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02/20/2014

16 REASONS WHY PORTLAND AND PRAGUE ARE BASICALLY THE SAME CITY

by Michelle Polacinski, Binghamton University

CIEE Film Studies - Screenwriting track

February 9th, 2014

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Portland and Prague: two of my favorite cities that are completely different besides a few unique similarities. Despite having an 8-hour time difference, speaking a different language, and having completely different histories and culture, Portland and Prague have a few unique similarities that are not common in other cities.

1) Dogs

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 An ad for a formal wear line for dogs.

 Citizens of Portland, Oregon, USA and Prague, Czech Republic are both very obsessed with dogs. They dress their dogs in outfits, allow them in stores and restaurants, train them well, love them like their own children, and generally treat them like human beings. Prague dogs are usually unleashed and Prague is home to about 80,000 registered dogs. I couldn’t find the number for Portland, but I promise that it’s a lot especially since they’re the #1 City for Dogs in the USA and they have a social network for dogs.

2) Smoking

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A “smoking kills” ad in Prague… but let’s be real. Nobody here cares.

Although both Portlandians and Praguers try their best to stay healthy, they both indulge in the same extremely unhealthy habit: smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes are everywhere and it’s nearly impossible to avoid second-hand smoke or smelling like cigarettes. Although Portland does not allow smoking indoors (as far as I know), you can smoke just about anywhere in Prague.

3) Architecture

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The National Theater

Portland and Prague use a mixture of historical and modern architecture, creating an interesting dynamic throughout the cityscape. Prague still has many original buildings, the Prague Castle, and The National Theater. Portland still has the Shanghai Tunnels underneath the city, which you can take a “ghost tour” through.

4) Style

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Me sporting steam punk goggles at a local Portland costume shop

Hipsters are everywhere, first of all. Although Portland’s style focuses more on thrifted items and Prague is a bit more fancy, both have a similar rugged style in fashion.

5) Starting with the Letter “P”

Prague. Portland. C’mon, people. They’re basically the same freakin’ city.

6) Asian Influence

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Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland

Prague has been strongly influenced by the Vietnamese with their Vietnamese markets and stores with supposedly, the best produce in Prague. Portland, on the other hand is strongly influenced by mostly the Chinese and also Japanese cultures. Portland has the Shanghai Tunnels, Lan Su Chinese Garden, and great sushi, among other things, influenced by immigrant ship captains from Shanghai and other parts of Asia.

7) Known for Their Beer

Prague is located in Bohemia, the part of the Czech Republic known for its beer and the beer is freaking delicious. Portland is also known for its beer although I have never tried it, since I wasn’t of drinking age when I visited.

8) Environmentally Conscious/Friendly

Portland and Prague are both very much into leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible. In fact, Portland is known as the most environmentally conscious major city in the US. Prague has recycling bins everywhere and our landlady even took the time to remind us about our environmental impact.

9) Nice People

When asking for directions, ordering out, or anything else, the people are wonderfully helpful and kind. Although Portlandians are much friendlier and outgoing, Praguers are very sweet once you get to know them despite their shyness.

10) Lots of White People

Portland is actually the whitest major city in the USA and most of the racially ambiguous or minority race in Prague are tourists. In fact, you can count on it that there’s a 90% chance someone of a different race is a tourist.

11) Not Super Religious

Neither Portland nor Prague is big on religion. Prague is slightly more so, but whatever.

12) Beer at the Movies

You can drink beer at the movies in both Prague and Portland!

13) Art (Sculpture and Graffiti)

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The TV Tower in Prague with the famous “alien babies” climbing it.

Although Portland is known for its music and Prague known for film, both cities revel in their art and both have unique sculptures and graffiti throughout both cities.

14) A River Runs Through Them

Hey, it’s a similarity.

15) Good Transportation

Prague and Portland utilize trams and streetcars above ground to get around the city. They generally have pretty good transportation compared to a lot of cities.

16) Obsessed With the 90’s

Portland is what the world would look like if the culture and times of the 1990’s stayed exactly the same. Prague just likes to play 90’s music in EVERY SINGLE BAR.

The Dream of the 90′s is Alive in Portland

Positives That Portland and Prague Don’t Share

Portland

+Healthy, Amazing Food

+Biking

+Outdoorsy People

+Mountains

+Clear Air

+No Taxes (Besides Income Tax)

 

Prague

+Cool Language

+Amazing Clubs

+Honey Cake

+Cheap Beer

+Hot People (Sorry Portland)

 

 

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