After running the Eugene Half Marathon, I spent a few days visiting my daughter and her fiance in Portland. Despite the cold, rainy weather, Portland is a city I could definitely learn to love.
I did almost no sightseeing in the city itself, mainly because I had just run a half marathon and my legs were a little trashed. And did I mention it was cold and rainy? We’re talking 40’s and 50’s, which is like winter for this Texan.
While in Portland, we had dinner one night at a fantastic Thai restaurant called PaaDee on Burnside. It was, hands down, the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten. I loved it so much I even took my friend Hari there for lunch the very next day before he flew back home to Dallas. We even took pictures of our food–it was that good.
One afternoon my daughter and I walked (I hobbled) up to Mt Tabor. I can’t believe there are such beautiful places in a city the size of Portland.
One thing I love about Oregon is the incredibly tall trees. They make our Texas trees look like bushes.
Right in the middle of the city, next to parking lots, are these huge trees. I almost got rear ended looking at the trees.
11 random observations about Portland:
- It seems to be a young city. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my time with my daughter and her friends, but everyone seemed to be young.
- The houses are fantastic. Historic, full of character, charming. These are houses I could live in.
- It seems to be trendy to dress like a Victorian. We saw a few guys dressed in bowler hats, bow ties, and old fashioned pants. Interesting. I expected to see a lot of granola types, but this I didn’t expect.
- The homeless people have cell phones. I saw quite a few walking around town talking and texting on their phones. And there are a lot of homeless people in Portland.
- The bridges are scary to drive across. I’m not afraid of heights, but driving across the Willamette River on the freeway bridge made me feel like the girl in Clueless who accidentally gets on the freeway.
- You see a lot of old, beat up cars in Portland. You rarely see old cars in Dallas. People there pride themselves on their new, expensive, immaculately clean cars. I liked seeing the old cars still out there, being put to use.
- Recycling is serious business, and the city even picks up compostable items.
- People drive more courteously than they do in Dallas. I never had anyone tailgate, or cut me off, or drive aggressively.
- Cars and bikes share the roads. The cyclists actually stop at red lights and stop signs. They even wait until the light turns green. Road signs and signals seem to be optional in Dallas (and that goes for cars, as well).
- Everyone expects changing weather and brief rain showers. They dress in layers and carry umbrellas. But they still talk about the weather all the time.
- I could work for Nike. The Nike world headquarters in Beaverton is an awesome space. The buildings are surrounded by trees and various running paths, trails, and tracks. Everyone going into the building was dressed very casually in jeans, t-shirts, and running shoes–Nikes, of course.
I loved visiting Portland, and could definitely see myself living there one day. Even with all the chilly, rainy days, I suspect I would eventually adjust and learn to layer up. When the temperatures start hitting the 100’s down here in Texas in a few weeks, I’m going to remember there are cooler, more habitable places in America–like Portland.