#42 Air Conditioning

It happens every year. We spend all of our time complaining about rainy weather and how we just “Need some sun”. The clouds are causing depression in every Portlander and unless some serious ecological change occurs, we’re moving to California. Then… out of the blue… the first heat wave hits. Our entire city changes from wet-frowning hipsters to heat-exhausted zombies.

Walk the streets after the first wave and you’ll find the living dead aimlessly shuffling around. They have just spent the past 8 hours sweating their entire life away, tossing and turning through the very covers that kept them warm throughout eight months of 30-45 degree nights. Never did they consider this drastic weather change would occur, even though it happened to us the year before.

The same goes for retail shops, restaurants and bars. Smaller establishments (which tend to be a Portland natives’ favorite) forgo air conditioning due to the costs associated to it. Therefore we are limited to AC-only locations just to take a break from the life-sucking heat. Our options include movie theaters, box stores, creepy Jamieson Square park and malls. Who hasn’t purchased a worthless item in Fred Meyer to beat the heat? I hate Fred Meyer.

As I aimlessly walk Portland streets because I cannot fit an adequate air conditioning unit in my home, I find myself longing for a drop of rain. If you too suffer from this phenomenon, I recommend Barflymag.com as your NUMBER ONE resource for air conditioned restuarants, bars or pubs. Stay cool!

12 thoughts on “#42 Air Conditioning

  1. we don’t get 8 months of 30 to 45 degree weather;and it does’nt rain very much,try again non native.

    • The author wrote “30-45 degree nights”. As in lows. Shoulda read that part I reckon. That range is very consistent with actual numbers. And while it doesn’t rain any more here than in most temperate cities of the east (and less than in many), it does so over a great deal longer period of time. Check out stats on annual sunlight hours. As an amateur meteorologist who’s been keeping records since I moved here in 1995, I’d say the limited declarations made here are surprisingly and refreshingly sound.

  2. Weather here sucks for 9 months, I am moving back the Northern CA very soon. Great place to get fat and drink as you watch it rain…

  3. I can’t tell if you think Portlanders are lame for complaining, or if you ARE complaining. Same as people who complain about the winters, my advice is to MOVE if you can’t stand it. Stores’ insistence of blasting AC rather than simply keeping a comfortable 65-70 degree temperature only makes the hot seem hotter, and me look like a grade A slut when my 90-degree-appropriate outfit can’t mask what such AC does to my nipples. It is impossible to dress appropriately and comfortably for both 100 degrees and 50 degrees at once.

    • Janine, while we might not be as arid as Arizona (and when I visisted Scottsdale, it seemed plenty hot to me), we aren’t nearly as humid as the East coast and Midwest. Probably because their climate is a Humid Continental Climate and ours is a Pacific Coastal.

      Otherwise, except for this summer (with the worst heatwave in 15+ years), I find our summers remarkably tolerable. And the reason most Portlanders (including yours truly) don’t have central air isn’t entirely environmental (and sorry, we’re not rugged, we simply have a very moderate climate), either. It’s because really, with an average high of 81 degrees and lows down to 60, we don’t need it for more than 10 days of summer.

    • Absolutely NOBODY here turns the AC anywhere near 65 degrees. Big corporate stores may approach 70, but how can that be bad? Most AC here is so inadequate, in any real heatwave it more typically runs 75-80, even with AC (yes, I carry a thermometer in my bag, but I’m not a nerd, I swear). This guy is dead on, and you’re all being needlessly defensive. I write this to the sweet hum of my window AC unit, just a few yards from my backyard 12’X3′ filtered pool, by the way. Total cost? $229, working on its third summer. And i go to the river constantly. So obviously I’m not bitching. I love it.

  4. Athena,
    Dry heat (AZ) is completely different to humid heat (OR / WA)
    100 dry heat is more bearable than 90 humid heat.

  5. 90’s ha! I love 90 degree days…I live in the middle of the friggen desert I can’t wait to move to Oregon or Washington just to get out of this hellhole of a state and everyone has air conditioning. I friggen hate it here! Try not being able to go outside for more than a few minutes without your hands swelling up and your head spinning from the heat…come on bring me the 90 degree days…hell to the yeah! LOL then again I’ll move there and quickly start bitching about it being too hot on a 90 degree day, ah the wonders of acclimating way the hell too fast for my own good LOL. Trees god I can’t wait to see real trees that aren’t the size of my damn thigh, f**k AZ.

  6. Portlanders don’t exclaim in surprise every year about the heat because they’re rugged. It’s just that if they didn’t have some reasonably controllable factor in their lives to piss and moan about, they’d shrivel up and waste away. So the local Fred Meyer is out of window fans and AC units? Well, had anyone considered possibly buying them out of season, knowing that it’s going to get up into the nineties during the day, instead of whining about their absence?

  7. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest, where even on the days when we NEED air conditioning, we tough it out because we are RUGGED. And WE CARE about the environment.

    I enjoyed my weekend at the mall, my extended visit at Target, and eating out, thankyouverymuch.

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