Why Portland is On My Top Ten List

There really isn’t anything like Portland. Its textbook perfect for urban planning geeks (like Bill Fulton) and everyone seems to enjoy the built environment there (let’s not get into race and any other social issues).  We’re talking bike shops, next to hipster donut shops, adjacent to bookstores, above comic book shops, across from record shops, kitty corner from cabarets, below dive bars, neighboring the infamous Union Jack’s (birthplace of the Suicide Girls), a block from organic foodie restaurants, 2 doors down from an Apple Store that’s tax free, and on the same street as the infamous Portland food carts. Yes, indeed, my favorite thing about this city are the food carts. Waffle sandwiches, poutine this side of the border, and crepes from a mobile restaurants? How can you not dig it? There’s even a website devoted to them: http://foodcartsportland.com! And if Bill Fulton says its one of the top 6 reasons why the city is a beacon for downtown urban living and the New York Times agrees, how can you say otherwise?


5 thoughts on “Why Portland is On My Top Ten List

  1. I’ve been to Portland and it indeed is the shit. Small compared to New York, but pretty goddamn awesome regardless. The sex industry is alive and well, but in a nifty, hipster and liberated sort of way. Union Jack’s is awesome, I’m not gonna lie.


  2. also, you can’t talk about urban planning in portland without talking about race and social issues. i moved to the NoPo when it was a majority African neighborhood and now after less than 3 years all my neighbors are white. i walk around the neighborhood and cry sometimes. yeah i live next to the best waffle cart in the country but there’s always a price. maybe urban planners should start thinking about race and social issues.


  3. I was waiting for your response epanda! Indeed, planners should be talking about race and social issues, esp in Portland. Its sad what’s happening up there on that side. And even more sad is the fact that all the radical urban planning ideals that get realized up there only occur because the majority white, “progressive”, green, leftist folks up there are all sipping the kool aid and want it to happen. So the very reason why it isn’t diverse and full of different voices is one of the major reasons they can get away with implementing these ideals. Creating a greenbelt around the City and the ramifications on real estate prices, appropriating ethnic food and calling it their own and selling in a food cart, pushing out the brown people to bring in the white people. All that. So yes, the reason why all these urban planning ideas pan out up there and are used as models throughout the country is because there’s a lack of diversity (If i have to sit through another “biking in portland” panel, I’ll shoot myself). There’s really only one voice, and that one voice happens to be really good at urban design… and not community planning.


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