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January 23rd, 2013 CASEY JARMAN | Featured Stories
 

Winter Guide 2013: It’s Not a Portland Winter Until You’ve...

32 ways to distract yourself during the dark days to come.

ws-notpdxwinter_3912ILLUSTRATION: johnfmalta.com
ski spots Winter Gear Not Winter Curling Lift Off Sleds Bikes Board Games Hot Toddies Intro
Only the strong survive Stumptown winters with all their marbles in the bag. Even those who claim to love the rainy season know that the gray, low-hanging clouds always transform from familiar friend to smothering blanket at one point or another. So what do we do to combat seasonal depression? Mostly, probably, we gripe about seasonal depression. But a Portland winter is a lily-livered, goose-fleshed rite of passage. If you’ve done all of these things, you will have truly understood the city in the grim months. 


Started watching local weathercasts...

If only to see the local TV anchor’s relationship with the weatherman begin to break down on air.


Called someone out on Facebook for cursing the weather...

Then cursed the weather on Facebook a month later.


Taken a trip to the beach to escape the drab Portland landscape...

Only to discover that the coastal landscape is infinitely more drab this time of year.


Bought special bicycle gear for the work commute...

And, a month later, put your special bicycle gear on Craigslist and spent the money on bus passes.


Started a band...

Not because of creative ambition or musical ability, but because there’s nothing good left in your Netflix queue.


Finally understood what that grunge thing was all about...

And why Elliott Smith always sounded so bummed out.


Lost track of which facial hair arrangements were ironic...

Or bear-oriented, or indicative of seasonal depression.


Gotten sneered at for ordering a hot toddy...

And later discovered that the hot toddy is actually just a gateway drug to hot booze.


Ordered the Great Balls of Fire at Salvador Molly’s...

Just to feel something again.


Given in and bought those stupid SmartWool socks...

That you always used to make fun of your college roommate for wearing.


Just not had the energy to say thanks to a bus driver...

And spent the whole day feeling awful about it.


Bought $20 worth of books at Powell’s...

Mostly because you needed an excuse to duck out of a downpour.


Begun instinctively turning your headlights on when you get in the car at noon...

Safety first!


Started noticing, and favoring, bars with fireplaces...

Like Tonic Lounge, Rontoms, Doug Fir Lounge, Lucky Devil Lounge...


...And bars with heated patios...

Like Moloko, EastBurn, Sassy’s...


Headed east for some nice, relaxing cross-country skiing...

Then realized a half mile in that you are woefully underprepared, both physically and mentally, for cross-country skiing.


Developed an acute case of midseason Blazermania...

And maybe started referring to the team as “we,” only to revert back to “they” when the team inevitably fell out of playoff contention.


Defended your love of increasingly nerdy fantasy board games...

And accepted the fact that by next winter you’ll be a full-blown dungeon master. 


Gone to see the Winterhawks play the Edmonton Oil Kings...

And admitted to no one that you’d have a hard time pointing out Edmonton on a map.


Finally learned how to use a slow cooker...

You know, the one you bought at Fred Meyer for $20 back in June.


Become the answer to that age-old question...

“Who buys soup from a food cart?”


Offered up your jacket...

To the woman working at the Bikini Brew coffee cart.


Steamed up the windows of Chopsticks II on Burnside...

Preferably by doing a broke-ass version of karaoke “Happy Birthday” for the fifth time in one night.


Realized you’ve watched almost every single Oscar-nominated movie...

Except the ones that didn’t show up at beer theaters.


Planned an epic snow hike in Portland’s annual snow day...

Only to discover the powder turned to brown slush in the 20 minutes it took you to get all dressed up.


Gotten in a slow-motion, single-car crash on Portland’s annual snow day...

And blamed it on snowblindness.


Broken down and bought an umbrella...

And immediately left said umbrella on a MAX train.


Told people over and over that “spring always starts really late in Oregon”...

If only to convince yourself.


Bought chains for your car...

But never figured out how to put them on.


Pieced together that the acronym for seasonal affective disorder is SAD...

And gotten a little emotional about it.


Weatherized your house...

And, while you were at it, weatherized your chicken coop.


Pulled over next to the Franz bread factory...

Rolled down the window, took a few deep breaths, and drove away.

 
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