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.
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...
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.