Women of Portland

Name: Mariko O. I usually go by “Mod” which my family calls me.

Neighborhood: Border of Mt. Tabor/Montavilla.

Profession: Licensed Clinical Social Worker

1. How long have you lived in Portland and where are you from originally?
We moved from Oakland exactly 3 years ago! This is always a tough question to answer. I’m a military brat so home was where we hung our hat–VA, CA, Japan, and NY. I’m not from anywhere but I do consider the east coast home.

2. What do you like most about Portland? So much! But I’d say the trees and flowers, the down-to-earth spirit, the spectrum of bars that allow me to have a high-brow cocktail one day and then drink beers with my preschooler running around in a pen another day. And so much good food.

3. How do you think Portland could improve/ be a better place to live?
I believe Portland the City could stand to have some individual therapy and explore these points: What is your identity? What meaning do you make of your relationships? How can you get along better with others? How do you stay happy? Civic leaders, teachers, merchants and neighbors need to talk about homelessness and the lack of access to mental health and social services, the crux of retaining the quirkiness of Portland while accepting newcomers who bring in more growth, and how to bridge the widening socioeconomic gap.

I also think this city would be a whole lot better if everyone took a “how to merge on the freeway” course. That would make this city smooth like butter (likely organic and grass-fed butter).

4. What is your life motto or what words do you live by? Fish or cut bait. This pretty much sums up how I’ve lived my life. Stay until I get restless, then pack up, move along and follow my gut. Or stay. But don’t idle mindlessly.

* Interview reprinted from womenpdx tumblr.

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