Saturday, November 10, 2007
Why We Love Portland
Though my family lives in rural southern Oregon, my partner and I are spending a lot of time in Portland these days. Maybe it's because we need our regular city fix, or maybe it's because both of our adult daughters are camping out at home as I write. In any case, we're both involved in a serious and on-going love affair with the Rose City. I'm cross-posting this article to my new blog, Portland Condo, where I'll be regularly holding-forth on all things Portland, Oregon.
As west coast cities go, Portland is rather an unknown to many. And we like it that way. People mention San Diego, Long Beach, LA, San Francisco & Seattle without so much as a nod to Oregon's biggest burg. So let me fill in the spaces for the uninitiated. Portland is the city that Google's "Impeach Bush" more than any other in the country. It is the country's "greenest" city, with well over a million trees and 25% of the city covered by canopy. There are over a quarter million trees on roadsides in Portland.
The city has a number of downtown highlights: The trendy Pearl District with its abundance of lofts, galleries and high-end furnishing emporiums and the formal Chinese garden, walled and compact with a charming tea house in the center is nestled in the heart of the city. The city's famous rose and Japanese garden at Washington Park are totally fabulous, and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the Willamette river is close to everything and provides a great venue for the city's many parties, like the now famous Cinco de Mayo bash. And of course, the Tri-Met & Max rapid transit system is an example of efficiency and good planning. Free to all riders in the downtown, it is possible to take the system all the way to the airport or more distant residential burbs for a small fee.
Portland is known for its open and progressive attitude and politics; its green hillsides and cityscape; great views; good food and the quintessential Northwest state-of-mind. Locals sport a favorite bumper sticker which urges: Keep Portland Weird.
We are especially fond of the food and wine. I'll be posting extensively on the new blog about our favorite restaurants; events, and art exhibits. So feel free to surf on by Portland Condo from time-to-time if you've got an interest in the Northwest and the Rose City.