The folks on Portlandia call this city "the place where young people go to retire." And that's exactly what I had in mind. I moved here with $6000 and a plan to not get a job until I ran out of cash. I spent a wonderful (if a little lonely) six months painting and drawing. It was a great start. Today I want to sit down for a little bit and write about my favorite city and home.
The original Portlandia.
My number one reason for loving Portland is the flora. We get to have exciting urban living AND plants everywhere. See?! Even the police cars have flowers on them!
Here is how this has affected me:
A painting of mine after 5 years of living in Chicago.
My number 2 reason- The books! Portland loves to read. The Multnomah County Library is AMAZING! I seriously believe this is the best library system ever. And of course there's Powell's Books (my current part-time employer - thanks Powell's, love ya!) AND Beverly freakin' Cleary grew up here. You can live on Klickitat Street!
This lovely print is by Etsy genius and Portlander,
Number 3- Authenticity. I've found that people here are very interested in being real. It was intimidating at first - this East Coaster was used to a lot of pretense. But now I love it. (Maybe this should be number 1? I think it's that vague, hard to explain thing that makes Portland Portland.) At parties I'd much rather talk to you about the chickens you're raising in your backyard than the impressive people you know. Wouldn't you?!
This gal lives in the courtyard of my boyfriend's old apartment building.
Some other reasons:
The food and drink- it's true, we eat good here, like insanely good.
The artists - we have some really great ones! I mean, really, the people in general. So many good people live here!
The mountains and the ocean are both only about an hour away.
And "the river." That's what people say in the summer - "let's go to the river." There are about five different rivers they could have in mind. It doesn't really matter though, they're all lovely.
The Sandy River last summer.
Did I mention the trees?
So, happy anniversary Portland! Me and you make a great couple!
(Perhaps this post was also meant to inspire friends and family to come visit. You should come! I will have a guest room for you starting May 1st! We'll take pictures of trees and eat from food carts and read books and have so much fun you'll wish you lived here too!)