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A love letter to Portland

June 22, 2011

I don’t like to declare favorites. If you ask me my favorite color or movie or book, the answer is likely to be different if you ask again later. There are just too many lovely things to pick favorites–except when it comes to cities. And even then, I find it hard to commit. Paris and San Francisco have been trading places back and forth for #1 in my heart for years. San Francisco usually edges out simply for being a heck of a lot easier to get to.

I’d never been to Portland (of the Oregon sort, not the Maine sort) until this week. I grew up in South Carolina and Florida, so Oregon is just about as far away as I could get in the lower 48, and I never had reason to come here. Except I did! I just didn’t know. There are so many reasons to come here. It’s unfortunate that it’s so difficult (i.e., expensive) to get to.

There’s Crafty Wonderland and Mt. Hood. Powell’s Books, live and in person. Last night I was hoping for Voodoo Doughnuts, but they’re closed. A local led us around the corner to Central for delightful crepes as a consolation prize.

I love how consistently eco-friendly this city is. After having Hot Lips Pizza for lunch yesterday, I was happy to separate my detritus and appreciated the subtle reminder that trash is just going to get dumped into a hole in the ground to linger eternally:

This was the other sign that intrigued me at Hot Lips. I assume that it isn’t a regulation that it be labeled, or it seems like there’d be a more standard way of doing so. General concern for their patrons’ health on the part of the pizza providers? Paranoia about the debatable affects of aspartame? Assumption that despite its availability since 1982, there are still Diet Coke drinkers who a)are concerned about aspartame and b)don’t know that it’s in Diet Coke?

Right across the street from Hot Lips is the home of the Portland Timbers. A few months ago, Jelly Helm came to spend some time with my team at work and among other things told us about this campaign with the fans pictured on white backgrounds. (More about that campaign.) So I had to take a picture when I saw it up close and personal.


Tangentially related, one of the first things I noticed when I got to Portland was how big enormous the roses are. Huge. Just huge. To which my husband said, “Well yeah. It’s called the Rose City.” As a result, I’ve had the “There’s no pity in the Rose City” chant stuck in my head for a full 24 hours now.

So San Francisco and Paris are going to keep duking it out for #1, but after just two days here, I’m giving Portland a solid spot in #3 with opportunity for future promotion. I think the weather’s going to keep it pushed down the list though. It’s been reasonably nice so far, but waking up to 54 degrees every morning in June wouldn’t keep me happy long.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 24, 2011 8:21 pm

    I know what you mean about favorites. And I am so happy you’re loving Portland!! I love it too. I’m pretty acclimated to the cool mornings and evenings now, but it does hurt a little knowing it’s 80 all day, every day, or higher, back in Indiana. I like to be warm. But I like hoodies too, so it’s all good.

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