Saturday, June 30, 2007

Go Blazers
I guess I need to rename this blog (in addition to reinvigorating it). But then again, Whine Country is nothing if it isn't a state of mind, right?

So, yeah, I moved to Portland, the Oregon version for those of you checking in from the Right Coast. I was a little disappointed not to receive any kind of official greeting, let alone a house-warming gift, from the city, especially after seeing the welcome that new kid from Ohio got. But I'll get over the hurt.

Portland is by declaration of pundits, magazine city-rankers, environmentalists, geeks, goofs and professors of urban planning the Coolest City in America. The other day, a fellow in the Wall Street Journal said it felt not so much like a major city, but an incredibly large college town. Or maybe that was the woman in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It's a good line. There are a few colleges around town, but Oregon's big universities are down the Willamette Valley, in Corvallis and Eugene. But Portland nevertheless seems overrun with youth, and it feels vibrant, idealistic and disheveled.

I don't know what all these twentysomethings and thirtysomethings-not-acting-their-age are doing here, beyond depressing wages. (I saw an ad on Craigslist for an editor with a college degree, 3-5 years' experience, a full range of technical knowledge and (of course) "the ability to think creatively and strategically." The salary for this exceptional package: $27,000. Maybe I've really moved to Bangalore.)

I like Portland, so far. Mount Tabor Park is a mile south of me. It's a weird and wonderful place, an extinct volcano and home to several strangely beautiful reservoirs. Plus, for my purposes, it's a great place to run. I found, too, an enjoyable, easy-to-navigate 20-mile bike loop right from my door. And the Montavilla Park Pool is a mile directly east on Glisan, with a lap lane that appears mostly not to be too crowded. So at hand that's good running, biking and swimming—almost everything a guy needs to stay sane.


Dan Brekke said...

Hey -- that pound of Peet's coffee from downtown -- that was your welcome gift. I forgot to tell you the city gave it to me to give it to you.

Debbie said...

I think Whine Country is more appropriate for Portland... I think this area has more Whiners than Napa ever could!

Very glad you're here - hope you'll love it!