Last week we asked the people of Portland: when was Old Portland born and when did it die?
Hundreds made their voices heard through the democratic process (umm, our online poll) and the answer was clear.
Old Portland was born on Jan. 2, 1985, the day legendary Mayor Bud Clark rode a bicycle to his inauguration. Oh Bud Clark. The Whooping Mayor. The "Expose Yourself to Art" Flasher Mayor. The Bar-Owning Mayor. He was everything that represented Portland of the '80s: good-natured anarchy, "Keep It Weird"-ness, friendly nudity, cheap, plentiful alcohol and raincoats.
Old Portland lived on through its dramatic adolescence, the 1990s. The fun got more fun: the Blazers went to the NBA Finals twice. The edges got edgier: We harassed G.H.W. Bush so much he called us "Little Beirut" and plucky native daughter Tonya Harding did what she had to do to get to the Olympics.
Then came our 20s, the naughties. Some cities would mellow out as they got older, but not us. We put the pedal to the metal, decided only the good die young, it's better to leave a good looking corpse, etc., and just went for it, VH1 Behind the Music this-is-the-part-where-we-get-out-of-control style. The 2000s are when the Blazers said, fuck it, we're famous, and became the Jail Blazers. Everything we did was cool: The Shins and The Decemberists, you revisionist historians might not remember, were fucking killing it locally and nationally and making Portland seem like the only real, authentic town in America.
"Bohemian Like You" was our ironic anthem.
"THIS IS IT!" We screamed. "WE'VE MADE IT! We will always be this young! We will always be this free!"
Have you ever watched a VH1 Behind the Music special?
Then I don't have to tell you what happened. We OD'ed on our own youth and beauty. Everyone wanted a piece of us and we just couldn't deal. Nothing gold can stay.
On Jan. 21, 2011, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein took to the airwaves with their hit show Portlandia, proclaiming, "Portland is a city where young people go to retire."
And that, my friends, is when Old Portland died.
So pour out a PBR or, better yet, a Montucky Cold Snack, you carpetbagger. Have fun ingesting your Molly in your condo and then taking an Uber to go dance to EDM on Old Portland's bones.
Bring your goddamn umbrella.
Bud Clark weeps.