Hey Portland, you’re pretty awesome!

I spent three nights there earlier in the week, and I really wished I’d stayed longer.  There’s not many “tourist attractions” per se; really I just spent most of my time wandering about when the weather was ok, and hanging out inside the ridiculous number of funky shops and cafes when it was not.  Everyone seems so laid back, and while it’s not as if San Francisco is some crazy high pressure intense city, it was great to spend some time in a town where you don’t have to wonder if people are being nice simply because it’s company policy to say “happy holidays!” with a plastered on perma-smile to everyone who passes through the doors.

Apparently Stephen Colbert alternately refers to Oregon as "California's Canada" or "Washington's Mexico." Saw this print in the window of one of the aforementioned funky shops. Seriously, the city's crawling with them.

In addition to all of the funky shops and cafes, there’s also a lot of cool public art.

Ahh, the cuteness!

In addition to the art on the streets, there’s also, of all things, a thriving food cart scene.  One of the main concentrations of carts was just a block away from my hotel, and I ate very well because of it.  One lunch I had a Korean taco, then Ethiopian.  For both of these plates of deliciousness I only paid eight bucks.  Bargain!

Korean taco. Against all reason this hybrid concoction was delicious.

Ethopian. That's a hell of a lot of injera for six bucks.

Apart from the laid back attitude, lovely art, and delicious food, the other big thing Portland has going for it is Powell’s City of Books, the “largest used and new bookstore in the world.”  This place is crazy.  If I wasn’t technically homeless at the moment I would’ve spent huge amounts of money on many many books.  Seriously, this place is so big it had a sizeable Deaf culture section, definitely not something you come across every day (because I know you all look out for Deaf culture books in stores).  The used books are mixed in with the new, so that you can often find a bargain next to a brand-new full-priced copy.  Argh, I was very tempted by many things.  But I restrained myself, and instead whiled away quite a lot of time in the cafe.  Lovely.

Thanks for such a relaxing visit, Portland.  Promise I’ll come back soon.


One Response to “Portland”

  1. 1 Sandro

    I just watched the pilot, or whatever, of ‘Portlandia’. It’s alright, and made me think of this post. That is all.

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