Kalah Allen

No, the barbecue here doesn’t taste the same as it did in Texas. No, you can’t get the equivalent of an East Coast sandwich here without someone fucking up some portion of it. No, there isn’t a “decent” Friday fish fry like the one you had back in Minnesota. And, no, there’s no amount of Peacock Lane lights or Pig ‘n’ Pancake breakfast that will make a miserable, city-jumping Ohioan any less miserable. Hell, even that landmark of lifelong Portlanders’ childhoods, the Lloyd Center, is nothing but a memory, as are the smack and shooting galleries of the rail yard that we now call the Pearl. Portland isn’t the place many of us came from, but it’s a place that tries to make all of it a bit better. It tries to give us Texas barbecue, decent pizza, and Midwest delicacies. It tries to keep enough “Old Portland” around to make us hate the new one a little less. It tries to marry the comforts of the past with the realities of the present, in hopes for a better future. It often fails, but I’m glad it tries.—Anonymous