Tonight Reyna and I biked up to Bar of the Gods (at 49th and Hawthorne) for old times’ sake. Three or four years ago, this was our regular hang out spot. It was only five blocks from my house, so it was convenient for me. I’m not sure why Reyna liked hanging out there.
I was filled with nostalgia as we biked up Madison toward 49th. This was my old neighborhood and a route I have followed countless times. I haven’t been in that area in at least two years. A lot of the streets in that area become dead ends, so I was really proud of myself when I could remember the proper sequence of right turns.
The bartender remembered us. This was not as flattering as one might imagine, since this certainly indicates that we were “barflies.”
I got bored (as I frequently do in bars, even when surrounded by my friends) and I decided to leave early. Biking in at night is far better in SE Portland than any other city. It’s not just the seemingly higher level of safety. Everything is so quiet and dark; each street belongs only to the bicyclist. Only cats occupy the sidewalks. Many nights in the past I have found myself singing to myself as I tipsily pedaled home.
Tonight I took a serpentine path, biking by Tomm’s old house, Reyna’s apartment on Brooklyn, and Baxter/James’ place on Clinton. It reminded me of a semi-embarrassing habit I had when I lived here: I would follow complex, moderately inefficient routes on my way to work/Dylan’s daycare/the grocery store that would allow me to ride past the homes of various individuals that I either a. had a huge crush on and/or some sort of complex romantic involvement or b. just thought were really cool in some way or another. If I close my eyes right now, I can envision the most common path I took, taking me from my house on Stark, south to Hawthorne, a little bit further south into the SE Industrial area, across the Hawthorne bridge and further north and west to NW 23rd. For non-Portlandians: this was a lot of extra mileage. I lived in fear of being discovered far out of my way for no valid reason. “Oh, yeah…I AM on my way to work…but I just really needed some vitamins first. Yep, that’s why I am over here. Well, gotta go…”
If only biking around in circles were the only interest/personality characteristic I share with teenage boys…