Portland Oregon

Pic Swiped from GOT CHOCOLATE's great blog
Ah, Portland Oregon-- my home away from home.
As a preppy youth I used to spend many a summer there-- I'd be shipped off from good ol' Massachusetts to spend time with my grandmother and great aunt who had taken up residence is a city so funky and weird it's like I designed it.

When I think back I don't remember the rain, although that's all I ever hear about when I mention it to an East Coaster;

"Yeah, I'm sure it's great but it rains all the time."

Yes, this from someone who lives in a climate where it's 95 degrees one day and 35 the next with two feet of snow.  Yeah that rain sure is a deal breaker.

Portland was great for a guy too young to drive.  On one visit I had a bike and that was great.  In the days before I even knew it was innovative their buses even had bike racks so I could glide downhill into the downtown portion of the city and then take a bike back up the hill if I didn't feel inclined to pedal.

There were some great stores downtown too-- Voodoo Donuts (pictured above with a swiped photo from GOT CHOCOLATE) which features hundreds of varieties of donuts all of which have a sense of humor.  I can imagine the puritan reaction to a donut man impaled with a pretzel stick here in good ol' Massachusetts.

Old Weird Heralds was a great old antique/collectibles/comic book shop on my way downtown, and then there were stores with nothing but imported Japanese toys including robots that were too cool for me to even pick up.

My digs there were pretty sweet too-- I'd have the basement floor of their condo/apartment complete with a hanging dish of M&M's (mysteriously refilled everyday) and a virtual library of books at my disposal.  As an avid reader I think I read 15 books while I was there including Stephen King's THE SHINING, the entire Ian Fleming James Bond canon, Sherlock Holmes, Clive Cussler, Steinbeck and Chandler.  Woo!

Someday I will return to you Portland-- and you will be as magically strange as I remember it!