A long time ago, I almost went to school in Portland, OR, and I have wanted to visit it ever since. Inspired by the satirical Portlandia, I visited for a week, and was not disappointed. It helped that the weather was uncharacteristically warm and brilliant, but then, I like fog and rain too.
During the time we were there, we asked ourselves repeatedly, “What are we doing in that trash heap of the NYC metro area??” Sure, it’s exciting, and the world revolves around Manhattan – especially Wall Street – but living or working in and around NYC, as I have since I left my home in the San Fernando Valley, is like inhabiting the bowels of a machine. A fascinating and entertaining machine, but a place for other machines.
I was amazed at the friendliness and courtesy of the locals – and I am not one of those people who thinks New Yorkers are rude. The food was astounding, the coffee and pastries, and the funky shops that serve it were superb; the book and comic stores amazing; music was everywhere! We attended part of a five-day blues festival with a range of performers and at a price that would cost five times as much in my area. Biking is wonderful, flowers are everywhere…do I sound like a born-again hippy? The public transit system is marvelous, and there is no sales tax! Not that I am against taxation, but they save it for a non-regressive income tax, or so I surmise.
Was there anything I did not like about Portland? Well, I only saw the good weather…
Well, they have their share of urban wastelands. But the city is reclaiming its waterfront.
The Pacific coast is magnificent!
We took a bike ride to Mount Tabor park (Mt. Tabor is where JC was transfigured). The original reservoirs are there, complete with castellated architectural detail. There’s also a bronze of a City Father, with the inscription, “Molder of Opinion, in Oregon and Beyond.”
Two things that make Portland a wonderful place.
And let’s not forget the absolutely fantastic Powell’s!