I like Portland; it has a rich, sordid history (Shanghai Tunnels, corrupt government officials; read the book "Portland Confidential" for details). It's still fairly small (1.5 million), but big enough to attract good touring bands and spawn a ton of good local bands like The Dandy Warhols, Menomena, The Helio Sequence, Viva Voce and L Mix R.
Nevertheless, bike lanes aren't always properly marked, hippies abound, and there's a lot of bums. Still, the panhandlers were a lot more aggressive and angry when I lived in Seattle.
We also have movies on rooftops downtown, theater pubs, great music venues, and our monthly First Thursday arts events.
In Portland, we have many good things, but we also have excessive homeless folks, questionable cell phone service, and belligerent bicyclists. What gets me is people who move here and then brag about how much they dislike it so much (see the comments here). Portland's population has grown a lot in the past 10-15 years, mostly due to people moving here from out of state. So, as a native Portlander, I have little tolerance for a Californian who comes here, helps to congest traffic and inflate home prices, and then posts 3 times on a blog about how he doesn't like it here, nor does he like Portlanders.
"The funniest thing about this place (I've been here for two years, from the Bay Area) is the high opinion Portlanders have of their local food and culture. They make me giggle a lot." - Richard B.
Fellow Portlanders, most of us try to support the local arts scene, local economy, local cafes, local restaurants, and local government, and this Californian is criticizing us for it? WTF? And so what if you're from the Bay Area? Is that supposed to be impressive? Based on nothing, I would guess that this is a guy who lives in the suburbs, drives an SUV, and shops nowhere but strip-malls and chain stores. Richard B., if you dislike Portland's local food and culture so much, why don't you giggle yourself back to California? I'm sure none of us Portlanders would mind having one less ridiculous (read: Portland-hating) Californian here.