'Don't move to Portland, Oregon' movement aims to de-hype the over-hype

PORTLAND, Ore. -- As Portland grows rapidly, there is a new movement out there called "Don't move to Portland, Oregon." It's gaining traction on social media with #dontmovetoportlandoregon.

"I really like the people, the people are really great," said Ashley Taylor who lives in Portland.

"There's just shazaming (sic) music everywhere. I like the food trucks, and the donuts," said Thomas Mosley, who is planning on moving to the city.

"There's a lot of opportunity here, there's a lot going on," said Rachel Robbins of California.

All of them described the Portland everyone loves to love.

The website called "Don't move to Portland, Oregon" describes the opposite. Its mission "to show the true Portland, the coal dust, the Vitamin D deficiencies, the sidewalk poops, the trash piles. 'Portlandia' has made Portland into a faerie tale, a manic pixie dream city, it looks great, but it's all surface."

"There's a little truth there," said Ashely Taylor about the message. "People are putting it out there, just to, you know, test the waters to see if it's gaining traction, and they're gaining traction."

A recent Instagram post by the site: "#Portland aka #BridgeCity Sounds romantic, BUT IT IS REALLY A HUGE HASSLE."

People can get behind that one.

"Unfortunately, it takes twice as long to get anywhere because traffic's so bad," said Josh Robertson, a 12-year resident.

Taylor feels the same about traffic "and the prices, that's another thing. I'm trying to find a place right now and it's hard to find an affordable place."

Rachel Robbins says her California plates make her a moving target.

"It's not fun when you're on the receiving end of it," she said. "From a native perspective, I guess I could understand that."

The latest projection: in 20 years, we'll add 250,000 people. That is a 40 percent increase. The site's author clearly saw that coming.

"It's funny and it's fun," Robertson said. "But at the same time, I mean, at a certain point, it's like stop being negative, and find some positive spin to it. There's a lot of people moving here, sell them something. So you can afford to keep living in your own city."

Its creators want to remain anonymous and would not do a formal interview. Late Tuesday night, they talked about why they created the site via email, writing:

"After seeing the Youtube video "Stop Telling People About Portland" we were inspired to show "Real Portland" to people on Instagram vs the overly filtered same photos of a gorgeous skyline. Don't move to Portland - because we clearly don't have our (expletive deleted) together. We also draw inspiration from the late Governor Tom McCall and the James G. Blaine Society.

Portland is a real city, going through some major growing pains. The housing situation coupled with the growing number of homeless people, litter everywhere - these aren't really things people talk about. On our feed we have a platform to poke fun at things and offer a view of the over looked realities.

We hope if people don't take our advice and DO move to Portland, they are aware of the struggles we are facing as a city and have something to bring to the table to make it a better place.


You can join the conversation using #dontmovetoportlandoregon.

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