I am house-sitting in Portland, Oregon. The house I live in was built in 1928. It has a beautiful porch and a big, green lawn in front of the house like the ones you see in American movies. When I water the plants, It’s like being on a filmset in Hollywood. The pets are very sweet. I take care of a cat called Baby and a little dog, named Lucy.
I arrived a week ago, and the city has stolen my heart. The people are very friendly and open-minded. The energy is very relaxed; laid back... There are a lot of people involved with caring for the environment. That is also very appealing to me. Portland has a strong policy in city planning, innovations and investments in light rail. Due to the good transportation and efficient use of land, Portland is known as one of the most 'green' and livable cities in the world. It is also a beautiful city, with lots of parks and open spaces. There are even cycle paths, who look like the ones we have in the Netherlands. The suburbs of Portland are usually old but well maintained. And there are a lot of beautiful old trees in the streets in our neighbourhood, but also in the park where I walk the dog.
Something I really like is the grocery store: Whole Foods. It is within walking distance of my address in Portland. All products are organic. To my surprise, you can make peanut butter from fresh peanuts, without any chemical addition. Awesome!
This week a nice neighbour showed me 'her' city. It's a good way to see beautiful spots. So I've seen a lot, including the Bridge of the People and Pittock Mansion. They both have amazing views! There are a lot of construction projects going on. One of the most special projects is a high apartment building that is built in a very sustainable way: Carbon12 https://www.pdxmonthly.com/articles/2017/3/20/the-future-of-portland-s-skyline-is-made-of-wood-yes-wood. There are a lot of brand new apartment buildings downtown Portland. They remind me of buildings in Almere and Rotterdam, I wrote about when I just started my business as a content writer in 2001.
There are a lot of interesting things going on in Portland for people who are concerned about the environment. There is an 'Infiltration Planter' for example. "Rainwater is filtered by various plants and then disappears into the earth", I read on a sign. Earlier this week, I saw a bee-friendly garden. What a great idea!
The Rebuilding Center is also something special. A thrift store like we know in the Netherlands, but much bigger. Like IKEA with used products. They sell old kitchens, sinks, toilets, doors, windows, furniture, wooden boards and beams, all delivered by the residents of the city. People who are renovating their homes can buy the most beautiful items at a very low cost. Everything is being reused; even screws and curtain rails. Yes, I like Portland a lot…