I’ve been having a great time hanging out with my friends here in Portland and I enjoyed the treat of my first white Christmas in a long time, but I’m glad to be leaving tomorrow. Portland isn’t my kind of town. Went to Powells Books earlier today, it was madness, I’ve never seen it so crowded in there. As I got out of my friend’s car I had to step over a used syringe lying in a dirty snowbank and almost immediately was hit up for change by a guy who looked younger and at least as healthy as I am. In less than a block we passed a half dozen panhandlers. I appreciate the guys playing music, but the sheer numbers of them prevent me from dropping a dollar. That and it’s a little like dripping blood into a shark pool, if you show a moment’s mercy or kindness, the energy vampires start in on you.
Portland is a city with a lot of beards, a lot of women with boy’s haircuts, and a lot of down and out people. At the moment, there is smoking allowed pretty much everywhere and pretty much everyone smokes…and smokes a lot. I’ve decided that I am a fan of smoking bans, odd but true. It seems that much of Portland is devoted to drinking and I feel like I’ve done my share of that, I don’t really like shooting pool all the time or hanging out in bars. I’ve revisited some of my old favorite haunts and found them to be less than appealing. The Triple Nickel in Southeast Portland is one of the skuzziest bars I’ve ever been in, I guess it always was, maybe though, it’s me that has changed.
The nice crisp white snow has been replaced with dirty slush and my shoes need a good shine from the salt that has gotten on them.
There is some incredible food here. I had a very kickass burrito with my friend Autumn earlier at a place called Cha Cha Cha. Salmon burrito. Huge, delicious, and only $5.95! It would have cost $16 in Hawaii. Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States.
Looking forward to bailing tomorrow.