Over on my Strange Up Salem blog I've put up a post which conclusively answers the question that plagues residents of our city: why is Salem afflicted with so much blah'ness?
We're cursed. That's got to be it.
Check out "Is Salem, Oregon cursed by a 'blah spell?" The answer is yes; the solution is described. Excerpt:
Thus the curse of Oregon's capital isn't to be infected with evil. Hey, that'd be interesting, cool, something to be proud of. (Las Vegas does just fine with that sort of curse.)
No, Salem's curse is existential.
It's to be doomed with a void at the barely beating heart of our slow-moving metropolis. It's a lack of creative energy, a deficit of imagination, an emptiness that blocks attempts to cure the lethargy that infects Big Ideas and turns them into a shadow of themselves.