past; but it has a long way to go.
I can't deal with the rain in the Pacific Northwest but if you looking for a gentle and clean and weird place to live then Portland may just be the place for you.
If you are like Desert Demons and think the smog and broken run down everything of Joburg bespeaks its contrived vibrancy then Portland is not likely a spot you will like too much.
But if you like riding a bicycle and taking efficient public transport in a city with spectacular views of Mount Hood then at the very least visit during the beautiful summer weeks.
I won't be coming back to stay but it feels good to be able to separate the crap academic job I had here from the city that is so much more.
So, keeping Portland weird is a good thing and I appreciate that value so much more now.
Geez I am getting old ... ;0)
Ps. I met with one of Portland's most interesting and thoughtful bloggers for coffee a couple days ago. If you read here often you know I am a fan of Dade's blog: Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing.