"Riding Out the Recession in Portland" ~ The Oregonian

Blast from the past, #TBT: I used to write for The Oregonian's Editorial pages fairly regularly. Here's one from the heart of the Great Recession, from 2009. Excerpt:

It made sense during the last decade or so to hype our desirable qualities and squeeze 'em for dollars. Economic growth, creative class population increase and cultural expansion raised our spirits, our rents and our international profile as a city to watch.

But let's get real.

Our state's creative life, attention to the environment and love of fabulous espresso drinks predate the boom by decades. If you didn't grow up here in the 1970s and '80s, let me tell ya: Oregon experienced a long run of lean, hungry times. We didn't start bands in basements, write poetry in oddball cafes and recycle fanatically in order to get rich. We knew that to become conventionally successful, we'd have to get the heck out of here.

Many of us left to explore bigger cities, but many of us came back home. Wealth and conventional measures of success, it turned out, weren't the motivating factors in our lives.

Read it all at oregonlive.com.