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The City in All of its Seasons

lksmith's picture

            Every trip into the city feels like a new and exciting adventure, even if I do exactly the same thing every time I am there. The favorite destination for my sisters and I is the food carts in the center of town. My sisters always have Pad Thai from their favorite cart and I almost always have a sandwich. Even though we have done this same trip so many times, the thrill of being in the city has never gone away.

            Walking around the block full of delicious food carts, I get to see all sorts of people that also call Portland their home. During the lunchtime rush, people from all walks of life gather on the sidewalks surrounding the carts as they eagerly search out their food. I always have to walk around the block two or three times just to figure out what kind of food I want. With so many choices I look in awe at each cart until I settle for my usual, a sandwich. As I spend around fifteen minutes looking around confused, my sisters decide if they’d like to split Pad Thai and figure out how spicy they want it to be.

            Once we all finally have our food, we walk a few blocks over to Director Park to relax and enjoy. As we eat we usually watch people playing chess on a giant board in the corner of the park, a local dance studio rehearsing under the glass covered area, or just watch little kids splash around in the giant fountain. Everyone is so care free and full of life, it’s hard not to feel pure joy in their presence.

            Once we have had our fill of food and sunshine we walk around through the streets of town or visit the nearby shops. This generally does not last for too long though, when everyone is tired out we leave the city and find our way back home. The adventure is over and we are all ready to go back to our normal lives.

            I have spent many afternoons just like this, enjoying the city and spending time with my family. During the summer we go as often as possible because the city is so energizing and full of life. Although the visits are very draining, I have never regretted going out into the city for a day.

            In the winter, the trips to the food carts do not work out as well because of the endless rain. However, there are other reasons to go into the city. Once Thanksgiving has passed and the holiday season has finally begun, night walks through the streets of Portland are the best way to enjoy the city’s beauty. All the bare branches of the trees are covered in lights that illuminate the sidewalks bringing them to life in the night. The giant tree in Pioneer Square is lit up and festively decorated for the holidays. The entire city glows.

            Once the city finally has its stunning new appearance, it is time for the annual night on the town with my sisters and my aunts. Every year we go to dinner somewhere new and have the opportunity to visit a different part of the city. This has been a tradition in my family since I was very young and through this I have had the opportunity to visit a few of the best restaurants in Portland with my family and enjoy the city in its holiday beauty.

            Throughout the rest of the year Portland is continuously covered with the dull grey of rain clouds. Every trip downtown involves a raincoat and the question of how much rain there will be on a given afternoon. Explorations through the city involve constantly jumping and straying from the path to avoid stepping in giant puddles that cover most of the ground. However, the rain does not stop anyone from going about their usual business in the city. If it did, no one would ever get anything done. Bikes still splash their way down city streets, people still walk along the Willamette River, and go to the Saturday Market if it’s open. As the raindrops fall, the city still maintains it usual life and beauty.  

            That is the city that I have fallen in love with. I have lived in Portland for most of my life and seeing it pass through all the different seasons, changing its character slightly with each one, I continue to see it in new and different ways every time I visit. The city of Portland is engrained in me and will stay with me forever.