I’ll be perfectly honest: it’s been hard to know what to write lately due to the anxiety of the election cycle, and the challenge of democracy that leaves half of our country’s population unhappy/shocked/scared and the other half feeling somehow vindicated. Because of the results, the country I find myself living in is a different one than I realized.
I’ve decided that my new job is to focus on interacting (and writing) at a local level; I choose to write about my neighborhood and the people who live here–the family I’ve chosen for myself.
My apartment building sits nearly on the corner of Madison and Second Streets. I’m on the second floor. Every day our dog Pearl and I walk up and down the vintage steps that are spacious at the top (as they once were for the Knights of Pythias, friendship order) and arch around the old, non-functioning elevator at the bottom. When we walk out the front door, we see a restaurant directly across from us. They serve Pho, but it’s not on the menu.
To the left is a parking lot, eventually, but first there is a Korean Import Boutique and The Little Lunchbox, a hot dog shop that caters to the bar crowd (and everyone else that happens to be awake) by staying open until 4am on the weekends. To the right, and down the street are shops, restaurants and the post office. Across the street is my work place, a clothing boutique that specializes in all things handmade in the US, organic, comforting. There is a jewelry store next to this shop, which Pearl and I visit every day so that she can get a hearty dose of love and treats from the two gentlemen that run it. As another friend pointed out: “so much goes on at River Jewelry and none of it has to do with jewelry.” Reed (owner) spends his passion and time on preserving our Oregon trees and wild, natural areas. Colin (his son) is an intellectual–I believe he is secretly writing an important novel in his second floor apartment above the shop.
Farther down the street is an Independent bookstore that Pearl and I like to frequent. She loves it. People talk quietly there. They are currently selling blank journals I created; the cover is a print of an original painting I made featuring Pearl!