RIVER SQUATTING…

October 29th, 2012

From The Oregonian

By what stretch of Jimmy Buffet logic is it defensible to sail the Willamette River into downtown Portland, drop anchor, crack a cold one and call it good for — well, for as long as you wish? The view is great: bridges, skyscrapers, all those noontime pedestrians along the river walk. The amenities are superb: Groceries, restaurants, bars and movies are just a quick dinghy ride to shore. But the rent is best of all: Zip. Nada. Free.

Boaters will dispute this characterization as missing the hardship factor: The bone-cold rains of winter. The dangerous anchor slippages at 3 a.m. The menacing crime, perhaps the lurking piracy. And the fact that many skippers are anchored in the river because they’re otherwise homeless, unable to pay rent on land and unwilling to join the lost culture of the street.

It seems to me that the nut here is that people who pay a whole lot of money for something go crazy when someone else figures out how to get the same things for free.

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