Bohemian Chic (7-2-2007)

A few things I noticed about the Portland area

while visiting there last weekend

1. There is no parking downtown. Nope..none. For example if you want to pick up your dry cleaning, you pull up in front of the store, honk your horn and they bring it out to you in your car. (I suppose this is idling not parking so it is acceptable.) This led to vallet parking at the hotel. Which while nice, felt a bit strange. Calling the desk each time we left the hotel…”Be a good man and bring the car round Geeves.” is just not in my normal vocabulary.

2. Outside of the downtown area where you find residences and small businesses, they also have odd parking policies. There are four lane roads going through the area, and you will be driving along minding your own business in the right lane and suddenly there will be a car parked in your lane in front of someone’s home. So we learned quickly that it is safer to travel in the left lane. But when nearly everyone is crowded into the left lane…what is the purpose of having the right lane?

3. There are alot of bicycle riders in Portland. Alot. They are also quite agressive at asserting their right to ride in the middle of traffic slowing you down just enough to ensure you catch every single red light possible.

4. Portlanders do not enjoy getting wet. During a slight shower the streets were littered with umbrella toting people going about their business, complaining loudly about the rain all the while for anyone (or no one) to hear.

5. Portlanders tend to have a bit of an ecclectic vagabond sort of style about them. I learned on the hotel channel in our room (which introduced us to the wonderous tourist opportunities of the area) that this is actually termed “Bohemian Chic”. So I can now say with confidence..Portland is filled with “Bohemian Chic”.

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