Chelsea H. B. DeLorme
a little node of niceness
Job site editor and 2 Degrees Portland coordinator / Creative Portland
Lives In South Freeport
My career has been a mix of publishing, design, technology, and education (I seek out ways to meet smart, creative people.) I work for Creative Portland as the editor of this site/blog and the coordinator of 2 Degrees. I serve on the board of SPACE Gallery, regularly volunteer at The Telling Room, advise Portland's first charter school, and take on pro bono projects several times a year, while freelancing as a writer.
Why did you choose Portland? I took my first breath in Portland and think the place imprinted on my brain. I left for college and moved to San Francisco for four years, but couldn't stay away; each time I came home to visit Portland seemed more appealing. And it wasn't nostalgia or illusion. The ways that Portland was changing in the '00s were (at least from a creative perspective) mostly for the better. People have collectively raised the bar for food, art, music, and design (architecture is coming around too, but that's a slower process.) And it doesn't feel like old staples have been replaced, just improved on. I still feel like Mainers do a good job of shutting down snobbery and bad attitudes. Basically: you're welcome here as long as you can be nice. I wouldn't want my kid to grow up anywhere else!
Who are Portlanders you admire and why? The amount of people who create really finely-crafted things feels endless sometimes, whether we're talking about the food at Miyake or the way my friend Sean Wilkinson makes cocktails, to Mark Marchesi's photographs or my sister-in-law's hand-sewn lingerie at Brook There. I admire people who give a care and take the time to do things well.
What do you like to do with out-of-towners? With out-of-towners, we try to strike a happy balance between eating, meeting up with people, and spending time on the water. In the summer, that often means taking a bunch of food and drink (usually from Rosemont) out to a deserted island for a day, or spending a weekend on Peaks with bikes. When it's a little colder, it usually means hopping around between favorite restaurants and bars like Petite Jacqueline and Sonny's—or crossing the bridge to 158 Pickett Street Cafe, with stops at places like SPACE Gallery and SEAWALL in between. You can usually rely on running into friends on the street. And I love all of the area beaches, sometimes even more so in winter. They're nearly deserted at that time of year, and you can let your dog run free!
Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? The Telling Room is pretty-much the most feel-good place I can think of, not just in Portland, but anywhere. Volunteering there has introduced me to amazing people, from the kids, to the staff, to the other volunteers. I also love Tandem Coffee Roasters as a place to enjoy life's little pleasures. Will, Kathleen, and Vien executed all of the details—from the build-out to the beans—in total harmony. It's the type of place that slows you down despite the caffeine; everyone in there seems primed for good conversation, whether you've met before or not.
What's the most surprising thing about this city? That almost no one takes the bus. It's crazy and it's a problem—probably the bus system's problem more so than the people's—but if we ever fix the system, recalibrating our general mindset about the bus will be a challenge too.
What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? The fried oyster bun at Eventide is possibly the most delicious thing in all of the U-S-of-A.
What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? The Amtrak Downeaster. It's the best way to get to Boston, and there's a bar on board.