Happiness, it overfloweth

I’ve had a lot of moments lately where I’m just absurdly happy to be in Portland…the grinning-in-the-street, singing-randomly sort of happy. And I think about blogging about whatever just happened and then something else awesome happens and I forget.

Awesome things:
I climbed Mt. Tabor on my bike (yesterday). There was nothing particularly impressive about my execution, but I did it. Sources suggest that this means I climbed about 600 ft, which is about the same as I used to do from home to Woodside. I think I’m a bit out of shape.

Actually, I know I’m a bit out of shape, because while biking to the Tin Shed on Alberta (where I sat out on a patio, ate tasty squash ravioli, and listened to a sax trio while talking to interesting Internet people) I was passed by people riding upright city bikes with front baskets and people towing trailers. People in Portland are for serious with their commuter riding.

I went on several Portland ByCycle rides, the first one to sweets (frozen yogurt, ice cream and other tastiness), the second to the waterfront, and the third to “quirky parks”. These rides are awesome. They start after work and end before dark, are hosted by incredibly friendly and knowledgeable city staff, and explore Portland’s bicycle infrastructure and nifty places.

Everyone in Portland is So Nice. The way I’ve described the difference between this and other places is that in my experience, people are generally polite everywhere I’ve been, but in Portland, they don’t just do it, they mean it. People ask how you are and talk to you in the street. And being around so many nice people has the effect of creating more niceness in me, which feels great.

I went to a classical music concert (recital?) in a pub. Classical Revolution PDX. Classical music + relaxed atmosphere = win.

Tonight I went to Drinking Liberally, for three reasons: it was convenient (the Lucky Lab NW is two blocks from work), I was interested in the experience, and the invited guest was Michelle Poyourow of the BTA. I’ve been quietly waffling about what to do about continuing my advocacy work now that I’ve left SVBC to its own devices (I haven’t technically left it, since my membership will remain active until February of next year, but I’ve certainly become at best an inactive member). There are many organizations and many projects in Portland, and they don’t all get along, but I was quite won over by Michelle’s realistic yet optimistic take on things, so I’m planning on seeing if I can offer them my time, interest, and experience in the bikes-on-transit arena.

The overall experience was fun too — I suspect that I’m not really engaged enough in national political stuff to keep up with the usual DL attendees, but I definitely found them congenial and interesting.

And then there are the small awesomenesses: walking out of my office and looking up to see sunsplashed hills and fluffy white clouds; sunset captures and crisp afternoon views from the bridges; and boysenberries from Food Front and basil from the farmer’s market.

And last but not least, sitting in my bay window at night and watching the stars in the sky and lights in the houses.

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