When I say thank you here in Portland people reply,"of course" or "right on" or "sure", as if being welcoming, friendly and helpful is in no way a chore. Can you imagine such a place?
Last night at Fuel Cafe on Alberts the drip coffee had been sitting for a while so the waitress made us coffee on the espresso machine at no extra cost. When it came time for a refill we felt self conscious about taking another more expensive cup for no charge. Of course it wasn't an issue. Now Fuel is our regular morning stop so I guess it works well for the business too but I'm sure that money isn't the motivation for the natural courtesy and goodwill in this town.
Occasionally a place takes on a spirit of it's own. It happens in the arts, imagine Hemmingway and Fitzgerald and all the others in Paris. A time and place brought them all together. While the arts scene is flourishing here I think Portland is developing something more important, a way for everyone to live together. Hasn't that been the aim of human culture since the start of civilization?
To not only live peacefully but happily, like we all belong and no one person is less welcome than another.
A smelly drunk man was given a minute of conversation by a bus driver the other day. Everyone on the bus approved, no one complained about being held up.
I love you Portland.