I never knew growing up native in NE Portland would some day make me a commodity in my own city. When I was overseas I got asked where I was from all the time. Now I’m back home and people STILL ask me where I’m from. And then when I say HERE, they go, ‘Wow. A real Portlandian!’ When did this happen?! Whatever, I’ll take it.
Since I’ve been back in town, life has been more interesting than I remembered leaving it. I’ve never lived downtown before cause my parents were here, but since they aren’t anymore I had the perfect excuse to find a lovely 1920’s flat in NW, complete with a clawfoot bathtub and two roommates. It takes me about 20 mins every morning to stroll past parks and awakening boutiques to arrive at work. I adore my walks to work. Cyclists whiz by, guys with mustaches, cropped skinny jeans and messenger bags walk past, and homeless people wish me good mornings and compliment my hair. I mentally window shop as I pass by vintage furniture shops and thank God for the beautiful weather, and my job.
The vibe and culture at Airbnb in Portland is second to none. No boring people, no boring days. It is the aura of Portland herself in her grandest displays of hospitality. Which basically means bike storage areas, microbrews in the fridge, and endless vegan, gluten-free and organic catered lunches. We sit wherever we feel like, and I get a million GIF’s a day of kittens and sitcom celebrities. There’s always meet ups going on outside of the office, whether it’s an organized afternoon of kickball + a keg, or karaoke nights. There’s a lunch-time running group, a brunch group, an outdoor yoga group, everything and anything. I’ve been busy, and my alcohol tolerance has grown amusingly high. My colleagues are a younger, hip crowd in our mid 20’s to mid 30’s with dogs (that they bring to the office) and they all have fun, random facts and passions. Sometimes I feel like I don’t fit in cause I don’t professionally bike race or work part time as an EMT, but then it’s obvious how much I DO. Since we’re all so unique, we all fit in by just being different people. Ah, the diversity is wonderful.
I’m rediscovering so many new reasons to love Portland, and it’s easy because there are so many people here to show me how.
One reason? Thrift shops. One of my roommates loves going to Goodwill for house furnishings. When I first went in there I was blown away by how much cool STUFF they had for so cheap! I’ve always had this mentality that thrift shops were only a place to donate things. But we actually bought silverware there for $.27 each piece. Think that’s weird and unsanitary? So did I..until Sam pointed out that all restaurants reuse their silverware. Mind=blown. Also, there have been many times at work when I’ve complimented someone on their clothes and they’ll tell me they got it at Goodwill or Salvation Army. And I am curious now.
Another reason? I never get bad coffee. Another reason? No such thing as a bad pint. Another? I live right across the street from Trader Joe’s. Another? No sales tax. Another? The outdoors. Oh, yes.
The outdoors. After living in SE Asia and central America, every day I am happy to be breathing in clean, crisp air. I am also surrounded by trees, and trees make me happy-and so do roses, and they are blooming all over Portland as well. Actually, Washington Park is a few minutes walk from my block, and therein lies the landmark Rose Garden and plentiful hiking trails. Yesterday I went out to Sauvie Island, where I used to go U-pick fruit on weekends as a little girl with my family. Only now that we’re grown ups, friends and I had mimosas all afternoon in the sand. This morning we drove along the Gorge and hiked up to Punchbowl to see some pretty waterfalls. Few weeks ago, we went out to the Oregon Coast and made a bonfire on the beach after our hair got all tangled from the relentless wind.
How’s life? Excellent. How am I liking Portland? Very, very much so.