This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 10, 2004 1:57 AM. The previous post in this blog was A streetcar named Liability. The next post in this blog is The tax you have proposed is no longer in service. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, December 10, 2004

Try the chowdah

One of the nice things I get to do in my job is occasionally show folks from out of town around Portland. Introducing this place to a newcomer can really reopen one's eyes to how special it is. Yesterday I took a guest on a walking tour through part of downtown, and then a ride through a few of our close-in neighborhoods.

My guest's reaction to downtown was one that I hadn't heard before, in more than 20 years of such tours: "This reminds me of Boston." I proceeded to tell him the story of the famous coin flip which decided the city's name. I resisted the temptation to observe that the taxpayers here do get scrod on a regular basis....

Comments (5)

Great comments. I too have that experience having been a Portlander all my life. These days, it doesn't take a visit from an out-of-towner. I went to lunch with 14 coworkers who work for a local prominent company and only 2 of us were originally from Oregon. We were @ Hubers and the questions began about the old photographs on the wall. I proceeded to give a rousing history lesson on old town, the shanghai tunnells, the coin toss, horses drinking out of skidmore fountain, the flooding of the willamette, etc. None of them knew any of these wonderful stories of our city. Yes, they knw that Manahattan was purchased for something like 5 bags of beans, but didn't know that Portland was almost named Boston. What is the Oregon Historical Society doing?
NoPo - no shootings or stabbings in a few weeks.

Why blame the OHS? How hard would it be for these people to go buy just one of the many and various fine books on Portland history?

just reread my post. didn't mean to dog OHS, I was attempting to point out that my colleagus know more about other cities and not thier adopted one. you are indeed correct - maybe they should learn to read. alas, these are the same people who play tetris on thier camera phones @ team lunches. ack, sorry for the bandwidth jack.

Uh, maybe Portland history just isn't that interesting. I've lived here my whole life and heard all the stories, but I'm not out trying to pick up chicks, with lines like, "Did you know Portland was almost named Boston."

I don't think people really care.

All this time, I had no idea the point of history was to pick up chicks.

So, Justin, how's the "Did you know Manhattan was bought for five bags of beans?" working as a pickup line?

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