Named after the Isle of Portland, people began to inhabit Portland in the first half of the nineteenth-century. Originally rife with corruption and organized crime, as evidenced by the notorious “Shanghai Tunnels,” Portland worked to clean up its reputation as a timber town throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. By the 1960s, Portland was beginning to earn its reputation as a liberal haven, boasting cultural inclusiveness and an almost subversive political ideology.
Pacific Northwest Paradise
Portland is staunchly progressive, boasting one of the most impressive public transportation systems in the country and over 10,000 acres of public parks. Known for its temperate climate — Portland enjoys sunny, dry summers and mild, rainy winters — the City of Roses is often cited as one of the most popular places to live in the Western United States. Plenty of rain translates to lush foliage, excellent garden harvests, fresh seafood, and breathtaking natural scenery.
Hipster Capital, USA
Due to its emergence as a counterculture utopia and its increased presence in American pop culture (Sleater-Kinney, Modest Mouse, Chuck Palahniuk, Portlandia, etc.) — not to mention the technology boom that began in the 1990s with companies such as Intel and Nike — Portland attracts more college-educated young adults each year than most other cities in the country. Indeed, Portland’s GDP (per capita) grew more than 50% between 2001 and 2012, more than any other city in America.
Attractions & Sights
For being relatively small in size, Portland boasts a robust music and arts scene. For indie and alternative music lovers, Portland is a gem that brings obscure and popular bands alike to the area. Distinct neighborhoods host “art walks” each month during the summer, where galleries, restaurants, bars, and boutiques (literally) open their doors to their neighbors, making driving impossible and fun inevitable.
A plethora of maintained and refurbished theaters allow music lovers and movie goers to enjoy pop culture through a historical lens, engendering feelings of both community and authenticity. Portland also boasts an excellent zoo, beautiful rose and rhododendron gardens, rich and varied cuisine, and unfettered access to trails, mountains, and beaches.
Dueling Tango Duos & Portland
Dueling Tango Duos’ front woman Megan (aka Kitty Lambkins) is a passionate singer based in Portland, Oregon. She spent several years in Mexico and Brazil studying art, music, and language before moving to the City of Roses in 2005, where she stumbled upon an opportunity to join The Alex Krebs Tango Sextet. In 2013 she joined local composers Alex Krebs and Andrew Oliver to write lyrics for their album, “What the Tango?!” — a modern tango album.
Later that year, Megan also began performing duets with Pepe Raphael and appearing with his long-standing band, Pepe and the Bottle Blondes. Megan leads her own Latin Jazz group, Pérola, which focuses on Bossa Nova, Latin American folk, and Argentine Tango.