Friday, December 17, 2010


This posting will be to take a look at what I call the "Last of the Great American Cities" ... Portland (PDX- OR) . Also a blogger I frequent daily Infidel753 , happen's to be fortunate enough to live in this city ... which I envy him on this frankly! :) But PDX is what Americana Pie is truely about ... that come's in flavour's for every taste, and culturally diversified, I may add. Of course this isnt to say that there are not unique flavour's in American cities across the land. But PDX is an example of what each and every other city can also achieve more of on enhancing their unique flavour's if so many were not so focused on mass commercialization, eminent domain to so call renew urban America plasticity and such. There was a time in America where the main focus was not just on getting the endorsement of Bank of America, Chase, the Petro and Insurance giant's, and the largest mall's and chain store's in the world, or the biggest WalMart, etc. Or where only 5 mega record label's decide's what get's air play or not. What I am saying ... is that so many great American town's are losing their image to an extent. This show's that life can still flourish in our societies and have a great time doing it, without the giant's telling how we should entertain and enjoy ourselves and live, and what is popular to mass consume from season to season.

I have for year's heard about the City of Portland (called also the City of Roses or PDX) from friend's who have been there , several of which done the music scene business for a living or in some form of inde art's and such. Also heard of it being probably the most liberated city in the USA, and alternative art's city, but what I found also .... was a true taste of what Americana was meant to be. Back in 2007 I decided to spend a week in Portland to visit, and I already had a friend who was living there, so I didnt have to go there blind as a tourist only ... and was able to spend my time in some of the neighborhood's and such to get a true flavour of the town and talk one on one to many local's who lived there for year's. But one of the first thing's I noticed after a few day's there ... was how calm and at peace I was ... no really ... I shit you not! I mean ... I am so used to town's like LA, Dallas, or a number of other town's I spent quite a bit of time in ... I almost forgot what a great American city was like ... without the ratrace of competition, crime, the corporate smothering and commercialization that suffocate's so many large American cities these day's who we flock to in masses simply because we need a paycheck mostly! I actually turned on the tele news when I wake in the morning in PDX, and didnt have to hear constantly of the gang shooting's last night, or home invasion's, hold up's and alot of the shit I am constantly smothered with in other town's.

PDX actually still has a downtown where 10's of thousand's flock to even on weekend's (instead of suburban cities 30/ 40 mile's from downtown), that is friendly to all citizen's ... not just smothered with business/ corporate convention tourist's and place's that cost an arm and a leg to get in to eat and drink. It is actually the most citizen friendly city I have been to, and I been to so many. So many independent shop's to browse and shop, alternative and traditional entertainment, eateries, etc ... even in downtown ... they had a bar/ venue (cant recall the name off hand) that cater's to old school punk rock fan's of folk's my age 50 and over (who some young punker's in their early 20's turned me onto I met, who were fascinated in our conversation's on the punk scene's I have been in, before they were born, and read about) not just the latest pop club's or just Hip Hop, Techno dance club's. Anyone no matter what walk of life you are from can mix in this town and actually feel comfortable. And of course the "Portland Mercury" has to be about my favourite big city weekly free press paper in the entire country as well. I could rattle on about this town till I run out of breath. But found it necessary to do a posting on this city, because so many I see and talk to here in Dallas and around the country have talked about how American cities are not what they used to be, and the mass commercialization of American cities, etc. This town in my opinion ... is the last of the great American cities ... and if you havent been to PDX ... I highly recommend it! Sadly after I left there ... on my way back to Dallas ... I stopped in LA for awhile ... and the tension came back in Central LA. Below some video to get me to shut up, and see for yourself why Ranch Chimp choose's PDX, as the last of the great American cities .... Enjoy! :)

PORTLANDIA/ PDX ... Last of the Great American cities PT.2

1) Mike Clark's Movie Madness- Store Tour Teaser! ... Thanx to BONGSCOTT  **** about the best selection of video's I have seen too!

2) TRAVEL PORTLAND VIDEO TOUR ... Thanx to THINK SOCKEYE **** the surrounding countryside outside PDX is awesome in beauty too

3) What's Keeping Portland Weird ... Thanx to FLUX MAGAZINE

4) Portland Residents Sound Off: Local Music Scene Sucks/ Rules! ... Thanx to CHRISTOPHER KOSTRZAK  **** a great inde music scene too!




Infidel753 said...

Interesting to see the impression the place makes on someone from outside, thanks.

Movie Madness is unique -- aside from all the authentic props and costumes, they have movies for rent that I've never seen anywhere else, all kinds of obscure old stuff from earlier decades.

One other thing that's unusual about Portland is that it's full of huge trees, even in the built-up residential areas. They're older than the city itself. The land Portland is built on used to be forest, and many of the original trees were left in place and the houses built around them.

It's not as homogenous as people tend to imagine, either. On some streets there are quite a lot of stores with their signs in Chinese or Russian.

Ranch Chimp said...

Absolutely Infodel on the point's you mentioned ... it is a place that I could run my jaw's on long. What a great town!

Thanx Guy for your addition here too. I only wish I woke up this morning in PDX as you did! :)

Ranch Chimp said...

And thanx Infodel for the mention in your comment on the cultural diversification too ... which I just added to my first paragraph. Since I am not an experienced writer ... it is difficult for me to add as much as I could in so few word's. I happened to meet and talk to a couple gent's from Russia as well there, who lived there.

mendip said...

Wonderful entry - thanks. My wife and I were able to visit Portland for the first time about two years ago and really loved the town, and hope to return for a longer visit and exploration soon.

Ranch Chimp said...

Thanx Mendip ... I hear ya guy, I was reading something about Ya'll's trip sometime back too ... Geeezzz ... how can one not love it up there?!!