For better or for worse, the accuracy with which this sketch comedy portrays Portland is frightening. Remember the episode with the four-way intersection where two drivers are insisting that the other one go ahead?
Portland drivers exchange smiles and waves with fellow neighbors of the road with more fervor than Manhattan drivers exchange obscenities.
“Put a bird on it!” Remember that one? Walk into any gift shop, book store, or car mechanic and count the number of cute animals decorating their surfaces. It’s like walking through a Disney movie, but with irony.
Okay, so maybe there isn’t an “Allergy Pride Parade” in Portland…just yet. But the rest of the show? One-hundred percent fact.
Yes, it’s true. Portland is very veggie-friendly. And you’ve probably been meaning to take that healthier, greener approach to eating for years. But Portland is also friendly to those who dream of bloody-rare steaks. There’s the pork-belly sandwich from Lardo, the spicy wings from Pok Pok, and the peanut-butter-pickle-bacon burger from Killer Burger. Not to mention the fried chicken from Screen Door. Forget quinoa and spinach smoothies — these carnivorous meals MUST be sampled if you’re truly trying to immerse yourself in the gastronomy of Portland.
Unless, of course, you’re already a vegetarian. In that case, enjoy the abundance of fresh-pressed juices. You’ll love it here.
It’s something to strive for, of course. With the awesome accessibility to the outdoors, from Mount Hood to the Columbia Gorge, outdoor activities are a draw for many newcomers. But Portland, like most cities, has a special ability to suck you in and make you forget that land exists outside of city limits. Sure, you could go for a hike this weekend. But then again, everyone is raving about that cute little brunch spot that just opened down the street.
Don’t beat yourself up over it. You’ll still enjoy gazing at Mount Hood from your patio table while eating eggs florentine and sipping mimosas on that rare, sunny day.
It’s 2014 — everyone recycles. You saw An Inconvenient Truth, you’re on top of these things. But then your new Portland friend goes to throw something away in your kitchen, sees a cereal box on top, and says: “I’m sorry, this is your cardboard recycling, not your garbage, correct?”
Luckily, he can’t see the rotten produce that you haven’t figured out how to compost, lying just below the flattened vessel of Lucky Charms. You tell him: “Yes of course!” and discretely toss his garbage in another plastic bag that’s lying around because you haven’t stocked up on reusable shopping bags just yet, either.
The rain will make you sad. The rain will make you restless. The rain will make you wet.
Eventually, you will acclimate to the incessant drizzle. But at that point, rain will be such a constant in your life that it won’t make you stay in and be more productive — it’ll just make you stop noticing.
Someday, maybe, the rain will inspire you to finally start writing that memoir of yours instead of hanging out at Powell’s Books because jumping over car-sized puddles to get downtown sounds exhausting. But not before you’ve developed the pallor of a vampire and completely restyled your wardrobe to a point where you always look like you’re about to go hiking.
One upside to Portland’s lack of services is the fact that it forces you to interact with people. Which is great, because Portland people are ridiculously nice.
Not that you’ll necessarily become best friends with your pizza-delivery boy, but the openness and friendliness of Portlanders makes moving here far less daunting than most cities. Walk down the street and people make eye contact and smile. Call a customer service line and the person on the other end will chat you up like they’ve just discovered you’re second cousins.
If you’re looking to make friends, it’s easy to get out there and do all that in Portland. Whether you’re sitting at a bar or standing in line for groceries, people here reach out to strangers with refreshing kindness.
Of course, you don’t call yourself one. But denying the title is the first sign that you are (at least a little bit) of the hipster persuasion.
If you felt drawn to Portland, then you probably have an appreciation for things like bike lanes, organic soaps, beanie hats, beards, plaid, vinyl records, thrift stores, fair trade coffee, and craft beer, all of which are available aplenty in “Stumptown.” And liking a combination of these things probably puts you somewhere on the hipster spectrum.
But fear not. Because once you move to Portland, you’ll realize that hipsters have it goin’ on. Girls look cute in thick-rimmed glasses, guys look sexy with beards, and we should all recycle more. So what’s everyone harshing on the hipsters for? They (you) are just trying to make the world a better, more bike-friendly place! Hipsters LOVE Portland. And once you’ve bought yourself a sensible rain jacket (from a thrift store), you will too.
I HAVE A HOMELESS CAMP IN FRONT OF MY BUSINESS/HOME. WHY CAN’T THE POLICE DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW?
When an illegal campsite is identified and movement is necessary, the City follows a process designed to be as transparent as possible in order to reduce trauma for everyone involved. That process, mandated in the settlement of the Anderson v. Portland lawsuit, requires the City to post notification at the camp in question stating that they will have to leave. As soon as the City decides to remove the camp, service providers are notified to conduct outreach to the affected campers.
The notification posted by the City gives anywhere from 48 hours to 10 days advance notice for individuals that they need to pack up and vacate the area. Following the initial 48 hour timeframe, contractors can then go to the camp and pick up garbage and any belongings people leave behind. Anything deemed as reasonably valuable personal property is taken to a storage facility and remains available for pickup for at least one month before it’s either thrown away or donated.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "POST" A CAMPSITE?
A post refers to written notification the City is required to give occupants of an unsanctioned encampment prior to the cleanup and removal of personal belongings. When a campsite is posted, the campers in that area have anywhere from 48 hours to 10 days to vacate the area and remove all of their belongings. This timeframe and process for cleanup is a direct result of Anderson et al. v. City of Portland DV-01447-AA, otherwise known as the Anderson Agreement. The Anderson Agreement governs the process by which the City responds to issues of unsanctioned encampments where individuals have erected structures in the public right of way and on public properties. It mandates the City provide written notification to campers no less than 48 hours in advance of camp cleanup, and that the City collect and store any personal belongings that are determined to be of reasonable value and/or utility. Any belongings found to be of value and/or utility that are left behind are collected, photographed, and stored for a period of no less than 30 days for retrieval by the owner. After that 30-day period, if the property has not been reclaimed then it is either thrown away or donated to social service organizations.
For more information on this process or to find out what the City can and cannot store- please visit the Process for Belongings Retrieval page of our toolkit.
WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO POST CAMPSITES?
The Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program (HUCIRP) currently coordinates all camp cleanups throughout the City and has the authority to post campsites on City owned/maintained property. Posting and cleaning campsites can be difficult to coordinate. With multiple stakeholders at the table and a certain set of criteria that must be adhered to, it is essential that the City identify and adhere to a standard and uniform set of procedures when dealing with any unsanctioned encampment on public property. This centralized authority alleviates confusion as to what entity can post campsites for cleanup and when the postings are issued. Please note that this authority extends only to campsites located on City of Portland and ODOT property and not on properties belonging to TriMet, Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, or other entities including the Port of Portland and private commercial and residential properties.
WHY WON’T THE CITY INSTITUTE A “SIT-LIE” ORDINANCE?
A "sit-lie" policy is one designed to prevent people from sitting or lying on public sidewalks. In 2009 the United States District Court ruled that the City’s “sit-lie” ordinance was unconstitutional. Since then, the City has improved public space management in numerous ways.
By creating more walking beat routes with the Portland Police Bureau, police now have greater awareness of who lives on the street and have worked to earn trust, making it much easier for people to respect public space.
Certain high-use areas are designated “high pedestrian zones”, which mandates passable sidewalk, there are many blocks in the Central City that have been given this status by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau.
I AM WITNESSING UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY, SUCH AS DRUGS, SEX IN PUBLIC, AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, AND PEOPLE USING THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY AS A TOILET. WHAT ARE THE BOUNDARIES OF LEGAL AND ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR? WHO SHOULD I CALL WHEN I WITNESS UNLAWFUL BEHAVIORS?
The City has created a “One Point of Contact” system to allow for a more efficient, streamlined way for the public to alert the City on misuse of public space. This system allows the public to easily report concerns regarding urban camping (i.e., aggressive behavior, open drug use) without having to be shuffled from bureau to bureau in order to get an issue resolved.
Not all complaints will result in immediate action by the City. There are low-level behaviors that will continue, as the City must marshal its resources strategically. But knowing where bad behavior exists allows the City to better coordinate resources with the Joint Office of Homeless Services and A Home For Everyone.
Community members who want to report drug activity should submit a report to Police. You can send a report online using their Online Drug and Vice Complaint form.
Please continue to report instances of urban camping at www.pdxreporter.org or at www.portlandoregon.gov/campsites. If there is an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
WHY WON’T THE POLICE ARREST PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS?
Being homeless is not against the law. The Department of Justice has recently made it clear that not allowing people to sleep on the street may be illegal. Criminal behaviors that happen in homeless camps are addressed by Portland Police Bureau in the same manner as any other crime. If you witness criminal behavior that warrants immediate response, please call 9-1-1.
Seriously, do not move here. Well, I’ll first state that I am a Californian transplant. I moved to Portland, OR from Oakland, CA where I was born and raised and eventually pushed out by gentrification. I had no choice but to move to the cheaper, cleaner, greener, sweeter, more tree’d up, sales taxless city of Portland. It was hard at first, living in Portland Oregon, getting used to more food options, friendlier people, lack of crime, an abundance of creativeness, and all of the beer. But I’m adapting.
Anyways, now that I am here living in Portland, I have realized there are many reasons not to move to Portland, so I thought I would share them with you all.