Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ten things I love about Portland (Monday Listicles)

For this week's Monday Listicles topic, we could choose between "ten things you love about your house" or "ten things you love about your city/town."

Since I'm a true-blue Portlander through and through, I had to go with the latter! Here are some of the things I love about my hometown:

1. Foodie heaven!

Dinner at Mother's Bistro to celebrate my hubby's 50th
I lived in Osaka for two out of the three years I lived in Japan, and Osaka also was known as a foodie paradise. It's where I first discovered Indian food--when I left Portland, it had only one Indian restaurant. Fortunately, no longer!

Portland, according to TIME magazine, is "America's new food Eden." We have a plethora of outstanding restaurants. Even our food carts are amazing, and I'm fortunate to work across the street of one of Portland's great food cart pods.

Dinner with my friends April and Shelia at Isabel Pearl
Whenever I need a food reco, I consult my wonderful foodie friends Brad and Catherine. They can always be relied on for the best, most delicious restaurants. This weekend, I'm looking forward to discovering a new one with Catherine and our friend April.





2. Book paradise!

My reading family (celebrating Banned Books Week)
According to Livability.com, Portland is ranked #1 for book lovers. No surprise...we have the famous Powell's Books, one of the highest rates of circulation for public libraries in the country, and 139 independent book stores--one of them our beloved Annie Bloom's, 1/2 mile from our house. In 2008, I wrote a post praising our independent bookstores and library system. As a reading addict and book lover, I'm so happy I live in Portland!
River walk at lunch time

3. Water abounds!

View of the city from the water
First of all, we have the wonderful Willamette River running through our city, meeting the mighty Columbia River. I am the type of person who loves being near water, and fortunately I have easy access to it. I can walk to the river from my office in a few minutes, and on a sunny day, that's where you will find me on my lunch hour. Also, any Portlander who travels outside of the city knows the high quality of our drinking water. It tastes good, unlike the drinking water in many other places in this country. We are spoiled.











On my birthday in the Columbia Gorge
4. Access to beach, mountains, and parks

We can reach my parents' beach house at Nedonna Beach in a little over an hour and a half. The amazing Columbia Gorge is less than an hour away, as is Mount Hood. Over 12 percent of Portland is park land, including Washington Park and Forest Park. We love the outdoors. Even our free enterprise reflects that, being the headquarters of Nike and Columbia Sportswear, among others.





5. Progressive politics

Yes, we are a blue state...and I love that. Oregon pioneered the bottle bill, we are one of the few states to legalize assisted suicide, and in 2014, we will be the first state to write the right of gay marriage into our state constitution.

6. Live and let live attitude

Sometimes this can be frustrating...such as in 2012, when the efforts to get fluoridated water in Portland failed (I voted in favor of this to assist dental health care for the poor)...but for the most part, I'm glad for this atmosphere. When Portland mayor Sam Adams, who I voted for, was accused of having an affair with an underage man, Portlanders turned their heads for the most part, preferring to keep him in office for the good work he was doing. Even though I was gravely disappointed in his actions, this is one example of how we have a live-and-let-live attitude.

7. Global spirit

When I grew up in Beaverton and then left for Japan in 1986, Portland had very few ethnic restaurants. Now they abound, thank goodness. This is not the only example our global spirit, but one that I definitely enjoy!

My middle kiddo, in Kids Company Northwest
8. Great theater, music, art, and other culture

As culture lovers, we avail ourselves of Portland's great arts scene all the time. Last night Mike and I went to see a concert of Motherlode at the First Unitarian Church. We have season tickets to Portland Center Stage (Portland's largest and longest-running theater company) and Northwest Children's Theater. We love to go to free concerts and Shakespeare in the Park during the summer. And of course as a mom of budding thespians, I'm glad my sons have so many opportunities to express their theatrical spirits. This is a place where Pink Martini has given two free concerts in one year. Fantastic!

I feel so fortunate to live in such a wonderful center of the arts.


9. Creative spirits

Not only do we abound in the arts, but the way Portlanders express themselves is deeply creative. From the Naked Bike Ride and the Holiday Hullabaloo to Will Vinton, Crafty Wonderland, the Wild Arts Festival, Trek in the Park, Grimm, and Portlandia, we are deeply creative...my 10-year-old tells me that our bridges are creative, too!

10. The best people in the world!

When Mike and I got married in 1990, I had just returned to Oregon after living in Japan for three years and Tacoma, Washington, for four years before that. We had about 120 people at our wedding, mostly my extended family and friends from college and church. If we were to get married again, we'd probably have three times that number at the party.

In the 23 years we've lived here, we've developed so many wonderful communities--at our amazing church, Mission of the Atonement; our NICU parent community; the kids' elementary school; and my workplace among others. We believe so strongly in the power and strength of community. We have a fantastic village here in Portland, including our unique Multnomah Village 1/2 mile from our house...where we constantly run into people we know. It's hard to imagine living anyplace else.

I love living in Portland.

View other Monday Listicles at The Good Life.



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