1) You don’t have to valet park just to pick up a burger to-go (though the Umami Burger I had to valet park my rental car for ended up being absolutely glorious).
2) Driving to work/your friend’s house/to a platonic date will NEVER take more than twenty minutes unless it’s a Snowpocalypse or your platonic date is at a winery in Dundee. And take it from me, I practically live in the suburbs.
3)You don’t have to get out of your car to pump petrol…aka you don’t have to pause Schoolboy Q and thus kill the flossy hoodrich hoodlum vibe you had going on.
4) You can go to brunch in clashing prints, a too-large flannel borrowed from your friend and unglamorously smudged eye make-up and no one will bat an eyelash. You might even still be considered attractive and there will probably be someone in a more ridiculous ensemble…that is actually intentional.
5) No sales tax. That Chanel eyeliner is actually $28.
6) Lack of international designer boutiques and high end department stores easing an in-your-face daily temptation to give up a month’s worth of meals for $800 neon Jimmy Choos*. Plus most people here probably think Jimmy Choo is an Americanised Dim Sum spot on 82nd so save those $800 and go have dinner at Beast eight times instead (or like six if you’re doing the wine pairing). *I am being hypocritical with this one because I would definitely sacrifice eight impeccable suppers for a pair of Jimmy Choos…but only classic styles until my annual salary hits six figure status.
7) It’s really easy to ball out in Portland. Since bottle service is basically confined to champagne you don’t even have the option of impressing your friends at the club with multiple severely marked up bottles of Ciroc and Belvedere. You can be flossy by pregaming with Cook’s at your friend’s studio in the Pearl and then heading to Departure in a dress that may or may not be Herve Leger, spritzing $1 worth of Coco Mademoiselle (that’s a lot by the way), namedropping the local DJs and club owners that have favourited your tweets and being judgmental of the ratio of St. Germain to Angostura bitters in your cocktail.
8) People in Portland are SO NICE. And approachable. And do stuff like wear Patagonias at places like Departure or share plates of salt cod croquettes and roasted Brussels sprouts at communal tables with people they don’t know. God Bless this city.
9)The rain makes all the sunshine that much better. And keeps the Vitamin D supplement industry profitable.
10) It’s manageable. From my experience, Portland is a fantastic place to figure out your skills, what you want to do in life and test the waters and build up your resume. Plus, it’s incredibly affordable, has a creative and inclusive community and has far fewer barriers or competition than most metropolitan cities. Of course, you do have to take the initiative and persist- but you’ll probably be knocked down and left on a ramen diet far fewer times than if you were elsewhere (also because one of your friends is probably an organic farmer or line cook at a locavore hotspot on the side).
Thanks for the 84 degree sunshine SoCal and for giving me a dose of much needed perspective, I appreciate it- but boy am I looking forward to the upcoming Portland summer.