Although Tigard claims to be “just outside of Portland”, once you get out of the city, you won’t find Tigard for at least another twenty minutes, and that’s without the horrific cluster f**k of traffic – which is usually worse than downtown traffic. If you live in this time warp of traffic and are trying to get anywhere (even somewhere else in Tigard) plan on the trip taking at least 25 minutes. Other cities that have traffic problems (Seattle, New York, LA) at least have a reason for it – a.k.a. there are lots places in those cities that people actually want to go.
There’s no way this applies to Tigard – where the main attraction is the Washington Square mall. It may be one of the highest grossing malls in the US, but that doesn’t make it any better – it might just make it more depressing. It’s been there since the 70’s and has included the standard department stores ever since. Another main staple of Washington Square is the ‘Teen Section’ that includes McDonald’s, Hot Topic, Zumiez, and Claire’s. Here’s where the term “mallrat” was coined and still thrives, with 7th graders in plenty of punk/gothic garb. The mall did recently make some upgrades, including adding parking structures (because I want to fight for a covered parking space, not just an outdoor one). They also added some “higher end” retails stores such as Sephora, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn…KIDS so that I can feel badly about myself and my “frugal nature” as I walk past them and their snobby employees to get to Forever 21.
The addition of the Cheesecake Factory to Washington Square also proved exciting, since the other restaurants in Tigard cater mainly to the family with 239,842,034 kids and/or the retirement crowd, with Rudy Tuesdays, Elmer’s, TGIFriday’s and Red Robin being some of the finest.
How about the nightlife? This is not referring to Downtown Tigard, as some might assume. Downtown Tigard consists of one street full of dilapidated storefronts – Café Allegro is the only business among them that anyone has actually heard of, and that’s only because they assault you with direct mail coupons with every chance they get. No, the nightlife in Tigard is mostly made up of the Bars on 99 (Pacific Hwy), such as Mixers (bad karaoke, hip-hop and Suburban Sluts), The Steelhorse (where the “bartenders” are over-tanned, over-dyed brunettes wearing chaps and hot pants) and Gators (more bad karaoke, this time closer to Fred Meyer). They’re great for a night out if you’re sick of the meat market of downtown nightlife, but inevitably have that ‘one creepy guy’ who stares at you from across the bartop, over his… well… scotch, and then, after watching you for half an hour, gets the guts to come over and awkwardly start a conversation – always with the intro “what’s that you’re drinking?”. He’s always a glossy-eyed 45-55 year-old divorced guy, very interested in what you do for a living, and the rest of your 20-something life that you’re not missing out on like he did, and most likely works as an insurance agent (or other unfulfilling financial-type job). There’s really nothing more creepy than being hit on half because he thinks you’re attractive and half because you remind him of his daughter.
Tigard will always remain a massive void in Willamette Valley ready to suck in families looking for more affordable housing. Without any relevance to the surrounding Portland area, people will forever “ugh” people that live in Tigard. So cheers to those brave enough to live in such a sucky city.