Get Lost (Part 2)

portlandpic1                             There are signs…

               Dividing in…

                              That I couldn’t abide…

 I wouldn’t miss it again…

         Burning every bridge that I cross…

              To find some beautiful place…        

                                   To get lost…

First stop was Portland: 2 nights, 2 days

We pulled on to Division Street around ten at night, parked the car, unloaded the bare necessities, and made our way up the steps to the Bluebird Guesthouse. A beautiful craftsman home with all the charm it can possibly possess. We made our way through the living room, through the kitchen, and down the stairs to our room: The Elliot Smith Room. Out of the seven rooms ours is the only one named after a music artist; the rest named after famous authors: Garcia-Marquez, Beverly Cleary, Sherman Alexie, Ken Kesey, Raymond Carver, and Gao Xingjian.

In our room was a full sized bed, two nights stands ( I got the one with the lamp so I could read at night), a small vanity, a small shelving unit with towels, and a little closet with hangers. In the vanity drawer was a biography of Elliot Smith, paper, two pens, and an extra key. Everything in our small welcoming room was used at some point in the two days we were there.

toelliottThe soundtrack to our trip could easily have been the lovely anthology of Elliot Smith’s works sung by fellow musicians To: Elliot From: Portland. These artists, which are all from Portland themselves, don’t take away from his art they just add respect and appreciation of his work. You can feel the pulse of the city in the beats and the strength of his lyrics shine.

We spent our days exploring Division Street and the Hawthorne District, which was coming to life with small shops, vintage stores, handmade wares, and comfortable eateries. My favorite little locales were Time-Bomb Vintage and Portico. When we trekked out it was to go to the infamous Powell’s Books! My idea of heaven! We walked through Chinatown, the Pearl District, and visited the Saturday Market.

portlandThe Saturday Market called to mind Chuck Palahniuk’s Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon. Edgy and quirky Chuck takes you on the un-tourist side of Portland both charming and disturbing. He leaves you feeling like a local and opening you up to conversations that might never have occurred. Though Portland, much like Seattle, is a very friendly place it is still nice to feel at home in a place that isn’t one necessarily. As a friend once put it: “San Francisco is the eldest sister, Seattle the middle child, and Portland the baby; they are so similar yet their own individuals.”

Although my love for Seattle runs deep my trip in Portland not only confirmed that fact, but made me see what other cities, towns, and neighborhoods have to offer. What they offer, at least for me, is an escape from the familiar not a permanent transition.

(See Part One here. The journey continues next week).

One thought on “Get Lost (Part 2)”

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