I read with interest your reader’s letter about Portlanders blaming gays for changing Portland from “pleasant but affordable” to “a super-hip but very expensive place from which families are fleeing.” First, I assumed that Portlanders blamed Californians for raising home prices, e.g., the “Don’t Californicate Oregon” bumper stickers. (California tech companies provide many jobs in and around Portland, which attract younger, higher income people.)
LGBT people and Californians have helped locals make Portland’s arts community and food and wine scene among the most interesting in the country. Perhaps some blame gays for gentrification because of their prominence in the community, including the out gay mayor. But by comparison to other West Coast cities, Portland is still pleasant but affordable; that’s why Californians and gays are still moving there. And given Portland’s dropping real estate prices (the hip, urban Pearl District is down about 10% in the past year), perhaps locals’ attitudes may soften on outsiders buying homes there.
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