Rose City Rhapsody… by Nancy Brophy
Love television? Does Portlandia have you thinking about moving to the Pacific Northwest?
First let me break the sad news, Kyle MacLachlan is not our mayor and we don’t put a bird on everything. But it is true we are more laid back than many cities. Someone wrote that Portland is what San Francisco would be like if it was run by Canadians. I love that line.
Weather: You might not have heard but it’s true, we get a little precipitation. Bring an umbrella. The Portland Rain Fest lasts from October through June.
Dress: Princess Kate may be encouraging wearing pantyhose in England, but we don’t. Historically, hasn’t that always been true? In the Revolutionary War, they wore red coats, we dressed casual.
London is as rainy as Portland, but if you think Gore-Tex is sexy, you belong here.
Sucker punch: Come in July. After one summer here, you will never go home. It is our summers that let us survive months of rain.
Food: Expect fresh, local, seasonal almost everywhere. Pick your own fruit – apricots, peaches, berries, and cherries in mid summer. Some things never go out of style. You will learn to preserve produce, make jams and jellies and fill your pantry with jars of product from your backyard.
Exercise: Bring your bicycle. We jog, we hike, we cross-county ski. (I don’t, but I can show you photos of people who do). There are kick-ball leagues and soccer isn’t just for kids. You can learn to paddle a dragon boat and compete in races.
Professional sports: Blazers, Winterhawks, Timbers. Need I say more?
Cool Stuff: If transportation is an issue, Portland is one of the few places you can live without a car due to remarkable public transportation, streetcar, train and bus.
If you have a car, we don’t pump our own gas. Tha’s right. You will never smell like gasoline again. And once your tank is filled, you’re only one hour to the coast. One hour to the mountains. Mt Hood has year round snow.
Home Gardens: Most places you will live will be man against nature. You plant and you pray. In Portland, it is also man against nature. But this time you’re given a weapon – a machete. Everything takes root. If you plant a Popsicle stick in the ground, next summer’s garden will yield some interesting results.
Festivals: Summertime brings the festivals, Cinco de Mayo, the Rose Festival, Crawfish festival, the Greek festival, the Highland Games festival, numerous brew and food festivals. Every weekend can keep you busy.
Money: No state income tax. An item priced at $3.95 is $3.95. Portland isn’t like Denver. Twenty percent of your salary does not come from the view. There are lots of careers here that aren’t available elsewhere. Have a Saturday Market booth. Sell your home-grown produce at one of the many farmer’s markets.
Coffee: Practice your snobbishness about coffee. You will be tested. ‘Folgers in the cup’ designates a tourist, not a local.
Prepare to be dazzled. Prepare to make friends. Prepare to love us.