So, as I mentioned in my last post, I have recently been to Portland. Karel moved out there two years ago this summer and I've been lucky enough to see her since then, since she comes back east to visit her fam. But it was high time for me to go call upon her, and so I embarked on my third trip to the West Coast.
Like my visits from Boston to visit her in NYC, my time was centered around food and shopping. And lo, the food. AND LO, THE SHOPPING. Oregon has no sales tax. Saving that extra 6% made me all giddy so I picked up - skinny jeans, pink cardy, white Chucks, a green and yellow plaid cape (yes, really), and an embroidered skirt. We'll see if I fit in all of it after the food. Mexican, southern, Indian, hot pot, grilled cheese, late night crepes, BALUT (hopefully with video soon) and more. Stuffed.
But more than eating and shopping and simply being with my lovely Karel, I found something I have been sorely missing for some time : a love of DC. When I first moved down here from Boston, I was excited about my grad program but sad about leaving my boyfriend behind. I was living at home, which was great on the wallet and hanging with my parents was fun, but it was hard to be in a new city without a real strong friend base. They were there, but arranging time with them wasn't casual - I had to book their time in advance and arrange for sleeping arrangements.
When I moved in with Lauren and Sam in March 2008, not only was I single for the first time in several years but I was on my own again after 6 months of being at home. I was so happy to just be, I think I could have been in any city, but I really loved DC, going into the city proper for school, hanging out with my roomies on our back porch, parties throughout the summer, etc. When I moved to DC proper last summer, I was excited for even more exploration. And I had it. And it was good.
But this year has been a bit different. I felt like DC was old hat, nothing new. I started thinking more and more about moving, leaving the mid-Atlantic, leaving the country. Not immediately, but starting to think about it in real terms, starting to save. Enter Portland.
Don't get me wrong. Portland was awesome, though I would say that of any visit with Karel. But being there, with its spread out quadrants, its suburban feel, I felt myself falling back in love with DC a little bit more each day. I certainly found neighborhoods that I loved - the Pearl, Nob Hill, Mississippi - but overall, the density just wasn't there for me. This is an odd thing for me to say because my main issue with NYC is that the city is just... too much. All on top of me, with no rest. I guess Portland is the opposite- too spread out, too much space between the neighborhoods, the places I want to be. DC is just right; different neighborhoods bumping up agaisnt each other, flowing quasi-seamlessly from one into the other. I want to know more places, expand from just Dupont and Columbia Heights, Mt Pleasant and Petworth, U St and (shudder) Adams Morgan. I know that Portland is a city I love to visit.
And DC is a place I love to call home.