I’d heard, you probably have, too, that Portland is beautiful, that everyone is friendly, and it’s all true. What I hadn’t heard was that it’s also home to some of the least fashion-forward people on the face of the earth, at least half of whom are lesbian stereotypes circa 1974. The other half are men.
There’s a kind of aerosol prozac in the air here that seems to create in either sex a genetic disposition toward both goodwill and Dockers. I went for a bike ride yesterday, to a farmer’s market to pick up some of the fresh produce that seems to grow here as easily as mold does on my shower curtain, and was struck more than a little agog at the equally abundant crop of armpit and leg hair on the distaff contingent there. In a world where the balding of the mons has become de rigeur, even among red state mavens like Katherine Harris (you know she’s a full-waxer, just look at her), to see so much downright crunchiness on view sent me reeling back to a time when when men were men and women were wymmyn.
There does seem to be a general population who have successfully mated and produced offspring, though it’s obvious from the horrfied look in their eyes that the offspring are consumed in every waking hour with hopping on the next Trailways to New York. Stopping for dinner last night at a sidewalk cafe, actually an outside table at their version of a Boca De Beppo, I whiled away the time between the bread and iced tea courses observing the native Portlander’s strange ways; their dessication, their golfwear; their odd ambulation that gives them the appearance of continually walking off an Appleby’s Onion Blossom. People come here to carb up and then mummify, I think.
Top ad boutique Weiden & Kennedy (for non ad-types, they kind of invented the Nike brand) is based here, so I headed over to their oasis, which is the best way to describe the neighborhood. For about a two or three block radius, a mini Euro-Santa Monica has popped up, in obvious service to the few, the proud, the creatives at W&K. It was there that I met the single person worth wondering about in the course of my two-hour walking tour of neighborhoods. That person, was, of course, a producer, naturally from London and refreshingly unfriendly.
On the plus side, the people I’m working with are all top-drawer and Powell’s Books is here, which makes The Strand Look like a W.H. Smith kiosk at O’Hare. And I did enjoy the inertia; you don’t get a lot of that in Chicago.
On my way home.