Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Portland Organic

It's a crush. Maybe? Can you have a crush on a place you've been to only very briefly? I rode the train through Portland. Let's see, that was in March, 1990. Trains do not show you the very loveliest sides of any city, so I cannot pretend that my crush began then. But Geoff and I flew there, early in summer, 1992. We crashed in someone's living room, got up early and headed to the coast. I remember a wilted lettuce salad, and wondering, is this deliberate? Are these leaves sautéed, or past prime? I remember a tree lined street, big houses that were settled into their foundations like old people in chairs... comfortable, warm, welcoming company. I remember broken sidewalks, a deep blue sky, and a longing to stay, to explore. Yes, the Portland crush began then.

Peonies, and rose gardens. Or so I have heard.
Chance of rain.
Clouds, weather.
Trees, and warehouses, a river, and those settled houses.
So intriguing, and beckoning.

Then I began to notice that one, two, three... more, good bloggers were in Portland. I couldn't visit the city, but I enjoyed dropping in on Freckled. Girl. Talk... I found Angry Chicken. Down the Columbia River, I happened upon a Happy Zombie and I was smitten with her colors, her talent, her industrious skills, her humor, her joie de la vie! Sure, Astoria is not Portland, but close... there must be something in the water! When Emily Winfield Martin moved to Portland, I said, "There you go! Portland must be sweet, because look at the talent it draws!"

And then Delia and Ron, my folks, moved to Oregon. Sure, Bandon isn't Portland, but close. And through them I hear about Powell's Bookstore. And Mom sends me Sympathique, long before anyone knows Pink Martini, which is wonderful, and hip, and now my crush has a playlist and the essential feeling of being exclusive, unique, my own. And in the middle of our own housing crisis, I find my anthem...

Every moment, good, or trying, should have it's anthem, or playlist. My Portland crush is evermore confirmed.

All the while, I am being regularly tempted, lured, charmed, enchanted, and renewed by Alicia Paulson, and her Cozy, and always uplifting, blog. In fair or stormy weather, she finds the blossom, the rainbow, the perfect brownie recipe, the loveliest reflections, and most charming crafts, to brighten a day, to refocus the mind, to remind me that lovely good things are not so hard to find. Oh, yes, I am assured... Portland must be sweet.

I love that there is nothing ordinary about Portland. At least, that's the impression I get, from comments, from cliches, from that show, from my friends Janece and Paul, who lived there for a year... I totally should have gone, then, while they were there. I've said, I want to live there for a year. And that's just because I love the idea of going through all the seasons, especially fall and winter. Maybe I am nuts. Delusional. I like my Portland crush, and maybe after one visit, or one year living there, me and Portland would break-up. That's okay too. It doesn't have to be perfect. I don't believe in perfect. I believe in local humor, and local chicken, and I like thinking about going to Portland some day.


Anonymous said...

What fun music!
If I could go to Portland, I would love to see those rose gardens.
Hope you make it!
... Antonia

Anonymous said...

Will you bring chickens on this Oregon road trip, like when you went in 2008?
Answer: Not Likely!

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Back when I was a designer I used to travel to Portland to go and visit the Jantzen factory. I didn't get to explore too much but it was an interesting place. :-)