Sunday, April 12, 2009

Contributed by bikelovejones as a comment...

This lament was sent as a comment to my somewhat satirical post about "still another example of Portland's seeming to be a paradise for those of us in the cycling life." Because you might have missed it as a comment, here it is as a post. Because you shouldn't miss it, and I believe bikelovejones...

Everything he said except the parts about affordability and opportunity. It depends on who is seeking those things.

Word up: Everyone who's living here already was born here, or got here well ahead of the rest of you. We are getting by on too few hours at work and increasing rents. We'd really prefer that a whole bunch of you not move here all at once and compete with us for jobs and affordable apartments that don't exist. 

Portland has NO rent control. Portland also has dwindling social services for those of us whose parents aren't propping us up in this toilet economy. Homes for sale are popping up on every street corner as the housing market plunges into the river. Demand at the food banks and soup kitchens has spiked as newly-unemployed join the homeless already in line.

To all those young, slender hipsters who've come here to:

1. be part of the bike culture;
2. be part of the "creative" class; 
3. live more cheaply than they can in, oh, San Francisco...

Well, welcome to Portland. I guess. 

Lots of people who moved here for bike culture want really nice bikes for fifty bucks, and throw a hissy fit when they're told that a decent bike in Portland starts at around 200 or more. 

The "creatives" who've moved here are willing to work for peanuts and are displacing older, more experienced workers in the process. How these kids can keep dressing stylishly and eating from gourmet boutique grocers is beyond me. (Maybe their folks are paying for it all to keep the kids from moving back home.)

If you moved here from the Bay Area, you're still probably richer than the rest of us, and I have grown tired of hearing you complain about how you can't find a decent something-or-other in this town. 

And if I hear one more newly-arrived hipster complain about the rain I swear I'll hit him over the head with a wet, moldy umbrella.

Sorry if I'm feeling snarly, but that's the other side of the coin up here. Everyone wants to move here and be cool, without giving a thought to what us long-timers really struggle with. And in Portland, lots of us are struggling these days. That's the part BikePortland doesn't discuss, perhaps because they're trying to reach a different market than the one I reside in.


gewilli said...

sounds like seattle 15-20 years ago... except back then instead of hipsters the invaders were yuppies

Anonymous said...

god portland sounds boring.