The Timbers fan ‘Army,’ June 19, 2021 at Providence Park

PORTLAND — Looking back at “10 Types of People in Quarantine” makes me cringe. What did any of us know during the deer-in-headlight days of March 2020, scrambling to adjust?

Here is another possibly naive list — of super tiny and some larger feelings— to bottle in a vial and lodge somewhere in my brain, so some of this will stick and I can “stay awed.”

The Company of Strangers. The woman standing next to me in the bleachers at Providence Park said, “Hey, I like your shoes!”

We had the same sandals on. How often in the pandemic would…


l-r: Blu outside Lubinski Furniture in Chicago, December 2018, and in Forest Park in Portland, December 2019

PORTLAND — I relocated from Chicago to Portland in December 2018.

If you’re thinking of making the same move — or are curious to know some differences between the Pacific Northwest’s “City of Roses” and the Midwest’s “Windy City” — here are a few observations.

Feel free to add your own insights.

  1. No one honks in Portland. Drivers are tentative. They will stop their cars if a pedestrian is spotted even at the last second.

In Chicago, pedestrians and cyclists don’t expect any moving vehicle to stop for them. And if you’re driving, the driver behind you will honk if…


Las Vegas in 2020 [Courtesy of Mike S.]

PORTLAND — Traveling — or staying home — during the pandemic holiday season? Whatever the choice is, you’re not alone. Someone else is probably doing or debating the same thing.

The curfew requiring bars to close early, and the prohibitions on eating indoors, prompted David S., a 50-year-old Chicago resident, to travel to Portland, Ore. in November, then Las Vegas, Nev. and finally Delray Beach, Fla.

“Perfect weather and fully open,” David said from Delray Beach on Tuesday. He plans to stay through Christmas.

David, who works remotely, has visited five other states since March. …


“Today’s kitchen experiment: pocket pastries filled with bit of jams & preserves scrounged from the back of the fridge” [photo courtesy of Hannah Jang-Condell, who actually MADE these!]

ANYWHERE — Hunkered down with spouses, children, family, roommates, pets, or maybe just the echoes of our own voices — or screams — the past few weeks have been challenging.

Here are the following types of people you’ll meet (virtually) in quarantine.


Max Johnson [Photo courtesy of Kurt Kramer]

WICKER PARK — A beloved Wicker Park barista has died.

Read more in Block Club Chicago.


Waiting for a new rider near Willis and Fiske in Portsmouth.

PORTLAND — Poking through other people’s discarded stuff is a popular thing to do in Portland, and plenty of intrepid folks are up for the challenge.

For Jennifer B. of Cathedral Park in NoPo, the practice of putting out free stuff at curbs is one of her favorite quirks of Portland.

She regularly checks out the curbside goods while jogging through her North Portland neighborhood and nicknames the castoffs “curbies.”

“There was recently a large freebie pile on Willamette Boulevard that we ran past for a week, watching it gradually get smaller. Eventually all that was left was a rain…


A crème brûlée beignet at Donut O Rama [Pipeline/Alisa Hauser]

OLD TOWN — There’s a new doughnut spot along Broadway at the border of Old Town and The Pearl in downtown Portland.

Located at 435 NW Broadway, Donut O Rama’s neighboring retailers include a metroPCS, the also newly-opened Broadway Cannabis Market and a passport photo and fingerprinting service.


Diane and Samuel Lee, owners of Freddie Brown’s at 220 NW 2nd Ave.

OLD TOWN CHINATOWN — Freddie Brown’s, a deli and convenient store anchoring the NW Natural building in Old Town Chinatown, plans to close on October 29, according to owners Diane and Samuel Lee.

(((Update: Closing party to bid goodbye will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.)))

The Lees, who’ve operated the business since 2001, are leaving because of what Samuel Lee refers to as “uncertainty” over the future of One Pacific Square, which will soon lose NW Natural — its largest tenant and the neighborhood’s most prominent employer.

“It’s sad, I am going to miss them and wish they…

Alisa Hauser

Portlander since December 2018. Former Block Club, DNAinfo and Chicago Pipeline reporter.

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