If you've ever spent any time in Portland, you will understand why you see these bumper stickers - Keep Portland Weird, all around town. In fact, if you haven't seen it, check out Portlandia on IFC. Yes, there are incredible gardens - the Rose Garden, Japanese garden, Chinese Garden, Powell's Books, incredible coffee, more microbreweries than any other city in the U.S. (yes, drink more beer), and incredible cuisine (Portland is a foodie city), but there are some things I noticed as being very unique.
|A little yard art|
People are friendly and for a big city, this seemed unique to me. Drivers are polite. Portlanders read an average of 28 books per year. It is noticeably not diverse though the people seem to be incredibly open-minded. You don't have to pump your own gas!! I think NJ has the same law but honestly there is nothing worse than being dressed for work and having to stop to pump your own gas, only to experience a splash or spill that sends you back home to change.
|On a clear night - the balcony view from a highrise|
I also learned about treasure boxes, something I was told was totally unique to Portland. Everyone has a mailbox but in Portland some people have an extra box called the treasure box. The idea is to take something or put something in the box. They are often decorative and expressive. Here is one I spotted on the first day.
I was so lucky to be there during their "spring." It was already 80 degrees in Atlanta in early May so it was great to be able to experience an explosion of blossoms everywhere we went.
The day that I left I was standing curbside, waiting for the cab to come take me to the airport. I was crying which is something I don't do very often but I was so sad to leave my daughter. A car drove past but stopped a few yards beyond, backed up and rolled down his window to ask, "Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help?" What a novel idea...to be kind and helpful to others. I just can't imagine someone being so thoughtful in Atlanta. Not that they wouldn't notice. I just don't think your average person would have expressed concern.
I will be back to share photos from the tulip festival and a few other pictures. Wishing you a happy week.