Tag Archives: Portland

I love Portland.

A familiar last name on a street sign in PDX.

 

I think it’s because Portland doesn’t seem to care whether or not I love it. I find that sort of apathy-fueled confidence appealing, I think because I lack so much of it. I really, really, at all times want people to like me, and if they don’t, I spend way too much time obsessing about it.

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Things never seem to turn out how I imagine they will.

I don’t know if it’s because my expectations are too lofty, or if they aren’t lofty enough. But on some trips, things don’t quite fall into place. Nothing is how I envisioned it to be.

Later, I scroll through my photos and find that several which I thought were crystal clear are blurry and out of focus. There is some weird poetry in that, isn’t there? That not even my pictures are how I pictured them?

The Friday before last in Portland was one of those days. Things were not as I had anticipated. And that turned out to be a wonderful thing. (more…)

My apologies for the quality of images in this post. Many of them were taken with my cell phone, because I was too busy eating to be bothered with my SLR. 

 

I have been told on more than one occasion that I am not unlike a hobbit. I’ve always figured this was less to do with the size and furriness of my feet (they are rather small, and for the most part hairless, save for something that is happening on each of my big toes. Let us not speak of that.), and more to do with my inclination to eat at least one breakfast, and often to have two, and then perhaps Elevensies, all of which really help to tide a gal over to lunch.

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I have never believed in love at first sight, or the epicurial equivalent of it (love at first bite?) My brain just doesn’t work that way – it likes to take its sweet time in deciding how it feels about something. Rand and I dated for years before I realized exactly how much I liked him. I’ve been halfway through a dessert before I’ve even come to a decision about it.

And similarly, it took me a long time to realize something that thousands of other people had already agreed on: mainly, that Tasty & Alder in Portland serves a really excellent breakfast.

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Angel wings and drinking vinegar with soda water.

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Pok Pok, for a lot of people in the northwest, is probably old news. When I first visited it a little over a year ago at the recommendation of my friend Jessica, it was still relatively obscure. The repetitive name did not hang on the lips of northwest foodies like a whisper to a lover, did not elicit knowing nods like it does now.

When I first went to Pok Pok, it was far less known.

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Best. Wallpaper. Ever.

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I don’t get interior decorating.

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to anyone. I can barely dress myself, and I have the benefit of being scorned publicly by my peers – I can learn from positive reinforcement (no one laughed hysterically the moment I walked into the room? Great. Wear that outfit again.)

You won't believe how many words I need to describe what this is.

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It’s not easy being Portland. Staying on the cutting edge of weird, on the forefront of WTF, can only be exhausting. The city is constantly inventing, perfecting, and growing tired of things that won’t reach the rest of us until months or even years later.

They are the connoisseurs of pastimes we don’t yet know exist.

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Rand and I are heading to Portland soon. We haven’t been there since the end of last summer, when we stopped for a night on our way down to Ashland.

I’m thrilled to be going back. I love Portland. It’s this wonderful combination of beauty and grit, of art and industry. And perhaps nothing captures that better than the signs and marquis that dot the city. They’re everywhere: some spray painted, some neon. They denote all manner of businesses, from book stores to strip clubs, upscale restaurants to homeless shelters.

The last time that I was in Portland, between the light of a late summer sun and the magic of neon gas, the city positively glowed. Here are a dozen photos from that afternoon, when I roamed the city with my beloved, and marveled at its dingy loveliness.

  1. The Golden Dragon Exotic Club. From what I’ve heard, you shouldn’t bother going in. And for the love of Pete, don’t eat there.
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  2.  Keep Portland Weird sign, 3rd Street between Burnside and Ankeny.

    Unofficial city motto.

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