We climbed in the car and bombed down to Portland, Oregon for a few days this week. We’re back now, and I’m trying to untangle my thoughts about the trip. Before going, I heard so much about how wonderful Portland is and how much of a creative vibe it’s got going on. And indeed, there is a fun funky feel to the city and loads of very friendly people. However, it is overshadowed by a surprising number of homeless people scratching out a devastating existence on the streets, and aggressive panhandling is rampant on just about every corner. It’s such a shame, because otherwise, it’s the type of place I could visit over and over without ever getting bored. Maybe I’m just not used to it. Lots of other people seemed to be working and thriving in this city full of epicurean delights and creative libations. It’s ironic that I feel 100 times safer when I visit New York City. I think this is something that I’ll be pondering and talking about for a while. Nontheless, there was beauty and interesting elements everywhere I looked, and I hope you enjoy my birds-eye view.