Warning: This post was typed on an iPhone during a flight to New York.
Last weekend, J and I flew to Portland, Oregon to attend a wedding and walk along many lanes full of memories. We didn’t walk down Memory Lane, as it was getting resurfaced.
The Red Line train ( la linea roja ) from the airport showed more wear and tear, but was still was clean and fresh-smelling enough to make Bay Area trains seem like moving toilets. A few stops from PDX, a bunch of talkative youth and their former drug addict guardian boarded. Their stroller had a variety of bottles in the bottom and perhaps a baby on top.
We entered the ACE Hotel, passed a lobby full of visiting hipsters, and checked in. This hotel was a hotbed of Portland stereotypes. So was the rest of Portland.
Our room was small and expensive. The shower stall was in view of the bed. A dainty soap on a rope hung from the sink. The toilet offered no sound barrier.
We dropped our bags and walked northwest, past our old apartments, our favorite bakery, and stopped for dinner at a favorite sushi restaurant.
The sunny weather and thriving plants made the streets lush, shaded, and charming. Pollen and nostalgia drifted through the afternoon light.
After dinner, we walked through the Pearl to see some of the newer development. A sparkling condo tower and park had opened on the far edge of what was once an industrial area. Who lives in all these new units is a mystery.
Nearby, we licked world-class, exotically flavored ice cream while watching kids play in a fountain.
Saturday morning, we walked back to the northwest for a second morning coffee and pastries.
We cut across the hills on the west side of town and descended into the colorful produce of the farmer’s market.
We bought blueberries and tomatoes and sat away from the busy pathways to watch people and rest our feet.
A middle age man across from us was crying while talking on a cell phone.
A youthful woman in butt-contouring exercise pants stretched while waiting for people to approach her booth.
At noon, we picked up the car share and drove across the Washington border to the wedding.
An old breakfast haunt.
Quite an entrance.
Flowers on a staircase.
Stud McDreamy looking old and tired.
Propping windows the ghetto way.
Overpass of optical confusion.
Hallway of nothingness and urinal access.
Salmon of the rocks.
My time to shine.
Serious name for serious business.
The double Ds are for dine and dance.
The wedding was at a small organic farm run by a weird old couple.
Despite bountiful crops, times must have been hard enough to rent out their spread for a wedding. They didn’t seem entirely happy to have so many people there.
The wedding, like all weddings, was beautiful.
I wish I had more time to visit with friends, but some ceremony kept interrupting us.
During the reception, another bride and groom came over to say hello. Rather than trying to steal focus, they were workers on the farm getting married down the road. Their wedding had a moon bounce and a livelier crowd.
Dinner table in the hot house.
Canned in the can.
One of many excellent group shots.
J and the trees.
Lanterns we filled with cheap Chinese LEDs.
On Sunday, J and I went on an eight hour walk to the southeast. We stopped for a burger and to visit friends.
My flip flops offered little cushioning.
Breakfast at Clyde Common: egg, sausage, bacon over farro.
The hand of moistness.
Life affirming structures for humanity.
Eternally running homeless bidets.
Shadows 2: The Re-Shadowing.
A healthy snack.
Abandoned high school.
Reflection on broken windows.
Have you taken a picture of one, lately?
Broken warehouse window.
A look inside.
A deceptively pleasant summer moment at the Willamette River.
That evening we met relatives for seafood then settled in for our last night of air conditioned sleep.
Portland is a clever, scheming city during the summer.
The weather is wonderful, the flora abundant, and the neighborhoods idyllic. Everyone is happy, hanging out on porches and parks.
It’s easy to imagine living there again under these conditions, except it’s a trap.
The other seasons are a wet, dreary heck. A lonely, smile-destroying heck.
I’m on to you, Portland.
You can keep your dreams of the 90s. I’m going to keep watching Saved By The Bell in my fog shrouded apartment by the sea.