Perfectly PDX

Category: By Christian
One of the challenges I face whenever I head off to Portland to see my parents is getting in enough uniquely Portland experiences. There are certain activities that exude the West Coast Vibe that I find so elusive in the Midwest, and engaging in said activities provide me sufficient fuel for my own personal swagger. Over the course of a few days, it can be a challenge to rack up enough experiences to tide me over until my next trip.

Today, I hit the jackpot.

For lunch we headed off to Chinatown to hit up our favorite resuraunt. When we attended Chinese Baptist Church throughout grade school, we got plugged into some of the finer aspects of Asian-American culture in PDX. Dim Sum at Fong Chongs is certainly a highlight, even with a recent change in ownership. The dumpling feast is a must every trip out, and today did not disappoint.

After a nap and a few rounds of Guitar Hero III, it was off to coffee with a friend from high school. And while I can certainly have coffee in KC, it just isn't the same. Fair Trade rolls far deeper out here, as do free WiFi. It's one of the most advanced coffee cultures you will find in the country, as witness to by the fact that I was "doing coffee" in high school, well before there was even a single Starbucks in Kansas City.

The coup de grace however, occurred this evening. My father, my brother-in-law, his dad and myself attended a Portland Trail Blazers Game. The Blazers and I have a long and storied history, going back to when I was in grade school and my dad shared season tickets with another guy. The Blazers were my first love, and when I was not watching games in person I was listening to them on the radio. Every year I would memorize the media guide, and pictures of the players completely covered my walls.

When they moved into their new arena in 1997, I even had the opportunity to be a part of a city-wide choir that sang the national anthem before the first game. It was a dream come true.

Then I moved away, the Blazers fell on hard times, and I was forced to endure ridicule from my midwestern friends due to the Blazers' failings both on and off the court. They were bleak times for a longtime fan.

Even this season began without much hope. Greg Oden went down before the season even started. Suck. The losses mounted. But then things turned around as the boys pulled off 11 wins in a row going into tonight's game.

The arena was sold out, it was loud, and people weren't afraid to act silly. It was a grand night. Capped off with a victory that inspired people to continue to cheer even as they exited the arena, thus warming our spirits in spite of the frigid mist that was hanging in the air. Just like the good old days.

Somebody grab me a Brandon Roy jersey.

That's how Christian got his groove back.

Fair Dinkum

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