The Portlandic Chronicles: Day 1

The clock was talking 4:37pm as we dropped off the rental car, our caravan-of-a-home for the past seven days. Hotel HBO nights, local pizzerias, late night campside fires and an endless changing horizon behind us, we were here, in the promised land, where street youths – wearing black and dirty brown hoodies, patched up pants claiming their lack of support for the war or advertising local bands so unknown they probably haven’t even heard of them – clamor on the corners near coffee shops and record stores and vegan eateries piled on top of eachother, asking for nicotine handouts in such a polite manner as to be hard to refuse. So I don’t, and they celebrate my generosity. These are the new hippies, this is the new good world.

City block after vibrant park zipped by the MAX Red Line, Portland’s light rail that pulled us around our various destinations. We ate spanikopita and other similarly difficult-to-pronounce Greek stuffs over mixed drinks and microbrews, scanning nearby stores for hoodies and jackets to fight off the Pacific Northwest’s affinity for being several degrees cooler than our Steel City homelands.

As I’m slipping through the parks and gardens, on and off of honor system-based public transportation, my lovely bride smiling reflective through the storefront windows and our son hopping on, off and under every possible crevice, crease and crack in the skyscrape, I’m feeling so immensely at home. Every time I’ve come here, and even before I had ever first arrived, Portland has felt like my home. So progressive, so integrated into nature. I already don’t want to leave.

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