Sunday, March 8, 2009

Happytown





There it was in print. Unhappy...according to some sort of unofficial research from Business Week, Portland, Oregon was crowned the most unhappy city in the country. Shhh...don't tell anyone the truth. Portlanders are lots of things, but unhappy hardly fits the bill. Keep it on the QT will you, we don't need any more people up here.
If the rest of the country wants to believe the residents of Stumptown go around in depressed funks with frowns on their faces, I'm OK with that. It's just that it is laughable; so untrue.
I read that the study used some suicide and crime statistics that were five years old. It also based the designation on some sort of quantified Depression rate as well as the weather. Yes, we do have lots of rain. Most folks here can easily handle that. They obviously wouldn't live here or stay here if they couldn't. Besides, we know that the rain gives us the stunning green mountains forests, the clear streams and rivers, the pristine lakes we enjoy all summer and fall.
So what are Portlanders? They are friendly, definitely more patient than Californians, and, dare I say, rather contented. If you come from a city with a population of more than 750,000, you'll notice the And then there is the pub scene.vibe right away. People smile more here, they take their time, grocery clerks go slower, talk to each shopper, share ideas.
Portland is one city where you can always get a good cup of coffee. I'm not talking about Starbucks either. Stumptown Coffee Roasters rivals anything anywhere. If that's not your cup of choice, remember Portland's other nickname: Beervana. Aside from the better known brewers like Widmer, Deschutes, Bridgeport, and Amnesia, there are scores of neighborhood pubs in every corner of the city. True, Portland is not San Francisco, L.A. or New York. It doesn't have the climate of Phoenix, San Diego, or Miami. The Trailblazers of the NBA are the only major team in town. No major league baseball, football, or soccer (yet). The economic downturn is certainly in evidence here, with some merchants cutting store hours and many school districts considering 4 day weeks. This is not one of the better cities to find yourself homeless. The generousity is warm, but the temperature often is not. People on the street get wet. Often.
But unhappy? Unhappiest city of all? Business Week, you make me smile.

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