Hymn for Eugene
Eugene, OR 97401
Eugene is a city by a river on the I-5 corridor. To the East are the mountains and to the West is the sea.
I was born here on May 10th, 1979 at Sacred Heart Hospital. It's where my mom lives.
It's a college town, a cosmopolitan burg of 100,000 stories, a place where the VW van/tie-die and pickup/gun-rack sets rub shoulders. Racially, it's white as all hell, but full of lip service honering diversity. It's a bike friendly town, probably the reason I gravitate to that mode of transport.
It's a place with a lot of natural beauty. I remember staring out the window in 3rd grade to look at the treeline on top of a hill a few miles off. There was an enormous Douglas Fir tree that was crooked, falling, like mother nature's own leaning tower of Pisa.
When I was a high-school radical, I used to hang out with Timber protesters down at the Federal Courthouse. The girls I knew were very impressed with a man named Tim who was on a hunger strike. Later on, when things got even more radical, Eugene became a nexus for anarchists, and I watched police move like an army to beat a bunch of longhairs.
Coming back from New York City the first time, my initial re-impression was, "quiet, smells nice, not a lot to do."
Bars here have bad lighting, and if you're young or look wrong they might not want to serve you, or you could get suckered into a terrible game of pool with a drunk forrestry worker who carries really sharp tree shears on his belt: the pickup/gun-rack factor again. Better let him win.
All in all, the simplicity of life and the ever-present reminders of nature's total mastery of beauty can make this a very pleasent place to exist. It can also make you slow, and the wet climate can rust you up if you don't stay active, lubricated, juicing. The summers, though, are hot and dry and glorious as the winters are mild, deep and wet. It's a place with air worth breathing and room to do so, the bucolic west meets comopolitan metropolis sandwiched between the living rock of the mountains and the deep forgiving sea.
For more factual informtaion, you might try planeteugene.com