Busy Is, as Busy Does

Portland is about as non-city as a city can be yet I heard much about how it was too “busy” from friends, family and strangers (it’s why the middle-aged loudmouth lady with the very broad non-West Coast accent behind me on the plane home lives in Salem, which she likened to a retirement community). Maybe I’ve just developed a tolerant personality or have grown to thrive on stress because I found the pace in Portland glacial and genuinely sleepy. I do hate that tough New Yorker we eat tourists for breakfast attitude, but I  understand where it comes from. While the emotional and physical demands of being smooshed up against strangers, lack of space, fast pace, money and status obsessions, outrageous expense and long hours can be draining and relentless and not exactly something to be proud of, I can see how it might make one feel superior like I can handle anything you can throw at me while the rest of country are a bunch of doughy uncultured pussies with nothing more than big houses, cars and guts. Not that I believe that. But I don’t believe there’s anything busy about Portland.

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