Claire Cain Miller for the NYT, "Will Portland Always Be a Retirement Community for the Young":
Portland has taken hold of the cultural imagination as, to borrow the tag line from “Portlandia,” the place where young people go to retire. And for good reason: The city has nearly all the perks that economists suggest lead to a high quality of life — coastlines, mountains, mild winters and summers, restaurants, cultural institutions and clean air. (Fortunately, college-educated people don’t value sunshine as much as they used to.) Portland also has qualities that are less tangible but still likely to attract young people these days, like a politically open culture that supports gay rights and the legalization of marijuana — in addition to the right of way for unicyclists or the ability to marry in a 24/7 doughnut shop. “It’s really captured the zeitgeist of the age in a way that no other small city in America ever has,” said Aaron Renn, an urban-affairs analyst who writes the Urbanophile blog. According to professors from Portland State University, the city has been able to attract and retain young college-educated people at the second-highest rate in the nation. (Louisville, Ky., is No. 1.) I was in Portland last week for XOXO --- my first time in the city, first time in the state --- and I was really taken by how lovely it is. There really is a more relaxed vibe to the city than there is anywhere in the Bay Area, particularly here in San Francisco. The people are very nice and the food is awesome; me and my girlfriend will definitely be back sooner than later.