Five Reasons: Why Portland Kicks Seattle’s Ass

After _Seattle_ magazine printed the reasons not to move to Portland, we couldn't help but fight back. Here's why Portland--not Seattle--is the Northwest's best city.

By Bart Blasengame May 19, 2009 Published in the May 2009 issue of Portland Monthly

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Image: Paul Corio

When Seattle magazine printed “Five Reasons Not to Move to Portland” in February, we were nonplussed. We figured we’d scan the story, roll our eyes, and go about using it as a coaster. And then we read it. And felt really bad for them. Our mountains are smaller? We grow beards? Lordy, how ever will we recover from such slights? Gee. Here, let us try.

1 Mass transit. It exists. Thanks to growing populations in both moody cities, commuting can be like undergoing a molar extraction. Portland eases the burden with frequent, partly free, and mostly clean mass transit. Seattle’s solution is a pointless monorail. And a floating bridge. That sank. Advantage,PDX.

2 Our beans are supreme. Seattle spawned Starbucks, which is now being mocked by the new McCafés at McDonald’s. We grew Stumptown. ’Nuff said.

3 We’re tougher. Mount Hood (Seattle called it “short” and “measly”) is really a volcano, and it’s got a body count higher than most Rambo flicks. In fact, you can see four volcanoes from downtown Portland, each of which could erupt at any second. Which means, theoretically, that we cheat death just by waking up.

4 We don’t have to try. Did we ask the New York Times to crown us the new “sixth borough”? Did we make Sleater-Kinney move to town? No. It just happened. While Seattle has pimped itself out to anyone with a working flash, we’ve remained the cool kid in the corner with a pack of smokes rolled in our sleeve.

5 What’s a sales tax? Even when we hold our noses through the aroma of Tacoma to shop in Seattle, all we have to do is whip out our Oregon driver’s licenses and—poof—instant 6.5 percent discount. It’s a neat trick. You should try it, Seattle. Oh wait, you can’t.

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