As part Intel’s Urban Atmospheres, Chris Beckmann and Eric Paulos have been distributing matchbooks that say “i love/hate portland” on them. On the inside, there’s a message to text message your secret identity. When you do, it knows where the matches were distributed and sends you a message to indicate what you love/hate about Portland. You later get messages from other people about what they think.
So, i’m sitting in a cafe in downtown Portland writing my talk for tomorrow. It’s a pretty bougie cafe, complete with leather cozy chairs and a million types of coffee. The bathroom is covered in anarchist grafitti. There’s a note that says 50% of Portlanders arrived in the last 10 years – go back to California! Lots of comments about our president and our freedoms and whatnot.
This very crunchy early 20s kid comes in with his guitar and opens up his nice laptop, immediately commenting to my friend about his music (ah, iTunes sharing). I surf his music (since his comment is clearly meant to encourage that) – mostly small bands plus an assortment of Yes/Rush/Led Zeppelin. A girl comes in and sees him – he says he’s off to work, is she? She hasn’t worked since January; he remarks on how cool that is (i.e. escaping the man). On his way out, he picks up a thing of matches and exclaims “fucking pretentious hipsters.” I can’t help but ROFL.
I love Portland.