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A double dose of Portland

Fiona Crack | 10:36 UK time, Thursday, 8 March 2007

Portland gets a raw deal. We're descending on them to do two programmes, four hours of broadcasting, over two days of Oregonians talking to the world. So listen up, speak up, and have your say.

Portlandmountain.jpgThursday 22 March is from the Bagdad Theatre and Pub. It seat 590, but we’ve only got 4 microphones so we’re planning on squeezing 200 of you into the ground floor stalls. You can see the picture on the website. Both of the events are, of course, free and you can reserve your ticket by emailing our partner station OPB here.

Please state on your email if you would like to come to the Thursday or Friday show. We ask guests to arrive by 9am and the event will finish at 12 noon. Friday 23 will come from the OPB television studios and we hope you’ll come along to hear our debates on the World’s news and with particular focus on the environment.

I asked a few of my friends from Portland what was best about their city. They said “ gorgeous landscape,
Independent local spirit, mania for locally-grown, sustainable food, everything outdoors (biking, backpacking, hiking, skiing, surfing, windsurfing, camping, mountain climbing, rock climbing) and strong environmental consciousness.”

It was the last point that first drew our attention. WHYS is re-broadcast in Oregan on KOPB so we often get emails from that neck of the woods. One day in January we were discussing global warming and two female listeners from Portland told us that they weren’t going to have to children because of the state of the environment. A good kick off for a discussion…

Portlandcheerleaders.jpgI also asked for the worst things about Oregon and my contacts said “the population is homogenously white and resistant to changes in demographic and highly segregated along political lines (lefties and right-wingers cluster together and don't mix much).” World Service listeners and contributors (and indeed the team) are not homogenously white and politically segregated and you’ll be sure to hear plenty of conflicting voices with all kinds of experience taking part in our programme.

Nina sent me her cheerful note to help me prepare…

“You're coming in March, so it will rain every day, all day. You probably won't see Mt. Hood because of the clouds, and unless you're staying the weekend, you probably will miss our beautiful, wild, rugged coastline (about 1 1/2 hour's drive each way).“

Higgins and McCormick & Schmicks have both been recommended by listeners for our traditional sampling of local food. Linda tells me we won't go wrong if we go with “seafood – the Pacific Ocean still gives us tasty seafood. Wild salmon and Dungeness Crab are the best” and April adds that we should finish off with “anything containing marionberries - pie, cake, jam...”

Apparently I can’t talk about Portland without noting that the Simpons creator, Matt Groening, grew up in Portland and named many of his characters after the streets of Portland (including Flanders, Quimby, Terwilliger, Lovejoy). Sounds like a sight-seeing trip to me.

Nina says that “ Portland has more micro-breweries per capita than any other city in the US, so I hope you like beer.” And seeing our Editor Mark is a real ale fan, I think that will go down very well.

My thanks to our listeners Nina, Linda, April and others for their inside information and to Todd Samusson for his photos. Please, listeners and readers of Oregon, take the time to add yours…..telling us first and foremost what you want to hear from WHYS in Oregan.


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