Too Cool For School

I thought Brooklyn was hip but Portland takes the cake. Everywhere you turn, something cooler is happening. There’s either a coffee shop with the latest lavender tea to taste or a new vegan, gluten-free burger to try. It’s all too much for me sometimes. And it’s laughable now. 

I never ridden a bike so much in my life as I have here. No complaining, just saying. You can get by on bike everywhere here and it’s amazing. But then, just when you think you haven’t conformed, you are rolling up your jeans, using funny hand signals, and dinging your bell at cars pulling into the bike lane. You always travel with a bike lock and light because you never know how late you’re going to be out sipping local brews.

Yesterday, we went to National Night Out in Fernhill Park. On bike. There was a Balkan band playing a free concert and while Isaac and I were napping in the shade/sun, a woman in a long skirt offered us plums from her farm basket. Because fruit is free here. It may not surprise you that the fruit is free here but because I paid some high prices for fruit in NYC, this was a shocker to me.

We are about to visit the only cornmeal crust pizza place in Portland for the second time this week. Because cornmeal crust pizza is in. And it’s delicious. You can even wash it down with natural, gluten free cola (Yeah, the Coca-Cola raised homegirl tried natural cola) or apple juice in one of those cute little glass bottles shaped like an apple. 

Or you can visit Portland’s only nonprofit pub if you’re still thirsty. They tell you that you save the world by drinking pints of beer. And you can choose from a list of six or seven nonprofits to support with your habit. Seriously? It’s all too much.

Every house has a garden or raised bed in the front. Who knows what the back yard has. Probably more lavender. And every park has free sidewalk chalk for your drawing pleasure. And the cute neighborhoods nearby have murals on the street so when you stumble home from the nonprofit pub, you trip out on the paintings on the pavement. 

There aren’t many mustaches. Not like Brooklyn. But there are beards for days. Even in the summer. And instead of baseball, America’s game, Portlanders frequent soccer games. How European!

I say this because it’s a bit much for me some days. Some days, I just want to drive my car with a/c over to the Waffle House for a Coke or have homophobic waffle fries from the Chic-fil-a drive-thru. I mean, they have malls here too but no one goes inside without feeling like they’re cheating or being judged. And heaven forbid you are caught with styrofoam or walk into Walmart. 

I sometimes don’t know what to make of it all.

Rant (was it a rant?) over.


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