So a couple of days ago my old friend Nathan arrived in Portland.
(no, not this Nathan... different Nathan... wow, I know a lot of Nathans... And Mikes... more Mikes than Nathans... where was I going with this?)
So Nathan is moving to town and can currently be found on my couch if anyone needs him (or at his rad new job with the governor's office, no biggie) while he looks for an apartment.
While I've been in a total whirlwind the last couple of weeks, I did manage to schedule (read: totally and miraculously finagle an alignment of the stars/appease the gods of work schedules set a month in advance) my one day off in the midst of the madness so that I could show him around my city and introduce him to life in the Pacific Northwest.
It's so funny because our friend Zach, one of his roommates in college back when we all met senior year, is from Seattle and spent the majority of his time delineating the various (and numerous) reasons everyone should live in the Pacific Northwest. I always listened, nodded my head and sure, put it on my list of places to go someday, but at the time never thought I'd end up in this corner of the country.
But end up here I have and as I toured through the city I allowed myself the chance to see it once again through new eyes; to experience the excitement of learning it all for the first time, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, and meal by meal (because who are we kidding, all we do is eat and drink here - and occasionally hike up a mountain).
First order of business was brunch.
That one was easy: Tasty N Sons.
I'm pretty sure Nathan would have been completely fine with the tour had it stopped there. The phrase "best meal ever" and "I'm pretty sure you can't top this" were volleyed about between his first sips of Stumptown and bites of chocolate potato doughnuts.
From there is was just a potpourri of everything the town has to offer: views of Mt. Hood, spending
too much not enough time at Powell's, views of Mt. Hood from a different vantage point (Pittock Mansion!), more food (Deschute's), more "I seriously can't get over the food here" and then back home to crash somewhere around the time the sun started to go down.
(hello longest day of the year!)
I know why I came to Portland, but traversing the grids I have come to know so well (or in some cases, not so well - damn you east side, I always get lost!) over the last four years I think I fully realized why I stayed.
I will always love this city for the people who make it home, but there are certain things, certain places and certain mountains that remind me just how much I love this place for what it is on its own - home.