So one of the marvelous things about Portland is that it is full of mini-neighborhoods which invite exploration and provide another facet to the city experience. The bad thing about this is that it’s hard to figure out what they mean for the city in aggregate. I’ve been here for something like a bajillion years now, and I still can’t decide if I like it or not. I suppose that’s pretty damning on the face of it, but I keep finding myself places that I really like, so I don’t want to just condemn the whole business out of hand.
Even my immediate surroundings can be surprising sometimes, although I find them limited in scope. This might be the main problem. While the cafes and bars are nice, nothing about the environment is particularly inspiring. Besides the accidental glory of the inner East Side, Portland is architecturally empty to me. Of course, it’s full of stuff that’s exemplary in various ways, it’s just that those ways don’t amount to much for me. I really miss living in a more vertically-oriented town.