What's Wrong With Eugene

That’s not a question. It’s a statement. This is all that is wrong with Eugene, a former International House of Pancakes that’s had its roof painted yellow and is now a steak & eggs restaurant. I can imagine the owners saying to the bank manager, “hey, you GOTTA give us an extra $6000, we’ve got a marketing plan that can’t fail…” and then heading down to the paint store.

I’m often frustrated by Portland’s backward attitude when it comes to new development. But the Rose City is like something out of A Space Odyssey compared to Eugene. For example, right across the street from this monstrosity is a car park that was planning to play host to a Whole Foods. Except the neighbors fought it. And won. They fought a freaking Whole Foods. Who does that? A further kick in the guts is provided when one walks past the Eugene City Hall. It looks like it hasn’t been touched since the late 1960s, and while I rather like the design, I’d like it more if it had been well maintained, or failing that, perhaps, bull. Dozed. As it is, it just says: “We haven’t moved on since then,” and also, “FUCK YOU, CHANGE.

Downtown, there’s a store called Lazaar’s Bazaar, which I understand was a hold-out against redeveloping the strip. They pedestrianized the district, it died, they un-pedestrianized it, and it’s still dead. All because everyone down there is afraid of trying. So instead, their city fails regardless, but in slow motion.

6 responses to this post

  1. Geoff S -

    This article is absolutely correct. I grew up in Eugene, and it is the most devisive, anti-growth places I have ever been too. The leaders of the government are inept at best, and the citizenry, well, I won’t go there. I am a liberal democrat, but compared to most Eugeneans, I am a neocon.

    My mom still lives there, but the place only really has one bright spot…Autzen Stadium…go Ducks!

  2. matt -

    If only Eugene would transfer its pro-ducks energy into, you know, thinking.

    And I hear you on the neoconism.

  3. Kyle -

    I love Eugene for the same reasons you don’t–my “Plan C” in life has aways been to move down there and bum it up.

    I’m kind of glad you don’t dig the place, it gives me hope they won’t be pulling a “Portland” any time soon.

  4. Brandon -

    Sometime during my years at the University of Oregon the Daily Emerald ran a story about a strange local protest. A group of locals was furious that the city was planning to cut down an old tree in a park so they chained themselves to it. Here’s the punchline: the tree was a huge safety hazard. It was dying and on the verge of falling over.

    After a few meetings with local authorities, the protesters finally agreed to let the city cut it down, provided they could conduct a funeral ceremony beforehand. The photo that accompanied the article is one of the most hilarious I’ve seen in any publication anywhere.

  5. matt -

    They had a FUNERAL for a TREE.

    [is speechless]

  6. Heckler511 -

    Don’t be a “Davis Douchebag” – Eugene is the shit and btw, GO DUCKS!!!

    Oh yeah, Lazar is a huge PIMP, operates more than one successful store, and eats 75% of his meals on the roof of the DAC.

    Start pickin’ on Corvallis if that’s what gets you off.

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