Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Does Britain have a Portlandia?

Interesting New York Times piece about the kind of people who have moved to Portland, Oregon. They've got good college educations and yet prefer to work as baristas or yoga teachers.

“People move to New York to be in media or finance; they move to L.A. to be in show business,” Renn said. “People move to Portland to move to Portland.”

 It's interesting for two reasons: it recognises what's been clear for the last twenty years. Lots of young people want the good lifestyle but don't want to do the work that buys the lifestyle and therefore will get by on next to nothing if it means they can noodle about playing music or designing a website for a friend.

The other is that Americans have traditionally relocated across the nation if it means they can afford the kind of life they want.

There's been talk of this over here recently in the light of the Scottish independence debate and HS2. Could Britain sustain its own Portlandia? Does it have one already?


  1. Britain already does have its own Portland - Berlin.

    Moving within EU not that different from upping sticks across the USA.

  2. Yes, it's called Hebden Bridge.

  3. Brighton, obviously. The article is a little bit sniffy about Portlandians - just because they value culture and organic shoes or whatever over money doesn't make them non-adults, just adults with different values.

  4. All due respect to Brighton and Hebden Bridge, but if Britain does have its own Portlandia, it's a well kept secret.

  5. I'm with Tim on this. If our Portlandia is anywhere it is Brighton. Or, what about Totnes or -lazy me -Dalston?

  6. Certain parts of Pembrokeshire have exhibited this for a long time.

  7. Certain parts of Pembrokeshire have long attracted this demographic.