I Live Here: Tom Griffin-Valade

Name & Age: Tom Griffin-Valade

Hometown: Portland, OR (born in Long Beach, CA)

Current Neighborhood: Sabin

How do you pay the rent and what is your slash? Director North Portland Community Works/Community Building Organization

What do you create? Chaos/Community Building Opportunity

How did you land in Portland? An opportunity to work in the nationally recognized City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement

What is the last book you read? The Invention of Air

Name your favorite tattoo. One on someone else’s body

What was the last thing you ate at a food cart? Garden State Meat Ball Sandwich

Oregonian, Willamette Week, or Mercury? WW

What is your favorite bridge and why? Steel Bridge for its bike/ped at-grade crossing

Stumptown Coffee or _________? 5th Quadrant Brewery

Coast or Mountains? Mountains

Only in Portland moment? The fist fight over locally sourced pigs

A favorite local business? So many. So many reasons to keep the economy local.

Are you a car person or bike person? Car

If you could change one thing about Portland, what would it be? Less whining/more appreciating

Tell us a story about Portland and you. I screamed as I hit the car (although I only remembered that later). My body smashed into the rear driver side door, so hard. Shoulder broken, car door smashed in, window shattered, bike fork folded into the frame, and I’m lying in the street where me and the bike bounced off the rolling barricade. A crowd gathers. I get up, put the bike on my shoulder and bewilder myself to the curb to sit down. The crowd urges me not to get up. My back may be broken. I’m too out-of-it to consider it. Fire crew shows up. Traffic cop shows. Talks to the driver, a young woman who didn’t see me and the bike cruising at about 18 mph down Alberta Street on the way to work. When she decided not to stop at the stop sign and shave a few seconds off getting through the intersection, she set the stage for a perfect t-bone meeting with me and the bike. Ambulance shows. They load me in, load the bike in too, cut my favorite red hoodie with scissors to administer medical care. The traffic cop and the young woman talk. She isn’t cited. Two day later, my arm in a sling walking through Manhattan, I learn she has no insurance. I now commute with a very bright yellow-green jacket purchased from the court settlement.

And finally, where can we find you on the web?


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