Dear Portland,

Traci Dinwiddie write Dear Portland

I know we’ve only just met, but I felt compelled to tell you that… I like you. I’m sure you hear this all of the time, but you’re gorgeous. I knew you were cool the moment I arrived and the only available car to rent was a Subaru. (And, only because all of the Prius were booked). I feel like I’ve met a kindred spirit. I don’t mean to be so forward, but your bicycle-friendly streets & bridges had me longing to explore your mountainous terrain. What a breath of fresh air you are! Literally.

Oh, how I like you. Let me count the ways…

portlandia statueYou are sexy.
With a statue depicting a woman of strength and grace, perched upon the Portland building as a welcoming beacon, I must bow to you.

You make me laugh.
You gave us “Portlandia” the web series! I couldn’t resist driving by the “Feminist Bookstore,” In Other Words, where many hilarious episodes have been filmed. I’m going to tell you a secret. Please keep this between us. I got a little fan-girlie over coming across the set of “Portlandia” while stopping by Laughing Planet for my new favorite Thai Bowl. I would cartwheel across St. John’s Bridge if I could work on this web series for even one episode.

You smell good.
So many coffee houses. So little time.
Coffee House-FiveBaristaStumptown = Yes.
Your Rose Garden made me blush. So much beauty.
And, Forest Park, with over 5,000 acres of forest for hiking & biking & play. I got my Zen fix walking through the Japanese Garden. How many gardens do you have, anyway? I know Multnomah Falls isn’t exactly your territory, but it’s such an easy visit. I hiked a mile up for a spectacular view of the Gorge and was back to you in twenty minutes.

Traci Dinwiddie smelling the flowers in PortlandYou taste good.
Your food was delicious. You knocked my knee socks off with Veritable Quandary. I can’t remember the last time I had such an exciting, exquisite meal. Loved the patio seating, too. Tasty n Alder had a sweet, family vibe. The large tables with tons of small plate options was a sure friend-maker. And, Peteunia’s gluten-free, sugar-free bakery. Need I say “yum”? A true success story of food cart to full store-front. Although, I’ve always heard of you as having vegetarian-friendly restaurants, I did notice that many of your menus boasted of bacon. You even had a new restaurant called “Lardo“, which seems to be all about consuming bovine, swine, & beer. Not really my thing, but I won’t hold it against you.

You are so gay.
Happy and righteous hipster lesbians (being walked by their dogs) sporting Icebreaker, knee-high socks, Doc Martens or clogs. You hosted this year’s Women’s Lesbian Softball “World Series”. Delta Park had five softball fields packed with us. What a treat!

rose city rollers roller derbyYou’re feisty, diverse and smart. You know how to play.
From Roller Derby to the Portland Art Museum to a demonstration on the front walk of City Hall, your city is full of spunk, politics, and forward-thinkers. While strolling your Pearl District with the best Stumptown coffee in hand after a fine breakfast at Kenny & Zukes, my heart nearly skipped a beat on the intersection of 11th and Burnside St. There, I stood between Icebreaker store and Powell’s books. Add to that a nearby bike shop with its own espresso bar (West End Bikes). Is there anything you haven’t thought of? I was impressed with the Rose City Rollers, btw. Those gals give good game. And a teammate named JK Rolling? Brilliant! Insane!

You’ve got personality. Multiple personalities, in fact.
I should tell you a little about myself to make clear what an impression you’ve made upon me. I’m an artsy, outdoorsy, get-gussied-up & act classy type. It doesn’t always mix well, but with you it was a breeze. I was also pleased to know that no matter where I bedded down, you managed to impress me with your dynamic character.
*Funky, musical, & hip with a touch of scandalous: McMenamins Crystal HotelTraci Dinwiddie resting at The Crystal
*Arsty, communal, & whimsical with a touch of eery: McMenamins Kennedy School
*Classy, upscale, intelligent, with a touch of modern: Hotel Modera
Please know that I don’t normally sleep around, but how can a gal really know her fit without a little experimentation?

I want more of you.
Rows of charming Tudor homes on Mississippi Ave. had me dreaming about a life with you. I promised myself that no matter how much I liked you I would not Uhaul it this time. But, I must admit I’m already planning my return. There is so much more of you to explore. I long to feel your fall and winter vibe. After all, I wouldn’t know you as Portland without a little rain, right?

Until we meet again… Thank you for the memories.
Your admirer,


Traci Dinwiddie is an actress, yogini, West African drummer, part-time badass and full time fruitcake. Learn more about the “Elena Undone” star by visiting

3 Responses to “Dear Portland,”

  1. Belinda

    Hey! I like this post! What a joyful read. (Only warning about a tudor style house – they’re gorgeous on the outside, but inside they’re kinda dark) Enjoy!!


  2. Chandra

    I lived in Portland from 1991-97, and now live in San Francisco. You made me miss it REAL bad! Thank you.

  3. Debra Duffield

    T… you write so very well. I am putting Portland on my bucket list, and when I go, I’m going to carry you with me!


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