Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ed Borasky can count to twenty-five, blog, and brag about microbrews

Today's post is from Guest Contributor Ed Borasky. This piece first appeared on Borasky Research Journal under the title Twenty Five Years and Counting.

May 13, 2010, marks the 25th anniversary of my arrival in the Portland, Oregon area. I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, and I call it my home. For those of you reading this from outside the area, I invite you to come visit us. There are lots of conferences, festivals and other reasons to come here, but – well – it’s just an all-around wonderful place.

But the thing is, I don’t actually live in Portland, but in a suburb called Aloha that, strangely enough, has nothing to do with Hawaii. And I’ve never been to Hawaii, so I can’t very well ask you to visit there, can I? So, yes, definitely Portland!

What do we have?

  1. Water. Two major rivers meet here, and fresh water literally falls out of the sky free for the taking! If you like it salty, there’s a few bays and coves a couple of hours to the west.
  2. Air. We get our air mostly fresh off the ocean, or occasionally funneled through the Columbia Gorge by a high-pressure cell. In any event, we get it before much of the US, and we try our damnedest not to add stuff to it on its way east.
  3. Mountains. Yeah, there’s one not too far away that gave us a little trouble in 1980, but for the most part, they’re pretty to look at and a great place to go skiing.
  4. Parks. There are so many, I can’t list them all, so I’ll just give you a link to my favorite. Tryon Creek State Park. And my second favorite, Cooper Mountain Nature Park.
  5. Beer. Contrary to popular belief, you can get imported beer here. But why would you? Ours has better hops, has more alcohol, is served in pubs, restaurants, banquet halls and even movie theaters! To quote Wikipedia, “Portland has more breweries and brewpubs per capita than any other city in the United States.
  6. Food and wine. We grow it. We catch it in the ocean. We make it. We cook it. We eat it. We package it up and ship it. And we love to share it. Our food cart scene has been featured on national television and in the New York Times.
  7. Entertainment. New York has Greenwich Village. Washington has Georgetown. Portland has — Portland! Jazz, folk, rock, symphonic, chamber, ballet, opera, and two new music ensembles. Portland has numerous theater companies and a major performing arts center. We have listener-supported jazz and classical radio stations heard around the world on the Internet. Oh, yeah – if you happen to hear bagpipes, they just might be coming from a unicyclist.
  8. Bloggers and Tweeters and Geeks, Oh! My!
    I’m a blogger. I have one. I used to have five. And I have a LinkedIn page. And I tweet, a lot. At last count more than any other Portlander. Folks around here call me @znmeb.

    Geeks: we have Linus Torvalds. Perhaps you’ve heard of Linux? He invented it.

    We have Ward Cunningham. Perhaps you’ve heard of the wiki? He invented it.

    We have major contributors to Perl, PostgreSQL, Ruby, WordPress and other open source projects. We have Jive Software and Zapproved. We have the Silicon Florist. We have 30 Hour Day. We have Strange Love Live.

    We love social media, software and . . . social media software! Software is a craft here, just like belts, jewelry and beer. You can actually sit and watch us make it in coffee shops and pubs.
So if you’re looking for a great city to visit this year, we’re here in Portland! Just be careful crossing the street if you hear bagpipes. 

If you would like a more in-depth conversation with Ed Borasky, follow @znmeb on Twitter. Or, offer to buy him a cup of coffee like I did.

Other guest contributors have been Jennifer Green.