Tomorrow: A Different Side of “The City of Roses”
My wife and I traveled, first time post-Pandemic, to Portland. As always, there were delightful aspects to the prevailing counter-culture.
BUT … Downtown Portland is the most grim place I’ve ever been to in North America. There are no communities, but rather squalid clusters of homeless people. No tiny houses, but tents, tarps, pallets, and boxes that provide minimal shelter. No colorful street art, but spray-painted, expletive-laced graffiti. The only thing that is not in short supply is human misery.
The “city of roses” has this amidst its blooms.
Don’t call them “homeless.” They prefer the term “houseless.” They live by the on-ramps, underpasses … any place that provides a semblance of shelter.
It’s a jungle out there. I wanted to do a sensitive photo essay on the current state of downtown Portland, but I didn’t have either the stomach for it, nor the courage or talent. I saw this man lying helplessly on a Portland sidewalk:
The rest of the world (me included) passed him by. This is just too common a sight in Portland to be noteworthy. Apparently the same scene is replayed constantly in our West Coast cities. The following clip is not Portand, but Los Angeles, but it gives a scope of the problem facing America: