This is a subject that’s been coming up recently in family discussions around the table after dinner, over a glass of wine. One of us recently had a DNA test done and the results were—let’s just say—WILDLY different than our understanding of who were are and where we’re from.
This is an interesting piece published recently on the Matador Network about this very thing. Why do we feel a physical connection to certain places? What’s the science behind that?
“Your bones keep a record of your air and water intake. Your molars — at six years — mark the spot you’re living at that time, give or take a few hundred kilometers. Checkpoint one. Your wisdom teeth in adolescence mark a second spot. Checkpoint two. And the rest of your skeleton changes every five to 15 years, keeping its own record of isotype composition. Checkpoints three, four, five, etc.
How is this possible? Air and water are vastly different in different areas, and the amount and type of isotypes they contain vary from place to place. Not just countries — mile to mile, inland to sea, mountain to prairie. If you were living in Arizona when you were six and living in Washington when you were fourteen, scientists would be able to tell if they were to have a look.
So, yes, geography is in your bones. Your geography. If we carry place with us, of course we can harbor strange, inexplicable connections. Maybe my ancestors really did shape where I’m from and where I love. I carry my geography; do I also carry theirs?”
We all have our favorite spots to take in the beauty of fall foliage. It turns out, one of my favorites - Lone Fir Cemetery - is #1 pick on the Portland Monthly Top 5 Foliage Walks. You can read a little about it here: “Lone Fir is Portland’s oldest cemetery, and is brimming with beautiful trees including sugar maples, big-leaf maples, beech, chestnut, carpets of leaves, mossy graves, and plenty of paths for wandering. Circumnavigate the whole cemetery in 20 minutes - or spend an hour or two strolling all the paths, the historic rose garden, the military statues and the beautiful graves.”
This was posted recently on the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights Facebook page. I’m really pleased that the city is starting to talk more about the historic racist policies and city planning choices they've made.
“America is a place defined by bigness. It is infamous, both within its borders and abroad, for the size of its cars, its portions, its defense budget—and its houses.
Rightly so: U.S. houses are among the biggest—if not the biggest—in the world. According to the real-estate firms Zillow and Redfin, the median size of an American single-family home is in the neighborhood of 1,600 or 1,650 square feet. About five years ago, Sonia A. Hirt, a professor of landscape architecture and planning at the University of Georgia, was working on a book about land-use patterns in the U.S., and when she tracked down the average size of dwellings for about two dozen countries, the U.S. came out on top. Her comparisons were rough because she’d cobbled together her data from various sources, but she found that American living spaces had a good 600 to 800 square feet on most of the competition…”
Check out this link for more information about the 6th annual “Support Black-Owned Restaurants Week!”
The iloveblackfood website is an excellent resource listing black-owned eateries in Portland. You’ll find everything from food trucks to coffee shops to brick and mortar restaurants, representing cuisine from the American South, Somalia, Ethiopia, Jamaica, and much more. Visit the iloveblackfood restaurant directory for a complete list of eateries.
A historic affordable housing project for urban Natives
is underway in Portland
“Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians partners with local Indigenous organizations to build a 59-unit affordable housing complex with units for Portland's urban Native population”
“The project goals are to address disparities in access to affordable housing for Native Americans; provide culturally specific services to residents; provide medical, dental and behavioral health care for all residents.”
New building offers low rents, cultural programming, and culturally specific medical care