Here’s another friends-from-the-internet interview! This one’s a little different. Sara Gray is a realtor in Portland, and is not a personal finance blogger. She’s our first extrovert! Take it away, Sara!
What’s your story (your elevator pitch, if you will)?
I’m a Portland native who loves exploring — the newest food, latest shops and classic Portland places. I launched Sara Loves Portland so that I could share the places I discovered, along with personal stories from my life. If you’ve been around long enough to remember it, the format of my blog is inspired by the old radio feature Daria’s Local Entertainment Guide.
What made you decide to start a blog?
I used to be a professional photographer, and when I launched my real estate business in mid-2012 I really missed having a creative outlet. I wanted an excuse to take photos, explore the city and tell stories. I thought a long time about launching this blog before I did it.
Are you anonymous? Do you think that will ever change?
I’m not anonymous, and I can’t see ever going into hiding. I attended Alt Summit a few years back and met some anonymous bloggers, and while I totally admire what they do, it’s just more my style to let my personality be out there.
What’s your next project?
Between my burgeoning real estate business, my blog and my ongoing house remodel, I’m doing everything in my power to talk myself out of any “next projects” right at the moment.
What part of the world do you live in? Do you think that will change?
I live in Portland, Oregon — in a SW neighborhood called Multnomah Village. I grew up here, so sometimes I dream about being somewhere else in the world, but at the end of the day Portland suits my life really well. Where else can you watch art films, go hiking in the city, find great vegan meals and be surrounded by family?
Do you blog full time? If not, what do you do during the work day?
I don’t blog full time. I’m a realtor and I love my job helping people buy and sell their homes. Blogging is just a way for me to share what I discover about our city and its great neighborhoods and places.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Textbook extrovert. I’m always in the middle of the party.
Coffee or tea? What do you put in it?
I haven’t been drinking caffeine for about 7 years, so I’m an herbal tea girl. I do sometimes love a decaf soy latte for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, though!
What would you have as your last meal? Rules of this game: you’re not sick, and you have a super stomach which will allow you to eat more calories than normal.
I love this question because I get to try so much great food as I discover new places for my blog — I feel like I’ve been studying. I think I’d make it a classic Portland extravaganza: dinner at Olympic Provisions with lots of small, perfectly-seasoned plates of their cured meats and other selections. Then onward for a cup of perfectly roasted Water Avenue Coffee and top the whole thing off with a double scoop of Salt & Straw’s woodblock chocolate ice cream.
Name one thing in real life that drives you crazy.
When people say to me, “I wish I could travel like you do!” If you want it, do it. We all make choices. (I’m not a total jerk — I mean people who have about the same amount of money/education as I do, but are spending their money on cars, clothes, cable etc.)
Name one thing on the internet that drives you crazy.
Oversharing about the birth of children on Facebook. My husband and I joke that it’s only a matter of time before we see the status update, “10 cm dilated” complete with instagram video. Is nothing sacred?
What’s the best (or “best”) pickup line you’ve ever heard or said?
One of the first lines my husband used on me back in 2002 was “Is anyone sitting here?” He knew there was, but he went for it anyway. It was direct and to the point. Of course, I turned him down and went out with the guy who was sitting there for awhile before we got together, but all’s well that ends well.
Tell us your proposal story.
I have always loved Spain — I studied abroad there a couple of times and it’s basically my favorite place on the planet. Eric wanted to propose to me in Spain, but we were in school and didn’t have the money for that kind of trip. Instead, he got ahold of a guy who produced a podcast about Spain that I regularly listened to. He managed to get the guy to read his proposal from halfway around the world, in a place that was special to me (and special to the couple who made the podcast). When the episode aired, we went for a drive on campus at WSU in Pullman, Washington and he played the episode through the CD player.
In late 2012, we went together to the place where the proposal was read. My favorite part about this proposal is that it lives forever. Thanks Internet!
What’s the funniest prank you’ve played on someone?
I’m not much of a prankster, but once, on accident, I totally freaked my husband out. He was just my boyfriend at the time, and I made a poor choice of words — What I meant to say was “I’ve never been more sure of us,” but I made the mistake of saying “I’ve never been surer of us,” which he heard as “I’ve never been sure of us.” I was happy, he was sad, we were both confused and we eventually figured it out.
What are some of your favorite books? Just the ones that come to mind, they don’t have to be the very best books of all time.
I’m part of a great book club and we’ve had some definite favorites lately. This summer we read Shantaram by Gregory Davis Roberts — it was gripping. I also loved Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. A cool thing happened this year — one of my college classmates wrote a book about her seven-month around-the-world journey called Country Girl and that was really fun to read too.
Same with movies. What are some of your favorites?
TV dramas have been so good lately that we’ve been watching less movies than ever, but some of my all-time favorites are What about Bob?, Death to Smoochy and Keeping the Faith. Weird selection, I know.
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
The vanity in me wants to say someone glamorous like Katherine Heigl, but truthfully, I’m more of a nerdy girl. Maybe Lena Dunham would take on the role?
Have you ever been in a fight? Did you throw the first punch?
Once, while using a computer in a large Internet cafe in Barcelona, a drugged-out dude attacked me, unprovoked. It was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life because there were people all around me but no one would do anything to help. He got a few punches off before I managed to get out of his way, but I didn’t have the instinct to hit back.
Do you have now, or have you ever had, a tattoo? If so, details, please!
I’m one of three sisters, and I feel unique as the one without any ink.
Please share a joke.
I don’t love traditional “jokes,” but we’ve been pretty into stand-up comedy lately. I loved Mike Birbiglia’s comedy special called “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” and the part when he’s talking about “the scrambler” which is that terrible ride. It made him puke on a date once and he does a pretty hysterical impression of being on it.