A new fascination was off and running when I landed in Portland: horse races. As in Dan Patch, Secretariat, jockeys, sires and dams, and Man O War. Portland Meadows had been recently re-branded and people were excited. Vintage ads strategically placed throughout the metro area sparked curiosity in some and conjured a bygone era (or perhaps just non-PNW location) of sun hats, mint juleps, seersucker suits, and saddle shoes for others. (Beautifully done Official Mfg. Co.! For a great read, check out their write up of the strategy/design process.)
Monica and I decided to place a few bets one afternoon, if for no other reason then to say we had and people watch. Hipsters and socialites mingled with horse owners and trainers, track mud fresh in their treads, sporting ironically large cowboy hats and belt buckles. Though not quite the quintessential scene of the Kentucky Derby, there was something about a top hat in tails playing taps and horse/jockey pairs in their bright silks being fitted into race chutes that evoked a bit of wonder and whimsy in the crowd.
For another perspective, you can read the Oregonian’s inaugural write up here.