This happened to me recently, with all good timing considering the new television from IFC about our "fair" city. It's the brain child of Fred Armisen. At one point in an interview about the inspiration for the series, Armisen and Bronstein  refer to Portland as "Whiteland", and how it made an impression on them how white upper-middle class it is.  And then this happened...

Every day at work I walk down to the Urban Grind on my break to buy the 99 cent ginger ale that I need to get me through the rest of the day. On this particular day I walked in and was waiting by the counter while the barista finished making some mocha contraption for this tall, lithe blonde hipster lady. Typical Portland hipster girl attire: boots, pageboy haircut, skinny jeans and some kind of artsy blouse. 

What struck me was that she was talking to the barista about how she had moved here from some other place and how great she found Portland. The barista mentioned that she had moved from California. The hipster girl gushes on about how great Portland is and how she just LOVES it here. She feels so free! 

That's when I had an epiphany. That is what Portland is for these liberal white 20-30 somethings. It is a paradise to "escape" to from their veritable hell of some Republican small town (Midwest, the South, take your pick). Portland is this bastion of liberal culture and free thinkers, oh and eco-awareness (yeah, right!). The thing is though...they're all White and upper-middle class. How are you changing the world by moving to a place that just has people like you, that think like you? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to change the minds of those "Republicans" you dislike so much? What are you really escaping to but another bubble of ignorance? Food for thought.

As for Portlandia, I don't think it's very funny. It does, however, get the stereotypes about Portland spot-on. So if you hate trendy Portland as much as I do, then you should watch an episode just for that.


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