Recently, 2 Degrees Portland, a non-profit organization connected to Creative Portland, created the event “Portlyn” in a “3,600 sf Art Studio” space,” according to their Facebook page. Their métier is to be “a network of people who want to sustain and grow the economy by welcoming creators, innovators, entrepreneurs, and thinkers to the area–a sort of 21st century welcome wagon.”
We at Portland Magazine would like to jump onto the wagon and welcome thinkers to the area. Snippets from members online, below head shots: “I construct nightlife experiences, then I relax.” “I make radio.” “I connect people to art.”
The event itself, “Portlyn,” was conducted at artist Jung Hur’s 173 Neal Street Art Studio from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. As the 2 Degrees Facebook announces, “We have so many members that have moved here from Brooklyn/NYC and we’d like them all to have a place to connect with other Brooklyners and Portland.” Sounds like the usual mixer. Then, here’s where the wheels fall off–a Facebook posting, since vanished, along the lines of, So many people from Brooklyn are moving here, maybe Portland should change its name to Portlyn.
Okay, now what? You mean like in the Viceroy Club in The Second Best Marigold Hotel, where the British expats have dinner with each other to revel in their Britishness? Or in A Passage to India, where there’s an insulated neighborhood of colonials who are terrified of the locals? Really, we natives aren’t going to bite.
One of the questions posed in the Portlyn prospectus for the partiers to dish about was: “What is your Brooklyn haven in Portland?” Well, we’ve already got the Old Port. We successfully shot down the Hooters opening downtown because we didn’t want to look like somewhere else. So would it really be different if we celebrated how we looked like Brooklyn? We should be careful to observe the distinction between a creative economy and a derivative economy.
News flash: There were always creative types here in plaids and Bean boots–long before the New York invasion. We’re here because there’s a here here–something real. That’s what we celebrate here in Portland. We’re so bespoke we don’t even need to bespeak of it.
Maybe Brooklyn should change its name to Brookland.