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Monday, January 4, 2010

Cancel those loft projects

It appears the creative class is packing it up and heading back to L.A.

Though she has cried, Anderson says, about leaving the state where she has lived for 30 years, she's also a bit tired of being identified with "Keep Portland Weird."

"That was never something we intentionally meant to do," she says. And anyway, she adds, the "Keep Portland Weird" slogan is borrowed from Austin, Texas, which originated the mantra.

Baldwin, who has lived here for 10 years, sometimes gets a bit cranky about Portland and "all these young creatives sitting in coffeehouses and trying to look like James Dean, or whoever the latest guy is."

A reader of ours observes:

And it would seem, by this article, that it is true that the whole "weird" thing and creative thing is all artificial here. A bunch of midwestern nerds move to Portland and think it's the best place on earth, because everything is so creative. It really isn't. It's all fake, as they are bringing their own white bread selves together in this new land. People try too hard to make Portland something different, when really it isn't.

Comments (20)

I guess Mom and Dad got tired of subsidizing the hipster, er, I mean, creative class lifestyle and told their little Schnookums "Sorry, but you've had five years to 'make the big time'."

It looks like economic and social Darwinism is truly at work here in Portland. A severe economic downturn always has resulted in the expatriation of the ethnic and gender studies crowd. I hope they leave in droves so we can take our city back.

Baldwin, who has lived here for 10 years, sometimes gets a bit cranky about Portland and "all these young creatives sitting in coffeehouses and trying to look like James Dean, or whoever the latest guy is."

Said the guy wearing a velvet blazer with a portrait of Elvis on the back.

There's nothing quite like watching pop eat itself. I mean, a guy who runs a shop selling velvet paintings is unhappy with hipsters who act superficial and consume kitsch? Excellent.

My proposal for a new city bumper sticker:

Keep Portland Ironic.

I want to go back to our old motto "Please go away now."

Portland was interesting when it was less self-aware. Doing weird stuff for the hell of it can be interesting. Doing weird stuff in order to be noticed and included in a self-conscious group of "creatives" is not interesting.

I think the velvet painting museum largely qualified as the former, but who knows.

It's very tough to go back. It happened in Seattle in the early 90's. It's happening here.

Glad I missed it, hope they take their bikes with them!

Born and raised here. Never liked the "Keep Portland Weird" image, because most of Portland never was until outsiders made it that way. I could have gone with "Keep Portland Wet"......that always made more sense to me.

As happenstance I was downtown yesterday for the first time in a while. Had to plug the meter in front of the US Outdoor store on a Sunday. A meter that spent several minutes to decide if my method of payment was acceptable. Following that, I had to navigate my way back across the downtown area with bike lanes now in the center of the roadway. Oh, what has my become of the city I loved.

Yeah, because the "latest guy" is James Dean.

I don't think anyone claims that "the creative class" is a bunch of 56 year old SoCal transplants who run quirky velvet museums. Sounds like these folks miss Southern California, and want to go back. Good for them. I was just there, and definitely do not.

If slogans are being borrowed, how about this:

Will the last person leaving Portland turn out the lights?

Seems a hell of a lot more appropriate.

Portland weird? You be the judge. Here is my touchstone to the Portland I remember. Does it still exist? http://www.24hourchurchofelvis.com/coinopdemo.html

I've taken to describing downtown Portland as eye candy. It is built on the mound of public related debt sponsored by the socalled public private ventures, which is yet to make more than interest payments. Admittedly, the Portland downtown skyline is enchanting. The only problem is it is like buying the high end house you always dreamed of, but knowing all the while you run the real risk of bankruptcy or foreclosure. Most Portlanders don't understand the latter, however, and so they continue to have a naive happiness and re-elect the fiscally imprudent current cityhall types.

genop - yes, the 24 Hour Church Of Elvis still exists! It's now located on NE Couch between 4th and 5th, in a window on the north side of the Goldsmith Building. That's conveniently just one block from another Portland oddity, Ground Kontrol, the retro arcade and bar.

"Admittedly, the Portland downtown skyline is enchanting."

Puh-leeze, it looks like Houston except we have a nic river top park it in front of.

Keep Portland Broke

The difference between the "Keep Austin Weird" and "Keep Portland Weird" bumper stickers is they were given away free in Austin but are sold in Portland. Nothing weird about selling weird.

We love this city but it seems we're going to be forced to leave as well. My wife was laid off at Nike after 13 years and in the past 7 months has only found 2 jobs to apply for in the greater Portland area. She's has several interviews out of state and it appears that that's where the jobs are. We love the state and the city (despite it's issues - there's issues everywhere) and would truly love to stay but it isn't happening here.

Upon rereading the saga of the Velveteria, I noticed two things. Firstly, just as rain is wet, the place is only going to be missed only after it shuts down. It's not anything malevolent: it's just that it's hard to remember that a particular venue is open and available unless you're reminded of it. Besides, when it's damn near impossible to get most people to visit Portland's taxpayer-funded museums more than once a year, what's the incentive to keep coming into a velvet painting museum?

The other is something that I keep running into with people who get a little bit of media exposure. Simply, appearing in the newspaper or on television doesn't translate to actual business, and I wish more people would understand this. Oh, it's great that Jay Leno covered the Velveteria, but how long ago was that, and did most of Jay's viewers remember to put on underwear and then pants before going to work the next day, much less remember to buy a plane ticket to visit the museum? And even if it brought in a touch of local response, I'm reminded of Gibby Haynes's response to when the Butthole Surfers song "Pepper" became a top ten hit, and all of his friends refused to believe that people weren't bringing in wheelbarrows full of $100 bills and dumping them in his living room.

RE #2 Posted by John Benton

I guess the bigots get to stay though. That's a shame.

Keep Portland Mediocre

Wow. Imagine the love if they were here illegally!

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