Firstly, Portland is a great town with a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the Artwalk, which originally was a collaboration of artists, businesses and galleries and presented a pleasant excuse to schmooze, view local art in a low pressure environment, meet the artists and enjoy a bite or sip of wine, has devolved into a yard sale circus.
Last night the filthy Congress Street sidewalks were so crowded with kiddies selling campcrafts, oldies selling toilet paper cozies, down and outers selling junk, hipsters selling, well I'm not sure what some of the stuff was. There was an overabundance of food carts, t-shirt vendors and tchotchkes of all varieties... you get the picture. Even the galleries were claustrophobicly crowded and stuffy, making actually seeing the art from any viewpoint except 'too close' difficult.
The oozing crowd made it difficult to nearly impossible to stop and look at the sidewalk kiosks without being jostled and made such a clear and beautiful spring evening feel cramped and uncomfortably close.
When did what used to be a pleasant way to pass a summer evening become such a tacky zoo? While the vibe was friendly and upbeat, the atmosphere has devolved into a garage sale attitude.
Clean up your act, Portland. You're better than this.
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