From the Editor: How a Magazine Helped Me Fall in Love with the City
his magazine made me fall in love with Portland. Not just reading it, though I hope this issue gives you heart eyes for this city, too—but making it, writing it, and, for the past year-and-a-half, being its editor in chief.
I wasn’t originally drawn to Portland for the love of nature, say, or food, or rain. When I first set foot here, I only wanted to be in the same place as the man who would later become my husband.
In those early days, my gephyrophobia—yep, person with fear of bridges moves to a city with a river running right through the middle of it—walloped me hard. I like to feel out a place by walking it, and so took a grand stroll downtown and through the Pearl. But on my attempt to cross back to my east-side home over the Broadway Bridge, I became heart-stoppingly paralyzed, clinging in panic to those brick-red trusses about a 10th of the way across, unable to move forward or back. And there I stayed. For maybe 20 minutes. Until I finally found the wherewithal to crawl—literal hands and knees on the concrete—back to the west side and find a taxi to ferry me across.
Blame the bridges or the byzantine and extortionist American health insurance system, but for my first four years here I remained largely unwooed by Portland, even as I made friends, gave birth to two Portlanders of my own, visited tree farms, and toy stores, and Timberline. Then I got a job at Portland Monthly, and a whole new city opened up.
Working here and writing about the mind-bending arts, the blazing food scene, the outdoors, the shops, the wine, has immersed me in what’s truly crushable about this town. Who knew the city’s most beloved bookseller was living mere blocks (and no bridges) from my home? Or that the state somehow encompasses such sense-shocking wonders as the Painted Hills, jaw-dropping coastlines, and this postcard-perfect mountain offering winter delights on its pristine powder. It also had me crossing bridges so often that I learned to live with them and even, maaaaaybe, love them, too (though I still need someone to hold my hand on the way over the St. Johns).
And within its confusing number of quadrants, I found the best of Portland—people creating beautiful things, doing their bit for the planet, producing cool art, and making the best food that has ever blessed my belly.
I’m grateful for Portland Monthly shooting the arrow straight into my left ventricle to make me love this city fiercely, defensively, and nigh on unconditionally. This is my last issue as its editor in chief, so I’ll be joining your ranks as a reader. I look forward to flipping these pages, hearing fresh voices, and absorbing new tips and takes—and falling for Bridgetown all over again.
Editor in chief