Friday, July 16, 2010

Portland ain't Lake Oswego

The fun of having visitors is that we get to play tour guide. Today, we hit Slappy Cakes and made our own pancakes at the table. (The judgment: peanut butter batter with chocolate chips was good. Add bacon to the mix, then not so good.) We walked in the Pearl District, with a stop at Powell’s City of Books and Buffalo Exchange. Next, onto the International Rose Test Garden and Pittock Mansion.

At night we checked out a food cart pod. At the pod, we see a mix of people. A few radical haircuts and piercings, nothing too outrageous, but enough to illustrate that many Portlanders don’t feel compelled to conform to fashion standards displayed in glossy magazines. Driving back, we saw a congregation of bicyclers, including some with very high seats at a Plaid Pantry.

Now, if we were giving a tour of Lake Oswego, we would not see such people. In Lake Oswego, there’s the one block of shops and restaurants near the lake and farmer’s market. Mostly, one sees people aged 35 to 65 in clean, respectable clothing with conventional haircuts. In fact, one just does not see too many young people at all in Lake Oswego, unless they are children with parents: no pierced lips smiling under a two-toned quasi-mullet; no shaved sides of heads with blue hair; no “high bikes.”

Portland stole and modified Austin’s slogan: “Keep Portland Weird.” Well, we gave our dear guests a taste of what that slogan means tonight. I enjoy getting out and doing what makes Portland interesting, and I'm very happy we have a reason to do it this weekend.

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