My friend, HeReallyIsThatNice, moved to Portland and sent me an email about his initial impressions of the city. I am sharing an excerpt as it is one of the more compelling emails that has recently hit my inbox.
Portland itself is…well, simply weird. Portlandia is more caricature than mockery - there is deep truth in all the show's strangeness. It's hipster-style fashion with midwest friendliness. Even with those in outrageous outfits, you get the sense that they aren't normal folks wearing meticulously crafted crazy but cool shit - instead, they're just weird people wearing weird stuff. And if you dress like a square, then whatever.
The other evening, we were returning a couple power tools to a tool-lending library. Awesome already. Sadly, we were too late, but we came across two people hanging out in the same building - one dude knitting and a tall quiet tattooed girl. Unbelievably nice, and turns out they were running a kitchen tool lending library, so borrowed a dehydrator - 5 minutes before another woman came rushing in looking for a dehydrator for her on-the-vine grapes. Just crazy!
So, I am starting to understand why people love Portland. A big metro area, with midwestern manners, suffused with a delightful quirkiness. People stop for pedestrians, slow down and accommodate bicycles, and seem afraid of using the horn.
In the past couple weeks, we have also 1. toured the Full Sail brewery 2. picked peaches in a major orchards barely an hour out of town 3. had a happy hour cocktail in a 32oz jar 4. bought salmon that was probably just 10 hours out of the river 5. enjoyed artisanal coffee at Stumptown Roasters 6. hiked waterfalls just 30 minutes from our house.