Twelve years ago, I came up to visit my dear friend, Colleen, for Thanksgiving. I’d never been to Portland and didn’t know what to expect, other than rain. It was a mostly sunny, crisp weekend and the leaves were still changing colors. I was definitely intrigued by this city.
Thanksgiving dinner was great – she and Brock had a large group of friends over, and I met some wonderful people, some of whom became good friends. Colleen is one of those people with many connections and friends, and is great at facilitating new connections among the people she knows.
We did the grand tour of Portland over the weekend. She took me to Crown’s Point and Multnomah Falls, a far cry from the flatlands of Texas and Florida where I’d spent most of my life. I was amazed at the large conifer trees out in the Gorge; the physical beauty of the Pacific Northwest still awes me.
Of course we went to Powell’s – how could two English majors not? She took me to the Central branch of Multnomah County, which was the most beautiful library I’d ever been at that point. The building seemed to me what a big library ought to look like – Austin’s wasn’t great, and Houston’s was more modern.
Another great thing about Portland is the money spent on public art. I don’t like all of it, but I’d rather see ugly art than no art. This fish jumping through a building caught my eye on my first trip.
When I got back to Austin, I mulled over the idea of moving to Portland and decided to go for it! Colleen was surprised but immediately offered to let me stay at their place till I got situated. My family was worried I’d become a hippy, or hate the weather so much I’d fling myself off a bridge. They couldn’t have been more wrong! I love it here in Portland – it’s green, the flowers are beautiful, and the fruits and vegetables are amazing. It’s got better beer, coffee, and wine than Texas, and amazing summers. In February, I will have lived here 12 years – thank you for luring me up here, Colleen!