Sunday, October 18, 2009

In search of my inner city girl

Now there's a title that looks like it needs a hyphen.

Inner-city girl? Nah.

In search of my more urban self, I visited Portland last week. By myself!

I visited one high-rise office building and then spent a marathon evening at Powell's City of Books.
Going to Powell's with my girls is fun. Going there by myself is, well, way more fun. Or a different kind of fun; the kind in which I choose the hour to sit and the hour to browse and I never have to enter a public restroom. Because I (and my neurosis) can hold it better than a five-year-old, that's why.

And I read a whole new novel in the bookstore cafe. Yes. That was me, cluelessly camped out for two hours at a table for four nearest the register. (At least I wasn't like that pack of laptop-toting tourists complaining about the lack of power outlets. Get thee to a Barnes and Noble, people.)
First I browsed the debut fiction, because I'm a little obsessed with who's publishing what and with whom. Score! "Girls in Trucks" by Katie Crouch is in paperback here. I can't tell you how much I love this book about smart girls who know better but still make some crazy choices.
Then I hit the literature in L through P... Le Guin, Lessing, L'Engle, Livesay and so on.
Crafts. "Applique Your Way" through "Rug Hooking 101."
Travel. China to France in less than 15 minutes.
After a blissfully silent (save the temper tantrum of the ugly Australians with the power needs) evening at Powell's I walked a few blocks to the parking spot that God's angels had delivered to me earlier in the afternoon.
The young and impossibly cool people were out: Several photographers and worldly models in an underground parking garage on a fashion shoot; unlined faces smoking on the sidewalk with devil-may-care stances. Neon and train noises and outdoor bar seating. I consciously walked the city walk in my Capezio boots. Aware, alert, keys in hand.
The city visit was rejuvenating enough that I floated on that independent cloud for about three hours on my solitary drive home in the dark to my little homestead, where the leaves are turning as bright as neon and the bookshelves are well-stocked if not of Powell's caliber. I took my little bit of city girl home to the country.


Carolyn said...

It sounds like an amazing evening. Someday I hope to visit that Mecca to book lovers. For now I visit them online, but I know it's not the same. Not at all.

HP said...

My intravert self is green with envy!

Misty said...

I wish I could run away there by myself. Alas' it's a bit farther of a drive. At any rate- I am a city girl through and through... *sigh*