Thursday, October 9, 2008

Fall in Portland

I don't usually sleep well. But when I do, like two nights ago (last night was a different story), I'm amazed at the seemingly boundless energy I have at my disposal. So yesterday, after a good night's sleep, I walked with Abe on an errand to the post office. It's only a few blocks away but is down a steep hill. Getting back meant either going back the same way (boooring...I've inherited my hiker-father's wanderlust) or getting up one of the public staircases in our neighborhood. I opted for the latter, pulling Abe in his jogging-stroller (not that I ever jog) up 117 steps. Yes, I counted. This was the view from about half-way up.

Experiencing a long walk on a sunny day in fall made me really think about how much I love Portland. For one thing, we actually have seasons here (as opposed to that other place we spend a fair amount of our time), and fall is gorgeous. Sure it rains a lot, but I don't mind that, as I always welcome the excuse to brew a pot of Barry's tea and bundle up in my orange sweater bought last year in Ireland. I sometimes even bake, like last night's chocolate-chip pumpkin muffins (I'm not a fan of baking, but I really wanted the smell of pumpkin in the house).

When we do have a sunny fall day, the streets of Portland look like this:
Unbelievable. All that rain makes everything so green and fresh. And Portland is full of old, classic, craftsman style houses, each one unique and often with whimsical touches that make taking long walks an exercise in discovery of why those "Keep Portland Weird" bumper stickers are so popular.

Case in point: On our walk home yesterday afternoon, I found this cat:
Yes, he's in a harness and a leash, tied to the front porch. Why would someone do that to a cat? Well, I've always thought that one can get the most accurate feel of a neighborhood by checking out the friendliness of its cats. Do they scamper away to hide under cars when you approach, or do they come at you for some lovin'? In Portland, the cats are so friendly that some have to be harnessed and leashed to keep them from following strangers home.

When your cats start acting like dogs, you know you're in a good city.

15 comments:

Jocelyn said...

I am impressed, all those stairs!! What a beautiful view, the trees look so pretty!!

Erin and Keith Sager said...

I second that, I love living in Portland.....

Autumn and Dan's family said...

One of these days I will own one of those really great espresso makers and then I will be a true Portlander...for now, every afternoon I want to go to one of the hundreds of coffee shops around. NO, NOT STARBUCKS! The ones that sell Stump Town or another original fresh roast. No, I don't go out for coffee every day, but I want to. When I have my espresso maker you can come over for coffee. Until then, let's meet at Jim and Pattys for coffee!
Hey, what is the story for the get together tomorrow?
You are so sweet to think about "baby sister" when you were out on a cute-kids-clothes- excursion.
I'll see you soon! I'm sad to be missing square dancing at Kennedy School tonight!

Jana said...

ahhh. so very lovely. right now I am jealous of you. and of my best friend, who lives in new england. to live around such beauty......

Blog Shmog said...

I love Portland too. I hope to move closer someday. :)

DrewCareyShow said...

Truth be told, I love Portland.

coffeemom said...

OH man, we are waiting for those colors here too. So pretty! No wonder you love it there. But those steps, man they look steep and long. And w/ a stroller too!! wowwweee. Who needs a gym? yikes. But what a beautiful day!!!!!! autumn is my favorite season, hands down

Jennifer said...

i want to move to portland! jody was reading a book on finding a place to relocate (b/c we seriously are going to pick somewhere) and portland is #1 for all cool things (i generalized that, but it was #1 for about 5 categories of importance for us). we need to visit.
second, i totally pulled out a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe this week. i plan to make them on monday, after we finish eating the bran muffins and banana chocolate chip bread that i made. have a lovely weekend.

Caroline said...

How cool is that cat! He looks just like he would sprint away home with you, given the chance. He definitely has a canine / feline identity crisis, which in my book is a very good thing.

The Albertsons said...

Can't wait to visit some day :).

Staci said...

Sounds so lovely...

By the way, I took your recommendation and am reading She Got Up Off The couch. Very funny!

More Dorrs said...

I love curling up with a nice cup of Barry's and reading your blog -- like I am doing right now! (Well, I am not curled up since I am at my desk and that would just be awkward, but you get the picture.)

We'll have to have tea together soon. The weather is just perfect for it!

-beka

A Memory Each Day said...

i cannot believe you pulled the stroller up all those stairs. i know those stairs! that is exhausting. you should sleep well now. :)

PVZ said...

Lovely, I do miss fall.

The Redman's said...

I have to admit... we used to put our cat on a leash!!! She didn't mind it too much. She was young, we had just moved, and we didn't want her getting "eaten" by animals that lurked in the greenbelt behind our house... but she loved being outside. :)

Yes... FALL is perfect in the Northwest. We're up in the Seattle area. Your pictures are gorgeous.