Portland's much-vaunted "livability" took a heavy hit this week as Business Week magazine ranked it the unhappiest large city in America.
"BusinessWeek.com ranked 50 of the largest metros based on a variety of factors including depression rates, suicide rates, divorce rates, crime, unemployment, population loss, job loss, weather, and green space," the magazine explained on its website. "The most heavily weighted factors were the depression, suicide, jobs (unemployment and job loss), and crime rates."
Poor old Stumptown ranked at the top of Biz Week's misery index on the strength of its high reported incidence of depression (#1 among the 50 cities evaluated), suicide (#12), divorce (#4) and number of cloudy days per year (222).
Others in the Most Miserable 10 were St. Louis, MO; New Orleans, LA; Detroit, MI; Cleveland, OH; Jacksonville, FL; Las Vegas, NV; Nashville-Davidson, TN; Cincinnati, OH, and Atlanta, GA. Soggy Seattle - which, believe it or not, has 21 fewer cloudy days a year than Portland according to Business Week's data - came in at Number 20.
The Business Week rankings can be disputed, of course, and no doubt Portlanders (who are even bigger queens of denial than Bendites) will dispute them energetically. Portlanders even claim to love their damp, dismal climate - although The Eye notices that they get orgasmic every time the forecast calls for the sun to peek momentarily through the perpetual cloud cover, and they head east or south every chance they get in the hope of catching some rays to ward off rickets.