I’m in Portland, Oregon for a conference of the George Wright Society. The Pacific Northwest has that lamentable stigma of being that place where “it rains all the time.” Jen told me that it probably comes to us from Southern Californians, who hail from where it never rains. Anyway, it’s cloudy and raining.
The clouds and damp give Portland the look of an old Northeastern city, but with friendlier beggars. I took the convenient light rail, which is free if you take it around the downtown, down to Old Town-Chinatown. Chinatown doubles as the adult entertainment district, from what I see. There is also a very nice Chinese garden which I wandered around to the tune of $8.50. I love Chinese gardens. They’re full of surprises.
The conference is in the Doubletree at the Lloyd Center, which is where I’m staying. I’m always amazed at what we can squeeze out of government travel rates. My room overlooks the rear end of central Portland, but it’s a nice view. The light rail is just below, when the train comes in the crossing signals make a cuckooing sound, so I can hear that from my room.