10. Voodoo Doughnuts. I remember my first experience, wandering in with my now-husband on our second date. We were both Voodoo virgins. He ordered the McMinnville Cream, I got the vegan Oreo. It was love. Well, love for the doughtnuts. Our love came soon enough.
9. Within a 6 block radius of my house I'm privy to a bakery, my credit union, a produce market, two pizza parlors, a Safeway, the diviest of dive bars on Hawthorne, Jam (only the bestest little breakfast place evah) and a funeral home. So when I die from gorging on all the goodness my neighborhood has to offer, I know where I'll end up.
8. The scenery. You can go from metro to rural within minutes. When I was a scruffy country kid from Amboy, driving over the 205 bridge into Portland at night was something magical. I still get a little breathtaken on I-5 at the Rose Quarter, when all you see is bridges.
7. Powells. So many books, so little time.
6. Portland is stuffed to the seams with awesome local music. A couple of years ago my old roommate and I went to Lewis and Clark College to catch a free show by Scissors for Lefty. We hadn't heard of the opening bands but were absolutely blown away by the energy they produced. World, I urge you to check out Reporter (formerly Wet Confetti) and the Shaky Hands. Another fond memory was going to see the Decemberists play a show billed as "the December Brides". Colin Meloy was drunk and insulting the alternative weeklies, and it rocked. Our fair city also holds a number of music festivals; they may not reach the level of hype and attendance as SXSW or Coachella, but in my opinion, they're so much better. And who knows, you may find yourself swaying along to the local goods with a famous singer standing next to you in the shadows (Britt Daniel, I'm talking to you!)
5. My eating habits don't pose a problem here. I am surrounded by so many local cafes, restaurants and bars that cater to what I eat (or rather, what I don't eat). Going to a restaurant and being able to pick whatever I want, without the worry of what might be in it, is so refreshing. Also, since I cook almost all of our meals, I find the markets, co-ops and bulk bins fascinating. And, hello, vegan mini-mall?!!?
4. Driving the opposite way to work as rush hour traffic. Yeah it sucks working in Vancouver, and it sucks that the bus system just doesn't work for what I need, but at least I'm not stuck in traffic.
3. The (mostly) temperate climate. We rarely get snow (don't listen to the news! It was a freak snowstorm, I tell ya!) and the summers aren't too hot. What's that? Well, yeah, it rains. But not as much as you think. They say you can distinguish the true Portlanders by their lack of umbrella. I say that they're soaked.
2. 2 hours from the beach and 2 hours from the mountain. You could build a sandcastle and ski Mt Hood in the same day if you wanted to. Just remember our beaches are cold and drizzly.
1. I just love it. I feel like I belong here and my time spent in other cities was spent preparing myself for Portland. Is that a good reason?