Monday, September 20, 2010

Flamingoes and Portland

Taking the OHSU Tram is one of those silly little luxuries of Portland that makes little sense unless you are a student, faculty member, or a staff member of the complex of interconnected hospitals of Pill Hill. You travel down a giant metal suppository strung on a zipline over a freeway to see some unattractive real-estate. Overall the trip is pretty unspectacular.  Why people find this to be a tourist destination of any sorts amuses me quite a bit. The only real thrill is the opportunity to see someone paint a profanity on their rooftop or possibly sun naked from a deck, but given the cold weather as of late, the latter is unlikely to occur.

So when I hit the base of the tram the other day and saw a makeshift flock of plastic flamingoes, I realized that someone else has some sense of kitschy novelty to this whole ordeal. With all the yuppie refinement and desire for progress this city yearns for, there will always be a tacky plastic element to it just under the surface. 

Simply put, Portland's newest "neighborhood" doesn't have a grocery store, stoops where people can gather to smoke and talk, or even a bar. But it does have plastic lawn plastic lawn ornaments.

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