When I started Portland Food and Drink back in 2004, I never expected it to last this long. Newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it was something to do, a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I desperately needed something to distract me from my new challenges and this blog was my vehicle. In truth, the whole thing started as a blog about living with MS, but after a really lousy restaurant experience, I vented and found that post to be far more successful than anything else I had written. After a dozen more, PFD was born.
In the beginning, I was on a manic mission to pump out quality reviews no matter how many words it took. I loved detailing every dish, going back 3-4 or even 5 times to make sure I had everything right. In those days restaurants were not online, so I had to come up with creative ways to get copies of the menus – remember pdxmenus.com? I’d run to the restroom so many times to take notes, waitstaff probably thought I had a digestive disorder. Soon, reviews even included state-of-the-art 150px images from my iPhone 1!
In those years many gifted writers such as Roger Porter, Nancy Rommelmann, Michael Zusman, Lizzy Caston, local wine shop owners, and many other folks regularly contributed to this website. To them, I am eternally grateful. They too became part of the reason I managed to get out of bed and confront my new reality, and they brought some amazing writing to these pages.
But times change. They say the average blogger lasts about 2 years before they get burned out or give up. I kept up the momentum for many years, but by 2015 I was pretty burned out, and my health issues were a constant roller coaster. As websites like Yelp rose in popularity and the demand for long-form reviews shrank, I saw less of a need. After Eater came to town, it was obvious they could do a much better job covering the news. It’s too damn hard to be anonymous and still chase down stories, and I’m glad they are here. If you want every bit of minutia on our food scene, you should follow them. I never claimed to be a journalist, just a writer who was lucky enough to have this site and do some writing for magazines now and then. Those folks at Eater are the real thing, and of late are doing a terrific job covering local news.
To be honest, maybe I’m getting old, but at this point, I could give a damn about much of the food scene. Don’t get me wrong; I love everything about Portland food, but the minutia does nothing for me these days. I just don’t care. But…
I love our restaurants. I miss writing my ponderous reviews. This website still gets about a million views a month, and I hate to throw it all away. So for now, I’m going back to where I started. I’m going to write what I want, whenever I feel the urge. Not much news, more often restaurant reviews. If folks don’t want to read a 2,000-word portrait, that’s fine… I’m going to write some anyway. More personal stories. More positive Portland promotions and guides. I’ve been phasing out advertising for a few years, so I don’t have pressure to keep pushing things out. Speaking of which, I want to thank all the advertisers since PFD started. They got a lot of clicks for their investment and kept this ship afloat. A special thanks to Aaron Silverman over at Tails & Trotters who has been with me forever (no, I’m not letting you renew again), New Systems Laundry, Sysco, and more than I can recall. As my grandmother would say, thank you, thank you, thank you.
When I was working out the subscription changes announced a few days ago, I realized many of the people in that group had been followers since 2006! It boggles my mind. I got up this morning and checked my email. There were well over 1,000 new subscription notices for those of you who had moved to the new service, and they’ve been pouring in all day. Again, thank you!
So what’s coming? One thing is going away completely – pdxfoodpress.com. It’s a hassle to keep up, and these days people can subscribe to restaurants on their own or even better, follow Portland Food Events. But I will still post the really newsworthy press releases on PFD so please keep sending them. While I’m about it, what is up with the Beaverton Farmers Market? I put up their weekly newsletter and immediately get a thousand plus views!
I’ll continue to keep articles up to date that people really like. The event roundups, patio dining guides, and various product reviews will keep my attention. I regularly go back and update old reviews and whatnot, and I’ll continue to do so. Now and then, I’ll have new reviews with lots of photos – one will be out this week!
I’m not happy with the direction Facebook and Instagram are going, but I’ll still be there occasionally. Eventually, I’ll burn out – I’m approaching 70 years old! But for now, I’ll be here.
Thank you all for the good you have brought into my life. I look forward to sharing the oddities and meals of my life with you.