Portland, as surprising as it may seem to some, was just named the coolest city in North America by Betway Insider, an “editorial blog featuring sporting insight, intelligent comment and informed betting tips”. I’m not so certain how a site such as Betway determined to write said article about the coolness factor of specified cities in the States & Canada, mostly because there isn’t much related to sports at all in their discoveries. But, whatever. Bragging rights.
It may be hip to be square, but it ain’t cool, aparently. No shits were given about the boring things that make any city run. You know, education, economy, housing? Public health? Transportation? Local government? And, adversely, looks like PDX’s claim to being the strip club capital of the world, with one for every 11,826 residents, isn’t exactly part of our coolness factor either. So what, exactly is it that lands us in the top spot?
Turns out? The number of record stores, microbreweries and tattoo parlors. Our lively cultural scene, a diverse range of activities, and iconic landmarks – although some of the latter took some damage in the last few crazy years. And then there’s our food culture, with plenty of diversity, and more vegetairan/vegan restaurants than any other city out there. And Portland time and again has stood out as number one in the food truck scene across the country.
Coined Little Beirut in the 1990s by Prez Bush (the younger of the two), Portland is known for marching for a just cause – as well as the rioting that often accompanies. We are not afraid to flip the bird at or toss a pie in the face of those we deem flippant to our convictions. And we fucking rock at rocking the boat. And while the last few years have seen a social infastructure breakdown in PDX, causing, for the first time in three decades, an exodus of our once serene big/little town? We are still the coolest fucking city in the US of god-damned A. Talk about a double-edged sword.
Portland, btw, is a step cooler than New York City, and two prestigious above the star-studded Los Angeles to our South. And, our own neighbor – the ever cool Seattle, with it’s unique music scene and sound, lands in at number four. Even our step-sister across the mighty Columbia river, Vancouver, Washington, takes a spot at number 15. Utah? Not on the list.
And here I go, running away to Utah in less than a month, where I will do my best, in my decidely uncool fashion, to help land ’em on the charts next year.