The Portland Post — Portland
This evening I sit in my candle-lit living room listening to the rain outside my window and to the crackling logs in the fireplace on my television set. It's the perfect mood I think to write about Portland, Oregon.
As I've probably mentioned before our sole purpose for visiting Portland was to see if the city was the kind of place we could see ourselves living. There were many requirements that this destination had to have. It had to be a big enough city to cater to Adam's city-needs. There had to be enough nature to cater to my nature-needs. The city had to be clean, well kept, easy to walk through, and somewhat friendly. One of my personal requirements was that it had to have somewhat of a lesser population than I'm currently used to. And one of Adam's personal requirements was that it had to have enough of the kind of stores he's interested in so he doesn't have to order his entire life through the Internet. And one of the biggest requirements, was that we had to be able to envision opening our comic book shop in the area. Fortunately for us, Portland met every single requirement that we had, and more. But it wasn't love at first site with Portland, it took days of walking the city, exploring the city's five quadrants, eating in the restaurants, talking to the native Portlanders, riding the public transportation, and getting used to the rain. It was only then that we both agreed, Portland was one cool place.
Many of the streets in Portland are brick or cobblestone. The pavements is practically unblemished because it's never cold enough there to freeze. There are large trees lining many of the streets, not only lining, but canopying the sidewalk so that when you look up you don't see a large looming building, you see leaves. Portland is the greenest city I've ever seen. Trees and flowers everywhere, vines up buildings, tons of grass and plant life. Of course, one of the reasons their nature is so successful is because it rains there quite a bit. Now, the amount of rain and the frequency of which it rains varies depending on which travel book you're reading, which local you're talking to, and whether or not your vacation there was blessed with the sun or the clouds. All I know is, it rained everyday of our four day stay. The rain in Portland is weird. At least, it's weird to an Easterner. In the east we're used to heavy rains, downpours even, sometimes flooding. In the Northwest it's just like a mist or a fine rain covers the region on a regular basis. The quantity of rain is less than that of New York, but it rains more often. Portlanders don't walk around with umbrellas, they just, walk in the rain. But you don't really get wet, you just, glisten and dry quickly. The rain is also unpredictable. It will be sunny and gorgeous and then you spot a dark cloud and suddenly it's sprinkling for two hours, then, it's clear skies again. It does this on and off all day long. After one full day of it Adam and I grew quite accustomed and we found that after a while, you just quite paying attention.
The "vacation" part of the Portland trip was a whole lot of fun. Adam and I travel very well together, we're generally interested in doing the same things while on a trip and of course we just love each other's company. One of our main "projects" in Portland was to visit all the comic book stores in the area to get an idea of how their shops are stocked and set up, and if they appear successful. So in doing this we were destination set ever day, exploring a new part of the city, a new quadrant, and walking our asses off. We stayed at the Benson Hotel which is one beautiful hotel. We ate wonderful meals at the London Grill and a place called Mother's, this amazing bistro that made the best french toast I'd ever had in my life. We watched late-night pay-per-view movies in bed that were surprisingly good given that they were Underworld II and Final Destination III. We went to Washington Park, the Portland Zoo, the Rose Gardens, and saw X-Men 3. We had an intimate evening of great food and wine in the fancy hotel lobby which was richly decorated with chandeliers, over stuffed furniture, and gorgeous drapery. We spent time in various café's drinking cappuccino and snacking on cookies. And we visited one of the largest and best organized new & used bookstores I've ever been in, and one of the coolest nostalgia toy stores we'd ever seen.
As I'd mentioned before I missed my bed a whole lot. I slept like shit every night we were there. The room was either too hot or too cold, the pillows were too flat or too scratchy, and the west coast time change always throws my body for a loop. I had crazy nightmares, which isn't so unusual for me but waking up in a strange room after having a nightmare always freaks me out so I find it hard to go back to sleep. So coming home and sleeping in my own bed was somewhat like slipping into a warm bath after a full day of running around in the snow with bags of weights on your back. It was relief, it was bliss, and I slept like a rock, dead to the world. All the rest of it, New York, my job, the hordes of people, the trash everywhere, the polluted air, I didn't miss a bit.
So, as you may have guessed by now, Adam and I talked it over and we've decided that we're going to do it. We're moving to Portland, Oregon. June 1st, 2007. Eat your heart out New York City!
I'm happily terrified.
AAH, a renewing of the senses, enormous anticipation, but most of all a paradise for both of you; least not forget a place for you dear ol' dad to come visit.
and a few other "dear ol"'s to visit too
I love rain so darn much, I belong in Portland. We're in a drought here.
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