Saying bye to the ‘burbs

Farmer's Market Vegetables

On Sunday, I moved from Lake Oswego (where I was staying with family friends) into my new apartment in Southeast Portland (in what I’ll call the Hawthorne area). It was a bittersweet departure. On one hand, I was excited to live to Portland-proper within walking distance of things and start a “city-life”. On the other hand, there are certain comforts that come with living in a family house.

Anyways, to prolong moving as long as possible, I spent the morning at the Hillsdale Farmers Market instead of packing my things. The food samples alone made my decision worth it, but the vibrant colors, sunny weather, and farmers-market-ness of it all were a close second.

Farmer’s Market Learnings, Firsts, and Realizations:
1. I’ve never seen fresh harvested garlic, let alone with a purple tint to the bulb. I now want to buy some and figure out how cooking with it is different than cooking with dried store-bought garlic.
2. Those desert skeletons with large horns are yak skulls! Also, you can buy a yak to start a farm. Read the fine print though, the sign said nothing about transporting or insurance if you’re gored.
3. I’m not quite sure why people would buy baby chicks and ducklings at the Farmers Market, but they make for a great “awww!” moment. Also, I saw a mother duck and nine ducklings in the backyard (of the Lake Oswego suburban house) and could watch them all day! Now that I think about it, I hope those ducklings didn’t end up in the box at the farmer’s market…
4. Peonies may be my new favorite flower and seeing them paired with Calla Lilies is simply delightful.
5. I tried some homemade earl grey tea kombucha and it was great. All of my biases aside, I’m sad I hated on kombucha for so long, it’s refreshing and has probiotics. Yum!
6. Succulent plants are supposed to be easy to maintain but don’t sound easy at all. I asked the gardner how to keep it a live and he started “It’s just seven easy steps!” I wish I had the heart to tell him that that was 6.5 too many steps for me and my Black Thumb.


After the market, I packed up and hauled across the river to my apartment. I now on Hawthorne Boulevard, a really long street sprinkled with cafes, restaurants, and nightlife. According to Travel Portland, “hippies and hipsters mingle on this busy Southeast Portland street” so there’s that to look forward to. I went for a walk in the neighborhood on Sunday afternoon and found a two things of interest: Palio Cafe (a contender for “Monet’s neighborhood cafe”) and a great running area.

Disclaimer: I have a bad habit of doing something once (e.g., running) and talking about it as if I do it all the time (e.g., “When I run I go…” versus “When I went running, I went…”). Anyways, I’m going to clear this up now: I have been running twice in Portland. The first time was a terrible, hilly mess, and I spent a good amount of that time walking. The second time was much flatter and more successful. The total of these runs was less than 5 miles, so we’re not talking long-distance, just enough to break a little sweat.

Running NeighborhoodOkay, now that that’s out the way – let me tell you why I love running in my new neighborhood. I live close to a perfectly square neighborhood area with angular streets that cut through, flower-bed medians, tree-shaded streets, beautifully unique houses, and very few cars. Today I found out that it’s the perfect place to go running! My intention was to run along a predefined path, but as soon as I entered the square I got lost but didn’t care. Whenever I got bored, I turned a corner. Whenever I saw a main street, indicating the edge of the neighborhood, I made another turn. The result: I ran in the neighborhood for over a mile without realizing. This was mostly because each street is cozy and offered something to look at so I didn’t get bored. Also, huge shoutout to Spotify for playing my four running jams back-to-back. Of course, when you played a slow song I knew it was time to stop running, but that 16-minute stretch was just enough.

Let’s see if this will be a thing…