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Bitter Bastard: Portland's 10 Worst Things

All the things you’ve heard about Crapscadia are true! BJ "Bitter" Bastard gets depressed just thinking about it…

The weather
The “artist types” will tell you it’s good for their creativity, but try waking up for the 100th day in a row to bleak skies and a light, annoying drizzle and see if you don’t get all Elliott Smith up in this biatch.

Depression session
If you had SAD and were broke you’d be depressed too. But the culture doesn’t help. There are the saddest commercials for clinical trials on the radio and even places have names like Failing Street and Unthank Park.

Local radio
You can’t even find a classic rock station to listen to on local radio, and the “urban” station only plays six songs (instead of the usual 10 in big markets), three of which are Miley Cyrus-type pop joints. Community broadcast station KBOO can’t save you, and chances are none of your friends’ cars here have CD players.

City slogan
The government officially changed the city nickname from “The City of Roses” to “The City That Works.” Okay, we didn’t even see one rose growing the entire time we were there, but the latter is just laughable. Do you notice all those kids hanging out in coffee places all day because they work one day a week at a record store? No sirs, Portland most definitely does not “work.”

Secretly spendy
“Spendy” is PDX slang for “costly” or “expensive.” Cascadians say it a lot, probably because the cost of things in Portland does match peoples’ paltry salaries. Restaurant meals are on par, price-wise, with San Francisco and the stuff in the fancy food markets is just ludicrous. $7 for a basket of blueberries?

Junkies suck
Is it any wonder that Gus Van Sant made My Own Private Idaho and Drugstore Cowboy after he moved to Portland? There are so many parks here full of heroin-loaded former hipsters skiving off Food Not Bombs handouts and lurching around like zombies. Oh yeah, they like to steal stuff, too.

Don’t techno for an answer
Aside from raves, the electronic music landscape has always been kind of poopy in the Northwest. Techno shows (especially experimental stuff) are poorly attended, and local acts like Let’s Go Outside, Copy, and Strategy are underappreciated compared to the latest art-punk phenoms or DJs playing Justice tracks.

Everyone is white
This town is 78% white, and the remaining Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and Latin communities are so far out on the numbered avenues that they might as well be in a different city. This also explains the pathetic, collegiate honky pathos that sometimes lays like a wet Kleenex over Portland. Sometimes you look around and feel like you’re in a scene from a sci-fi movie…or Reality Bites.

The “scene”
The “scene” in Portland is soo small. No matter how positive everyone makes it seem, it is rife with guttersniping and ill will–everyone has stolen someone else’s gig, girlfriend, or idea for that super-crazy art-folk band. If you move here, you will know everyone in a week, and probably hate them in a month.

Crafty stuff
You know a lot of that horrible stuff they sell at indie craft fairs and on Etsy? Hand-knit arm warmers and felt iPod cozies with whale appliqués–generally the kind of stuff you should not own if you’re over eight years old? Well, Portland is the granddaddy when it comes to people trying to make a living off popsicle sticks, yarn, and a hot-glue gun.

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