Sunday, March 01, 2009
The Gang's all Here
Last Thursday, four colleagues and I went out to eat at a Lebanese restaurant in downtown Portland. Thanks to GPS, we found it with ease and were treated to a delicious feast of such things as stuffed grape leaves, falafal, and other typical Lebanese foods.
After a leisurely meal, we made our way back to the car. As I was walking along, I noticed a Greek restaurant with a gigantic octopus on the side of the building. Thinking it interesting, I took its picture and one of the streets each way, too (it was on a corner). We crossed one street and turned left away from the restaurant to the parking garage where our car was parked. I passed a group of young men, but didn't think anything of it . . . until I watched the news later that night.
Imagine my surprise when I saw a reporter on the street in front of that Greek Restaurant talking about the gang activity going on in the neighborhood and how upset all the merchants and restaurant owners are that their patrons no longer feel safe on the street there! The photographer panned down the streets we had just trudged a few hours earlier and pointed out gang members hanging out on the street corners...looking suspiciously like the young men I had walked around on the way to the car! I never would have expected to find myself in the middle of gang territory in Portland! Boston, maybe. New York, definitely. But Portland? I got more than I expected here, for sure!