Ten AWESOME things about Portland~ Inspired by: Portland: 10 Things to Do — Introduction – TIME.
Portlanders are perhaps the most self-satisfied city tribe in the whole United States. To pass for one of them (and who wouldn’t want to?), here’s a tip: do not carry an umbrella. Yeah, it tends to rain a bit here, but it’s the drizzly sort of precipitation that’s best weathered under a hat or a hoodie. Plus, a rainy morning often turns into a gorgeous afternoon, and you don’t want to be the dork carrying around an umbrella in the sun. Another tip: pin stripes are not only unnecessary, but actively discouraged. So unless you want to play dress up Portland-style — with a skinny tie or a vintage dress — leave your dry clean–only garb at home.
Definitely do not carry an umbrella. You’ll surely be identified as an “outsider.” And, it’s true that the sun often comes out in the afternoon. Often the warmest part of the day is between 6 and 7pm. (By the way, it happened to be sunny yesterday afternoon on the Summer Solstice – sunny until 11pm and that blue sky emerged again this morning around 4am. I didn’t sleep a wink). Oh, and Vintage is definitely IN.
1. Forest Park – 70 miles of utter awesomeness. I haven’t run in Forest Park since February 7. I used to run from home to the Pittock Mansion. It was surreal. Oh, how I will miss the misty green mornings through the park.
3. Microbrews and Spirits – I’m a bit of a teetotaler (minus my kombucha addiction ~ yet another reason that Portland is so awesome…amazing local booch brews), but I think it’s pretty amazing how the art of the microbrew has become so widely popular here. Portlanders do love their IPA.
4. Powell’s Books – It’s the largest independent chain of bookstores in the world. Yes, that’s pretty awesome. However, I’m still partial to The Tattered Cover (original location in Cherry Creek), perhaps attributed to my privileged upbringing. I sort of feel like Powell’s is a giganticized version of Poor Richard’s.
6. Food Trucks – Portland is definitely known for its food truck craze. In fact, the town is known for food in general. I believe I read that it’s the “foodie capital of the world,” or at least it was at one time. Wow! That’s pretty awesome.
Being that I don’t care for the al fresco dining experience (a conversation for another time), I’m not particularly fond of these food truck pods. There is one that I’ve been dying to try – so perhaps that will be a post to come – BUT, when we first arrived, we did venture over the the “SE Belmont Pod.” Amidst a freak power line fire, we noshed atop a dirty, rickety old picnic table and among Portland’s finest. Marc choose – Clackalack’s Hot Chicken Shack. The fried chicken was literally 4x the size of the bun!
7. The Chinese Garden – China Town is not my favorite area of town, and thus, I have not yet visited this garden. However, it’s rather amazing that this beautiful gem exists in the center of the city. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous. On a side note, the Portland Japanese Garden is rather awesome as well – a venue I have, in fact, frequented. Very zen.
8. Voodoo Donuts – The Magic is in the Hole! – Of course I’m not a donut eater, but the following that Voodoo has is astounding. If there was ever a business that captured the kooky essence of Portland, it’s Voodoo. From the belly of two locations, sweet-fingered magicians concoct what might best be described as avant-garde doughnuts: when Voodoo first opened, it offered doughnuts glazed with NyQuil and dusted with Pepto-Bismol — until the health department put the kibosh on them. And, the big news – Voodoo is on it’s way to Denver. But no, I’m not the one opening the franchise.
9. Strip Clubs – I know nothing or care nothing of this feature, so I will digress back to the topic of donuts and BACON! Voodoo certainly offers its fair share of donuts topped with pork belly – along with the food and drink venues around the rest of Portland. The town is literally obsessed with bacon. It’s everywhere: donuts, ice cream, chocolate, soda pop, beer…and then, of course, all the savory combinations. There is no escaping bacon in Portland. I suppose it’s pretty awesome that a city can be so utterly devoted to these crispy fried slabs in every way.
– Oh, one little thing sort of about the strip clubs in town: Portland is not only known for bacon, but, ironically, for the vegan fare. One strip club in particular, has completely devoted itself to the vegan-friendly culture, right down to the fact that the food and clothing shed from the dancers is all up to PETA standards and animal-friendly. Way to go Casa Diablo.
10. Movie Lounges – Food and cocktails on a cozy couch, while watching a movie in a theater. Brilliant! Or, awesome, I suppose!