Dealing with my Portland Envy

If there is a man more proud of his hometown than Jordan Green I haven't met him. If you didn't know, Jordan lives in Portland, Oregon, a city so great you can walk into their Wal-Mart and have Lamar Oden greet you as he hands you a shopping cart. Portland is better than Phoenix. The food is so damn fine in Portland, Jordan snaps pictures of  common sandwiches to remind us of how much better off he has it there.

I admit, I've deal with Portland/Oregon envy for a while. Erie, PA gets no sitcoms exploring its absurdity. Portland has the Pacific Ocean, and we have a lake once famous for it's pollution. Oregon has Palahniuk and Miller. Our most famous authors, Updike and Dillard have crossed into the afterlife and we're left with mere memories.

I made a pair of trips to  Portland a few years back and fell in love with the architecture, Stumptown Coffee, Powell's books and the whole vibe.

But I know that I can't live there. I don't have the hipster gene.
I have no sense of irony or fashion, and I didn't discover Bon Iver until after the Grammy's. I also cannot grow a respectable beard. My terminal awkwardness would flag me as an outsider, and I'd never really fit in there.

All that is left for me to do is find reasons to take pride in Pennsylvania and my home town.

I guess I can start with "We've got Chip Kelly".


As an Eagles Fan, I'm reading how his unorthodox practices and I'm holding my breath intently. All this sports science, personalized smoothies for each player, and Niki Manaj being pumped on the practice field. Just leave the uniforms alone, Nike.

Second, we have this:

Meet the "Lee Roslyn", the flagship sandwich at Picasso's in Erie, PA. That's right, it is a Twinkies, ham, and cheddar sandwich, and it tastes like Easter. One day I expressed my doubts about the sandwich and the owner brought me one to set me straight. I could eat a quarter of one before it's sweet decadence forced me to tap out. I would need espresso at my side to get through an entire sandwich in a sitting. This sandwich was featured on Leno's show in a bit called "Foods of Fat-Assed Americans" or something to that affect. I will eat an entire sandwich without guilt after I complete the Tough Mudder race in Pittsburgh this August.

It's not my favorite sandwich, and I think I've eaten everything on the menu, but I'm leading with the big gun.

Alright, Mr. Green. I saw your Cuban Sandwich and raised you one mortal sin wedged between two slices of grilled wheat bread.

I live in Erie, Friggin' PA and I'm marshalling civil pride one post at a time.


  1. I thought Annie Dillard was still alive. I'm from Erie Co., NY, But Annie Dillard and Troeg's Hop Back Amber would both count as excellent reasons to be proud of PA.

  2. A search of Wikipedia proves you correct and Annie. And I'll have to acquaint myself with Troeg's.

  3. "My terminal awkwardness would flag me as an outsider, and I'd never really fit in there."

    But isn't that the trait of a hipster?