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Some of you know, but many may not, that @1967mustangman and I have left Portland, OR, for the greener pastures of Dayton, OH. While there are many things about Portland I miss (the food, Mustang’s family, my coworkers, the food, the mountains, the food…) it surprised me what a sense of relief I felt as we left the city limits. Driving a 22-foot diesel moving van was a learning experience — one which required asking @davecarter many questions on Facebook — but actually driving across this beautiful country helped remind me that there is life outside the dreary angst that progressives have created in Oregon. Wyoming and Nebraska were especially beautiful.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference is the lack of homeless people in Dayton. The winter weather is fairly inhospitable for living on the streets, and Dayton doesn’t really cotton to having homeless hanging out on street corners. Since we moved here, I have seen maybe four people asking for money on street corners. This is in stark contrast to the tent cities of Portland, where vagrancy is not only tolerated but accepted and supported. Because of that permissiveness, the freeways and under bridges are littered with trash, making the city look like a cross between Idiocracy and District 12 from The Hunger Games. Lest anyone think the homeless are harmless, I would invite you to read this, where the victim in question is my own sweet husband. To be fair, Ohio does have some of the highest heroin use in the country, but serious efforts are in place to stop the influx of drugs by the cartels. Meanwhile, at my hospital in Portland, a patient who denied any street drug use finally owned up to doing meth because, as he said, “I mean…everyone does a little meth…”
Since settling into our new place a month ago, my stress level has decreased dramatically. Oregon drivers are their own brand of special, and I’m no longer constantly angry and frustrated every time I drive down the street. I can get anywhere in the greater Dayton area in 20 minutes, as opposed to the 45 minutes it took me to commute to work at 6 am. Houses in Dayton are affordable, and the lots they’re built on are generally larger than the standard 8,000-square-foot lot in the suburbs of Portland. Why is that? Because there is no government-imposed urban growth boundary that causes people to be packed in like New Yorkers on a subway during rush hour. This also means that you can park your cars in your own driveway instead of on the street. A Portland building code makes garages and driveways just barely too small to fit two cars abreast. It is done to encourage people to give up one of their cars and utilize public transportation instead. I used to use the bus and Max system when I first moved there but had to stop when the bus going the hospital just didn’t show up a few mornings. You see the problem there. Because of the narrow driveways and garages, two car households are forced to park on the grass or on the street. The result is narrow streets that are a virtual slalom course when opposing traffic approaches. Driving in Portland is its own experience — there is a timidity to Oregon drivers that is infuriating to the rest of us. It is not at all uncommon for Oregonians to drive five miles under the speed limit on the freeway in the left lane! However, Ohio drivers are maniacs, a puzzling inconsistency with how nice everyone is.
People are nice here. I mean, very nice. Talk to you in the grocery store nice. Calling customer service at a local business and people are genuinely helpful nice. The kind of nice that people on the coasts don’t understand or value. When we broke the news of our impending move to friends of our in Portland, they also informed us of their move to Spain this summer. When we described how nice people in the Midwest are, the wife responded “It kinda gives me the heebie-jeebies. Plus I wouldn’t fit in, and I like my ethnic food too much. I think I would have a harder time adapting to Ohio than I would Spain.” When I explained how my new hospital had rolled out the red carpet for me during my interview, she said “Of course they did. There’s nothing else to look at amidst the flatness…” As someone who largely grew up in the South, it is that kind of dismissive contempt from coastal leftists that always made me feel like that girl in 7th grade with the headgear. The pretentiousness and false tolerance in Portland created a high-school-like environment of cool kids and losers.
Part of being new to Portland includes establishing one’s leftist bona fides — tattoos, unnatural hair colors, lefty bumper stickers, driving a Subaru, participating in marches, hiking, biking to work, and drinking kombucha. Ok, so I might drink kombucha … but I definitely did not measure up to Portland’s exacting standards of what’s acceptable. In fact, the mere fact that I came from the South and was open about my church attendance caused some coworkers to label me a racist, homophobic bigot without ever having one conversation with me. But as a college friend posted on Facebook this morning, that’s perfectly ok- conservatives do not deserve tolerance by the left. Since we left, Portland has continued its downward spiral into madness when 200 bikes at multiple Biketown stations were vandalized by a group saying “Our city is not a corporate amusement park.” Excuse me while I take some ibuprofen for my headache — it’s because of all the eye rolling. There’s no winning with the leftists of Portland. I guess being that woke precludes the ability to ever have any fun. It’s a miracle they ever emerge from their apartments- being that triggered at all times must be exhausting. But now I get to sit back and watch the crazy from afar, from the comfort of my new city where the traffic is light, people smile, and the children play in the yards of their houses that sit on an acre. So long, Portland!