I successfully completed my move yesterday to Portland, Oregon. I will be pursuing a postbaccalaureate in mathematics at Portland State University with some assistance from the GI Bill, while (in a major, major coup) continuing to teach my philosophy classes online exclusively. Moving to this city and returning to school are two dreams I have had for quite some time; I thought both would have to wait until retirement, but when you love something enough, you find a way.
I have been walking all around the city since I got here, almost in a daze, noting familiar spots, learning about some of the unfamiliar ones, and of course acquiring a library card and checking out books from the magnificent Central Library. I can see that it will take discipline for me to sit down and do my teaching and my studies when the streets pull at me like a magnet: Portland is the closest thing to a utopia I have yet experienced. It is as though someone took most of the best places in the Chicago area—the ones for which I still feel homesick—folded them together, and placed the result in a region with more hills, more greenery, and much better temperatures. Aside from the risk of apocalyptic geological activity, it is difficult for me to find anything here I don't like.
I still do have to wonder, in advance, whether I eventually will tire of living here. It seems as though I have a difficult time staying in one place for more than four years. At the same time, some cities just get in your blood, and no matter where you end up going, you always miss them. Well, only one way to find out.
Two shots facing downtown from the rooftop of my apartment building in the Goose Hollow neighborhood.