Friday, November 15, 2013

Portland Is Dying, Revisited

It's the birth rate, stupid at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Economic convergence and migration economies.

Subject Article: "Steve Duin: The sustained mediocrity of Oregon's higher-ed system."

Other Links: 1. "London: people moving out, people moving in."
2. "London Brain Drain."
3. "Check of Portland’s vitals shows signs of life."
4. "'Fastest Dying Cities' Meet for a Lively Talk."
5. "Texas Is Dying."
6. "Chicago Is Dying."
7. "Germany's Ann Arbor Dilemma."
8. "Urban Innovators: University Park Alliance."
9. "Got kids?"
10. "Economist tells Akron group that attracting talent is key to thriving cities."
11. "Talent Attraction Expert Joe Cortright."
12. "Not Dante's Pittsburgh."
13. "Once nearly extinct, U.S. streetcar is back."
14. "Don’t count on future immigrants for economic growth."
15. "Rust Belt chic: Declining Midwest cities make a comeback."
16. "Millennials Flock to Washington After Abandoning City in Recession."
17. "Andrew Zimmern on AZ Canteen, Pharmashilling, and Why Pittsburgh Is Hot"

Postscript: Believe or not, I'm tired of writing about Portland. But then I stumbled into that Steve Duin opinion piece comparing higher education in Oregon with that of North Carolina. It was a good opportunity to clear the air about the Portland-Pittsburgh comparison. Enough of that. Andrew Zimmerman saying nice things about Pittsburgh:

Pittsburgh: You talk about an island in the Darwinian sense. Here's a major American city stuck at the end of a series of river valleys, cut off from the rest of country. It is a Eastern European immigrant city — working class, blue collar — that has reinvented itself over the last 10-20 years with this craftsman approach to life that reminds me of cities like Austin, Portland, OR and Portland, ME. I hate to be one of those people who's like 'Pittsburgh is the next big thing,' but I get around more than most people and I'm telling you, Pittsburgh is like the next big thing. The geography lends itself, it's incredibly lush farmland, and inexpensive city with incredible history. They're renovating 100 year old railroad terminals into city markets. They had chefs who left the city because there was no scene and went to LA, they have the talent to be anywhere in America, and they have come back and can afford to open their own places and do what they want. It's very, very exciting. As a student of these things, there's just enough Fortune 500, sports teams, to feed that group. The art community and food community are kind of leading but there's money following them.

I think people who are in eastern Pennsylvania and it's like: Who can afford a $5 million house on the beach? Why not get a beautiful house on the river? I saw places that are just breathtaking. It's also got the Appalachians running through, so it's got stunning geography. The food scene is cool. Lots of good stuff going on. There are these old bars in these old 'hoods ... It's like today's special is goulash, tomorrow's is stuffed cabbage, huge portions. There's like three grandmas and a grandpa making this from scratch, the best stuffed cabbage I've ever had and I grew up on that.

If you think Zimmerman is gushing about the Burgh here, give this a listen: "Go Fork Yourself: Pittsburgh with Rick Sebak."

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