Technically. I am not ranking the questions people are asking me here after they learn I hail from Brooklyn, but I will admit, it’s a question that strikes me in the moment and leaves me sort of dumbfounded.
I can honestly say I don’t know Portland well enough to answer that question to my liking. But if it matters, here are some things that I like about this city so far (in no particular order):
* The weather here right now is pretty fantastic. It’s nice and sunny everyday. I especially like right before dusk when it seems to get brightest and fuller in color.
* I like the food trucks. There are a lot.
* I like shopping in boutiques that are housed in vehicles.
* Sauvie Island on the Columbia River is pretty cool and beautiful and queer and naked. And there is an ice cream boat. We have not gone yet this year, though! It’s on our list.
* Pok Pok wings. They are am-a-zing.
* Bikram Yoga. Yes, I know I can do this in any large metropolitan city and probably some small ones, too, but I got into it here. It’s a friendly studio and they know me by name and I just completed my 21st class.
* Beer is cheap. I mean $3.50 for a pint of local IPA. In general, everything is cheaper here.
* Grocery Outlet, aka Gross Out. We can get good food here for cheap. Like decent $4 bottles of wine and a package of 6 Klondike ice cream sandwiches for $1.99.
* The air is clean. So are the sidewalks for the most part.
* The sky. I like looking up at it and seeing the expansiveness, the blue, the clouds (sometimes). The star and moon look different here.
* I drive.
* I regularly water a garden. (Again, both this and the last few are things that are not special to Portland, but I am doing them here so they are special to me.)
* Venae is here! I am saving the best for last. It’s so nice to be with him without the pressure or frenzy of a five day visit after weeks and weeks apart. We crack up a lot and have fun, low-key dates.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s a list in progress I’ll say. But it’s always an interesting question because it makes me freeze for some reason. What are the reasons I like Portland? I don’t know, it’s a new city? My boyfriend’s here? It’s not New York? All of those things yes and more.
I’m happy being here.