Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Portland, I Hardly Knew Ye...
The food pod across the street from my house is closing after the summer. It's the third pod I know of on my side of town that's going to close after the summer season is over. Is saying that I'm devastated about this hyperbolic? No. I don't think it is. I'm devastated by this.
When I arrived in Portland nearly 4 years ago, I was absolutely delighted by this new city I now called home. I wondered what had taken me so long to "discover" Portland. Everything about this place made me happy. I felt a strong sense of community, uniqueness, quirkiness--all the qualities I like to attract in my own life.
At the same time that I moved to PDX, the TV series "Portlandia" was released. The secret was out. Now everyone knew what I knew about this gem of a city. Of course, Portland isn't everybody's cup of tea. But the spotlight was shining and within a very short period of time, the city was changing.
Residential development is everywhere. California license plates abound. The traffic is getting worse; the unique neighborhoods that have tons of character and odd, little shops are now changing to posh, slick, boutique-lined streets with restaurants where I can't even afford a Happy Hour drink. It's starting to look like...oh dear me...it's starting to look like Los Angeles.
There are still plenty of wonderful things about Portland. Don't get me wrong. I'm not leaving anytime soon. But it's not the same city I moved to just a short time ago. And I'm disappointed. I hardly got a chance to experience the "real" Portland and now it's changing, growing, becoming a sleeker version of itself. I liked the way it was before. And though I'm definitely an advocate for change, this seems to be happening all too quickly.
Plus, the food pod across the street from my house is leaving at the end of summer. But I already told you that. Rumor has it the lot will be developed for more condos and apartments with outlandish rents that people like me cannot afford. The food pod has added so much to my experience living here. It's not just about the availability of really good food directly across the street. It added warmth, community, and individuality to this already charming neighborhood. That will disappear by the end of this year. I'm truly devastated. And I promise you, that's not hyperbole.