I worked for 10 years 1 block away from there. It's a mix of semi-homeless people doing weird things for tourist dollars - like the human statue routine or the guy that balances a rat on top of a cat on top of a dog; truly homeless young punks who are panhandling for drug money in little groups with their pitbulls; drug dealers; mentally ill people who are just hanging out looking sketchy; and a bunch of people drinking starbucks and pretending its all normal. There's a lot of fun stuff in Portland, but fvck working downtown full time. I got tired of watching over my shoulder and thinking of contingency plans every time I went out on the street. The last time I stayed downtown there in March a bunch of occupy wallstreet/homeless fvcks tried to mug us.
The rat on top of a cat on top of a dog thing is cool though.