Well, it’s officially month #12, which means we’re almost at the year mark. I haven’t let that slow me down though. As soon as I got settled into my new digs, I immediately set out to explore Portland and all of the wonderful things it has to offer. Admittedly, I did manage to get lost a few times, but all is well, as I ended up finding a bunch of great bars and shops I plan on checking out during my stay here.
Right off the bat, I can already tell that Portland has a much different vibe than any place I’ve already visited. Sure, it shares a slogan with Austin and a region with Seattle, but Portland feels like a different beast entirely. There aren’t many skyscrapers here and the rain hasn’t stopped since I first stepped off the train. Yet, this place is oozing charm. It’s nestled in the mountains, overflowing with quaint shops and eateries and quite frankly, if you told me every Hollywood scene depicting a “small town” was filmed here, I’d have a hard time not believing you.
Things are a lot quieter here. And after spending Saturday night walking around the downtown area, I think I can confirm that not much is going on there after hours—save a few nightclubs and concert venues. Of course, this is only downtown we’re talking about. There’s still an entire east side and north side that I need to check out. It is kind of nice to see that all of the opinions about Portland I received from Seattleites are actually ringing true. People here are friendlier, more active and seemingly a little more patient. Of course, these are all characteristics you’d find in Seattle, but here it's just turn it up a notch or two.
What else did I learn this weekend? Let’s see. Portland has a pretty great streetcar system! While I’ve learned to enjoy my endless walks around town, I feel as if the constant rain is finally going to get the better of me and force my hand when it comes to using public transportation. I can also see that Portland has a rather large vagrant population, which is something I first came upon in Austin and then again in Seattle. I’m not sure if there's a pattern, but the average age of the drifters I see seems to get younger and younger the further west I go. They also seem better prepared for the weather, having tents, camping stoves and a variety of other equipment in their oversized backpacks. Obviously, I’m not making any sort of comment on the situation by mentioning it, I’m just sharing my observations. Also, I'm not talking about homeless people in general. Obviously, I've seen homeless people all over the country. That's a whole other conversation, if you ask me.
But, before we get into a debate about all of that, I just wanted to forewarn everyone that the next few months are going to be a little weird because of the holidays. I’m only at Pollinate for 3.5 weeks due to Thanksgiving and the same goes for the Evolution Bureau, since they close the office early for Christmas and New Years. Of course, spending two holiday weeks alone doesn’t sound like much fun. So, I might switch things up a bit and find myself a temp job for the holidays, just to ensure I’m not sitting on my ass. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure—the final three months of #TGAA are going to be rather interesting.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's my first day at Pollinate and I don't want to be late!