Kind of an emotional day here at the hub of the Vast Breakfast Empire.
That’s because, just this morning, on my Breakfast Bulletin newsletter, I announced my retirement as the Portland Breakfast Guy. Here is the message I sent out:
Thanks for a Tasty 10-Year Run
FEBRUARY 22, 2015
Way back in early 2005, I sat in the Beaterville Café (RIP) with my friend Craig, talking about writing.
He writes fishing guidebooks, I had already done a hiking guide, and I was describing how my author career got started: as a newspaper guy with a travel column. I told him that one theme I’d developed was to describe a place by describing a breakfast there, and he asked if I’d ever done that for Portland.
“Hell,” I said, “I could write a whole book about places to eat breakfast in Portland!”
We looked at each other, smiled, and an idea was born – more like a chapter in my life. Ever since that conversation, I have been the Portland Breakfast Guy. And now, after 10 years, three editions of Breakfast in Bridgetown, some 6,000 copies sold, hundreds of blog posts, 50+ podcasts, and … I don’t know … maybe 500 breakfasts in 200 restaurants, I’m done.
Actually, I’ve been done for a while, to the point that I now cringe when I hear about a new breakfast place; still, it’s been hard to let go. This was my baby, my passion, my idea that grew from that moment with Craig all the way to being in a PBS documentary and, more inspiring, the old Burnside entrance window at Powell’s.
But I have come to realize that, if I really I am done, then I need to put a period at the end of this 10-year sentence, so I can start the next one. So I am officially retiring as the Portland Breakfast Guy.
There won’t be any more editions of Breakfast in Bridgetown, nor will there be any more posts on the breakfast blog. In fact, breakfastinbridgetown.com has already gone away, replaced with this page here at paulgerald.com. There you’ll find links to buy the book (which is still for sale), get updates to it (which I will stay on top of), the 10 most popular breakfast blog posts, the rest of my books, all the other stuff I write about, and links to some great food blogs I love: EaterPDX, Eating My Way Thru Portland, and Under the Table With Jen.
Although I’ve known about this decision for some time, I am filled with emotion upon announcing it. Writing something, for me, has always been the final step in making it real and complete. So right now, I am truly realizing that the end is here, and exactly what is ending. It’s both sad and satisfying.
I think back to the excitement of developing the idea; the daunting realization of how many breakfast places there actually are; the awesomely fun times with The Breakfast Crew and all the wonderful, crazy people who have been in it; all the folks who helped along the way; and, of course, all the meals. To paraphrase what Phil Lesh says of the Grateful Dead’s 30-year run of shows, my time as the Breakfast Guy all blends together into one long, fabulous meal.
I thank you all for the part you’ve played in it. And who knows, maybe I’ll run into you at breakfast. God knows I still love to eat; I just won’t be taking pictures or writing about it anymore.
“I’m Not Dead Yet!”
Of course, I remain a writer – and a blogger, speaker and tour guide. I invite you to keep up here on my website. Another way to connect is on my new author Facebook page. And I will continue my newsletter, keeping the name for old times’ sake (and because I’m an alliteration addict). Subscribe to that here.
Oh, and I’m now a driver for Radio Cab, so if you ever want a ride and to say hello in person, get in touch. I’d love to meet you. In fact, I’ll give a 20% discount if you tell me you’re a reader.
I’ll keep offering updates about hikes, trips to Italy, author talks, Heritage Trees, English soccer and spiritual ramblings. I hope you’ll stick around and stay in touch.