After barely recovering from my trips to Ottawa and DC, it was off again to Portland, OR. I was there to see my friends Sue and Dan, and also to see Dan's premiere at the local Portland cinema. "On the Wing" is the documentary that Dan's been working on for the past year or so. Amazingly, he independently wrote, directed, and produced this film about the Chapman Swifts with no outside funding. It was extremely well done, and the film sold out on opening night! This prompted the theater's owner to add 2 weekend shows, and then an entire week's run. Fittingly, Dan and the theater donated the opening night's revenues to the Portland Audobon Society- just another example of the symbiotic relationship between local artists and the Portland community. I was just so pleased that all of the audiences (and local press) seemed to love the documentary, and that all of Dan's hard work had paid off.
For the remainder of my stay in Portland, I ate tons of good vegetarian food, smelled in the clean, rain-washed air, and looked in wonder at the thriving art scene that exists in the city. It's crazy to me that a city as large as Boston seems so bereft of an active art scene. I don't know if it's because it's gotten so expensive here that Boston has driven artists out, or if it's because Boston is somewhat of a transient city to begin with. Perhaps Portland, with it's smaller population and fierce spirit to celebrate "weirdness," is just set up better to embrace artists. The city is basically populated by down-to-earth liberals who embrace both creativity and practicality. Portland is the most environmentally "green" city that I have ever been in, anywhere in the world. All these characteristics made me realize what I'm missing out in Boston, and has prompted some serious consideration for me moving to the Left Coast next year.