I moved to Portland in the fall, and since then have witnessed two violent protests, a violent attack on a homeless person that required an ambulance, and a brazen sexual assault in broad daylight. All of this was witnessed from my apartment in the Pearl, all during lockdown.

I went out for one of the first times with new friends to celebrate a birthday on Friday night, and at 2am I was in the street, holding a gunshot victim’s hand, talking to keep him conscious while we waited for medics to arrive.

I expected the craft brews and the rain; I’ve seen gut wrenching homelessness in other cities. This is a new terrifying. What is happening here? What kind of place is this? Did I make a deadly mistake moving here?