No, really, you can take me out of the suburbs once in awhile.
For some insane reason, the weather is nice this week in Portland. When I say spring break in Portland is sunny, there must be an apocalypse on the horizon because that NEVER HAPPENS. So, we took advantage of it. Boy Child is off to Grandma’s house for a sleep over (he gets them all to himself. He’s beside himself with joy.) And Girl and I decided to bust out of the neighborhood and explore someone else’s.
We went to Alberta Street in Northeast Portland, which I can’t even believe is the same neighborhood that was falling down when I was younger. It’s caught right in the middle of gentrification right now, so there’s an interesting mix and vibe going on. WAY different than my meandering suburb.
I *love* it. It was a perfect afternoon for exploring with Girl Child, who desperately needs a break from all the medical stuff we’ve been having to do for her. She’s such a rule follower that I thought bringing her to a place with graffiti, local artisans, old homes and funky people would maybe stretch her a little and open her mind and heart to things, people and places that aren’t familiar to her. One of the risks of the suburbs: myopia.
We ate at La Sirenita, where I heard the cooks in the back swearing in Spanish and there’s no cheese on your taco – you have to ask for it. (Authentic!)
Then we went to Salt and Straw for some ice cream. Oprah’s favorite! (No, seriously – she loves their Olive Oil ice cream. Yes. Olive oil. I find it a little weird, but hey….to each his own.) You can taste any of their ice creams, the employees are really kind about it. So, if you’re a little unsure about a rosewater, saffron and pistachio ice cream you can try before you buy. (I went with a safe choice: sea salt with caramel ribbon)
Then we just wandered, looking in the windows of shops, trying to read graffiti, and talking. She continues to astound me with her strength. I asked her, “do you ever feel bad about being hard of hearing?” Her response? “No, it’s part of who I am.”
My favorite quote of the day from Girl: “Mom, there was a bad word written on that door. (whispers) The ‘f’ word.”
And, I’ve found the best-named bra store in this history of bra stores:
Break out of the suburbs. It’s worth the trip.