Portland historically has been viewed as a less-sophisticated Seattle wannabe. So Portland has always proclaimed why it is better than its neighbor to the north. Seattle has Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon. Portland has Nike. Sonoma County –where I spent the last twenty years in Santa Rosa before recently moving back to the Northwest’s Rose City – has a similar view of Napa. The slogan, “Sonoma makes wine; Napa makes auto parts,” is often credited to Sonoman Tom Smothers. Napa doesn’t recognize the existence of Sonoma.
Having become hip, in large part a result of television’s “Portlandia” comedy, Portland now self-consciously wants to keep Portland weird. I was recently in Austin, Texas, where the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” is unavoidable. Rather than compete with Austin, however, OregonLive, the on-line remnant of the once-proud Oregonian newspaper, has declared that Portland is weirder than San Francisco. Not that San Francisco claims to be weird or cares much what Portland thinks. They just refer to their home as The City.
If you care, you can peruse the list here.