Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Impressions of Portland

People here are much skinnier than in Reno.

The inhabitants of Oregon smoke far more than Nevadans do.

Marijuana is also prevalent.

Portland is a city of neighborhoods distinct in both atmosphere and architecture.

Parts of it look like a poor man's San Francisco.

Some quarters feel like Munich or various Western European university cities.

Others are uniquely and distinctly Portland.

The cities of Beaverton, Aloha, and Hillsboro are giant forests. When viewed from the hills, there are only isolated buildings rising above a sea of dark green trees.

Ethnically it's a bit like Midwest has run headlong into the Pacific Rim and islands. Lot's of white people with Norwegian, Swedish, and German backgrounds, as well as plenty of persons with Japanese and Hawaiian ancestors, as well as some Vietnamese and Chinese.

The Saturday markets are fantastic, whether in Old Town or at the university. The mood of the city on these days is content and confident. The City of Roses knows what it is, and it enjoys its existence.

The long summer evenings are perfect.

The sunsets are like Northern California's, only with less peach and more rose light. During the pre-dawn or late-twilight gloaming, the sky is a deep reddish yellow.

The sunny days are green and gold, the cloudy ones are gray and green.

My favorite days are when the clouds wend round the ridges and hilltops, while the mists embrace the firs and pine trees.

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