#21 Old Town/Chinatown Crime

Larceny. Drugs. Liquor violations. These are three gems that top the list of crimes committed in Old Town/Chinatown. There are other crime-filled neighborhoods in Portland, but what makes Old Town/Chinatown so remarkable is that the legitimate business and nightlifers must deal with the crap (literally). People are doing drugs on street corners. People wearing two jackets or more are walking around like zombies. Cops drive around shouting through mega horns, “Don’t do drugs. Don’t sell drugs” to no avail.

Rampant drug and alcohol use in this neighborhood creates quite the party scene when the sun goes down. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen vomit or a pile of human feces in this degenerate neighborhood. Recently, a fellow Portland blogger mentioned the disgusting littering habits of NW 21st/Glisan. This cannot compare to human excrement left behind by the monsters that create it. Syringes, crap, puke and broken bottles are much worse than a bunch of cigarette butts and paper trash.

If you find yourself in this area on 2 a.m. Friday night, be sure to look over your shoulder. Larceny is another huge problem. In order to feed these zombies incestuous need for drugs and alcohol, you’ve got to have money. Pick pocketing, purse snatching and bike theft are the main crimes that feed Old Town/Chinatown’s disease. Portland Development Commission, located in the heart of this cesspool, has spent millions of dollars in an effort to clean it up. You can’t help but notice the distinct PDC signs everywhere. I don’t feel very confident in their ability to create lasting change.

This area is a demilitarized zone. The police relentlessly patrol it. If that is helping, it isn’t evident. What we need are tiny green army men to take over.

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8 Responses to “#21 Old Town/Chinatown Crime”


  1. 1 nemoinis 06/26 at 9:48 pm

    Old Town has always been like this. A hundred years ago it was seaman’s pubs over shanghai tunnels and flophouses and taverns and cathouses that catered to wobblies and other itinerant workers. People who wear two coats and don’t have a place to live need somewhere to be, too.

  2. 2 Ciarlucci 09/25 at 11:01 am

    Hey, this is a good website. It’s an antidote to all the PC BS piling high in the Pacific Northwest.

    I’m in Seattle, and plenty of things suck here, too. Maybe I’ll start a sister site, TTSIS.

  3. 3 Jeffrey Gillespie 09/14 at 12:07 pm

    I’m with reduxredux. Old Town is really sexy. It’s gritty and has a certain patina that the rest of the Westside can’t really match. You’re near everything and it feels like a real city. And I LIKE the fact that it’s like an “east coast city” (read: integrated with people of color and the whole scale of economics, vs. the Pearl which, despite being only 10 feet away, is inundated with rich widows, dinkies (That’s “double income no kids”) and hipster assholes drinking nine dollar coffees. All white. All lame. 🙂

  4. 4 reduxredux 09/05 at 12:11 am

    I used to live in Chinatown and all of you people are pussies. Chinatown is a minute away from the Pearl District and even though I’ve been propositioned by prostitutes, witnessed drug deals, and been privy to some intense hand-to-hand combat, I still think Chinatown is safer than any neighborhood in an East Coast city. If the worst that can happen is a bug-eyed woman asking “you got a dollar?” then happy trails to Portland’s crappiest part of downtown.

  5. 5 Aaron V. 08/07 at 9:58 pm

    Quintessential Old Town/East Pearl experience – seeing someone taking a dump on the sidewalk in front of Powell’s at about 11 am on Thanksgiving morning.

  6. 6 joe mama 04/15 at 2:30 pm

    fuck the encroaching Pearl District. I so very much hope our coming recession kicks a few wealthy retirees out of their $500k lofts and onto the streets. oh, and by the way, Mr. Things That Suck– which suburb do you live in, again?

  7. 7 mac! 04/12 at 5:30 pm

    i don’t know what you’re talking about. chinatown is the friendliest neighborhood in portland. everyone always asks me how i’m doing while i walk down the street.

    but for real, i’ll take the flophouses and the bums and the crack dealers and the hookers over whatever ends up being there five years from now. a little squalor is enough to scare some folks away, and that’s a good thing, right?

  8. 8 Angry Love 04/04 at 4:29 pm

    Well said. Perhaps the myriad flop hotels, soup kitchens, and shelters all over the area are the first issue the city should deal with followed by the disgracefull amount of wasted property being left empty. You can throw money at it all day but as it sits now until you excise the decay you’ll never be rid of the smell.


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