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18 Signs You've Been Away From Oregon Too Long

Oregon Student Work
by Ariel Bloomer Apr 6, 2015

1. You miss being able to go out to drink without murdering your wallet.

$1.50 PBRs at Billy Ray’s Tavern on MLK. $2 brunch mimosas at Eastburn. $1 Well Cocktails on Tuesdays at Renner’s Grill in Multnomah Village… and $1 jello shots all the time. You’re so used to being able to get drunk on a ten-spot that it almost seems unthinkable to spend $5 on a beer at McMenamins. Then you moved to New York City where that’s a good happy hour price.

2. You do crave those Cajun tots from McMenamin’s, though.

How are tots not standard bar food the world over?

3. You have your hometown weather pinned on your smart phone.

Even though if that hometown is in the valley, that forecast looks the same ten months out of the year.

4. When you’re staring at the lone shelf of craft beer at your new supermarket, you pine after the multiple aisles of craft beer at Fred Meyer.

Even Grocery Outlet has a better craft beer selection than the stores you frequent now.

5. You miss moss, ferns, and the sound of raindrops filtering through the foliage after a storm.

There’s nothing more peaceful, no matter how far you travel.

6. In fact, any rainstorm fills you with immense joy.

In rain’s absence, you might fake it by listening to the comforting sound of raindrops on

7. Sometimes you check PDXPipeline to see what awesome things you’d be doing if you were home.

English Ivy Basket Weaving at Hoyt Arboretum. The tulip festival in Woodburn. Newport’s Seafood and Wine Festival. Free star parties at OMSI. A Pink Martini concert at the Oregon Zoo.

8. And then you utter an audible “aw, man…” each time an iconic event happens without you.

God forbid you miss Oregon Brewfest.

9. You get excited when you find Willamette Valley wines at the store.

You tell all your friends about the wonder of Oregon Pinot Noir, and then the expression on their face remind you what a pretentious snob you are.

10. But then you go and do the same thing when you find a place that carries Stumptown Coffee.

You’re just passionate about your beverages, okay! You would probably even buy bottled water if it came from Oregon.

11. The smell of blackberries brings back memories of picking ripe, juicy berries in the park or along the sidewalk on your way to school.

$6 for a fresh pint of blackberries? How can anyone put a price on happiness?

12. Your athletic gear is wearing out and wearing thin, because you refuse to buy Nike anywhere but the company store outlet.

Full price is for suckers.

13. You order books online at, even if Amazon is cheaper.

It’s independent and the maze of books downtown is your blueprint for heaven. They must stay in business. They must.

14. You know that any month with an R in it is Dungeness season, and resent that you can no longer get it for free.

When friends at home go fishing or crabbing, they come back with more than they can eat. You volunteer to help them out.

15. You head to the sports bar anytime the Blazers are playing the local team.

You get mean mugged in your head-to-toe red and black, but you can’t help yourself. Especially now that they’re doing so well! Half of your girl friends want to marry Damian Lillard.

16. You fake 90s night in your living room.

Until you left, you thought it was normal that there’s a 90s night or two every weekend. Lola’s Room, Holocene, Jones… When the DJ looked at you like you were an idiot when you requested Spice Girls at the club, you took your Dream of the 90’sback to your living room where you can “slam your body down and wind it all around” to your heart’s content.

17. You’ve been binge-watching Portlandia, Grimm, Leverage, and the Librarians, just to see familiar sights.

Even if you don’t really love the shows. Look—there’s Cathedral Park!

18. You’re listening to Loretta Lynn & Jack White’s “Portland, Oregon” on repeat.

It’s an angsty duet, and even if you’ve never picked someone up drinking a gin fizz in a dive bar, it somehow captures that way you miss home.

That’s the last straw, really. Your roommate cannot stand listening to the song one more time. Move back already.

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