Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Preparing to Depart Country

My month in Portland is drawing to a close. It's a damn good thing for my bank account, which will barely survive my time in this café-infested city.

I have done lots of lovely things this month, including:
- riding bikes to Sauvie Island to pick marionberries and eat bbq
- riding bikes to Oregon City to see the municipal elevator and the Willamette Falls Locks
- meeting with an education coordinator at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and finding out that Oregon's schoolchildren are already experiencing bicyclist and pedestrian education in elementary schools! Hooray!
- finding out about the Restorative Listening Project, an effort to build ties between the historically black population of N and NE Portland and the many new white residents and businesses. They're trying to be constructively open about the usually quiet, if devastating, processes of gentrification in those parts of the city. Hooray!
- spending scads of time in Opposable Thumb on Belmont and in Crema on Ankeny. Truly making the city's coffee shops my living room rather than sitting in a private home has been very enjoyable. The countless iced americanos and occasional pastry helped.
- reveling in the giant bins of fabric and clothes I left in Bobby's parents' basement. Soon they will be mother's garage. Hi Mom!
- visited a great travel clinic with a most friendly and charming doctor, the Portland Industrial and Travel Clinic. I'm now considered (mostly) immune to hep A, yellow fever, and typhoid.
- spent lots of time with good friends, people I missed tremendously in LA this past year
- volunteered at Bridge Pedal, and watched 17,000 cyclists ride by my post in downtown Portland. They liked my gold velour jumpsuit and green marching band jacket with gold accents, and also the loose goose. Quite a few Dahons, Bike Fridays, and Bromptons were in the stream of wheeled ones.

This weekend I'm visiting friends in the Seattle area, and we're leaving for Bogotá a week from today. I've made contact with some folks at Aldeafeliz, an ecovillage outside of Bogotá, and I'm looking forward to finding out about sustainability there.

Ooh, and last night I viewed 400 Blows at the Clinton Street Theater, and met a nice bartender who happened to be from Tustin. He recognized my OCTFCU card, since he's also a member. The speakers at that theater are hell on the ears, sadly, so the opening of the movie, with the lovely score, was almost ruined for me and Bobby. But I guess our ears adjusted to the static, or they fixed something, cause most of the soundtrack came through well. Such a sad movie, though not nearly as depressing as Rossellini's Germany, Year Zero or Buñuel's Los olvidados, other movies about boys lost in the shuffle of urban survival.