July and August in my city, one would typically want to stay in the “mix”(the young and I). Referring to the multiple festivals and concerts happening on the beautiful Downtown Portland Willamette water front. But no, if so, reluctantly. I just want to stay in my own lane. I have to admit, I would love to wash my car, by hand and then shine my matte black wheels with the extreme tire shine and ride down The K with a destination that is irrelevant to any well thought out productive goal I have in life. What does all that mean? The mentality of a 23, or maybe 26 year old who is still trying to prospect his life, in general. 5 years ago this summer I had moved back to Portland. Finishing my undergrad at University of Oregon was what held my head higher than ever when I was back living in my city
First weekend back, I rented a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro LS for the week, a white shark. Pulling out of National Rent-a-Car, looking in my peripheral as I notice the horrible visibility in this coupe, I begin to press on the gas and I experienced “Go”. I introduced myself to Bobby Brackins and Jay Rock as I cruised The K.
“Who was that guy..?” The People.
“Young Fresh College Grad..” I replied conceitedly.
In reality I’m a broke 24 year old who has no idea what life is all about. I drove the maro like it was mine, I owned it. Crashed one. I was a punk. Clueless, however, the next hardship would end dramatically with living contentedness. In terms of, I ended up wanting to be in my own lane, happily, and I didn’t think about irrelevant matters.
I drove and treated cars as they were my dependent. There were so many things that I needed to make amends to but I just wanted to drive fast. In the meantime, everything I did I grew more love for my city, I see what it’s about, and I know what moves it. No one would ever guess what great information was obtained during moments of mental oppression. Season’s of life change as people do as well.
The descent out of the Fall and Winter months is that enduring time, the storm is over now. Even though that may imply that one has had a rough Fall and Winter. But maybe so, considering we reside in the greater Northwest. And the rain, along with daily overcast just might depress someone.
Spring is when the city starts to come alive, local Brewery’s will start to open their outside patios for seating, Portlandia begins to drink their local brewed beers in the outside bar areas. The February Sun has always been bitter sweet, because we get the “light at the end of the tunnel” late Winter warmth.
When the Sun starts to set, and the east wind rolls in, it’s a quick reminder that we are still in the Winter months. So much for living, and the girl with short jean shorts needs a quick ride home to change after the evening temperatures hit the mid-40’s.
Californians see our February’s high 60’s in the midst of their December month, “meh..” they’ll tell you (Southern California mainly). The fact that I’ve seen snow in Maryland during the month of March just shows you that not everyone is living it up at the same time.
But why wait until the best weathered months of the year to live, because the Sun is shining? I’d like to live year around. Meaning, I’m not going to have my active-self prorogue until the Spring and Summer months. Learning how to embrace the season builds character; the lady I ran into at the U-Haul 4 years ago informed me that moving builds character. Later confirmed by Flossie Dickey (OR), “don’t fight it, live it..!”
So, it’s that time of year again, holiday season. For some folks, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, literally. Happy families, loving couples, and joyous children flame brightest at this time of year. It definitely is that time of year that will define, or at the least give you the better perspective of your life. The more you have going on, might define how important you are to the people around you. Can you afford great gifts for all your loved ones, or are you going to fly under the radar until January 1st? (I don’t blame you if you do!)
I’m not suggesting that if your holiday months are full of lonely nights and lacking Christmas party invites, that you aren’t the ideal [socially] successful individual. Holiday season for the single folks is a time where you can reevaluate your friends circle, how close you are to your family, and try not to reminisce too hard about your blissful Holiday seasons as a child. Most of us as we get older just want to get by December without going broke and/or missing a gift for a friend. The holiday spirit is one thing you cannot avoid, you walk into the local grocery store, and what’s that spirit you feel? That’s the snow flake decor by the beer, and the fake holiday tree in the mall driving you to get in the holiday mood.
The holiday season can be a very high emotional time for some folks, considering how exciting December was as a child. If you can’t enjoy it with a significant other as an adult, reminiscing the past might be all you have at times. Otherwise, I’m sure you’re looking forward to the holiday pub crawls and running into old high school flings, seeing people in town, and the fun holiday dinners. How about going all out for that “ugly sweater Christmas party”? This wouldn’t be a proper blog contribution if I didn’t mention a car. By the way, it’s way too cold, rainy, and dark often to wash it right? It’s not car buying season anyway, the only people test driving vehicles are those who are buying a loved one a new Mercedes-Benz or preferably a BMW for a Christmas gift. The wealthy.
Although this does not relate to ‘My City’, Portland Oregon, I am on my way back to my city from a 12 day Europe trip. I must admit, the cars, when I first left Keflavik International Airport was not the most impressive. As expected of course.
In Manchester, United Kingdom, and I’ve always heard from other car buffs in which I strongly agree with, it takes a certain type of person to de-badge a BMW. Well let’s just say roughly 95 percent of those people are drivers in the UK. The featured photo [above] is a view off of Iceland’s Highway 1, a quick reference to Iceland’s tourist car crash statistic.
I’m not quite sure the Icelandic driver will utilize much torque or horses in a BMW, considering the majority of the land is icy and graveled. However, the open roads in the summer are an ‘M’ car’s playground. Iceland had a very mundane tone about their cars, I didn’t see to many ‘car enthusiast’ in my opinion. In Manchester and Oslo Norway, it felt as if I was at a vehicle fashion show at times.
The newer C class Mercedes is probably the typical taxi vehicle in Manchester, Oslo on the other hand is very classy city when it comes to cars. Oslo is a very rich city; I can’t express how inspired I am now to upgrade to an E60 5 series. I’ll de-badge it, and punch on the gas when I’m on the freeway entrance ramp to remind myself why I drive a sleeper 550i.
The Summer solstice, June 21st, north of the equator, seems like an eternity ago because this summer has definitely proven the global warning theory. There were two weeks leading into the midst of the beginning of summer, and going into the 4th of July, where Portland did not see a day below 89 degree’s. I loved it, but I was overwhelmed by Summer activities going back into work on Monday following a three day holiday weekend after the 4th. Consider day drinking at Three Pools, Blues Festival, Oaks Park, and wedding shenanigans all in a 3 day span, honestly that’s my summer. With the temperatures above seasonal averages, everyone was exhausted, but at that point, Portland had only endured 15 days of Summer. Yes, there is more; so consider AC units Portlandia, investing in water activities, or realize that soon this hot weather will get played out in small talk at work and we’re going to need to find a new hi and bye chat in the elevators. In other words, love it, embrace it, you live in a city with true seasons.
Two more months to see the City that the mid-west would love to frequent. On my way back from Guatemala last month, I was sitting next to a couple on my flight descending into PDX. I could tell the couple was eager to talk with me, but due to Guatemalan protesters in Guatemala City, we had to get back into the city at 2 AM that prior night, meaning no sleep.
In other words, I’d be sleeping on all my flights coming home. In excitement of finally being home, I couldn’t help but to chat with the assumed happy couple as we descended into PDX. As they were looking past me at beautiful Mt. Hood outside the airplane window I was sitting next to (seat F), I asked them what are they doing in Portland, they simply replied, “vacation.” I was blown away, sort of.
I know Portland is on the up-rise, but it was flattering to hear them list all the things they had on their ‘Portland to-do list’; food carts, hikes, the coast, brewery’s, etc. Honestly this sounded like a Portland girl’s typical weekend. Do they not have those things in Indiana? I’m sure they do, but we should all appreciate what the culture of the greater Northwest has attracted to this area.
I know it’s been a while, better now than never yeah? However, Portland is approaching another beautiful summer, and moving forward my Saturday mornings will consist of wheel shining, interior cleaning and Washman visits. Right now the Blazers are facing elimination against the Memphis Grizzlies and I can’t image how much more frustrating a series will be assuming we come back and make history, play the Warriors, and watch Steph Curry and friends go to work.
It’s been a bitter sweet year for me, only because sports here in the Northwest has been dominated by the Midwest at some point. I highly appreciate my Oregon Ducks putting to rest the overrated play of the Florida State Seminoles. Then, 10 days later have a 4th string linebacker looking quarterback have his way with the Duck’s Defense. Thanks Cardale, much respect to the Buckeyes. Even the Oregon Ducks basketball team took an L to the Wisconsin Badgers.
Writing will be taking to me to Guatemala, Mexico in June, helping out the people of Ixchiuán, San Marcos. My rather ‘exceptional’ writing skills, I was told, is taking me international. Something I never thought of happening. I wonder what kind of cars they drive down there, we will see, so stay tuned.
Mid February, Portland was struck with a mild and rather temporary snow storm. This storm had shut down many businesses and the city was on pause for a weekend as ice proceeded late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. Fortunately, for those who wished to carry on with their lives, the ice was melted by Monday evening.
Although this mild storm had hindered me from wanting to go to the Portland Internal Auto Show that Saturday, the severity of it was only hyped up because of Portland’s lack of preparation. When you encounter ice on top of 6 or 7 inches of snow, don’t be surprised if you slide down a quarter flight of stairs on your way out the house like I did.
Portland’s had worse, and the frequency of these storms are consistent averaging three to four years apart. 2008 being the longest dreadful snow and ice storm I’ve seen living in Portland.
We are always better safe than sorry; therefore I love my city and everyone in and around it. My 2012 Chevrolet Cruze was dominated only one time during this storm. As I got carried away, I trucked up an apartment complex’s entrance hill and my front wheels eventually lost traction. My car began to slide back then it got turned sideways. Conveniently I slid back to the street and parked on the curb where I could avoid taking another ‘L’.
Besides that minor embarrassing defeat, and I’m pretty sure there were worse, I pretty much trucked through the streets and highways through the weekend.
Portland is beautiful, solute.