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02 September 2005

Portland, Oregon - Nicknames

I had never heard the term "little beirut" before. Probably because I didn't live here during the Regan/Bush era, and wouldn't have thought anything about it. But I have heard it 3 times in the last week. Makes you really realize how the government sees us.... interesting indeed. Well, here's some more nicknames for you.

Portland has many nicknames. The City of Roses and Rose City originated during the 1905 Lewis and Clark centennial. The climate is ideal for growing roses and the city is home to the annual Rose Festival, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Rose Garden Arena.

One of the oldest nicknames, 'Stumptown', comes from the period of phenomenal growth after 1847. The city was growing so rapidly that the stumps of trees cut down to make way for roads were left until manpower could be spared to remove them. In some areas, the stumps remained for so long that locals painted them white to make them more visible, and used them to cross the street without sinking into the mud. The name has been paid homage, albeit with a stylized local pronunciation, in the name of a popular coffee chain, Stumptown Coffee.

Other nicknames include:
* City of Bridges, or Bridgetown, due to its numerous bridges;
* PDX, from the airport code of its airport;
* Puddletown, because of its weather;
* Rip City, a nickname stemming from a chance remark from Bill Schonely, a long-time announcer for the Portland Trail Blazers;
* River City, because of its proximity to the Willamette River and Columbia River;
* Little Beirut, for the hostile demonstrations in response to the visits of presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush;
* Deportland, from the alleged rough treatment of passengers at the Federal Inspection Service facility when Delta Air Lines operated flights to Asia from PDX;
* P-town, presumably from "Portland" + "town";
* Pizzortland, the post-modern ebonic slang approach.