Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dou-la-la arrives in Shangri-La: It's OUR vagina!

Oh, hai! Did I not mention that I'd be heading into some pockets of radio silence as I embarked upon a massive move across the country to start life anew as a single mom with my soon-to-be three year old? It must have slipped my mind. Well, belatedly, it's true, though the biggest chores (packing, storing, and driving thousands of miles with the blizzardy cold weather nipping at our heels all the way) are completed. I'll still be settling in for a while.

But here I am, the promised land, Eden, Valhalla, Nirvana. Where else for a birth nerd but PORTLAND, OREGON? The home of Birthingway College of Midwifery. Land of a thousand doulas. Where being TOPLESS at any time, in any place is protected by law, so nursing in public? The very definition of moot. Where every neighborhood has its own farmer's market and home birth midwifery practice. Where cloth diapers are so commonplace that some of the natural parenting stores (note the plural) sell them secondhand. Where the school choices are so bountiful they just plain make my head spin. Where the most glorious bookstore in the country features gluten-free offerings in their cafe. (Okay, that last one's not so on-topic, but you get the idea. The restaurants, the arts, the open space, the natural beauty and mild climate, I could go on and on until you want to throttle me with your envy.)

Where I am thrilled to be raising my daughter.

The country is getting a nice taste of the extreme quirkiness that is Portland through Portlandia, and that "Dream of the 90's" video promo from the show is getting a lot of play. Hilarious and true, but the following song really sums up the feeling of Portland for me.



It's not MY vagina, it's OUR vagina.

That's the mighty Storm Large, not me, but it's how I FEEL, man. Video filmed in and with residents of Portland, including the openly gay mayor in the nightclub scenes (he's the prominently featured, dapper, handsome fellow).

18 comments:

  1. Glad to hear it! Portland rules. My family and I just moved back because no where in the world really compares. Best wishes.

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  2. That's sooo, soo awesome. One of my friends is DYING to move to Portland, and yeah, she is the crunchiest lady I know. She was the first person I EVER knew who cloth diapered. I thought she was such a nut. Ahhh... but then I came to the dark side :)

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  3. Welcome welcome! It's crazy to see the city I grew up in get such notoriety. :) Curious what part of town you're in...

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  4. I may be visiting Portland this summer... I'm hoping to certify as a lactation consultant and start the process of becoming a doula. It's a good place for that, right?

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  5. Portland is where I would want to live if I had no other considerations. (My consideration being that my family is in Georgia and I want to be near them, and I'm just a southern girl.) Congratulations!

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  6. Welcome, neighbor! I hope you love it here in Portland.

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  7. Thanks all, and hello new neighbors!

    Arual, I can't think of a better place. I'm looking forward to finally having the resources to complete my certifications myself!

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  8. Are you going to be attending Birthingway? I completed my labor doula training there, and it's a really great place.

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  9. P.S. I came to Portland from Erie, PA, too.... Funny that we don't know each other already! =)

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  10. Congrats on your arrival in Shangri-La! Speaking of school choices, I have a friend in Portland who teaches at a public charter Waldorf school. Amazing!

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  11. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest! Do you have a dog? If so, be sure to visit Manzanita on the Oregon coast this summer. Dog or no dog, all the towns on the coast rock!

    -Janya, from way outside Seattle

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  12. I'm a native Oregonian that recently moved from Portant (groan). I can't believe how unfriendly birth and babywise other places are having grown up in Oregon. I hope you have fun, there is a lot to do in the area. They have a wonderful childrens museum there (free tickets through most of the public libraries), awesome zoo ($2 tuesdays every 2nd Tuesday of the month), and OMSI rocks! Make sure to check out the Portland Saturday Market once spring comes, you'll be blown away!

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  13. Amy, I DO want to eventually attend Birthingway fro midwifery . . . but that may be a few years off. In the meantime, I was thinking very seriously about attending their 2 year lactation program, which appears to qualify one to sit for the IBCLE exam! How much would that rock? ZOMG. Upcoming post about that, eventually. And that's crazy about the Erie AND Portland connection! Small world!

    Rebecca, thanks! I would consider a Waldorf school, actually. There are just SO MANY choices it is absolutely staggering.

    Janya, I do not have a dog, just a cart who's currently being catsat by one of Lily's grandmas until I find a place of my own. But I love the coast anyway!

    Jespren, you WERE spoiled! I'm actually looking forward to spending some time in hospitals here, just to see how different it is. I mean, I'm not expecting The Farm in scrubs, but I know there are some relatively very good ones.

    And I would go to OMSI even without a kiddo. :O) I've been lucky enough to visit PDX a bunch of times in the past! Last time I visited was the first time I went to the farmer's markets, though, and they are mind-boggling.

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  14. Just FYI, I know farmer's market and Saturday market are the same thing in most places but the Portland Saturday Market is totally different. There are a bunch of great Farmer's Markets (I was always partial to the one in Beaverton) but Saturday Market is one of the largest crafter's markets in the U.S. (unless they moved it) It's under the Burnside bridge, and is open every Saturday and Sunday from March til Christmas. It's in 3 parts, the 'offical' Saturday Market is literally under the bridge and everything sold there, from didergy-dos to soap, is handmade by the person selling it. Anything you can think of is probably there somewhere, from jewlery and custom made leather sandles to regional photography and lace-cut double walled candles (very cool). Then there is the area around the Skidmore Fountain that has henna stands, street musicians, and a handfull of hole-in-the-wall stores. Then across the street is the unofficial market, filled with food vendors, occassionally a live band, and a warren of stalls that sell everything from gothic clothing to Chinese figurines to this one annoying stall near the back that sells glass 'tobacco' pipes. It's not necessarily handmade, a lot of it is cheap imports, but still very cool stuff, especially if you like more unique clothing.
    Anyway I'm sorry if I'm preaching to the choir and you've already been there, but i'd hate to see you delay checking out the Saturday Market cuz you thought it was just another Farmer's Market. Man I miss Saturday Market, my husband and I always bought all of our relative's gifts from there. (Or the Made in Oregon store...check it out if you haven't already! Oo, and swing by one of The Real Mother Goose stores/galleries sometime too)

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  15. Welcome to the Pacific NW! I'm in SW WA and have been trying to venture into Portland more.

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  16. Welcome! I moved here back in July (during the huge heatwave in an apartment with NO air, ugh)I've lived all over the place from Alaska, all over the state of California, to Tennessee and back and Portland, Oregon is by one of my favorite cities. And in fact, the reason I convinced my boyfriend that we should move here is because of how amazing it would be for people in our career field (makeup artist that changed views and decided to change paths, now I'm trying to save up the money to OFFICIALLY start my doula training while going to PCC in the summer for Early Childhood Education..then going to Birthingway for midwifery)

    Welcome home :)

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  17. Jespren, I knew it was a bit different b8ut now I'm looking forward to it even more! Tiffany, hope you do! And thanks.

    Jennifer - how extremely cool! Our paths are for sure going to cross, don't you think? Where/with whom are you doing your doula training? And do you know about MotherTree? They do some great education! I'm meeting with the director for tea in about a week, actually - interested to see what might come of that!

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  18. MotherTree is actually a huge reason why I decided to move up here. Hoping I'll be able to get all the training with what's left over of my student loan for PCC. I'm thinking of going through Childbirth International for the childbirth educator/breastfeeding councilor/doula training but I do want to get an internship through MotherTree.

    My co-worker actually had an internship with a midwife and told me the other day she'll talk to her for me to see if she can set something up as far as help/internships go or for any hook ups with other doulas even. I'm sure we will cross paths though. Interested on how your tea meet goes though!

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