P-Town, Bridgetown, Beervana, Rose City, Rip City, PDX, Stumptown - all are nicknames for Portland, Oregon. G. Dubya's staffers even had a pet name for it: Little Beirut. No matter what you call it though, Portland's my kind of town.

Lying in the shadow of Mt. Hood, Portland's not the city portrayed in Portlandia. That is to say, it's just enough of the city in the comedy series to make it recognizably funny. I like to think of it as Seattle lite; big enough to offer some night life, but small enough to make it accessible. What Portland lacks in phallic skyscrapage, it makes up for ten-fold in charm, a great NBA team, and light rail system that rivals that of cities twice its size.

It was on a melancholy note I found myself in the City of Roses this time around. I was attending a memorial service for my deceased aunt Bobbie, a woman with an infectious smile and a heart of gold. Judging by the crowd, mine wasn't the only life touched by that remarkable woman.

After the service the family - out-of-towners and in-towners too - met up at Mickie Finns (not to be confused with Mickie Finnz of Redondo Beach fame) for food and drink. It was great relaxing with my nieces for a change. They're grown now with families and no time of their own, so this was a special rarity. After Mickie's we trudged on downtown to Kell's Brew Pub where we delighted in the Irish strains of Cronin Tierney well into the wee hours of the morning. Leave it to aunt Bobbie; bringing family together even in death. Rest in peace.