liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,
liveonearth
liveonearth

Seven Reasons to Love Portland, Oregon

1.  Portland has the best Bitters.  From fresh strong coffee to extremely hoppy IPA's, to unique herbal blends to add to your cocktail, you will not find a town with more depth and variety in its bitter beverages and flavors.  Asheville, NC would like to claim that it is a beer capital of the US, but all they did was win an online survey.  Anyone who has been beer-drinking in both cities knows which one dominates.

2.  Portland has ample fresh water, including a well-protected drinking water supply.  The Willamette River splits the town in half, and the even larger Columbia River divides north Portland from southern VanCouver, Washington.  Hydropower plants on the Columbia provide cheap electricity.  Rains fall predictably from fall to spring.  Climate change scientists suggest that Portland will be getting less long slow drizzles, and more intense downpours, but the total amount of precipitation is likely to remain similar.

3.  It is easy to grow things here.  Portland is called the City of Roses because rose sprigs that came from Ireland in ballast took root along the banks of the Willamette.  Today cultivated roses bloom from February until November.  The climate is so mild that the city doesn't own any snow plows, and many plants survive the winter because it doesn't freeze often or hard.  In the summer, with a little irrigation, food gardens are highly productive.  Those invasive blackberries that people can't seem to kill produce delicious sweet berries every summer.

4.  The city is so liberal that even conservatives are welcome!  Everyone can find a community here.  Local pride about the openminded nature of the residents is relfected on bumperstickers that say "Keep Portland Weird".  Here in Portland it is legal to be naked in public (look up the Nude but Not Lewd Law) but people are so polite that they only get naked downtown during the annual naked bike ride, for which people who can't bear to see are well warned and able to avoid the affront.  There are communities of many ethinicities and religions living peacefully side by side, and great ethnic food too.

5.  The roads belong to everyone in Portland.  Cars actually stop to let pedestrians cross.  Bicycles are given a lane, or at least a little attention and respect.  Public transportation in the form of light rail and busses is busily bringing people into and out of the city to limit traffic and parking crunches.

6.  Nature is everywhere.  In town there are large and small parks and lovely pedestrian trails.  The volcanoes of the Cascade mountains are visible from town, and the protected Oregon coast is only an hour's drive away.  The Columbia gorge begins just outside the urban area and is loaded with gorgeous waterfalls and fantastic hiking trails.  A visitor to Cascadia cannot fail to notice the richness of the green.

7.  People are green here too.  We recycle what we can and reuse everything else.  We refuse to drive our cars when possible, and are mindful to minimize our carbon footprints.  We eat local and organic and support sustainable agriculture.  We have solar panels on our roofs.  We are trying to save the world, or at least, doing our own small part and feeling good about it.
Tags: automobiles, food, home, oregon, portland, water
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