Jan 3, 2024 - Things to Do
Best Day Ever

Best Day Ever: Football hero turned poet Marcus Lattimore

A smiling man by a manual typewriter.

Marcus Lattimore has turned his talents to poetry, which he taps out on a manual typewriter. Photo courtesy Marcus Lattimore.

Marcus Lattimore is famous for football — but when he moved to Portland at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic he was pursuing new paths, including poetry and acting.

  • Born and raised in South Carolina, Lattimore was revered as a running back for the South Carolina Gamecocks until a devastating knee injury in 2012.
  • He briefly signed with the San Francisco 49ers before returning to South Carolina to finish his degree and coach football.

His best Portland day starts with meditation and writing.

🧘🏾 "I go sit in the yoga room. Whatever rises to the surface in my subconscious, I just start writing that."

🐩 When Mocha, his 7-year-old pet poodle "barges in the room, it's time to go."

  • "Because I live in NE now we go to Knott Park but on an ideal day it would absolutely be Washington Park."
  • "The trails are beautiful. The rose garden always seems to calm me. With Washington Park being our first time in a park of that stature, it stole my heart from the beginning."

🕚 By mid-morning he heads down the hill for honey-glazed chicken thighs from the hot bar at Zupan's — the upscale grocery store — and one of the "unique potato" offerings.

  • "They'll have purple yams or some type of sweet potato, some type of Japanese potato."
  • For dessert, he heads to the produce section for "a mango or papaya, something like that."

🥐 And because the Washington Park run has put Lattimore — and Mocha — in the NW part of town, "you've got to stop at Ken's Artisan Bakery to get a croissant or morning bun."

  • "If I'm in the NE, I'm going to Doe Donuts versus Ken's."

🚗 Then it's off to North Mississippi Avenue to wander his favorite shops — The Meadow for dark chocolate and truffle salt popcorn, Sage Crystals and Pistils Nursery for the peaceful atmosphere.

🍲 For dinner, Lattimore struggles to choose between these two favorite spots: Cedo's Falafel and Gyros, where "you can see them making it right in front of you" and Fermenter with its "all things funky" vegan menu.

  • Dessert is easy: a pint of ice cream from the vegan grocery Food Fight.

🌛 In the evening, "something simple" like attending a poetry performance or hitting a jazz spot would round out Lattimore's perfect Portland day.

📺 Although he's "not a big fan" of reality shows, he admits to "kind of falling in love" with Netflix's "Love Is Blind," and winds down after an episode with "some calming music" before bed.

😴 And he's asleep by 10:30pm on his perfect day.

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