Back in Portland, if only for a short time

It’s great to be back in Portland (Oregon), if only for a short time. Each year around Christmas I come back and spend the holidays here, soaking up all of the lovely rain and cloudy skies as I expect a native Californian might soak up the sun and warm beaches when returning home on Holiday.

There’s always so much to do and so much to see in Portland. Living in a relatively small community in New England means that coming back to Portland is almost like venturning to a large city. Portland will never be a large city like New York or Boston to me, but there do seem to be new buildings popping up like weeds, and the traffic always seems a bit heavier each year. I say seems as it does seem that way, although I am wary that I might just be wistfully imagining a more perfect past Portland, the way that everything was larger when you were younger and the way that men’s suits, a salesman told me today, always seem to shrink in the closet.

Each year I trek down to Free Geek, get over to the various yummy stores like New Seasons and Sheridan’s Fruit Company, and spend time seeing what’s changed downtown.

I always joke that had Free Geek started a few years earlier, I might have frittered away spent all of my time there instead of graduating from high school. I’ve been working on getting something like Free Geek started in my neck of the woods, but wrestling with several issues including location and population density. Speaking of small populations, would you believe that we don’t even have any Trader Joe’s in the Upper Valley? Oh Portland, you have such a well-stocked array of merchants, and there are so many wonderfully happy and friendly people here.

But perhaps I cut Hanover and Norwich and Lebanon and all of the other towns and regions short. Just down the road lies the headquarters for the King Arthur Flour Company, whose quality flours are available all over the nation (and beyond), and while Portland may have wonderful duck ponds, I never got a chance to skate on them the way I can skate on various ponds in New Hampshire or Vermont the whole winter long (and for free!).

Both the Northeast and the Northwest have so much to offer, and while I will likely spend several more years zig-zagging back and forth from one coast to the next, keeping my skates sharpened and my puddle-stomping boots shined, I do stop from time to time and wonder: Should I ever fly South for the winter?

Happy and warm,
— Q

P.S. If I were to venture down South for a visit, where should I go? Leave a comment below telling me where to travel!

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