For those who somehow missed the title. This blog is called One Guy In Portland, and that is because my home city was Portland, OR. I loved it and my home state and I thought we did not get a whole lot of respect from a lot of other ‘hubs’ of industries. We were the food cart city, the weird one, and most of all the one where anything could be found or done.
Imagination ran through this city and the state like the blood in your veins, and I loved it. Growth, loss, highs, lows from the gentrification of the east side back to the smokey bars and speakeasy gambling rooms. I loved it because it had an authenticity to whatever it did making it seem just for a moment that there was a magic about it.
You could go and learn tea from the monks of China, gamble with some of the best in Vegas, learn from minds in every field, eat and swap stories with some of the best chefs coming up, and learn so much. I have spent days navigating the back roads and alleys just to see what little thing could be found.
There was always bad moments. Running down Burnside right after y2k at 3 in the morning, gang shootings against the LGBTQ community, drug deals from some of the smaller towns funneling in, and those people never really getting a chance they can understand to just try. Try to do something positive, and maybe they can just stop. I used to boast how Oregon was a grat place to live and Portland was the jewel of the crown.
Now, though I must say I am more than a little hurt because what started off as a branded “resistance” brought the wrong people to the dance. The crown is tarnished, and the jewel that once held some magic may have grown duller. That does not mean that efforts should stop, though. One does not get by moping about, and even though it has wavered, I will still make my home a better place, and then move outwards because that is the plan, the goal , and the dream. It does not matter now, who won or who lost. We must work with what we got and sometimes it takes a group of misfits to make something greater than the sum of the parts.