My attempt to describe this liberal fantasyland will be with bullets. When you know you might be in Stumptown/Portland/PDX:
- You might be in Stumptown when you pack on 10 pounds in 5 days. Food Trucks, Voodoo Donuts, Little Bird Bistro, Beer (and I don't even drink beer!), Wine. Not only are the food and beverages perfection but, wait, it is affordable! Cocktail in Portland, $8 vs. Chicago for $16. Tab for the dinners that made me swoon, $28...with tip. Freaking food lover's nirvana out there.
- You might be in Oregon when you take 30,000 steps (my pedometer said so) in one day hiking trails along the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood and only saw a fraction of the trails Oregon has to offer.
- You might be in Portland when the tattoo on your ankle looks downright conservative. Holy ink, folks.
- You also might be in Portland when like the ink, the piercing in your belly and ears are quaint. A lot of holes and stretched ear lobes out there.
- You might be in Portland when you cannot walk a block without getting solicited by multiple panhandlers, The Nature Conservancy and a political campaign.
- You might be in Portland when you hate your car and the Chicago EL after experiencing the cleanliness, quiet and convenience of the Portland public transportation system. The fare cards are basically on the honor system and the trains glide quietly up to you on the street. Blissful.
- You might be in Portland when you are looking at a map at 7:00 A.M. and someone asks ever so kindly, "Can I help you find something? I live here." You say, "Great! Yes! I am looking for a coffee shop." The person replies, "Oh, I don't know any coffee shops. I save money and bring my own coffee."
- You might be in Portland when you get bemused looks when you cross the street when the red hand on the walk signal is on yet there are no cars coming.
- Finally, you might be in Portland when you think you might be living an episode of Portlandia. That show is no spoof.