Losing Portland

Sunset at Zoo 082808Yesterday was my birthday. It was not a significant number and thus didn’t really require a lot of celebration. But I was lucky enough to have a good friend in town. There was an added excuse to wander- walk the waterfront, drink hoppy microbrews, and appreciate this city through the fresh eyes of a person who has just discovered it. It was a good weekend.

My weekend made me think hard about the things i’ll miss about this city: my home for a little over seven years. I have 8 months left here to soak in the all the things I don’t want to forget about this place. I might have to scramble my budget just enough to enjoy a bit more before I go.

Despite all the experiences ahead, I ultimately feel like I will be losing Portland when I go. I am unprepared to do this just yet. Furthermore, I’m pleasantly surprised to be discovering this now– when there is still time to capture the moment. There are so many places I need to revisit, people I need to see, and parks I need to wander through.

This city has served as a series of stark contrasts for me. I have hated it at times, and have often plotted running away and never leaving a forwarding address. But as I prepare to finally close this chapter, I’m not as excited to escape as I thought I would be. Portland has made me a bike commuter, a picky eater, an avid microbrew expert, and an environmentalist. I’ve learned from the locals to greet strangers when walking down the sidewalk, to find the most creative way to reuse old objects once identified as trash, and to open my heart and conscious to the idealism of a small city. I run into friends most everywhere I go. I can enjoy a book and a drink at the local bar and not be harassed. And most of all, I feel safe here. I might hate the cold winters, but I have thoroughly enjoyed my Portland experience. It will be strange to lose Portland. It will be strange to feel disconnected from her people.

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