36 Hours Portland,Ore. – Groundhog Day and the New York Times

I enjoy the New York Times Travel section. It’s not my favorite part of the paper, but it ranks higher than the sports section, style section, weddings and obituaries.

The Times featured  36 Hours in Portland Ore. today – for the umpteenth time. I’m sure that’s good for the local economy. But these “36 Hours” features on Portland read like a scene out of Groundhog Day. Same restaurants, same clichés, same alliteration – same sentences. If it wasn’t for the good vocabulary and the fact it isn’t a reprint from another publication, the article reads like something I would expect from the Oregonian.

But then the Times is not much different than other national publications. Most go to the same sources for information – usually marketing and public relations firms – a dangerous thing to do if you want to avoid Portland’s trademark “follow the pack” mindset. There is nothing wrong with any of the places, restaurants, or suggestions in these 36 Hours Portland, Ore. features. My objection is simply that it’s the same stuff, the same perspective over and over again – that creeping sense that it’s been done before.

What I really would like is to see is some fresh, honest, unpaid for, non-public relations influenced reporting on Portland. The Times and others need some fresh Portland sources.

Probably just wishful thinking – like hoping when the alarm clock goes off at 6:00 am that will be Andie MacDowell next to you in bed.

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