Portland Ugly

Travel + Leisure recently issued its report on “America’s Favorite Cities” – a ranking of thirty cities across the nation based on the merits of each as a travel destination. I suspect that residents in each and every one of those cities are now griping about the injustice of the scoring. The online report cleverly avoids describing the top secret research methods used to derive the scores.

I’m sorry to report that Portland fell short on many important measures. But first the good news: Once again, our rugged outdoorsy, green “brand” earned us top ratings in the following categories:

#1 Public Parks/Access to Outdoors

#1 Environmental Friendliness

#1 Summer Vacation

#1 Safety

#1 Public Transportation and Pedestrian Friendliness

We came in a respectable second place for being “Athletic/Active” and in the "Farmer’s Markets" competition. We placed third for cafes/coffee bars and scored a decent #5 ranking for “Peace and Quiet.” What’s so funny is that they didn’t give scores for “Love” and “Understanding" (yes, that is a clumsy Elvis Costello reference). We are the fourth most intelligent city.

Since we only scored tenth in the "Friendliest" category, I feel justified in saying, "Suck it, St. Louis!"

It is on the cultural front where our deepest shame is apparent. Portland landed at #19 for theater. Even Cleveland was ahead of us in the 12th place slot. Seattle only made it to #14 (behind Las Vegas at #11, even though that city received the lowest score for "Intelligence" ). Our “Classical Music” score was a middling #16, while Museum/Galleries and Historical Sites/Monuments slunk in at the bottom with scores of #23 and #24 respectively.

What really hurts is our #17 placement for “Attractive People.” Worse than the numerical score is this inane description:

“Portland’s well-documented alternative lifestyle, which may account for its [top ranking] for overall quality of life/visitor experience… may not conform to most visitors’ standards of ‘normal’ beauty.”

Translation: Portlanders are freaks.
At least we didn’t get this comment:

“Cleveland may be internationally recognized for its #1 ranking in affordability, but there’s no getting around the fact that its residents are uniformly hideous to look upon. Visitors to Cleveland may want to take advantage of the city’s #2 ranking for classical music; closing your eyes while listening to the Cleveland Orchestra provides a welcome respite from the monstrous appearance of local residents.”

Okay, so I made that one up. My point is that the one thing worse than annual city ratings by travel magazines is the writing in those magazines.


Unknown said...

Ok, I went to attractiveness part of this article and it explained a lot. If Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston ranked in the top ten, that tells you a lot about what's deemed "attractive."

Portland is full of adorable, scruffy-bearded, thin-as-a-rail boys on bikes. We also have an abundance of sassy, tattooed ladies with great thrift store ensembles and messy hair. I think we're HOT!!!

Houston, Miami and Los Angeles are full of plucked, tweezed, botoxed, augmented ladies wearing teeny, tiny designer clothes. Those fashionistas and the clean cut Docker wearing men hold no appeal for me.

It's pretty clear the attractiveness police at Travel and Leisure don't share my taste.

Stephen said...

Hey... I've been going to the gym. What do they want from me?

culturejock said...

Great post, thanks for letting us know about this travesty. I would boycott Travel and Leisure but that would require zero energy on my part and hardly anyone reads it anyway.

MightyToyCannon said...

Portland has all the more reason to boycott Travel + Leisure since it made the Portland Building the lead item in its story about "The World's Ugliest Buildings." Sure, the Portland Building has some problems, but the world's ugliest?

Unknown said...

What about our live music ranking? #17? Every act that comes through the west coast hits Portland and this is one of the only cities where you can get tickets to see the act!

MightyToyCannon said...

Tom is right about our 17th place finish in Live Music/Bands is an egregious error! While we may be behind Kansas City and Houston, at least we're one step ahead of Seattle. I'll point out that we're a mere #25 for "Singles Scene/Bars," but I presume that is because we're all hideously ugly.

Anonymous said...

Portland is full of ugly guys. The girls are pretty and fairly well dressed. I'm surprised when I see an attractive guy in Portland!