Portland! February 13, 2007

I flew up to Portland yesterday on my favorite Alaska Airlines flight (2 hours door to door, killer miles program, complimentary Northwest wine and beer, perfect time of day on both ends) and got a window seat on the right side so my view of the city as we approached was gorgeous. We skimmed up the westside during a lucky, pretty sunbreak so I saw downtown glittering below and counted six bridges in a row before Forest Park swallowed up the city grid and we curved around the Columbia to land. Portland is so defined by its rivers and I loved that peek at the whole map of everything… there was my neighborhood, there was my favorite bridge, there was the park: it was such a gift.

I think PDX is the best airport in the world (I don’t exactly love the teal-and-purple motifs everywhere, but free wireless goes a long way) and I jumped right back in my little arriving-in-Portland routine: check my e-mail for a minute, help the tourists in front of me buy their MAX light-rail tickets at the machine, ride the train into the city, get a peek at Mt. Hood off to the east (I did get super lucky with the elusive clear weather — today would have been a bleak gray nothing), transfer to the 70/12th Avenue bus, get home and drop my bag off, and walk to New Seasons on Division for groceries. There were a few curveballs along the way: I’ve heard about Ikea coming but man, the sign looming in front of the mountain really brought it home… and I guess I knew that Macy’s snapped up Meier & Frank, but Lloyd Center looks so different without it.

I’m going downtown for errands in a bit and looking forward to seeing my favorite little bears:

bears in the fountain

I can hardly believe that it’s been ten years since I moved here for jewelry school — it seems like no time at all! I haven’t been back to Portland in four months — by far the longest absence since I got here in the first place — and it just feels so good to be back. I can’t wait to make valentines, and see people, and just walk everywhere. Going over the bridges (especially Hawthorne and Broadway, the best walking bridges in my opinion) is one of my favorite things in the world.

February, ten years ago, was the first time I ever visited Portland, and I fell in love immediately. So luckily for me the gray rain doesn’t bother me at all — I just pile on layers and wear plenty of colors as a pick-me-up, so of course my cozy, beautiful quilted birthday scarf is on the front burner wardrobe-wise. I’ve already gotten three compliments on it, too… thank you, Jessica!

beautiful birthday scarf from Jessica

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