SAD: Portlandia No More.

Stare wrongly at the wrong homeless person, cut off the wrong car in certain neighborhoods, or just be a bystander when the gangs start shooting, and you could end up dead. Was it always so? Not like this. Crime has skyrocketed since Brownstein’s character asked after the previous life and times of the chicken she was ordering for dinner.

Once a commenter on a story I’d written at a conservative website, after seeing that my bio included Portland, wrote: “Portland? You must feel surrounded.”

It’s true that Portland is blue. It gets a lot of conservative bad press. Urinals were omitted from blueprints for the new mega-million dollar city hall—something about gender neutrality? When Antifa besieged downtown in 2020, resulting in months of rioting and millions in property damage, President Trump offered to send in the National Guard. City hall refused the help, and vilified Trump instead. A Trump fan wearing an insignia was murdered by a rabble rouser who laid in wait at a parking garage. The killer was later gunned-down by federal agents in a Washington State apartment complex parking lot.

Downtown hasn’t recovered. Businesses are still fleeing. Slabs of plywood cover many street-level windows. Intractable homelessness besotting block after block and open-air shooting galleries have turned Portland into a no-go zone for thousands of locals and decimated the tourist and convention trade. The pandemic played a part in creating the current malaise, but that’s over, and there’s been little discernible bounce-back.

Decline is a choice, and one Portland voters make again and again.