May 19, 2009 Published in the December 2007 issue of Portland Monthly

I’ll take footnote status any day.

Does [editor-in-chief Ted Katauskas] really think Portland is better off now that New Yorkers have elevated it and its native denizens beyond “footnote status” (“City on the Move,” November 2007)? As a fourth-generation Oregonian, I have to tell you that many of us don’t feel we owe you or [New York Times writer] Eric Asimov a debt of gratitude for opening our eyes to what was the diamond-in-the-rough you call Portland. We already knew what gnocchi tasted like, appreciated the local bounty of huckleberries and chanterelles, and enjoyed a reasonable cost of living—before you put it in print. That attitude of, “Come on down and cash in … Thar’s gold in them thar hills, and the locals are too dumb to know about it,” is what is sadly transforming the renegade spirit that attracted many of you to this city.

NW Portland

Welcome to M. Allen Cunningham and his wife! (“Pursuit of Happiness,” November 2007). As an immigrant who arrived from the Midwest 20 years ago, I revel in Oregon’s beauty, lifestyle and accepting attitude. We left 20-below-zero (or worse!) mornings and tornadoes behind: a decidedly different reason for migration than escaping the frantic lifestyle of the Bay Area. People come to Oregon for many reasons, but once ensconced, there is communality in why we stay. May these new arrivals embrace the rain and never lose sight of the blessings!

P.S. Not sure I want his article published in California, though…
NW Portland

I was intrigued by Anne Brice’s piece regarding the change in font on certain freeway signs (“Sign of the Times,” November 2007). However, at the risk of exposing myself as a total geek, I immediately suspected that your caption placing the signs in Maryland was incorrect.?Clearly, the State Route 412 indicated in the sign is located in Pennsylvania, because the number is contained in the logo of the Keystone State.

Now, since Pennsylvania and Maryland are neighbors, it would still have been possible for a sign marking the exit for?a Pennsylvania highway to be located in Maryland.?However, the exit number is 67 and the mile marker below the sign reads 65.6, meaning that this sign is more than 65 miles, as the road?drives,?from the nearest state border.?A quick check of a road atlas indicates that this sign must be on I-78, approximately 1.4 miles west of the interchange between Interstate 78 and Pa. 412.?We know it is west of the interchange because mile markers count up heading from west to east.

Perhaps one of the reasons I find highway signs so interesting is that it’s possible to discern this information just from the photograph and a common road atlas.?No Internet searches, no Google Earth, just a little bit of logic and a map.?Thanks for the opportunity to do a little mental exercise on a Sunday night.
SW Portland
Lucy Burningham’s article (“Roots to Riches,” October 2007) is very well written, but I was disappointed that she left out the fact that Garland Truffles has been in business since 1979 and has been producing truffles in the United States since 1992. I understand that Charles Lefevre is from Oregon, so consequently the story is about him. However, she should have given credit to us for being the first, and up to this point, the only, company that has produced Perigord truffles and supplied producing trees to customers.

While you chose to point out one dissatisfied customer of ours, I would believe that Lefevre probably has had several himself; he has yet to produce a truffle since starting out in 1999, as Lefevre admits.

Burningham mentioned that she is going to write a book on truffles. I hope that if she does, she will include us as the first producers of the Perigord truffle outside its natural habitat. In the world market, domestic producers from all areas can
benefit from the press!

Proprietor, Garland Gourmet
Mushrooms and Truffles
Hillsborough, NC

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