22 Jun 2015

In Portland

Portland,Oregon is a very liveable city.It has a very nice feeling-some would call it a vibe.It has an unofficial slogan-Keep Portland Weird.Well it's not weird but just different.
It is a very green city with good public transport and obviously a strong sense of community.The city is beer,bike and tattoo mad.There are 84 microbreweries,74 bike stores and 72 tattoo parlours in the city-all for just 600,000 people.That's roughly one brewery,one bike shop and one tattoo parlour for every 10,000 Portlanders.
It also has what is claimed to be America's biggest bookstore,Powells, and this means that it is probably the world's biggest bookstore.The store still seems to be thriving.It is enormous and open till late into the evening.I suspect that some people live there undetected.
Portland is home to Nike,Columbia Sportswear,Intel and numerous high tech companies and even Leatherman tools.It still is a major port for timber exports.
It must also have the world's largest concentration of Kia Soul cars.They are everywhere.When you pass a Portland Kia dealer their forecourt is just a sea of Souls.Some would say that this enthusiasm for the Soul proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Portland is in fact weird.
Saab,Volvo,VW and Subaru used to be the cars of choice for Portlanders going by the old uns you see.Subaru and VW are still in there but new Volvos are thin on the ground and Saab has gone.
If you don't have a Soul in Portland then you have a Subaru XV and for maximum brownie points it has to be a hybrid with a Thule roofbox and a bike rack.Portland hipster.However there is an electric Kia Soul now and this may qualify for even more Portland brownie points.
Here's a selection of the cars I spotted on my early morning walks within a couple of blocks of my hotel in N Portland.Some are well decayed,some just needing some TLC-how about the Porsche 944 with the rust patch on the wing? I even saw a rare BMW 2002ti in a very sad state being driven in the traffic.

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