1 ½ months in Portland Oregon, in a nutshell.

By Michael Riscica / September 14, 2007

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We arrived in Portland on around 8:30pm Friday September 14th. It’s true; Jamie’s bicycle was stolen 15 minutes after we arrived in Portland. The same bike he rode for 4,800 miles for 3 months across the country. His bike got stolen after he unloaded all the gear and turned his back for 2 minutes, right as we were about to leave and get food.  We both cried, but got over it pretty quickly. It’s just a bike.

Luckily one of the dudes we were staying with was able to lend him an extra bike for a little while. Our amazing friend Mike Polumbi (the bike medic) quickly helped get Jamie a new Long Haul Trucker.The day after we arrived in Portland we immediately started the process of finding a place to live.  For About 2 weeks We had about a half dozen different landlords let us believe our apartment search was over and at the last minute they would either not call us back or tell us they gave it to someone else. The apartment search started to get painful. And suddenly it felt like overnight there wasn’t any more apartments available in the city. Probably had something to do with the college semester.  Luckily the kids we were staying with were totally cool about staying there for as long as we had to.p3Jamie started going on job interviews shortly after arriving in Portland. It took me awhile to get my job search going because I needed to rewrite my resume and make a portfolio to justify all those years in architecture school. Jamie went on many preschool job interviews and would come home and overwhelmed and not want the job. One day he came home and was really excited because he took a job working for Portland State University, teaching preschool while their parents are in class. He just has to do the background check before he can start.p6One day on Myspace, Jamie found his old drinking buddy Joseph from Boston is living in Portland. We met up with Joe and had some good times. He explained to us that he and his girlfriend Nicolette are going away and asked if we wanted to dog sit their charming 3 legged dog, Gracie. It was nice to have a quiet place to call home for a week. We barely left Joe’s house while he was away.

During that time this girl Heather responded to one of my pathetic housing wanted ads on craigslist. She told us that she rode cross country with her parents after she graduated high school in 98. She is currently in the process of kicking out her deadbeat roommate.

One night Jamie and I went to go meet Heather and her dog Gus. The dog is huge. He’s about the size of a small pony. Heather is awesome. She is our age and teaches high school Spanish at an alternative high school. The house was beautiful, Tons of space, Beautiful backyard, great neighborhood and most important the rent is affordable. But in the meantime the old roommate has to move out and the landlord is outta town.p37When Joe and Nicolette came back to Portland they said Jamie and I could stay with them until we got squared away in heathers house.  Mike Riscica started going on job interviews. Eventually I found this company who has a ton of exciting projects coming in and is really understaffed. I wanted to work here much more than any of the other firms and ended up taking the job right away and starting immediately. My first day of work was October 15th (my 28th birthday).

Jamie’s background check ended up taking 3 weeks to get completed. During that time he was starting to lose his mind. Eventually everything got sorted out and he was finally able to get started with his new job. Both of us quickly notice how living and working in Portland is a really laidback, considering where we came from.
What’s kind of ironic is the Architecture firm that Mike is working for, actually designed the preschool that Jamie teaches in.  And my first project is redesigning the entry plaza of that same building. So the project I’m working on all day in my office is right outside Jamie’s window.gusIt took 2 weeks for heather’s old deadbeat roommate to move out and the landlords kept delaying coming back to Portland. We ended up spending about 4 ½ weeks living with Joe, Nicolette and Gracie. It was frustrating because we were both anxious to move in, but I was also good because we were really enjoying our stay with Joe & Nicolette.p23After work on Halloween Jamie and I met with the landlord, wrote some big checks and FINALLY moved into ‘our’ house. After the long bike trip and the 4 years livings in my grandparents spare room.  It felt really great finally having my own place. It was definitely how I wanted to spend my Halloween.
So the bike trip is officially over.

Thanksgiving in Portland is going to be a big party. Heathers extended family is all coming to our house for a few days Jamie and I are going to go have dinner with Joe, Nicolette and Gracie. Luckily they live down the road. Thanksgiving is going to be great!

Jamie’s job ends when the semester ends so he is going back to Boston for a month, He’s going to see everyone he misses and probably work his old preschool job for a little while. I don’t know when I’m going back to the east coast. I just don’t have the money right now and my job has me really busy.

We’ve been in Portland for a month and half, but it feels like we’ve been here for 3 months. The city is beautiful, the people are great, everyone is riding bikes, and it’s going to be a lot of fun living here!p21In cgoab news Steve Slovacek http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/sloride stayed with me a few weeks ago while he was travelling through Portland. It was great seeing him and talking about all the places and people we both met. Next week the AMAZING Bob Potter is coming to visit us for a few days.

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Click Here to Visit Previous Page: Day 90: Portland, OR to Portland, OR

About the author

Michael Riscica

Hey, I’m Michael Riscica and I live in Portland, Oregon with my Labrador Retriever. When I’m off the bike, I make my living as a Licensed Architect and also write a architecture blog at YoungArchitect.com.

I took my first bike tour in 2003 when I rode from Boston to New York City, and at that time I learned about cycling across America. My life was forever changed. I have successfully ridden and blogged about Coast2Coast bike rides during the summers of 2005, 2007and now 2016.

Thanks for following along. I would love to connect with you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Linked In! Also check out my new project Young Architect Gear, designing architecturally themed gifts and products.

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