I Live Here: Ali Wilkinson

I Live Here: Ali Wilkinson

Name & Age: Ali Wilkinson, 33

Hometown: Winchester, MA

Current Neighborhood: Westmoreland

How do you pay the rent and what is your slash? I work 3 days a week as an attorney at the non-profit the National Crime Victim Law Institute – an organization dedicated to protecting victims’ rights in the criminal justice system. I don’t pay the rent with my other two loves: being with my family – my husband, Matt, and my baby boy, Grady; and co-running with my business partner and friend Tabitha the website PDX Kids Calendar (www.pdxkidscalendar.com), a resource for Portlanders looking for fun activities to do and events to go to with their families. We Portlanders are always looking for fun stuff to do, and Portland more than accommodates. I started the website in August 2010 and it’s been amazing to see how fast it’s grown!

What do you create? My proudest creation is my baby! Less exciting creations are calendar listings for the website, baby sweater vests, meals, messes, towers out of blocks and cups, legal memos, and amicus briefs.

How did you land in Portland? I was working in NYC as a “big firm” attorney and knew it wasn’t the right fit – both the job and the city. I’m not big on crowds, see, so New York was probably not the best choice…. My husband had been in New York for 10 years and was also ready for a change. We decided to go west, started looking in Southern California, and kept going up until we found a place we could see ourselves. We picked Portland because it seemed so much saner than New York — for one thing, people actually seemed happy here! We also chose Portland for its casual vibe, the great food, the sheer number of trees!, the closeness to the ocean, the prospect of living in a space that had stairs and a garbage disposal, and the thought of not having to enroll our children in preschool before they were conceived.  Since moving here, we’ve found a hundred more reasons to stay.

What is the last book you read? Elephant in the Bathtub. The last non-children’s book I read? Harder question. I am 26 issues behind on New Yorkers so have been dedicating myself to catching up. The problem is they keep coming!

Name your favorite tattoo. I have a tattoo of a butterfly on my lower back. An obvious college decision.

What was the last thing you ate at a food cart? The southwest salad at Spoons. I am more than a little obsessed.

Oregonian, Willamette Week, or Mercury? We used to subscribe to the Oregonian but had to stop because it was going straight to recycling. Now, it’s unfortunately none of the above. However, I do listen to inordinate amount of NPR.

What is your favorite bridge and why? Well, not the Sellwood bridge. I’ve taken to driving over that one with the windows down, just in case. Ross Island is most convenient, and the views are beautiful, but the bridge itself is not that pretty. I have a fondness for the Hawthorne bridge, because it was right across from our apartment when we first moved here and it’s a fun bridge to run across. I guess I’ll go with Hawthorne.

Stumptown Coffee or _________? I love the coffee (and the baked goods!) at Blue Kangaroo in Sellwood. Mocha Mommas in Westmoreland is another favorite.

Coast or Mountains? Coast. I’m an east coast girl and have such wonderful memories of going to the beach in the summers with my family. We hope to continue that tradition on this coast!

Only in Portland moment? I was going for a run one time along the Springwater corridor and saw a person riding a bike with a guitar on his back and a globe in his bike basket. Where could he have been going where both those items would be needed?

A favorite local business? Mocha Mommas, Jade, Eco Baby Gear, The Warehouse Café, Mississippi Treehouse, Tilde…. There are so many!

Are you a car person or a bike person? If it’s within a few miles, I’ll walk. Otherwise, with the baby in tow, it’s usually car.

If you could change one thing about Portland, what would it be? I wish there were more ethnic and racial diversity.

And finally, where can we find you on the web? www.pdxkidscalendar.com

I Live Here: Ali Wilkinson

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