The first theatrical performance I ever saw was the Charles Dickens classic Great Expectations. It was at the Perot Theatre, named after the local and generous benefactor Ross Perot. The show had made a great impact on me. Just like my big move almost three years ago, If I had a theme for how I saw my life moving from the South to the Pacific Northwest, it would be Great Expectations.
I’ll never forget the first Portland restaurant that followed me on Twitter. I was lying in my bedroom in Little Rock, taking a break from the packing boxes in the living room, responding to my social media notifications. And there it was. A restaurant I had never heard of, but they had a nice following and interesting tweets. I had created a list called “Portland Food & Bevs” so that I could more easily keep up with the specific food industry happenings. Out of roughly 2100 followers, I have 332 members in this list today.
“You’ll lose your clout,” my friend Jo Garcia said when I announced that I was moving to Portland. It was her way of expressing her disappointment in my leaving. I think. Another quote of hers that I’ll always remember is “Your palate is influenceable.” I’d invited her along on many lunches, launches, and happy hours where the owners/chefs would send out dishes for us to try, so she may have noticed the amount of extra attention I gave them on my blog or social media. Where her fame had been built with Playboy, Comic-Con and gamer following, I’d built my small following with foodies and restaurants. Not that I had any clout. I had friends and clients who often treated me and my friends to tastings of their food.
But Jo was right. I never forgot that first Portland restaurant that followed me on Twitter. I show them a lot of love. And I notice the places that like my pictures on a regular basis.
She was a good friend to me, helping me decorate my office using her high heel shoe as a hammer to hang pictures up, giving me a dress she ordered from Haute Look that she thought would look good on me. (It’s the dress I’m wearing in my Twitter profile.) We shared a love for good food, good drinks, and Star Wars characters. And she also left town shortly after I did. I wonder if she has any clout where she is?
My kids know her as the girl who knit them scarves for Christmas. And my last favorite quote of Jo’s: from Twitter.