I’ve officially lived in Portland for 1 year and 10 months, including my 3 month internship. I’ve had so many adventures and met countless new friends – which is surprising, because Portland is a pretty hard city to make friends in! Everyone has their own niche and are reluctant to invite anyone in. I’m a fairly outgoing person so meeting new people isn’t intimidating, but it is still hard work. As more people move to Portland and as the rental and job markets become more competitive, residents are starting to move away. Among them are a few of my friends!
One of my first friends when I moved to Portland for my internship in 2013 was Alex. He grew up in Walla Walla, Washington, and had just finished serving in Afghanistan. Since I had recently returned from Amman, we had lots to discuss! He soon became one of my closest drinking buddies and we always went on epic treks to discover new bars. Even though I have a bar cart in my apartment, I never learned how to mix drinks. I usually stick with the basics. Alex has an insane talent for mixology! My favorite weekend pre-game is having him mix up something crazy but delicious. I’ll definitely miss his drinks! He was also my travel buddy. He came with me on my first trip to Seattle in 2013 and again to Seattle in 2014 for a Hoodie Allen concert. Some of my favorite “crazy youth” memories occurred during those trips – and I got my special “Pike Place Market Starbucks” mug on the 2013 trip. I still use it every weekend for my coffee. After becoming a certified helicopter instructor, Alex decided to move to Austin, Texas, where there are more opportunities for jobs. I plan on visiting in the spring – I’ve never been to Texas!
When I moved to Portland in 2014, I met Rhianna (pronounced Re-ANNA, not like the singer!). She was my intern at Shop Adorn and moved to Portland for the summer knowing no one. I immediately invited her out to brunch and we became best friends. We would automatically hang out every weekend and go to bars and wing woman each other – it was a blast! She lived downtown, so I could crash at her place when we went drinking there, and vice versa for my apartment in SE Portland. She was from North Carolina but her family lives in England. Even though I only knew her for 3 months, she became one of my closest friends and I still miss her dearly! Unfortunately she doesn’t have any plans to move back to Portland after graduation 😦
Around the time Rhianna left, I met Joni. She had just moved from Ithaca, NY, with her boyfriend. Typically I prefer to make friends with other single ladies. It is a lot easier to make plans with someone who doesn’t have to check with a significant other first! Plus, it is fun to get dressed up and go out and be single. I thought that women in relationships never did this – Joni proved me wrong. She originally moved downtown in a 1 BR with her boyfriend. We hung out a lot as we had similar schedules and her boyfriend had his own social life. One perk of this arrangement? He would always pick us up and drive us home! I hung out with Joni nearly every weekend – sometimes we just stayed at my apartment and drank wine and chatted for hours. One of my favorite memories is when we tried to convince men on the app Tinder to buy us a pizza and have it delivered. After HOURS of trying, one man finally agreed! We gave him the address next door (for safety) and he told us he ordered it. I even called Papa Johns to “check on the status” and they confirmed it was ordered! We giddily waiting outside to intercept the pizza at 2am. When it arrived, the delivery driver informed us that it would be $23.99. I reluctantly paid and we chalked it up to a failure.
Joni worked a number of odd jobs from doggy daycare attendant to nanny. She always had crazy stories. One of our last adventures was going on a river float. You take two cars and park one at the starting point upstream and the other at the finish point. Typically they are about 3-5 miles away from each other. Then, you blow up a giant raft and load your food and booze and cruise down the river. It took us 5.5 hours to go 3 miles! It was loads of fun and I’m sad we won’t get to go again as Joni recently moved back to New Jersey to go to grad school for speech pathology.
Finally, the most recent departure has been my roommate Maddie. She isn’t technically moving away, but she is moving out. I was so excited to find a roommate from Cincinnati! When she moved-in in February, we were fast friends. We would go to the bars on Belmont nearly every weekend and she always invited me to go to events with her and her coworkers. We bonded over spots around Cincy and our mutual friends. My favorite memory is St. Patrick’s Day when we partied too hard the night before and then woke up at 9am and started day drinking for the holiday! We went to a church festival in the rain and brought green food coloring to color all of the beer green. The chef of the event thought that was funny so he rewarded us with unlimited food! The entire day was a blur of rain, beer, and green – a total success. Soon after, she started dating her current boyfriend and now they are moving in together along with a coworker. I have rarely hung out with her since the spring and, since they will be living in the far south, I doubt I will see much of her after she moves. It’s a shame because she was a great friend and roommate! It’s just proof that sometimes life pulls people in different directions.
I do still have a handful of friends in Portland. Maggie, Joe, and Grant are all from Oregon so there’s a slim chance they will be moving away. We always go to beer fests and throw crazy Hanukkah and Purim parties. I’ve recently been focusing all of my free time working out, as explained in my last post. I also have a handful of DIY projects I want to get started on. As for socializing, I’ve been going on a few dates here and there. I was pretty excited about one I had last week, but then I found out he is only in Portland for 5 months before being sent to Wisconsin for his job! I don’t want that!
To fill Maddie’s vacancy in the apartment, I invited a new roommate to move in on September 1st. Her name is Hawi and she is grew up in Germany before going to boarding school in Canada and university in Portland. She is currently an intern at a startup downtown, but says that she will be offered a full-time position soon. She seems very respectful and chill, but said she loves going out on the weekends, too! I feel like I’ve reached a point in my life where finding a roommate who likes to party is no longer the #1 goal – I just want someone who cleans the dishes and doesn’t leave the screen door open! Maybe that means I am finally an adult?