Kiddo. Youth. Adult. Professional. I grew up on the Washington side of the Columbia River from Portland so had a flirtatious relationship with the Rose City. Vancouver was a great place for families but heading south on I-5 on the weekends yielded the adolescent goods when I was little and still today as an supposed grown-up and professional. With each stage of my life (thus far) I've connected to this town in different ways. Here's how each resonated with me:
- OMSI trips to see animatronic dinosaurs and milestones like the first Mac with the CD drive.
- Rose Festival visits to the waterfront to tour ships and get stomach aches off treats like elephant ears and cotton candy.
- Sales tax free trips to the Toys 'R' Us in Jantzen Beach to buy Legos and that Atari Lynx I saved for.
- Riding the new Max train across town instead of being stuck in traffic on I-405.
- Admiring figure skaters at the Lloyd Center Mall ice rink as they glided and dashed about on their blades.
- Walking geology tour of Portland buildings that looked at where the various bricks and stones that built some of her most beautiful buildings came from.
- Rose Festival (again) parades our band marched in on the streets and across the bridges of Portland.
- Senior prom dinner with my group of best friends at a small, fun spot away from schoolmates who took the evening far too seriously.
- Food and beer exploration of every neighborhood we possibly can with recommendations of friends and the Internet.
- Catching up with friends who have started families and settled down in amazing, urban, walkable neighborhoods.
- Watching and laughing at the image of Portland as hilariously interpreted on TV. <cough>Portlandia</cough>
- Meeting with clients whom we connect with based on our stellar service offerings but also on stories of growing up nearby.
- Reminiscing with classmates about where we came from and how we managed to become respectable in our old-ish age.
- Connecting with peers at the cutting edge of the tech industry at events like Chain React 2017.
Each facet of my local life has clearly lead and influenced the next. I'm fortunate and thankful for that and excited for what will come next.