Portland I – Teenage Dream


I just got back from Portland, Oregon. Here’s the first blog on the subject.

By the last day of my five days in Portland, as I stood next to the rail stop on Skidmore, I realized something. Portland is exactly the kind of city I wanted to live in when I was a teenager.

I say I’m from the Nirvana generation. My friends and I grew up dreaming of being in Seattle and being old enough to have seen all our favorite bands back when they were getting started on the scene.

But Miami’s culture is different than what we imagined Seattle would be like.  I’ve heard people say Miami has no culture, but the truth is, Miami has one culture – Latin America (which yes, is lots of different peoples). It meant that our favorite bands sometimes didn’t bother to come south far enough to Miami. They wouldn’t have had the numbers here that they’d get in other places and so they stopped in Jacksonville and then went west or north.

We hated living here.

I was only in Portland five days, so maybe I took away the wrong impression of the town.  I was walking around in flannel surrounded by youth who looked either grunge, hippy, or like nerdy hipsters. The streets were dirty and wet. It was kind of cold. The bookstore had so many books I would never find here I almost had to buy a second suitcase. I was in a comic book store full of zines from local artists and writers. The public transportation system was amazing. I went to a haunted pizzeria. Walking around downtown Portland I realized this was my teenage dream.

However, I’m grown now. Miami still frustrates me like crazy, but I don’t think Portland is the place for me either. I love their slogan, Keep Portland Weird, and everyone was oddly polite (to someone from Miami). I love the idea that I could go hunt Bigfoot in the area. I’m sure Portland is great, I had a great time there, but I don’t really think I fit in. As for fourteen year old me, she’s still waiting to see Seattle.

Up next, Portland II -Keep Portland Weird