This is pathetic.
Salem apparently is so inconsequential in the eye of an Oregon-hype-deflater, this town didn't even merit a mention in her Daily Beast piece, "Hold Up Hipsters: Stop Obsessing Over Oregon."
Now, I didn't find Nina Strochlic's observations about Oregon all that insightful. Or believable. She ends with:
So, for those ready to pack up a U-Haul after gawking at the Oregonian’s real-estate section and skimming the gastronomy buzz, take a trip down the backroads to see if the state really lives up to all the hype filling your ears and, possibly, clouding your eyes. Most importantly of all: Bring an umbrella.
As a commenter on her piece noted, no real Oregonian uses an umbrella. But since she is talking to newcomers, I guess her advice is somewhat valid, albeit old-hat.
Come on: criticizing Oregon for its rain is horribly uncreative. Along with largely untrue. Strochlic, who lived here for 17 years, correctly says that much of the state east of the Cascades is quite sunny and dry.
But she goes overboard with:
Oregon’s climate may be lauded as an alluringly mild feature of the state, but anyone who knows the Pacific Northwest can attest to a constant drizzle of rain that barely lets up for nine brutally gray months.
Huh? So there are only three months when it isn't gray and rainy? I beg to differ.
Especially in these even milder times of global warming. May through October, six months, offers pretty reliably nice weather here in the central Willamette Valley on the wet side of the mountains.
Anyway, I was looking forward to reading a caustic putdown of Salem, given that we're the state capital and the second or third largest city in Oregon, depending on whether the Eugene or Salem Chamber of Commerce is doing the counting.
Portland, Eugene, and Corvallis earned some insults. (Along with praise, which I'm leaving out.)
All in all, the state is incredibly homogenous: Portland clocks in as the whitest major city in the country and is, apparently, getting even less diverse.
...Apart from the leafy college campus, Eugene, the state’s second-largest city, offers little in-town entertainment to a visitor. Two malls comprise most of the shopping options, and a flailing downtown has only recently become populated with a movie theater and a few new restaurants. Corvallis, home to Oregon State University, boasts a small downtown to supplement the campus.
Hey, hey! -- I screamed inside my head when I got to the end of the piece -- you skipped a major town along the I-5 corridor! Where's the Salem insult?!
Since Strochlic says she went to the University of Oregon for four of her seventeen years here, I'll bet that Salem was just a glimpse from the freeway as she drove past on her way to or from Eugene.
Or maybe, since she thinks Eugene and Corvallis have boring downtowns, a mention of Salem's would have been redundant.
I haven't spent much time recently in either of the university towns to our south. But my impression is that Salem's downtown has just about as many pluses and minuses as the urban cores of Eugene and Corvallis.
Sure seems like we deserved a snide Daily Beast remark.