Thursday, November 16, 2006

Staying Dry

Today on, the poll question was, "Do real Portlanders use rain gear?"

Of course we use rain gear! (Though I'm not sure what a "real" Portlander is.) We are known nationwide for our rain. (Unfortunately seems to be the ONLY thing we are known for. Sad, since there is SOOOOO much more to Portland.)

People here ride their bicycles, scooters and motorcycles year-round. You don't see THEM without raingear. Hell, the other night when it was 45 degrees outside, there were people sitting at the outdoor tables at a coffee shop, and that is not uncommon. My old next door neighbors and I used to sit outside on our shared balcony with our beanies, blankets and beer conversing for hours on fall and winter nights. Even in the rain. It's almost like we refuse to let go of summer....

I do think there are some people who refuse to use rain gear. We are such a wet city in the fall and winter and our surroundings have been designed to accommodate that. Most bus stops and entries are covered. We have lots of hats. We own shoes and boots that have been waterproofed. These things make it tempting if not unnecessary for umbrellas or rain jackets. But I think it's safe to say that most Portlanders own a rain jacket and nearly everyone owns at least one umbrella.

The truth is, we have to be prepared for rain at any time. Once on a partly cloudy fall afternoon, I walked a few blocks to the local bookstore and by the time I was done shopping, the weather had changed drastically- it had started pouring rain. I admit that I should have brought my umbrella. I didn't anticipate the downpour and on my rather soaking walk home, a passerby asked me, "Where's your UMBRELLA?! Where is it? You're in Portland!!" Ok, so sometimes we FORGET our umbrellas or don't anticipate the rain....


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