portland, the city of roses, the city of bridges

August 24, 2010 |  Category:   life Seattle & the NW travels

Oh Portland, you confuse me.

I’m not sure what it is, but when I’m back in town, the city seems so foreign, like I’ve never even lived here. I don’t know if it’s because it’s been 14 years already since we left and the city has changed in so many ways, but it doesn’t pull at my heart strings when we cross the Columbia River on the interstate bridge from Washington to Oregon. The lack of emotional connection is so confusing seeing as how I’m usually so super nostalgic about everything, especially the places where I have lived. I’ll reminisce about certain places that we pass by…a store, a restaurant, or a street corner…and there are a number of places that have stuck around with plenty of opportunities to feel those pangs of nostalgia, but I feel more like a tourist than someone who is visiting their old haunts. I don’t quite understand why.

We had a fantastic 2 days over the weekend. I was happy to show the girls Powell’s Books and the Rose Garden. The roses were still in bloom and we walked around the gardens, sticking our noses close to the flowers, trying to find the best smelling rose. It’s amazing how different they all smell. We walked around the Pearl District, a neighborhood that didn’t exist when we lived there and had lunch in North Portland the first day we pulled in (what’s with all the stationery food trucks?). Dim Sum for Sunday brunch and ramen for dinner, right before we headed back north.

What does capture my heart is seeing our college friend and Portland housemate, Jason. This is the main reason we make the trip down. This is what it’s all about, isn’t it? In the end, the most significant memories are about the people.

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  • mau August 24, 2010 at 4:02 am

    beautiful photos, as always. the one of claudine with the grass hat is just precious! i especially love the one of mia…from what i read in your blog every day it seems that this photo captures her character.

  • olivia rae August 24, 2010 at 7:40 am

    the dim sum sunday brunch looks incredible.. all of these photos are just so perfect. i especially love the one of mark and claudine sitting down looking at you.

  • Lauren August 24, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I love Claudine’s hat! She is so cute, and looks almost like a chia pet.

    How do you eat ramen? I grew up on the Maruchan, but would love to know how to make good ramen.

  • Kristin August 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I stumbled across your blog several months ago and have been a daily reader ever since. I have to say that last line “In the end, the most significant memories are about the people.” seems to resonate within me. I tend to be pretty nostalgic when it comes to places I once lived, when really it wasn’t at all the place but really the people who I spent time with that made the place amazing.

    Thank you for such an amazing blog and letting us into your world!

  • ChantaleP August 24, 2010 at 10:38 am

    You’ve hit it right on the nail. It really is all about the people. What did pull my heart string? That pic of Mia reading in the rose garden. Beautiful..

  • Nani August 24, 2010 at 10:43 am

    wow these are beautiful photo’s. I can understand how you feel though, even though you spent so much time there and it is apart of your history you cannot help but feel like an outsider. It’s weird how it ends up that way.

  • nicole August 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    yep, feel the same way about portland. meh. lived there for 14 years before we moved to new england last winter and though some places are sweet, (definitely the rose garden and powells and pastaworks too), i just don’t get choked up about that city. and the pearl district? my husband and i still call it old town. no amount of venture capital money can wash away the stench that side of burnside has.

  • jennifer August 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve never been though admittedly i’m curious since people are always raving about the brooklyn-portland connection. You know the “if you like brooklyn, you’ll really love portland” kind of thing. Interesting to hear your perspective…

  • Jenna August 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    lauren, the ramen was at a restaurant. I think our parents would laugh if they knew we were paying $11 for a bowl of ramen in trendy restaurants around the country.
    Jennifer, yeah there is this p-town brooklyn thing. I think I can see where that comes from. It has a shared indie spirit I think, though Portland is a bit more crunchy and Brooklyn is more urban.

  • Damaris August 25, 2010 at 1:39 am

    I’ve never been to Potland but I want to. I want to really bad. I live in Santa Cruz and my husband keeps saying that Portland is Oregon’s Santa Cruz.

  • elaineganmaclaine August 25, 2010 at 7:03 am

    mmm Dim Sum! But served in metal baskets?? This is the first i’ve seen 🙂

  • alexis August 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    what an honest and beautiful thought “In the end, the most significant memories are about the people.” I don’t actually rise with the sun to make the day trip down the shore just to see the sand, but rather the smiling faces and barks that greet me. thanks for the reminder about what really matters. enjoy your trip home! thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

  • Leslie August 26, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Your photos are so mesmerizing! I hope you’re enjoying your trip!