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Vancouver (not Vancouver BC) Washington (not Washington DC) is the smaller sibling of Portland, Oregon, and suffers from an inferiority complex that is undeserved. Vancouver is already the fourth largest city in Washington, and if the Burnt Bridge Creek annex goes through, it will pass Tacoma and Spokane to come in at second place only behind Seattle. But for a long time there wasn't even a television station in Vancouver, and only three radio stations. All the local news is weighted toward Portland, therefore, and covers mostly Oregon issues. Vancouverites tend to feel cut off from the rest of Washington, like Klickitat County an hour to the east. Unlike Klickitat County, however, Vancouver does not embrace the Oregon culture. The city wants to be part of Eastern Washington. It's an island of WalMart conservativism in a sea of yuppie microbrew liberalism. Portlanders call the city "Vantucky" or "The Couve". Vancouver is the methamphetamine capital of the United States. Home of the Tweaker.

Because Washington State has no income tax, and Oregon has no sales tax, the best strategy is to live in Vancouver and shop in Portland, which is only a hop over the Columbia River. As a result, Vancover has become a bedroom community of Portland. It's too big for it's britches. For a long time, Vancouver only had about 40,000 people, like Everett or Yakima or Bellingham, and it still has the modest downtown skyline of those second-tier cities. Now it has four times that many people.

The city sits at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge, which cuts through the wall of the Cascade Mountains at virtually sea level. This means Vancouver continually gets the hot summers and cold winters of Eastern Washington. Seattle natives piss and moan when it breaks 90F or there's one or two mornings when they have to scrape ice off their windshield. Vancouver can get temps of 106F in the summer and the whole month of February is frozen solid. Bitter cold. On the plus side, the Gorge is one of the most scenic areas in the world, as you can see below.


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