I'm sitting in my neighborhood coffee shop, contemplating the half hearted "third wave coffee"/wood panel redesign that never really took, thinking back to 15 years ago when the Pacific North West pulled us in like a magnet. We would leave our dumpy, broken cities. Recreate ourselves from whole cloth. Dance, move among, possibly become, artists. Take lovers. Take risks. Sometimes we're take both. Engage with life.
And I did.
Now friends have moved. Enemies too. Those of us left retreat into our relationships, work to make rent (or if we're luck, mortgages), drink and drug less, are careful with our aging bodies, and tip-toe through the emotional minefields we've laid in the past decade to get here. We bite our tongues when we see "those damn millennials" making the same mistakes we did, because we wouldn't have anyone rob us of our own. Who's changed more Portland — you or us? How can anyone tell?