BusinessWeek magazine recently compiled a list of America's unhappiest cities, apparently because with the economy the way it is, there is no actual business for them to cover. Most of the usual suspects appear on the list, but the winner is a big surprise.
Portland, Oregon? Really? That's the most depressing city in the country? Sure, according to this article, it's cloudy 222 days out of the year, but it also has moderate temperatures year-round, is located in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest near mountains and forests, and is the most bike-friendly city in the nation. An overabundance of hipsters would depress anybody, but if that's the worst your city has going for it, then you're doing all right. I've had a mental image of Portland as a bucolic wonderland. Apparently it's more like a psych ward.
The rest of the list is a bit more predictable. St. Louis comes in at number 2. Detroit, surprisingly, is only in fourth place, despite an 18.6% unemployment rate. It's sad to see New Orleans in the third spot, but given all they've been through, it's a miracle they weren't right at the top. Seventh-place Las Vegas, too, is the kind of place that's hard for outsiders to get a true picture of, past the glitz and glamour. Admittedly, I've left there on more than one occasion feeling pretty unhappy myself.
The most surprising omission: Baltimore, Maryland, which the HBO series The Wire had convinced me was some kind of demilitarized zone. Another miserable city not charting was Hartford, Connecticut, probably because, well, who ever even remembers the existence of Hartford, Connecticut? My hometown of Boston also didn't place, probably because everybody here is so happy and good-looking. Weird that New York didn't place, either, because I thought the Yankees were making everybody there miserable lately.
Did your city rank on the list of America's unhappiest cities? Should it have?