The Sad State of Portland

Portland. City of Roses. City of Protests. City of Empty Streets, empty sidewalks, empty storefronts. Here are my images from walking around a couple of blocks in the downtown central business district. This was the premier place to be. Full of shops, culture, unique stores, and people. Take a look at it today. Boarded up. Sidewalks empty. Graffiti. And the stench. I can’t capture it with the camera.

Where are our city leaders? As I drove in, there is a bold group (or maybe not so bold) that blocked a travel lane and moved in couches and grass to relax. Right in front of City Hall! One would think you’d have the travel lane opened up. Nope.

This City Council needs to wake up. The city is dying or it might be already dead. You decide.

Here is the sad state of our beloved City during the week. What should be a busy and bustling time is rather a sad and empty space. See for yourself.

How would you address this?



9 responses to “The Sad State of Portland”

  1. I live near Portland and rarely go downtown anymore. The photos are a good representation of city government that has abandoned its responsibilities due to confusion over whether to demand a basic level of conduct from citizens. A small percentage of the population is ruining livability for everyone else and the hapless city government caters to their endless demands. Crime, including murder, is way up. But the city government is using the correct pronouns!

    1. Thank you for your comment. I am curious where all the money has gone to help the homeless? We also need to support our police to do their jobs.

  2. Al Otta Anger

    When I first moved near Portland six years ago from Texas, I was alarmed by the dreadful state that Portland’s city center was in, and over the subsequent three years watched it decline further. Within four years I chose to pay my own way in the middle of the pandemic to flee the state of Oregon for healthier pastures in the South East USA. The conditions in and around Portland have soured my outlook on the entire Pacific coast and I tell recruiters regularly that no amount of money would ever get my family to return. Some seem offended yet more reply that they fully understand. Oregon voters allowed Portland to become the slum it is, and until they decide that they no longer wish to live in a sewer more high wage people will leave and more low to no-wage folks will move in.

    1. I am sorry to hear of your experience, Al. I always enjoyed and looked forward going downtown as a child. It was the destination to shop and grab lunch or see a play with my grandparents. Sadly, I rarely take my family down due to the conditions and safety.

  3. Hoped you would figure out that those couches and carpets and plants and bikes in parking spaces are a NATIONAL campaign to highlight removing car parking for bikes and green plants – it happens everywhere, the groups reserve their spaces in advance, and some go to great lengths to design their Park-let and make them pretty fancy. Did you happen to walk downtown by Nordstrom? Mario’s? The Pearl District? If you want to find boarded up buildings, I’m sure you’ll find them in every city after a 2 YEAR INTERNATIONAL PANDEMIC SHUT DOWN THE WORLD and businesses closed. But keep on bashing Portland – it’s an easy target.

    1. Thank you, Lisa. Portland is my hometown and I have lots of great memories downtown. I had an appointment at the Apple Store and was just so surprised going to Pioneer Place and seeing the current sad and depressed state. I just felt that I had to document what I was seeing in a late afternoon on a weekday. Did I walk to Nordstrom, Mario’s, or the Pearl District? No. I went to Pioneer Place Apple Store and then after walked a couple of blocks in the Central Business District. Have you gone to Bridgeport? They are investing millions of dollars in remodeling that mall. I don’t see that level of investment at Pioneer Place or Lloyd Center. You can read about it here: https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2022/05/bridgeport-village-plans-makeover-new-stores.html

    2. Hi Lisa – one other article you should read about Louis Vuitton. Another reader pointed this out to me and, personally, I hope that LV doesn’t have to pay any of that tax. Many business large and small were hurt by the lawlessness and their insurances didn’t cover the losses sustained by the riots. https://www.koin.com/news/city-of-portland-suit-against-louis-vuitton-alleges-42000-in-back-taxes/

  4. You took pictures of the yamhill pub, which is basically a Portland landmark, a building that’s been shuttered long before the pandemic and protests a few pieces of trash and a few of our houseless community. This is garbage but I guess it’s easier to sensationalize and point fingers than try to help.

    Sincerely someone who works downtown

    1. Hi Michael – thanks for your comment and trust me I do want to help! I used to love going downtown to shop, eat and watch plays. Not anymore. How can we make it better? Since you work downtown, what’s your perspective to make it safer and bring people back? How it is today, many businesses won’t last too much longer.

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