Pittsburg Yinz Portland Yang
Pittsburgh... Portland.. I've heard this theme before I am pretty sure, but couldn't immediately remember where. Then I realized it's been something of a meme for Jim (@burghdiaspora) Russell for some time. Just a few of his Pittsburgh isn't Portland posts include: Pittsburgh Versus Portland, Talent Glut Portland, Pistols at Dawn, Pittsburgh Vs. Portland, Rust Belt Roboot Buffalo. Jim by the way has parlayed his blogging into a gig on the West Coast writing a column for the Pacific Standard magazine.
But the Pittsburgh - Portland dichotomy is actually much more than fodder for cultural commentary. Portland is different from Pittsburgh on a lot of very concrete levels. The Pittsburgh region is the nation's poster child for fragmented local government, yet Portland actually is the literal extreme opposite with an empowered metropolitan government, the only one in the United States. I mean, I don't even think our elected officials can find all of our municipalities (go ahead, try and find Wall, Pennsylvania quickly).
Then there is 'Creative.' A decade ago Portland was one of the original regions identified as key growth poles according to Rich's theory. The region reciprocated and all but codified all things creative into the official Portland Economic Development Plan. Pittsburgh was for much of that time (if not lately) deemed more the opposite. The two regions have seen a very different economic history over last decade as well. There is a related interesting news blurb from a couple months ago on the majors being chosen by Portland's college graduates of late. In a world of infinite time I would do a compare and contrast with Pittsburgh of that metrification. I bet there are some palpable differences.
Not to overlook Portlandia, the series. All I can say is see what links generally come up when you Google 'Pittsburgh Hipsters'. If Mike and I come up on your (Google personalized) list then trust me, we may be lacking on the Hipster index. I bet Toland comes up as well, but he may be authentic. His hidden inner hipster comes through on occassion.