Everyone I know who’s been to or lived in Portland has told me that it’s the sort of place that I would really like. Progressive, good food, geeky. Sounds pretty good to me. I’ve been meaning to get up here for quite a while but just never had a really good reason.
That changed. This week I’ve been in Portland attending the WebVisions conference. As conferences go it wasn’t really a barnburner but it was decent enough. I saw many a presentation and some learning was achieved so I guess it was a success on that front. Because of the conference I haven’t had a lot of chances to experience the town but it’s been enough for me to form some initial impressions.
- Portland is young. You know those old horror movies where an unsuspecting person has car trouble and gets stranded in a remote town eerily populated solely by youngsters and later you find out its because everone who reaches a certain age either goes insane or dies or is killed or taken up or what have you and the unsupecting person is inconveniently of just the right (or wrong) age? You know that plot? That’s kind of what it feels like walking around Portland. It’s juuuuuust shy of creepy.
- Portland is empty. Even walking around downtown during lunchtime or right after work, there’s still plenty of room to move. Traffic is rarely backed up, as far as I can tell. It feels as though the town could comfortably house two or three times as many people. Combine this impression with the one above and one really has to wonder…
- Portland is wet. Damn wet. It’s bloody well rained every single day I’ve been here so far. I’ve been told that there’s at least a little bit of rain most every day which qualifies as a rain forest in my book. I wasn’t really prepared for this much precipitation and, I admit, I’m rather looking forward to getting back to drier climate.
Despite how it sounds I do like the town well enough so far. I still have the weekend to complete my initial impressions. I have no desire to move here or anything but I think I’ll be glad enough to have more opportunities to visit. The food is good. The beer is good. The town is eminently walkable and if you get tired the public transit more or less rocks. The people are friendly. It’s a comfy enough sort of place to spend some time.
Good thing I like it, since I’m just going to be back here in a week.