Yesterday I had the chance to talk with some people I know about the approach I tend to have to neighborhoods, ideally. In a perfect world, assuming that my situation in life permitted me to put down some roots, the way I would want to live is to develop a secure enough home base where I could travel the world freely knowing I had someone to return to. I would want to get to know the area well enough to be a regular at its local businesses, getting to know the people who worked there and develop close bonds with neighbors as well. I would want to see the sights of the area and the lay of the land, learn its transportation routes and get familiar with its quirks and areas of interest.
Today I was struck by the beauty of Portland while approaching it from the north on my way back from Spokesman’s Club. At other times I have been struck by the beauty of downtown Portland while driving from the west. Thus far I have not seen the same stellar views from the east or the south, at least until the end of the Banfield going westbound. One thing I have greatly appreciated about Portland so far is the beauty of its hills, the large amount of rivers and bridges, and the surprising sights that pop up by surprise when you are drive along your route. Sometimes life is like that, going through miles and miles of what seem like enclosed and dark and even ugly territory, before finding spacious and wondrous views all around that remind one of the beauty that is present if not always visible. Perhaps that ought to encourage us in some fashion.
I have expressed, albeit somewhat humorously, my irritation at having been such a nomad over the past year and a half, given the fact that I do not like being rootless and unsettled at all . There are some good parts of that, though. In a way that has not been according to my own plans, I have been able to see quite a few areas, learn some transportation routes, and if I have not been able to settle down I have at least been able to see quite a few areas and be able to ponder the populations and infrastructure and culture, and my own place within it. I have met cops from five different jurisdictions during my time here, which I find very odd and unusual. I cannot say that I would have chosen to learn Portland one neighborhood at a time as I have, but all the same there is some worth in so doing.
 See, for example:
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