has written 2 SperlingViews. Currently, Tom is living in Portland, OR and has a little something to say:
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The worst city in the US Posted On: 4/6/2007 7:09:52 PM
I wrote my first post about Portland in October 2006, after living here for 2 months. I thought, "I'll give it some time and maybe things will get better". Well, I couldn't be more wrong and they've only gotten worse. The sooner we can secure jobs somewhere else, we're moving our family back to a more normal part of the country (anywhere OTHER than Portland).
What's so bad about Portland you ask? Well, I say the best way to see that is to go see the real Portland. Get on the Max (Portland's great public transportation system, I might ad in all fairness) and take it through Portland. First, be prepared to deal with some of the weirdest characters you'll ever see. There are bumper stickers in Oregon that say, "Keep Portland Weird". Well, they have succeeded!
If you're the "open minded" "liberal" type, you won't notice anything. If you're a conservative person of any political leaning, you will. Multiple piercings, bodies covered with tattoos, green and purple hair, body odor that will knock you over because the throngs of homeless teens that haven't taken a shower or brushed their nasty teeth in a week, etc. etc.
Now that you've experienced that, get off at Pioneer Square. Enjoy the smells of unbathed losers playing hacky-sack and using the "F" word 8 times in an 11 word sentence. Then be prepared to get asked for "a quarter so I can ride the bus" or see them hold up signs, "being hungry isn't a crime". After you've experienced that for a bit, walk north on 5th or 6th (or south, it doesn't matter) and play "count the teenage homeless beggar". I used my cell phone camera today (4-7-07) so I could send pics to my brother because I wanted him to believe me. I got 9 points in 3 blocks!
And for all this beauty, class and cosmopolitan lifestyle, you only have to pay $500,000 for a decent house (decent in that your neighbors aren't meth dealers). $500k in a decent neighborhood in Portland gets you a 2300 ft2 house, no basement and an 8 foot yard around your house. What a deal! In most places (not California or Seattle, of course, those are other dreadful places), you could buy that house with a full, finished basement on 5 acres!
The sooner we can leave this city and state the better. Add the misery I mentioned above with the dreary weather, it makes you wonder who thought to start a city here in the first place.
Again, I know people will read this and think I'm crazy. But that's because there are 2 kinds of people in Portland
Portland is the most UNFRIENDLY city I've ever liv Posted On: 10/19/2006 9:25:59 AM
Portland may very well be the most unfriendly city I've ever lived in or even visited! I have lived in Orlando, Detroit, Minneapolis and Denver and have visited almost every major city in the US. I've also lived in small towns in 5 states, and Portland is the WORST!!
When you walk in the city, just try to make eye contact with anyone to give them a friendly smile or say hello. Forget it, because it won't happen. The only people who will say anything is the crazy homeless people, and they're obviously just looking for a handout.
Even at work, where I've been for 2 months, I'll walk down the hall and co-workers will avert their eyes to the wall or floor. That way, they won't have to make eye contact and thus not have to say anything to you. Getting a "good morning" out of someone at work is like pulling teeth. In fact, I would say the majority of the people who work on my floor (probably 50 to 60) I've never even heard their voice, nor know their names. The people I've talked to is because I walked right in their office and introduced myself and then they HAD to talk. And it's not just me, they don't talk to the people who've been here for years, they just come to work, do their job and go home (I guess, I've never talked to them so I don't really know what they do :))
In Minneapolis, it was simply unheard of to not be friendly to your co-workers. There's an expression there called "Minnesota Nice" and it's so appropriate. Here, it should be called "Portland Mean", or "Portland Indifference" may even be better.
I'm stuck here for now so I could be closer to my daughter. However, the moment I can get out of this state and this city, I'm gone!