Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Ode to Portland

Today's prompt is to talk about something that I miss. The first thing that came to mind for me was living in Portland. I love the city atmosphere, where there are always things to do, places to go, etc. I don't mean necessarily going to parties every night (I'm definitely not the type of personality that enjoys being super social), but I loved having the opportunity to go to the ballet, for example, or the opera, or to a pro basketball game, even. It's just fun having those types of things within the city you live in, so you can do that rather easily in an evening if the fancy strikes you.

I also loved having public transportation at my fingertips. Portland has a particularly good system for that, which fascinated me endlessly when I lived there. It would always amaze me that I could literally get from one end of the city to the other merely by walking/busing/taking a train. I lived there about 5 years before I even got a car... and even then, I would leave it at home most days to travel downtown to work. It was just faster to take the train... plus you can't read a book while driving yourself somewhere! Lol.

The other thing I miss about Portland was it's awesome sense of "team spirit", if you will. People who live in Portland love living in Portland, and it shows. The annual Rose Festival is a town event and it's quite common to visit the festival grounds several times a week while it's going on (whether for a parade, dragonboat race, or for the carvnival itself). People also tend to congregate in Pioneer Square, especially in the summer, for free concerts, sandcastle-building exhibitions, etc. There's a definite sense of group identity in Portland that makes you really excited to be there and see what's going on!

Downtown is always really fun too. I loved walking around down there, seeing the tall buildings, visiting the awesome stores. If you've never been, you should go see Powell's Books. It's literally so big that they have a map you can grab at the door to help you navigate your way around! I got in the habit of only taking in the amount of money I wanted to spend because it's really easy to justify buying way too many books! They've got pretty much any book you can think of and usually at a really great (used bookstore) price.

In the 10-20-year plan for my life, I probably won't end up back in Portland anytime soon, but hopefully I can retire there! I want to see other great cities in the meanwhile, but I think Portland will always be my first love. ;)

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