Living in Beaverton, Oregon, a suburb of Portland, I lived a very neutral and stale life. All the good events, food, and places to go were in Portland. And although I lived only 10 miles from downtown, I missed out on the Portland scene for most of my life. Instead, my life consisted of staying in the city of Beaverton, and the neighboring Hillsboro for my entertainment.
One aspect of Beaverton that stands out to me, and makes me happy looking back on where I lived, was the vast number of parks available in a close distance. In a small portion of land less than half of a mile long, there is a skatepark and tennis court, a basketball court, and a playground, all of which are in separate lots, but in close proximity to each other. I recall many times where in the summer I would be awoken by the sunshine, glaring intensely through my window. With warm summer air circulating, and nothing else to do in the city, I would spend my days at the parks, whether that be the skatepark one day, or the basketball court the other day, or even both.
Making a trip to the local parks was simple, where I often found myself skateboarding through the neighborhoods. This was easy, and safe. On a typical morning, traffic density is low, with the lack of engine and exhaust noise leaving space for sounds of birds whistling and wind chimes ringing in the air as I passed by houses in different neighborhoods. The sidewalks, were always readily available, with most neighborhoods having smoothly pave sidewalks, while some others had sidewalks with deep cracks, and uneven surfaces as if a high magnitude earthquake caused them. The roads, weren’t any better as some surfaces when riding through the streets felt as coarse and rough as sandpaper, while the new areas of Beaverton, where newer houses were built, felt like gliding butter across a hot pan. Silk smooth.
Looking back, I do think about all the opportunities I missed from not living in Portland, or in the city. But, I also gain a greater appreciation of where I lived because it was beautiful in a way that a blank canvas is beautiful. Being so calm, and stale in the suburbs that is Beaverton, away from all the chaos and activity in Portland, allowed me to explore the activities I wanted to do. Simply put, Beaverton is an empty canvas, where I was given the paint brush, and the choices of colors.