Which brings us to weather. Sure the East has “seasons” but who needs those when you can wish away at least two of them? The West, where animals and trees outnumber the population and the outlines of forests and mountains are never far away, seems to holler, “Get outside!” Every winter, westerners strap on skis; in summer they tackle boulder-strewn hillsides, climbing up to high-altitude meadows of wildflowers. What they don’t do -- well, there’s no accounting for Eastern transplants -- is wish the months away. Time goes more slowly in the West, and that’s… just… fine.
Today’s Western rebels roll in on steel rather than sinew, but its residents remain as persuasive as their predecessors. What boundaries they push, from decriminalization of various things to the avocado martini and interesting takes on denim, ripple east. The Pacific coastal communities are home to the outrageous and the outspoken. In Portland, Oregon, my home for a decade, tall-bikers, poets, political ne’er-do-wells and rock and rollers still outweigh the be-suited -- long after the ‘60s became a cultural memory in the East.