Monday, March 10, 2008

I Heart Portland, Revisited

It is almost spring, when a woman's heart turns to thoughts of . . . how much she loves her town. Yes, that again.

I love walking Ada to nursery school (a mere 7 blocks from our house), past our neighbor's yards, hipsters heading to the coffee store for that first cup, trees starting to bud. Ada and I speculate about what is in the delivery trucks, aided by the pictures of donuts or milk jugs painted on the trucks' sides. Ada engages the orange-clad construction workers, informing them that we are going to school. She and I discuss the kids and their parents. (Ada sees a second grader and her toddler brother. She wonders aloud, "is she going to school? is he?") On the walk home I call out to a neighbor and smile at other parents herding their children to school.

I love that for the price of a cafe au lait or three, my colleagues and I can work for hours at a local cafe. The space is only half-full in the morning, and no one looks askance at us for staying too long or not buying enough (or shamelessly talking like the policy wonks we are). Plus, we get to admire the toddler with the beautiful curls eating breakfast with her mother.

I love walking down the street and seeing this:

So Portland

It isn't my thing, but I love that Portland is still not over the hippie, earth-worship pagan fest. Can someone else go and let me know if they really raffle Michelle's heart?

I love that every year, in the middle of our notoriously rainy winter, for a week or more the rain is replaced by sunny skies. This year we had almost three continuous weeks of sun and warm weather. I keep telling our thrilled neighbors (recently relocated from San Francisco) that a reprieve lasting this long is NOT NORMAL. Three weeks is a amazing stretch of good weather in February and early March. Not that I'm complaining; it has been really nice.

Every day that it does not rain, Ada runs out the door and down the street to see her pal Lila. Even when they argue or Ada has a meltdown because she wants the mama monkey, no not the baby monkey! she still wants to run down the block for more time with her friend. Lila charmingly runs back and forth yelling "Play! Play! Play!" It is part exclamation, part instruction. All this outside time offers me a chance to work in the garden, a bonus on an unexpectedly sunny day.

What do you love about where you live? (I am interested, whether or not you live where I do.)


  1. I love that you can go to a restaurant and see an Asian kid and two black kids, speaking to each other in Spanish.

  2. I love that I can walk to four parks, the library, the pool, my children's schools, and several shops and restaurants. And bump into several friends almost everywhere I go.

    And the sturgeon fishing!

  3. I love that the friends we have here have become family. And I love the fog.

    Now, a question: was the staple gun they used on that poster soaked in bacon grease or what? How did all of those stains around the staples get there? I am really bothered by that. (Of course I am. I want to take down the sign and wipe it.)

  4. I think you know that I do love where I love. I love that it is nothing but entertainment to take the bus to the Polish Deli -- or that all the ladies in the boutiques play along with my personal stylist.

    I love that I don't know where to get the cheapest onions at the 15 green grocers on Fraser street so just shop everywhere in self defense.

    And the library. And the old Sikh grandpas who walk the babies to sleep in the strollers at 1pm while Grandma cleans up from lunch. And, the view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the swings.

  5. The "grease" is oil on the light pole.

  6. (oil on the telephone pole)

  7. we just got portland mail love from my brother...i can only imagine the cool shops that these treasures came from.

    i can't wait to visit some day...

  8. delurking b/c there isn't much I love about this place, but oh how much I love your place (Portland, that is).