In Polite Company
I'm plan-crazy, pretty much because it's a way to procrastinate pressing matters, and my latest time-waster involves researching what to eat and drink in my hometown of Portland, where I might possibly go for a short getaway in late summer. It's not as if the scene will radically change in the next three months.
In the 11 years I've been away good ol' Stumptown has apparently morphed into the epicenter of all that's twee, do-good and cloying. I mean, it was always an indie-spirit type of place but full of poor downtrodden folks who couldn't get their shit together if they tried where now it's teeming with transplants with the emotional and financial stability to make good on their dreams.
I don't know what to think. Frankly, I'm scared of the place, which is probably why I've only been back twice in over a decade (the real reason is that with limited funds and vacation days I'd rather leave the country than visit the west coast). But I'm alone in my wariness judging from number-one-ranked, "Frugal Portland" being the most e-mailed story in the New York Times on Sunday. (For the record, Portland also takes the number one spot in depression and suicidal tendencies as well as general unhappiness)
As I explore restaurants online, I've noticed a growing trend (ok, two so far—I'll only need one more example to seal the deal) of passive assholiness at the bottom of menus.
Now, is that really polite? I don't have any problems with chefs putting the kibosh on substitutions (I've never asked for one in my life) but New York me wants them to just say what they mean, no need to be all squirrelly and Northwest about it.