Friday, March 25, 2016

Why I love Portland (OR)

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who has read, commented, and reached out to me about my previous blog post. I've been meaning to write that post for a very long time. Anything that I can do to reduce the stigma in this country regarding mental illness is a huge win in my book. I'm extremely happy that I was able to connect with some people and hopefully make them feel like they aren't alone in this. I'm right by your side.

With all that said, I'll be moving to a different, much lighter topic. However, I will likely revisit it in the future, as it is something I'll always carry with me. As I've mentioned previously on this blog, I moved out to Portland, OR over 3 and a half years ago. I'm extremely lucky that my fiance's job lead us to this amazing city. We both absolutely love living here and can see ourselves living here for a very long time to come. Here are some things that I love about our city. Maybe I'll be able to convince those of you who haven't visited to come over and see Portland for yourself.

1. The Food- this alone would keep me happy in a city. The amount of amazing food is absolutely incredible. There are always places on my list to try! I can't seem to keep up with it all. Part of it has to do with the amazing amount of fresh produce we have in the region. It inspires chefs from all over to come to Portland and open a restaurant. Inspired chefs = delicious, complex, interesting foods. Need I say more? Some favorites include but aren't limited to: Beast, 23 Hoyt, The Picnic House, Park Kitchen, Irving Street Kitchen, Screen door, Brix, Saint Honore Bakery, Ken's Artisan Bakery, Serratto, Bamboo Sushi, Pok Pok, Blue Hour, Urban Fondue, Departure, Natural Selection, Jam on Hawthorne.

2. The Hobbies- Running, biking, hiking, camping- anything outdoorsy is huge in Oregon. There is just so much to see and do in Oregon. It's a beautiful state, with everything from mountains, beaches, forests, deserts, rivers, and lakes. While I still haven't seen much of the state, every time we venture out to explore I am completely in awe of the beauty Oregon holds. I also love that so many people who live in Portland really do appreciate all there is to see and do. It really motivates me to see others enjoying the outdoors like Dan and I do.

3. Environmentally Friendly- I love how environmentally conscious the city is. I love having the option to compost things, both at work and at home. It's great to live in a city that is concerned with protecting the environment and takes steps to ensure a healthy future.

4. Community Based (i.e. farmers markets, Portland Timbers, etc)- I love the vibrancy of the community, especially at sporting games (Portland Timbers Football Club) and at the many farmers markets. It is fun to see people who are extremely passionate about their community. These aspects quickly made me feel like I was part of a community, even though I was so far away from the community I had grown up in.

5. The Drinks- Coffee, Wine, Beer, even the water tastes better in Portland. Try some Willamette Pinor Noir or stop by one of the amazing coffee shops- you won't regret it.

6. The Size- I really do love how walk-able the city is. It's the perfect size for us- not too big but not so small that it feels like nothing is going on. It's great being able to explore all the different parts of the city without having to commute hours and hours to get there.

7. Eclectic/Cool- Another thing that I like about Portland is that it definitely has a personality (especially on the east side). While I can't grow a beard and haven't gotten tattoos, I'm definitely embracing the casual work/life attire, drinking delicious coffee and green juice, and taking a bit of a slower pace than I used to on the east coast.

8. The Weather- It is always mild here, which enable people to be outside year round. This helps with all the outdoor hobbies mentioned above. It also extends the growing season for fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

9. The Scenery- this one can speak for itself. From Portland proper, to Mount Hood, to the Oregon coast, there is so much beautiful scenery around Oregon that pictures alone can't capture. However, here is a small peak at home of the beautiful things I've seen.

10. People are friendly- In general, I find people in Portland to be friendlier to strangers than on the east coast. This took some getting used to at first, but now I actually do enjoy chatting with people. Here is a group of girls from a running club I joined recently! They are all so nice and supportive, and a good representation of what you can find out here in Portland.

While there are probably hundreds of other smaller things we love about Portland, I feel like the list above really captures the overarching pieces that make up the city we love. Have a good one!

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