Some of the Reasons I Love Eugene…

For new readers of the blog (thanks The New Potato!), I live in New York with my husband Ken and two kids.  But I “summer” in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon with my parents, and Ken comes back and forth.  New York and Eugene couldn’t be more different, and I have come to love the contrast, and appreciate the positives (and negatives) of both.  Here are some of the reasons I love Eugene, my first and always true home… (I bleed tie dye)…


And I am trying my hardest to make tie-dye a big part of my kids' life, too.

And I am trying my hardest to make tie-dye a big part of my kids’ life, too.

Bike Rides

True statement: my parents own three tandems. YUP, three! So it is no surprise that I have inherited the love of biking as a hobby (well summer hobby, unfortunately, my life in NYC makes it hard to bike….does that make me weak and not truly committed? Maybe…). So during our stays in Oregon, I love nothing more than going down the bike path and around the river, feeling the wind, watching people, taking in the smells and sounds, and just loving life.


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Horrendous bike selfie (and no, I am not driving the bike, as I am the backseat driver on the tandem). And yes, my attractive bra strap showing is none other than the Natori Feathers Bra.

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Still not a good shot — but proud of my boy who keeps trekking along with his bike! And the little Toosh who is a great passenger!


The Oregon Skies


For whatever reason, the skies look different in Oregon than they do elsewhere. Maybe I am just sentimental, but it is so blue, so wide, so vast, so clear, and the clouds continually tell a story with their variation, shapes, and colors (#HippyTalk).


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Look at the beauties (and not just the ladies, but the blue, the white, the forms…)

Seagulls in the PNW sky > Seagulls in any other part of the country.

Seagulls in the PNW sky > Seagulls in any other part of the country.

Oregon Coast sky.

Oregon Coast sky.


The Hikes


One of my favorite pastimes in Eugene is to hike in nature and admire the beauty and life of the outdoors. Not only do I love it for exercise and fresh air, but I love teaching my kids the sheer beauty of my hometown. They are truly becoming quite the hikers (and I couldn’t be more proud!)


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The little hiker

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Ken and our niece, Alagna. Powerful hiker duo.


Bijou Cinema


The Bijou Art Cinema is unlike any other movie theater I have been to. This former Spanish Mission style church turned mortuary turned art-house cinema is nestled in the University District and has a 30 year history of supporting independent, foreign, and local film. Yes the size of the screen is equivalent to the screen in our home, but the experience is unbeatable.




mission style

Mission Spanish style decor.



not so mainstream

not so mainstream, but oh so groovy.

beer on tap

beer on tap, I MEAN, amazing.


Hallway to heaven.


Family Time


It goes without saying that my absolute favorite part of Eugene is the time I get to spend with my parents and family. They made me who I am and I love them with all my heart. It truly has been a highlight of my life watching my kids grow up with their presence and time. We are incredibly fortunate to have this time together.



Family! My dad rocking out in a bandana, tube socks, fanny pack, and bike gloves. BUT he is the most amazingly loving, wonderful, smart,father, I love him OH SO MUCH. And then my Babers — I love our time together when he gets to visit us in the summer! We miss him dearly when apart! And the kids — how they love their time with their family!


Tracktown USA


Countdown until 2016 Olympic Trials! Eugene lives and breathes running — not just any running, but elite runners who race for a living. I love watching track and field when in Eugene, but also taking part in the running scene at my own level. I run with a group of women in Eugene (who are older and WAY faster than me) who are such an inspiration. And of course, there is the All Comer’s Track meet every Wednesday night in July where kids can take part in track and field events on Hayward Field — such a fun event, and hopefully instilling the love of sports and running into my kids NOW!


Tracktown USA

Tracktown USA


Healthy Options


Eugene is the (unofficial) home of organic, natural, and healthy food products. Before CSAs were all the rage, Eugene had a dozen to choose from. Before Tofu and Tempeh was mainstream, all the grocery stores carried it. Grocery shopping in Eugene is a favorite pastime for me (no joke). And of course, I love that at the local coffee store, they have every type of sweetener and milk to choose from. But of course!


honey, sugar, etc

honey, sugar, etc


So yes, I could go on and on and on about my love for Eugene. It truly is one of a kind, and a very special and unique place. It is not a city, not the burbs, not a town, not the country — but truly a magical place of its own. I am a proud Eugenian and savor my time here with my own kids — hopefully, they too, will feel part Eugenian, too! I only have two weeks left in Eugene and my mind is racing (obviously, meditation training did not take place this summer….) but I am so thankful for my time here, past, present, and future. I hope everyone has a great week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Josie Girl


  1. What a refreshing break from the city. My family goes down to South Jersey every summer but for a few weeks at a time. It is a similar experience in that we do a ton of bike riding, beach days, and exploring. All great ways to make lasting memories!

  2. Your family photos on the New Potato are so precious! Looks like everyone is having a lovely summer.

  3. To The Editor (I mean you, Kenny, since Yael is a lost case): not BUT but AND, please! Sorry to miss you!

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