Portland, OR: Home to The Simpsons
by Anna Johns, posted Oct 8th 2006 9:33PM
I've lived in Portland, Oregon for nearly five years and one of the first things I learned when I moved here was that this city claims The Simpsons. Creator Matt Groening is from Portland and many of his locations and characters have Portland roots (at least, that's what Portlanders like to say). The photograph in this story is of a 'Bart' that Groening drew in the cement near his alma mater, Lincoln High School, where he graduated in 1972. The drawing is not from his high school days, he just returned to town and drew it when The Simpsons became popular (it's on the corner of SW 18th and SW Salmon near the Goose Hollow MAX stop, in case you're in town).
References to Portland abound in The Simpsons. Here are a few:
- The Simpsons live on Evergreen Terrace, the same street on which Groening grew up;
- Sideshow Bob Terwilliger shares a name with Terwilliger Boulevard in SW Portland (Groening swears it was unintentional);
- The former Trojan Nuclear Plant, north of Portland, supposedly inspired Homer's job (watch it implode);
- Ned Flanders was named after Flanders Street, Mayor Quimby was named after Quimby street;
- Bart & Lisa's elementary school resembles Groening's childhood school, Ainsworth elementary;
- Groening chose Springfield for The Simpsons' hometown because the Anderson family on Father Knows Best lived in Springfield, which Groening thought was the Springfield that is just down I-5 from Portland. Of course, it was also chosen for its ambiguity.