Pacific Northwest on Film: Portland

At the beginning of March, I took somewhat of an impromptu solo trip to Portland, Oregon in an attempt to gain a bit of clarity on what the Pacific North West had to offer. Like any place, Portland had its positives and its negatives. Overall, the trip allowed me to gain a new set of eyes on a place my heart has been calling for, for some time. The positives were clear – nature, art, the abundance of vegan food, city vibes with a rural type attitude, beautiful weather (while over on the east coast there was a nasty Nor-Eastern taking wind). I fell in love with the light rail/MAX and rode it every chance I got. I met some terrific people and even took a day trip to Seattle (more on that later). Every pro I thought I would find while there was only reconfirmed. I felt at ease, but still productive and not like things were too stagnant. Portland taught me to slow down, but not to lose my inner momentum.

The cons were more surprising. Before arriving in Portland, I had no idea how prevalent the homeless and the mentally ill community was in Oregon. When I arrived I was shocked by the number of tents pitched on any giving road or side of the highway. At one point during my trip, I stumbled into a seedy part of town and felt as though I had wandered into a modern-day Hooverville. While it was interesting to be immersed into that side of the city as a tourist, it was also heartbreaking and astonishing to witness just how bad the homeless population is, not only in New York, but all over the country, and how different the culture was from the east coast’s homeless.

My Canon A1 was my sidekick for most of my adventures and, as a result, I got some great photos that really unveiled all the moments this trip had to offer.