jeanine fritz

D ear My Editor,

I won't be turning in a column this week because I'm on vacation. Sorta forgot to give you a heads up on that; my bad.

Went to Portland, Oregon this week. Took the trip for a lot of reasons.

I'd heard they really, really like beer in Portland, and I suppose on some level, I like beer a really-lot too. Also, since I was a young child of 30, I've wondered if the beer here would be delicious. And I suppose I had some questions about what kinds of beers they keep in Portland.

Obviously there were a zillion different reasons for me to come check this place out and not a singular goal tying them all together, but if you must push, I suppose we can whittle this down to a Beer Trip.

But while we're on the subject, I can't think of another kind of trip that would be as great as a beer trip. Family trip? No, thanks. Touristy trip? Expensive. Road trip? Booooring. Business trip? Kill me, please. An acid trip might be alright for a while, but then there's the whole "coming down" bit...I hear that sucks. Beer trip is the way to go.

Obviously, if any readers have better ideas for trips, I'm all ears. Send your ideas with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to "I'm Not There," P.O. Box 18595, Boulder, CO 80308. I'm not sure what the self-addressed, stamped envelope is for exactly...maybe I'll cross your addresses out and use them to mail Christmas cards. Just so I'm not a total jerk though, I'll be sure to sign your name at the bottom, alright? Grampy will like it.


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Anyway, after spending nearly two whole days here with my finger on the pulse of the people, I can say with conviction Portland peeps aren't all that big on strangers touching their wrists, and they definitely like beer; nearly every establishment has their own brewery. They may be more dedicated to beer than are Boulderites. You know how in Boulder some people drink gin, or wine, or water? Those people can jammit in Portland. I was at this pizza place yesterday and when the bearded, tattooed bartender came up to me and asked what I wanted, he turned and stared at the beer pulls really hard and then back at me.

"Beer, please, sir," I told him.

"That's correct," he said as he poured the most incredible pale ale I've ever had.

As I realized how prevalent the beer is here, obviously I began looking for beer bellies and was shocked to discover mine was the only one in town. Somebody poked it with their U-lock while whisking by on a fixie and shouted, "Why don't you ride a bike once in a while?" Ashamed, I ran into a nearby shoe store and ordered the Well-Heeled I.P.A. It's served in a ballet flat.

Portland's love of beer could explain why I've felt slightly buzzed the entire time I've been here. Of course, it could also boil down to my own love of beer...am I still talking?

Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know I won't be turning in a column this week. I'm probably too drunk right now anyway. Maybe run a story on the beers of Portland. That'd be cool. I gotta run; there's some birds I need to put on things.