Sunday, March 08, 2009

Curse you, Portland!

Business Week has a list of America's twenty most depressing cities and Seattle's arch-nemesis, Portland has beaten us again. The magazine ranked fifty of the largest metropolitan areas based on depression rates, suicide, divorce, crime, unemployment, and cloudy days. Portland edged us out in every category except unemployment (WaMu's collapse gave us the edge there).* This is so unfair. Seattle's mass transit is vastly inferior to Portland's. Surely standing in the rain waiting for bus that's going to be late counts for something. Our downtown is uglier than theirs. Despite the real estate crash, housing in Seattle is still more expensive than in Portland. Both highways leaving town get closed far more often than theirs. Our city government is stupider and less colorful than theirs. Doesn't having fewer bicyclists mean we lack the will to get healthy? Why were these things left out of the scoring? Portland must have had an in with the judges.

* Oddly, we both are usually right at the top of "Most Livable City" lists. There must be something depressing about living in a great place. For the right sociology students, there's a dissertation or two in that paradox.

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