When I flew up in December to go on a house hunting mission, the lady at the Hertz Rental Car counter offered me her email address. You know, just in case I had questions about neighborhoods or wanted a Portland native’s input on anything. My jaw dropped.
The next day, our server at breakfast spent about 10 minutes sorting through our temporary living options and giving us her top 3 picks. Then, she offered up her phone number for questions, tips or babysitting once we moved. Amazing.
Within a week of meeting a neighboring family in our old apartment building, we were having dinner at their house. Our kids played and we chatted for 5+ hours. Their hospitality was incredible that night. And they have turned out to be fun friends who include us in their plans and connect us to new people. True gems!
The Pacific Northwest has a term for this sort of warm welcome and general consideration – northwest nice.
Northwest nice is right! We’ve been in Portland for three months now and I continue to experience it on a daily basis. Weather it’s our new neighbors spontaneously inviting us in for drinks, appetizers and dress up (kids only… but that would be awesome if we all did a costume change), a parent at the park filling me in on the go-to joints in the neighborhood, or new friends inviting me on repeat hangouts, the kindness is genuine. I appreciate the niceness. Like, big time.
Reestablishing life in a new place is tricky, risky and loaded with uncertainty. As I navigate the newness of it all, I have come to expect the kindness. Which gives me confidence and an excitement to settle further into this Northwest Nice.