1. Trips to the Coast
Before we started dating, K and I would take impromptu road trips out to the ocean and it was awesome. The Oregon coast is beautiful in a way that is immeasurably vast, windswept and wild. Every time we ventured westward the beaches were almost abandoned, which isn't something you experience often when you're eastward-bound.
A multi-story independent bookstore that covers an entire city block, this place is heaven for lovers of the written word. I could spend an entire day perusing the shelves of this majestic tower of tomes and always walked out with an average of 5-10 books under my arm. If you live in the Portland area you've undoubtedly entered through those double doors, but it's definitely worth a visit, even if you're only in town for a few days.
This place was awesome. Portland has some really great vintage and thrifting opportunities, and this was one store I regularly returned to. The location I frequented was right across from Powell's, but apparently there is a bigger one on Hawthorne street that I never knew about! I tended to stay away from SE Portland, primarily because it was on the opposite side of the city & the bus ride was rather long. It's my theory that Portland is so great for thrifting & vintage-hunting because it is such a transient city. People are always passing through and dumping their belongings along the way. One thing in particular that I noticed when I was out there was the plethora of vintage VW busses everywhere. Again, I theorize that their presence is primarily a result of so many seventies-era cross-country road trips that ended on the west coast. A good VW bus is nearly impossible to be found around here, and even then you can only purchase one for a rather hefty sum. We have all the beautiful old architecture on the East Coast though, so I guess I can't complain.
So. Dirt. Cheap. Unfortunately for me, when I was living in Portland I was pretty much too broke to shop at all, even at Value Village (ouch). It's a shame, because if places like that existed around here I'd be scoring the racks every week for deals... I once had to pass on a twenty-dollar working typewriter because I "had no use for it." I mean, come on, what kind of an excuse is that?
Though the location was less-than-desirable in a big way (Barbur Blvd is not exactly a quiet street and it basically overlapped the Interstate right next to our complex... plus we were sandwiched on either side by a strip club and a Fantasy Video Superstore), the apartments themselves were really nice & spacious. K's apartment even had a fireplace and a backyard (which we dug up & seeded) surrounded by blackberry bushes galore.
Of course, being a food fanatic, I could probably summon up a half-dozen favorites without a sweat, but I also especially miss La Provence in Lake Oswego.
7. Cruising through Wine Country on the Motorcycle
I almost cried when K sold this bike before moving to Vermont. I was with it for all of its short life in our midst and became obsessively fond of it. I jumped on any opportunity to ride on the back of this black beauty, which pretty much meant any slightly sunny day. I miss it, but motorcycles aren't terribly practical on the back roads of Vermont. All I know is... once you go bike, you never go back (I don't, anyway)!
So, Portland -- there you have it. I didn't hate you all that much. In fact, I kind of miss you somewhere deep inside.