keeping Portland weird

My hometown – where I spent most of my life – is now home to John McAfee, yep the millionaire software guy. I just read it in Willamette Week, and I recommend that you click on the short clip Why Portland. Mr. McAfee is working the media – local as well as international – just keeping it weird.

After one has lived in Belize I guess it makes sense to live where the sun rarely shines.  After all, Portland ranks 155 (48%) on the NOAA list for days of sun. Mr. McAfee’s mood is gloomy these days with all the interviews and movie rights and such.

Oh, and Mr. McAfee talked about a little photo op at Mary’s Club. Leading to a proud statistic I had forgotten: Portland has more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the US – even Las Vegas. Check the Free Speech section on Portland in Wikipedia (they’re always right – right?).

But this isn’t about interest in John McAfee, of whom I've spent far too many words.

What is interesting to me is that Portland (or Oregon for that matter) is really a magnet for unusual individuals. And when the unusual / high-profile land there, everyone tends to go all aflutter with the city’s latest acquisition.

I had witnessed a lot of odd and wonderful things as a local. The city embraces uniqueness because we all should be accepting of everyone – let them be themselves – it’s a part of living Portland. But it hasn't always worked to the benefit of the city (or state) or its residents, though. That unique personality can become a liability. There was a time where I would not wear red. But that’s history.

I really don’t think there’s a community in this big, beautiful country that is more accepting of human nature than the folks in my home town. They like it that way. And they are really nice – always happy to give directions or a recommendation for a restaurant.

I’m not hating on Portland or its residents. I really do love the city – I grew up in Multnomah (it was not a ‘Village’ back then), and have lots of family and friends there. I witnessed Portland come back from a dreadful, dying wreck in the ‘70’s to a vibrant, beautiful center of arts, advertising, awesome food (I miss the food so much), and even more awesome micro brews.

Dang, I just couldn't take the rain any more.

I now live in Las Vegas which ranks 3 on the NOAA list for sunny days, has a pyramid, a volcano, a pirate ship, the Eiffel Tower and Venetian frescoes  – and nothing is weird.