In the Pearl Groove

I still don’t have the artwork up, and I still don’t have a cook pot with handles, nor enough spoons and forks for three people to eat, but I am getting in the groove, just a bit.

For one thing, I have done laundry, taken out the trash, and annoyed the downstairs neighbor with loud music. And gotten laid, which really makes it official.

But I think Saturday was the topper. A friend said on Facebook he was going to Brix Tavern for brunch, and I said wait, I live six blocks from there. So I walked over and met him at 9:30. (Read all about it.) On the walk back, I hit REI and Safeway. Then I chilled at home for a couple hours and walked to my storage locker to get ready for a Sunday market. Walked home, cooked dinner, ate on my plastic camping plates, and headed for the Timbers game to meet another friend.

I checked the Streetcar schedule to be sure, and yep, there’s one coming in four minutes; made that in plenty of time, connected to another bus on 23rd in two minutes, and about 22 minutes after tossing my plate in the sink, I was outside Jeld-Wen field, surrounded by my fellow football supporters. I have rarely felt more connected to my town, nor as European, than taken a streetcar and a bus to meet friends and be part of a raucous sellout crowd singing and chanting at a soccer game in a packed, 18,000-seat stadium in the middle of town.

And we won! Perfect. That’s five home matches, five wins. So much different from the bitter, jaded scene I experienced at Arsenal just last week.

After the game, the streets were filled with rowdy, green-clad youth, and I didn’t want to brave transit, so I walked down Burnside to 10th, where my iPhone bus/train iPhone app said I had 10 minutes to spare. I ducked into Powells to look for a cookbook I dream of buying. Made the train just in time and was home in bed by 11.

Now that is a Portland day. And for the record, the next day I went up to Kenton and sold several hundred dollars worth of books, plus had some nice friends come by, and barely got rained on.

Paul Gerald

I am the author of several books on hiking, camping, eating breakfast and chilling out. I am also a freelance travel writer, publisher, hiker, and inveterate traveler.

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