Those of you who are over 60 will probably remember Sunset Magazine from your youth – that’s how old it is. Now, desperate for attention in the days of the internet, the doddering Mrs. Sunset has stirred up trouble by comparing cities to each other. First was San Francisco against Los Angeles – I won’t still your heart by giving away the winner. Now they have thrown Portland and Seattle into the ring, and according to their final score, Seattle has CRUSHED Portland.
Our side was argued by Ivy Manning, noted author and champion of our food scene. Jess Thomson, the writer of some cookbook you’ve never heard of, argued Seattle’s side, starting with a left hook that no-one saw coming –
Of all cities, Seattle knows it doesn’t pay to be popular in high school. You might be pretty now, Portland, but when the food-truck fire fizzles, The New York Times isn’t going to be thick enough to keep your flame burning. Go ahead: Make your farm-to-table roots look deeper by snuggling closer to your beloved animals. We’ll keep making great food from a more diverse culinary background, using ingredients from the best artisanal markets in the country, created by chefs who have a knack for winning awards. And then we’ll shift into high gear.
Well!! I thought I was snarky!
Sunset hits hard on the “Smug factor” too –
Portlanders say it’s the media that brings an air of hipsterdom and preciousness to its micro-everything culture and urban-farming craze. Well, up to a point. This city doesn’t stand on ceremony—no one bats an eye if you wear jeans to a 7-course meal—but it can feel like you’re not a real local unless you own a chicken coop or make beer in your bathtub. And you can’t ignore Portland’s one-upmanship when it comes to the “greenness” of the food or its ultra-hard-core vegan community.
For the record, I’ve never made beer in my bathtub. Gin, yes, but not beer.
A few of the reasons behind their choice –
- “Pop-up” restaurants. Please. That’s a scene that came and died in six months. Portland’s moved on.
- Salumi Cured meats. Ok, I like Salumi. I also like Olympic Provisions, Chop, Tails & Trotters, etc., all which we have here. If we want to, we can buy Salumi products at stores that still carry them. Usually in the bottom corner of a meat case. Gathering dust. Cough.
- Melrose Market. I can’t argue this one. Melrose is the market that Portland wishes it had.
- Cafe Besalu. I haven’t been to their much-vaunted Cafe, but I daresay that it can’t be any better than St. Jacks ambrosial pastries.
They fail to mention things like the godawful Seattle traffic which makes it impossible to go to restaurants, the weather that is even worse than ours and did I mention the traffic?
We know magazines are all about ways to get the largest advertising exposure these days, so they spread the outcome over 20 freaking pages. However, if you have the patience to plow through them all, feel free to comment here about this OUTRAGE! I spit on each page as I read it. Promise you will ignore their advertisements and then use it to line a birdcage.
Ivy Manning put up a great fight, but was beaten by the editorial sway of a city with more potential readers than Portland. Humph. I’d cancel my subscription to Sunset, but don’t have one – I thought they had folded back in the 70’s.