Sunday, February 15, 2009

Portland craftiness

M. Ward: Pursuing his own Oregon trail | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times

A charming article on M. Ward and a very talented circle of Portland musicians and artists who are friends of my sister, and I'm a fan.

But Ann Powers' assertion that gentrification in Portland has felt "less perilous or politically incorrect than in more diverse locales" is dangerously out of touch. Who did she interview on the subject? The super funky NE Portland neighborhood around Alberta street, to which many such bohemians have flocked in the last decade, is a classic case of rapid-fire gentrification. The largely working-class, African-American population that has lived there for generations is quickly being pushed out by rising rents and taxes, and the new culture of white hipness that no longer feels like home. I appreciate the glowing article on Northwest D.I.Y. culture and craftsmanship, but let's not ignore the other realities that come with them.

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