I have a joke amongst some friends. “So you finally gave up and moved to Portland.” I don’t mean this negatively, as if it is some sort of failure. More like, not moving to Portland is some sort of self imposed punishment or masochistic isolation. I just spent an extended holiday weekend in Portland and came away feeling life would be much more fun if I made the move. The whole town feels like a carnival! In part because of the massive amounts of food carts, trucks, and literal ‘holes in walls’ that serve hot fresh treats. I ate a savory crêpe, a fried pie (think deep fried pot pie shaped like perogies), and vegan poutine all on one corner! Things get fancier then fried food on the corner. How about gourmet Italian food, check. All Vegan bakeries, Portland has 3!
On the skateboarding side of things, Burnside. I am both enamored and terrified with the spot. Every time I drop in I feel a panic and elation. And even though downtown is skate-stopped to hell and back, with MAX tracks around every corner, the click-clack of the bricked sidewalks are like music to my ears. Meanwhile on the East side of town so many people are riding skateboards, you have to check your board at most shops. (possibly just a shop lifting deterrent.)
Do I even need to mention the Vegan Mini-Mall? Sweet-Pea, Food Fight, Herbivore, Scapegoat and Plantfit all in one building! What is Portland doing so right, that the rest of the country is missing? And I guess thats why I say “giving up.” When you make the jump, and concentrate your awesome self into an island of progressiveness that is Portland, you give up on the rest of the country. I’m not saying that I don’t want to go. I seriously am considering it, especially as Rahm Emanuel makes Chicago suck so much more then Richard Daley was able to manage. I’m just saying I’d like some more Portland in Chicago and the rest of the country for that matter.
Big shout out to Michelle and Josh at Herbivore, Matt Gauk for making some awesome stickers. Alison, Jimmy, Eliot and Dr. Astronaut! If you find yourself heading to Portland anytime soon, here is where you must go.
Herbivore, Burnside,Vita Cafe, Portobello Vegan Trattoria, Food Fight, Black Sheep Bakery, Paradox, Back to Eden, Whiffies Fried Pies, Potato Champion, Voodoo Donuts, Ground Kontrol, Sushi Ichiban and Sweet Pea Bakery!