Qualified Condition

November 26, 2008

Oh Portland

Filed under: Portland — qualifiedcondition @ 8:04 pm


I am in Portland.  I’ll be here for another week.  I love this place and I think that the picture above explains why: the moment you step off a plane here you are greeted by full bike-racks and public transit.  I think that in LA when you leave the airport you just get nudie-bars and the Century Freeway.  Part of my love of Los Angeles is the constant allure of “what this place could be” or “what this place used to be like.”  It’s one big reformer personality/Don Quixote/urban planner psychic-milieu.  But in Portland it’s pretty much “what it already is.”  To steal language from Kenny, I’m not sure that this place needs me as much as LA does–there’s nothing to fix; there’s nothing to hope for–at least on the surface.  It’s a left-leaning, white, college-educated, yupster-dreamland.  Nevertheless I love it here and I strongly suspect that I’ll close the chapter on my “fix LA” days and end up a Portlander one day. (And then I’ll have to be not into coffee and bikes and recycling, just to keep life interesting, right?)

I am hoping to spend a day or two wandering around but for now I am helping out Kenny who is running what we call a Pop-up Holiday Store.  His friend Frank runs an organization called Children’s Healing Art Project that does art in hospitals and with kids whose bodies are sick but whose hearts and minds are pretty amazing.  We have a 10,000-square-foot retail space (in a really nice new building in the Pearl) and we’re selling a ton of clothes (mostly stuff donated from Colombia), there is artwork, build your own ornaments, silkscreen your own shirts, beads, custom rugs, hourly Nutcracker performances by kids in wheelchairs, it’s pretty amazing.  Yesterday and today has been a lot of set-up and the store opens on Friday.  I can’t wait to share some pictures of the madness when it finally gets started.  For now, here are a couple of the space as we get set up.



  1. I heart Portland. I emailed a few friends in P-town to let them know about the shop. Hopefully, they will stop by.

    Comment by Holly — November 26, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  2. yeah, i’m still a little disappointed that we didn’t get to move there.

    Comment by xie — November 26, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  3. I love Portland too. It is so green and idylic.

    Comment by Jen Graham — November 26, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

  4. I’m jealous! I too dream of someday ending up in a northwest city (Portland or Seattle).

    Comment by Tina — November 27, 2008 @ 7:09 am

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