Friday, March 04, 2011


Was in Portland for a couple of days for a hectic training trip. This was my second trip to the city (the first one having been in November).

I have been told that it is a beautiful city with snow covered peaks in the vicinity (Mount Hood), beautiful evergreen forests and the rugged pacific coast. Unfortunately, there was no way to verify this claim, as the city's skies were saturated with clouds all along. This was the case in November -- and it was also the case now. For all I knew, all the maps and photos could be an elaborate ruse, and that surroundings of the city could be as flat as central Texas.

Did I mention the gloom? I believe most native Portlanders believe that the sun exists only for 3 months a year, and the rest of the year it is replaced by some sort of hazy continuum in the sky. Stands to reason that Copernicus, Galileo and the like did not hail from Oregon. And it rains all the time. It rains so much that there's moss on the asphalt!

My employer (who shall remain unnamed) has several campii in the area -- and each campus hires several thousands people, who commute on the perpetually wet streets of Portland. I found one fairly ironic thing on campus: a covered parking area with solar panels on top. It certainly is the height of optimism to expect to produce any useful amount of electricity from the 270 days of utter gloom that the city encounters. I'd like to meet whoever did the ROI calculations on that.

I could now relate to why Nirvana, Alice in Chains and the like produced such gloomy music -- Seattle essentially has the same weather. There is no way you could expect bubblegum pop to arise from such a setting.

On a concluding note, I look forward to one of my subsequent trips to Portland being in Summer. I have been told that those 3 months (from July to September) begin to resemble paradise. This will be a welcome change from the 50C temperatures in the Valley of the Sun, which spring, summer and fall invariably bring with them.

No comments: