Thursday, July 03, 2008

Gay Portland

According to some real estate number crunchers, Portland, Oregon tops the Gay Ghetto list for 2008.

I'm not exactly sure what that means, but the article describes it thusly:

Each year we choose our Gay Ghetto Top 10 by cross-analyzing demographics against real estate sales data to discover those especially prized metropolitan areas throughout the USA that are most in vogue with the diverse GLBT community. When the number crunching is over, we usually have 10 distinct winners, individually ranked by virtue of their popularity.

In case anyone is wondering, Austin came in at #8, which ain't too shabby either. Although I find that prize a litte weird, as Austin has always been known as a really gay city with no real "gay ghetto," meaning no real distinct "gay" neighborhood, you know, with the shops and restaurants and what-not, like Chelsea or Boy's Town. Which I've always sort of liked and disliked about Austin. I like it because I think it speaks to an overall acceptance of and friendliness toward gays all over the city without having to compartmentalize so much. But sometimes you just wanna go where everybody's gay and you can sort of take that for granted. I'm sure that sounds stupid, but that's one thing I sort of miss about living in Dallas. (And that's about the only thing.) Sometimes I think a lack of a distinctive area just leads to a real incoherence of any kind of gay scene, and I do think that's reflected a little bit in Austin.

Anyway, here's what the article says about Portland and Austin, respectively:

Portland Oregon
The “Rose City” boasts a thriving arts scene that ranks among America’s best; and its Hawthorne District is home to one of the most concentrated lesbian communities on the continent. Portland’s Burnside Triangle is a triangular district that underwent a complete renaissance and is now thoroughly established as a GLBT enclave stretching over several energetic city blocks. The influence of Burnside spreads into nearby neighborhoods including the Pearl District (a former industrial section of old Portland that now booms with art and commerce) and the rather upscale and upbeat Northwest neighborhood. Earlier this year, Portland became the largest US City to elect an openly gay mayor, Sam Adams.

Austin has a long reputation for gay-friendliness, and what was long ago a large gay underground is now a tremendously creative GLBT synergy that permeates the whole city in full view of everyone. Austin is the state capital, an important academic center, and the music industry’s newest crown jewel. Plus the city has a high-tech industry presence only rivaled by Silicon Valley. Austin offers a wide range of GLBT enclaves that are literally all over the map, and Texas is famous for low taxes and high growth.

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