After two days of public transit and traveling around downtown Portland and Seattle, I’m really saddened by the fact that my son was just about the only child I saw, and I honestly questioned my parenting by exposing him to certain things on this trip.

I left with him for the KISS concert wondering if maybe he was too young for the show, not even really thinking about the realities of our cities. I figured our quick public transit trips would be no big deal, but our homelessness and drug issues are just so bad, and I regret not driving us up there.

I am used to having regular fears. I’ve lived in seedy areas most of my life. But the fears I had these last two days were not my “normal” fears of guns or cars possibly killing us, or people breaking the window of my car for some change in the center console, or a pick pocket, but rather the potential for my kid being exposed to fentanyl, or the absolutely off-their-rocker people we saw on every bus and train we took, screaming obscenities and racial slurs.

It’s terribly sad to me that kids can’t take part in downtown life in this country, particularly on the west coast. Despite the fun times we had, the things he was exposed to fill me with sadness and make me want to leave, for a small town or another country altogether.


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Bryan @bryan