Sunday, March 30, 2008

Westward Ho!

I must begin by apologizing for being so remiss with my fledgling blog. It has been three whole months with nary an entry and though I am not a big fan of excuses, I do have a really good one for my absence. Two months ago, I moved three thousand miles, in the company of my dog and very supportive boyfriend, to Portland, Oregon.



This great journey started a few years ago with a seductive article,
Portland, Oregon: Can a Place Be Too Perfect? I was immediately enchanted by the description of a city that not only seemed entirely focused on a love of food and drink, but was better yet, set in spectacular natural surroundings. I printed the article out for a close friend with the hope that we would both move there in the near future. My friend (dear Attia!) did in fact get a job as liaison to her company’s Portland office, and so was blessed with a few visits a year to this city. She would return to New York with tales of restaurants in quaint Victorian houses, people eating at outdoor cafes til all hours of the night during the summer and of course, the amazing food and drink! As I became more involved with my boyfriend, Court, we would dream about moving to the west coast. We contemplated never returning from a great trip up the Califorinia coast last year. But, as we waited almost an hour to cross the Bay Bridge on the last day of our trip, all of the reasons I moved away from the Bay Area years ago loomed before me and squelched any desire I had to move there.

As much as I loved living in New York for almost a decade, I had come to resent my long subway commute with people breathing down my neck, and more significantly, I was deeply agitated by the cost of living. The last six months I lived there, I could feel NYC’s hold on me loosening — however, I still had not found the place I wanted to land. Over the years, I would print out articles on Portland, and though it was always a potential destination, I could not conceptualize how on earth we would pick up and move there without jobs, friends or family. Then one fateful day last September, I decided that I was ready to not only find a new job, but to fly to Portland later that month to see if we could make a go of it. Court reasoned that we should wait until the following spring when we had enough vacation time to really absorb Portland and all it had to offer.



It was not too soon after that the New York Times dining section featured the city as a shiny gold beacon of food and drink, and I stumbled upon a job opening for an editor in Portland. From there, everything seemed to come together as if it were scripted and in my search for a new home, I did find a great city, but more than that, I found a wonderful job. I am now an editor at Timber Press where I am starting new lists in food, drink, sustainability and green living. We have been here now officially for two months and so far, Portland seems full of potential. And so, even though it feels like a happy ending to the story, it is just a new beginning.

And next week, the tales of Portland’s great food scene can finally begin…

12 comments:

Jill said...

Juree,
What a great tale...I'm soooo happy that you're in Portland and can start educating the rest of us on its many fine qualities.

Congratulations on your decision to take the big step and also for having the good sense to choose such a wonderful and supportive partner.

Maybe a whole segment on the wonderful Happy Hour menus at the fine restaurants you and I visited would be in order?

We can't wait to see how these next chapters unfold.

Kevin Epstein said...

Glad to see you re-emerge online! Congrats...

You may now laugh at my foray into food blogging:
http://blog.stupidmarketing.com/2008/03/12/a-tale-of-two-truffle-oils-draegers-costco-brand-sabotage-and-stupid--marketing.aspx

[OK, check the comment left at the end of my post. Who knew "White Truffle Oil was 2,4-dithiapentane?]

This is why I leave the food blogging to the pros ;)

- K

Anonymous said...

And we're thrilled that you're here!

Portland resident, Timber employee : )

SOUP OF THE DAY said...

Hi~ I love your blog :) Glad you're back.

I grew up in Portland (now I'm in Southern California). I just got back from visiting there. Brrrr it was cold!

I'm really excited to see your Portland posts, the city has changed so much since I moved in 2001, I used to know every restaurant, now it's all NEW!

Attia Miller said...

My friend! I am thrilled that you're back to blogging, and I'm sure that the more you talk about your new home, the more likely I am to buy a one-way ticket back West. Congrat's on the job and the move, Portland is lucky to have you!

Dacveo said...

Juree,

This'll be very left-field, but I found your name through bookjobs (attempting to apply for a Columbia U Press internship--your email doesn't work), and ended up falling in love with the blog. Some great stuff here, and some places I'll absolutely have to try.

Postscript--Is there still, by any short chance, an opening? Coming back to NY and working in publishing sounds like a dream summer for me. If so, I'm dacveo@dartmouth.edu

adam brown said...

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Juree said...

Soup of the day and dacveo-- thanks so much for visiting my blog! Soup, I would love your recommendations-- I saw your entry on Jo Bar!

Dacveo-- You shuld contact Afua Adusei at CUP to ask about internships. I no longer work there.....

SOUP OF THE DAY said...

Lets see! Now, I've been gone for a few years, so maybe some of these places are no longer good (you know how that goes), but when I was there, they were great. If you like Lebanese, I highly recommend Al-Amir. It's downtown. Hopefully they still have the same owner, his name is Joseph (wife Lydia). Their food is the best Lebanese in town. If you like that sort of thing. Also, the culinary school in Portland used to have dinners a few times a week, that's a lot of fun. Gourmet food for a bargain! Then, on the fancy side- I recommend El Gaucho. It's quite the production for dinner, but we also used to like to just go for drinks and appetizers- you must try the voodoo shrimp! And is you like pizza- You have GOT to go to Flying Pie Pizza, on SE Stark Street (about 75th or so?). Not sure where you live, but this place is worth the trip.

SOUP OF THE DAY said...

Wait - El Gaucho's shrimp appetizer is called Wicked Shrimp (not voodoo shrimp as previously posted. I knew that didn't sound right).

Juree said...

Maybe you were thinking of voodoo doughnuts! Thanks so much for the recommendations!

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