We spent yesterday afternoon and evening gallivanting around one of my favorite places in the whole world: Portland, Oregon. I use gallivanting very loosely because we had a very cranky toddler in tow, a toddler whose molar has been pushing its way through his gums, making me want to push my way through a crowd just to jump off a balcony.
Even with a tired two-year-old, we were able to stop by Stumptown Coffee and meet Heather, Portland resident extraordinaire.
Stumptown Coffee was like a bright microcosm of hipsters milling about, reading Readymade magazines. It was like I died and ended up in an Animal Collective concert. That’s not an insult at all. If you don’t know already, I LOVE HIPSTERS. I love their skinny jeans and vans sneakers. I love their disheveled hair and button-up vests. If there were an updated version of Name That Tune, you could bet that hipsters would face off and say things like, “I can name that Wolf Parade song in one note!” Only, I know that not even the finest American Apparel outfit would make me cool enough to join a hipster crowd, so I must stare at them from afar, like they are magical ponies and I cannot look away.
What I loved even more than hipsters was the incredible friendliness that surrounded us, wrapping its smiley emoticon face around our bodies. I’m not used to that. For example, we asked the people sitting next to us if we could use their Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bags to make these photos:
I had watched the group next to us try out this photo pose before I asked if we could replicate it. And they happily agreed, laughing at Nathan as he squirmed behind the Adonis bag and laughed as I showed them the picture on the viewfinder. They group, two women and man, asked if we were out of town (Yes, Seattle) and how we liked Portland (Oh I just want to take it behind the bleachers and make it pregnant [thanks for the line 30 Rock!]). I could never have pulled off something like that in Seattle. If I went up to a stranger in a coffee shop and said, “Excuse me, sir, may I please use that exploited man shopping bag to exploit my husband and son,” I would be greeted with an serious eye roll and “Bish, please!”
In Seattle, that kind of approach would translate into Crazy Woman, but in Portland, it was Friendly Tourist. Another woman apologized for her Macbook’s power cord being in our way, and I was stunned because “I’m sorry” is my line. It’s my line when I have to pull Nathan out of the way of oncoming pedestrian traffic. It’s my line when my bag spills on the bus and everyone sees that I carry three oranges in it like I’m some crazy citrus fruit lady.
After that, we headed to Voodoo Doughnut where Heather introduced me to its raspberry filled namesake pastry.
Overall, it was a great weekend that reminded me that people can be courteous, doughnuts can have a pagan (but delicious) purpose, and that there’s an entire city I would like to make out with.
How was your weekend?