I love you, NoPo*

*I just saw I love you, New York. It sucked.

Everyone always talks about how pretty Portland is, and it’s true. Portland is a pretty, pretty place. One of my favorite things to look at in Portland is the St. Johns Bridge.

Look at that. The park below it is called Cathedral Park. Each and every time I go there, I hear “Grace Cathedral Park” in my head. It reminds me of living in Santa Barbara after college. Andy and I lived next door to this guy who would snore all night long. When yelling “shut the fuck up!” wouldn’t work to shut him the fuck up we would turn on some music to drown out his snores. I had never really liked Red House Painters before I started falling asleep to them. That sounds funny, I know, but man that’s good sleeping music. I should say that I have successfully listened to them while awake (even driving!) as well.

We also got in the habit of waking up to music. One morning I woke up and almost died laughing.

“What?” Andy asked.

“The Get Up Kids,” I said. “We’re waking up to The Get Up Kids.”

It was kind of a let down when he simply grinned.

Anyway, when we first moved to Portland, I remember being shocked to hear that Andy and I had moved to the ghetto. I had just gotten a job and all my coworkers wanted to know where I lived. I had no idea what the area was called. “Uh…St. Johns?” I asked.

They all looked at me with pity. “Yikes, that’s the ghetto,” they said.

I looked at them sideways. “Huh? Nah, not really.” But I knew it had to be true when my coworkers brought forward the only other black person who worked at the company to acknowledge this fact for real.

“It’s the ghetto,” he said gravely. So there you have it.

We lived in North Portland less than two years, then moved to Vancouver after I got pregnant with Z, hated it intensely, and moved back when I was pregnant with Mad Miles. After we left Vancouver, I found out that some guy had gotten hit in the head with a HATCHET in the park down the street from our old place. So, it’s nice to be in a better neighborhood.

Bye for now.

P.S. I remember watching My Own Private Idaho for the first time after moving up here and seeing the St. Johns Bridge in a scene and yelling to Andy, “Hey! I know that bridge!”


Filed under Life, Portland

4 responses to “I love you, NoPo*

  1. One has to wonder why you’re even here. It’s just a cruel joke to you, isn’t it, Jennifer. You write a little snatch of text and we come running, thinking the bounty will never cease. And then you just leave. You’re sick.

    Also, Portland is gorgeous, even where it’s just abandoned looking industrial buildings. Somehow I’d love to have a bookshop there but don’t have the desire to live there. Weird.

  2. That is a pretty bridge. And it is nice and scenic! I hear there’s already a comic shop/coffee shop here too. *tries not to hate those people*

  3. Meg

    A hatchet. man that’s crazy. And I never realized you guys used to live in the ghetto. What did they call the place you lived in in Vancouver? Or is Vancouver considered ALL ghetto?

    • Jen

      Heh. I think there’s good and bad pockets everywhere you go. I hate Vancouver because it’s basically all suburbs. There’s some really nice neighborhoods there but it’s so BORING.

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