17th 2013
The dream of the 90s!

Posted under: American history, happy endings

I’m in Portland, Oregon for the first time in my adult life–it seems like a very nice small city, maybe a little overhyped.  I ate lunch from a food truck for the first time since the 1990s, as a matter of fact. These things were all over West Philadelphia in the 1980s and 90s. I ate so many $2.95 cartons of pork lo mein that I thought “Spicy Miss” was my nickname, instead of the question the truck proprietors would ask me when I placed my order (“Spicy, Miss?”)


For those of us non-coastal Westerners, it’s just too damned cloudy and rainy.  (Heck, I thought Hawaii was too cloudy!  Colorado spoils a sun-loving person, I guess.)  I’m here for a small conference that promises to be full of friends, fun, and some really interesting ideas.  Play nice, and definitely let’s keep the conversation going in the previous post.  Jonathan Rees of More or Less Bunk has responded to Susan Amussen and Allyson Poska’s post, among other recent MOOC critiques, so stop by his place if you can, too. (You can at least enjoy the Bugs Bunny cartoon at the top of his post. If only the boards of our major universities were as bright as Elmer Fudd!)



13 Responses to “The dream of the 90s!”

  1. koshembos on 17 May 2013 at 8:52 am #

    The story is that after Hitler tried to negotiate with Franco, with not much success, Hitler said that he rather have a root canal than meet Franco again. I used to read Rees. Not again.

  2. Perpetua on 17 May 2013 at 9:57 am #

    When I used to visit family back east (while I was living in the PNW), I was so confused by the sun – what is that glaring bright light in the sky? It hurts my eyes! I used to like the sun, but now it is my mortal enemy (based on family history I have like a 70% of getting melanoma), so overcast skies and cool temps is my dream climate.

  3. Indyanna on 17 May 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Good one, Historiann! Have a resplendent interlude out there, even if without the sun. West Philly was the first West, at least for those folks who came up the South River or overland from the North River. My truck-o-nym was “Hon,” affectionately given by some Greek lady at 37th and Walnut. (Or maybe she said “Hun,” in acknowledgment of my sometimes pushy and fraught line behavior?). They weren’t bestowing an honorary degree, I knew that much! If you’da pushed another five blocks west of the “Spicy Miss” truck, you’d of been at Koch’s Deli, where they had their own peculiar habits of customer nomenclature. But you were coming from the downtown side of Trucklandia, right?

  4. Historiann on 17 May 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Yeah, my regular trucks were parked on Walnut between 36th and 34th. The variety here is much more impressive, however.

  5. caseyOR on 17 May 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Welcome to my town, historiann. This week’s weather is less than optimal. Last week, though, we had temps in the 80s and lots of sunshine. There was even sunshine at the coast.

    As a rule, summer doesn’t kick in here until July 5. It runs well into October, though. So it kind of evens out for us.

  6. Historiann on 18 May 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Casey–yesterday was actually lovely, as you probably know. It didn’t rain, and it was even mostly sunny in the a.m., and partly sunny in the p.m. I had a nice run along the river paths nearby.

    Today looks like it will be pretty rainy.

  7. Comradde PhysioProffe on 18 May 2013 at 11:33 am #

    There are still food trucks all over West Philly. And Koch’s is the fucken best!!

  8. Paul on 21 May 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I’ve never been to Portland, either, but I’m starting as a prof at BaaRamU in the fall and somehow BaaRamU-city seems like what I’d imagine a mini-Portland would be.

  9. Historiann on 22 May 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Hi Paul–it’s a LOT smaller than Portland, but a lot sunnier. There is the same annoying cookie-cutter look among the white people, ca. 20-45–lots of ink, lots of funky eyewear, lots of disgusting male facial hair. There are more cowboy boots & more western gear, but that tends to be worn by people who are a little older than the hipster demo.

    We have no food trucks that I know of, but the restaurant/nightlife scene is pretty happening for a city of its size.

    Email me if you want to get a cup of coffee once you’re settled in.

  10. Paul on 23 May 2013 at 4:31 am #

    I may do that, Historiann.

    It’s definitely smaller than Portland, but one reason I’m excited to be coming is that it seems incredibly livable and lively for an American town its size.

    And as far as food trucks — it seems from my visits that they’re starting up? There’s at least one specializing in belgian waffles. But I think maybe they tend to hang around the towns other big industry, rather than the University?

  11. Historiann on 23 May 2013 at 8:41 am #

    News to me–but I don’t live in FC, so that might explain it.

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