Our Portland Story is a community story project featuring selected local writers and designers. The latest volume took nearly 3 years to complete but I’m proud to have been selected as part of this great project. My writing was paired up with a local designer’s interpretation of the story and despite the somewhat frightening illustration of my face, I think the essence of the story was captured beautifully. Books are available in Portland area bookstores and online. Click on image at left to read the story.
I just finished reading William Todd Schultz’s Torment Saint, the poignant, sad, troubled biography of Elliott Smith. To borrow a well-worn title from another less tragic contemporary (David Eggers), Smith’s music and legacy is truly the Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Of course the tales of depression, drug abuse, and sad lyrics are nothing new to anyone familiar with the myth of Elliott Smith, but as I turned each page of the book, I realized that Smith is someone I would have liked – even with his insufferable self-loathing. Clearly this was another case of an artist who enjoyed making art for art’s sake and when that art was co-opted for mass consumption and all the pitfalls that accompany corporate success, it was simply too heavy to handle – insert Kurt Cobain here.
Hey, guess what? Portland, Oregon is cool now. Seriously, everyone’s talking about it. New Yorker Magazine, Time Magazine, Spin Magazine – they’re all just plain nutzo about this new Portlandia show on the IFC network and everything else about this crazy town. I suppose all the dandy Portland fashion designers cutting cloth on Project Runway and that snarky Voodoo Doughnuts getting the spotlight on The Food Network has contributed to Portland becoming the epicenter of cool. I mean, a major UK news source known as The Guardian picked Portland as one of the top five places ON EARTH to live thanks to all the attention lately.