I’ve Moved to Portland!   Leave a comment

I'm in Portland! I have moved! It is still a little surreal. Yesterday as the taxi was driving I looked at the skyline and thought about how I rarely saw it when I visited (I wind up taking the Max usually, the equivalent of the El trains except not elevated or underground, so the only time I see it is the taxi ride from the airport when I arrive in the evening). Then realized I would see it every day now. As the taxi was driving through the downtown area, I also remembered when I went to the Portland Farmer's market with F by PSU during my last visit (the week I was here to interview) and was so tempted to buy from this one mushroom stand. They even had a brown paper bag already put together of pasta, morels, and a recipe. But I didn't get it, rationalizing that F had planned enough dates for me to meet and hang out people he knew in Portland, so it didn't make sense to buy something that would mean staying in and cooking when we had plans to go out. I could buy it one day in the future, maybe when I lived here, maybe I could even try going to the market every Saturday.

I guess I can go out and buy it now. I mentioned it to F in the cab and he said that very same market is just a short walk away from the apartment, maybe a 15-20 minute walk I think. It seems like it's very similar to Green City Market in Chicago.

Today I looked out the window and was about to point out a car with an Oregon license plate out on the street and was about to point it out until I realized where I was. Duh.

I got in late last night- by the time we got to the apartment, it was around 11:30 pm since we had to wait for all the suitcases I packed and checked in. Mew was so good on the airplane, and I was glad F was able to fly out to help me move out of my apartment and pop the pill into Mew's mouth. My dad had no faith and kept telling my mom to start looking for eyedrops or something to dissolve the half-pill in and squirt into his mouth. I had originally thought to drug him once we got to the airport in the car, but because I wanted my dad's mind to rest easy, we did it before we left the house. I had Mew in my arms anyway, and I don't know how he knew, but he started to burrow his face in my arm in denial, something he has not done before. Awww. It was cute, and my mom ran around to watch and admire. Usually he tries to become liquid cat and squirm and pour himself out of my arms, but he didn't struggle- he seemed resigned somehow. How did he know?

The first time F put the pill in his mouth, after 30 seconds and he let go of Mew's fact, Mew leaned forward and just went "Ptooew" and it dropped out. It was sorta funny actually. The second time was the charm, and we waited just a lil longer (probably 45 seconds) and checked his mouth. Usually he cries when I put him in the bag, but he must have felt that this time was different because instead of whining (I joke he is singing "100 bottles of beer on the wall") when I put him in the bag or in the car, he was quiet. It couldn't have been the pill yet because it was too soon to have taken effect yet.

Mew's eyes were still all big when I was checking in at the airport with United, and I admit he fell off the weight scale thing they have for bags (I had put him on there so the lady at the counter could tag the bag).  He didn't fight me at all when I had to take him out of the bag and take him through the metal detector. Mostly he was just looking around curiously and what the heck was going on. He only whined a little, and pretty quietly, as we waited to board our flight and then on the plane a few times, and then while waiting for the luggage a little in Portland. The only annoying thing was after crouching low and exploring all the corners of the apartment, he wanted to stay in the closet and growl deeply from the back of his throat. Later in the night though, I called his name a couple times to see if he was ok (I was having a hard time sleeping anyway because it was a new place and I was cold) and he ended up crawling into bed with me and cuddling by my arm like he always does. I kept worrying about him going to the bathroom on the cream carpet here.

Today I had thought I would practice going out to see where the grocery store and the Max train line are that I would take to work/downtown, but it was raining all day so I instead focused on unpacking my suitcases of clothes and then organizing some of the boxes. I have boxes coming everyday this week except Thursday. Most of my clothes come tomorrow (8 boxes), and then my books and files come Tuesday (5 boxes) and Wednesday (2 boxes). Friday is a bunch of miscellaneous things and my computer monitor (4 boxes). The only thing I shipped of the computer was the monitor, and I brought my hard drives on the plane. I partially had no choice in that matter because the biggest box I had, 18x18x24, was surprisingly not big enough for my computer tower. You know I naturally had a color coded spreadsheet denoting my boxes using letters (L also did this, but with numbers, and she was neater because she used labels while I wrote on the boxes with red marker since last move I used black marker) and size of boxes, weight, content, and UPS tracking number and ship date and approximate arrival date.

As I was unpacking, I decided this apartment is 1. very nice and the cream carpets are something I will be paranoid about the whole time I live here probably 2. I don't want to bother unpacking most of my books and decorative knick-knacks because I'll just have to pack it again when I buy a Portland house 1-2 years in the future, assuming I can get acclimated and want to continue living in Portland. It also saves the trouble of moving the bookcases from the garage (where all the boxes and other stuff are) inside, which is a pain because of the narrow stairs. Which brings up point 3. It's weird calling this an apartment when it's a small house being rented. It's crazy that for the same amount of money to rent a condo in the Pearl District here (where I had originally looked to live- the feel is very similar to the West Loop) I could rent a rowhouse instead and get this much more room. M also rents part of a house in Cambridge (he lives downstairs, someone else lives upstairs) and I've noticed before whether L and M call it the apartment or what.

I haven't really seen the neighborhood that much, but from what I remember from past visits my impression is that it's similar to Chicago's Lincoln Park/Lakeview, if you made it smaller and less dense in population. Portland uses a grid system (you live in the NW, NE, SW, or SE neighborhoods) to divide up the city using the river and Burnside (F explained this to me last visit). Previously when I visited F for interviews I got a bit of the taste of the Northeast at his apartment. I live in the Southeast according to my address, but it is classified by the city as being part the Northwest as it is part of the Goose Hollow neighborhood and F has even taken me to the Goose Hollow Inn before for beverages and he used to like hanging there with his friends before he moved to Chicago.

I know I'm a Portland resident now, but it still doesn't feel real. I also on one hand feel a little bit naiive since I only waited until now to really move away from my hometown, so sometimes I get misty eyed getting myself all sentimental. I keep myself grounded though by thinking about the practical logistics that need to be done in the next week to make my home. I hope the boxes come earlier in the day (UPS delivers 9am-7pm) so I have some time to explore this week during the day, since I start work next Monday! I already am writing a shopping l
ist of things I need to take care of this weekend or maybe in the evenings.

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Posted September 21, 2008 by pechluck in Uncategorized

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