Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fawning Over Portland From Afar

For all you Portland-haters, or at least those who seem to have made it their life's mission to discuss what's so hopelessly wrong with the city (cough-Bog-cough}, here's an outsider's view from Texas--specifically Houston, Texas, a place that seems to come up a lot when defenders of the Rose City want to explain what you get when you don't do things like Portland does.

The title of the post is 10 Reasons Why I am Moving to Portland, Oregon, and I think it's an illuminating view from someone with what one imagines is a fairly objective standpoint. The line that will shock people the most, probably, is this one: "In fact, it would be a lot easier to do business in Portland then it would be to try to do business in Houston." Hah! Don't let Dave Lister hear you say that, dude! Here are some other pearls from those who perhaps covet The Pearl:
Public Transit is much better - In Portland, the public transit service (dubbed Tri Met) is actually better than the Metro system that Houston has or Calgary Transit. It may take a bit of getting used to (based on what I saw when I got off the Amtrak) but Calgary Transit took a lot of getting used to as well. And once I got used to it, I was able to use it more and more effectively. Plus, it runs to Beaverton and Gresham as well. This is really a good thing because it would allow me to get in touch with a lot more people and do a lot more work for other businesses. Also, Portland has it’s own airport, Amtrak station and Greyhound station. This give it a much stronger transportation infrastructure.

Lots of cool people - The people who run Panic, Janrain, Swift Communications and a lot of other cool little businesses all have shop in Portland. There is also this really cool Internet cafe that I found when I was in Portland and even the personnel at the Bank of America branch in Portland were nicer. In fact, there were these people who were hanging out and smoking around the Greyhound station and I found that they were some of the most helpful people in Portland. Really nice place. [!!!!--ed]

Not everything is a chain - One thing I’ve noticed about Portland’s downtown area, it doesn’t have a lot of chain restaurants. Maybe the city is like that too. Of course, that’s probably not the case, but hey - one can dream. Plus, chain restaurants are not all bad. I really LOVE Taco Bell and I was very happy when I found one in Calgary. Of course, it only stayed open until 3pm and it was in the Transcanada Tower.

Oregon isn’t homophobic - Okay, this doesn’t affect me directly, but it just feels wrong when the Government tries to tell you who you can or can’t love. Or how about when they tell you who you can or can’t marry? There are still sodomy laws around but fortunately, they are dying down. And I believe this is a step in the right direction, because there are so many gay couples that are perfect for each other. And to deny them the right to marriage is just wrong.

Amen, brother. Welcome to Portland, call us when you get in. :)