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August 13th, 2008 Night Cabbie | Night Cabbie
 

“It’s the Californians, man, the Californians are the worst.”

     
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“It’s the Californians, man, the Californians are the worst.” The man is in his early 30s and we have been talking about Portland as I drive him to his home off Rosa Parks Way.

“You think so?” I ask, “because as annoying as they are, it’s the hipsters I can’t stand. Most of them seem to be from California, too, but they’re even more self-righteous than the middle-aged couples.”

He laughs. “I’m guessing you don’t have kids,” he says, and I concede the point. “I have to drop my kid off to play with theirs, and they’re some smug motherfuckers,” he continues. “And the thing about them is that they’re the ones who’re really changing things, the ones who realized they could sell their place in Cali and get a much nicer one here, back before the market died down there. You’ve got to follow the money.”

“But if the hipsters hadn’t moved in first to make these neighborhoods ‘safer,’ the Californians wouldn’t have ever thought that they were hip or arty or whatever, and wouldn’t have moved there.”

“True enough.”

“I mean, it’s like Portland’s victim to Burning Man imperialism—all these kids heard some good things and were like, ‘Let’s build a community,’ never mind that there already was one.”

“Nice city, we’ll take it,” he mutters. “I guess they’re leaving us Gresham.”

“Have you seen what’s going on on Foster? They’re moving east pretty quickly.”

“Portland—where capitalist evil wears American Apparel,” he says, “and sends its kids to yoga.”

I laugh.

 
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