As a commenter pointed out recently, it is believed Portland was built on an ancient unicorn burial ground.
Next time you, a Portlander, are interviewed by a reporter from afar, throw that fantastic fact into the conversation, and act as if you believe it. The goal is that someday we’ll be reading in the New York Times about Portland’s grungy flannel hip urban greenness and we’ll also learn that many people believe Portland was built on an ancient unicorn burial ground.
If you think an ancient unicorn burial ground is too far fetched, suggest some alternatives in the comments!
Laurel Miller’s article in the Oakland Tribune, Fork in the Road: Culinary Road to Portland, introduces the reader to boilerplate Portland (emphasis mine):
I have a certain affinity for knit hats, inked skin, loud music and creative types. So it is no surprise that I love Portland, Ore.
When I visited, I stayed at the funky, uber-hip and uber-Portland Ace Hotel, located in the Pearl District.
Grab a seat at the zinc bar or at one of the communal farmhouse tables, and watch the team of tatted, beanied, vintage T-shirted cooks gracefully orchestrate the bustling lunch and dinner service.
Anyway, it goes on and on.
Actually in the second quote above, you’ll notice that the Ace Hotel is “located in the Pearl District”. This is news to me, as I never considered SW Stark Street to be part of the Pearl District. I think I’ve read this before in one of these Portland travelogues; perhaps the marketing department at the Ace Hotel has their own unicorn burial grounds tale to tell . . .
Perhaps we could make up fake words as an homage to the receptionist at Sub Pop who gave a reporter at the New York Times a whole list of fake grunge slang in the early nineties? I would suggest coming up with five different words for different kinds of rain – wange (soaking), sniddle (light), froam (misty), skoart (heavy but intermittent) and wimber (windy)
Patrick – Great suggestion! Looks like we might be getting a bit of sniddle this morning.
I say that Portlanders drink so much coffee that we have caffeinated our infrastructure and our ecosystem. Birds fly twice as fast. Squirrels can’t sleep at night. The caffeine that flows from the Willamette to the ocean threatens the local salmon population. But man, NW salmon is tasty and like taking NoDoz at the same time!
RE rain: I already use “mizzle” and have for years, which supposedly most people haven’t heard of, even though it happens quite often.
Maybe we should start talking about how the hipsters are moving away in droves due to the new “no oversized plastic eyeglass frames” law put into place by Kulongoski to help save natural resources.
Heather – Hmm, maybe we could refer to the “caffeine rain”, analogous to acid rain?
devlyn – I’ve never heard “mizzle” before; how would you define that?
In between a mist and a drizzle – like a mist so heavy it’s falling, but it’s not enough to make you think “rain.” It’s one of my favorite kinds of precipitation.
devlyn – Oh, I *hate* mizzle then. When I’m wearing my glasses it sucks, also when I’m walking to or from work because it’s not heavy nor coming straight down; an umbrella is worthless against it, so my clothes get soaked. (I’m a native Portlander who is proud to use an umbrella!)
Meh, it’s why I have a rain jacket. And, well, I don’t wear glasses anywheres but indoors. I love the way it settles on my hair like tiny little paperweights. It does suck, however, when riding your bike, and there’s just enough moisture to eventually build up and cause rivulets of water down your face.
Dateline: Portland. Hipsters have taken to putting Rain-X on their oversized glasses to deal with all the, as one type of rain is commonly referred to in Portland, mizzle. “I just gave it a try one day on my bike commute from band practice to the roastery where I work, and it really helped,” said Whitey McMFA, a recent transplant from Williamsburg.
Patrick, you make me choke on my Werther’s Original. Which was actually not an unpleasant experience.
Samuel John Klein says
I smell UNICORNS!
Laurel Miller says
This is Laurel Miller, author of the admittedly relying on PDX cliched article you rip so eloquently above. I have to point out a few things:
I’m not from afar- actually the Bay Area and have a lot of PDX friends.
I wrote that article from an Ecuadorean cyber cafe on tight deadline, cringing at myself on the stereotypes I was continuing to perpetuate.
Yet- feeling righteous in the knowledge that- and I dare you to deny it- every damn cook and chef in PDX’s most, um, uber-hip restaurants wear their damn beanies, tats, and vintage rock T’s.
Also, you are very correct that Ace’s marketing dept. says it’s in the Pearl- I actually double checked that fact and had to go with it.
But no hard feelings- I laughed my ass off reading your comments and am embarrassed for myself as I generally do all I can to avoid being one of those food/travel writers who resort to hackneyed cliche. But hey- the point of the piece is I think PDX is amazing, so cut me some slack!
Thanks for calling me out- I deserved it.