Well, 2015 received NO love from me on this website. Portland has been so over-hyped recently, I didn’t really have much motivation to fan the flames. But now we’re into 2016, when I guess we can have a clean start? I dunno.
In any case, 2016 shall receive at least as many posts as 2015.
I’m more than a third of the way through my Hale Pele rum tasting, so hopefully by next year, I’ll be down to the last third.
I’m going to stop eating dessert when I go out to dinner unless I didn’t actually eat much dinner. I’ve been getting uncomfortably full. If I want dessert, I will go out specifically to have dessert.
This is a momentous weekend for my family, as we are gathering in Portland to celebrate the life of my grandfather.
There are many delightful things to do in Portland, and here are a few to consider. Sections below include Parks, Walking and Biking, Eating and Drinking, Art and Culture, and Shopping, and also feel free to explore this site as well.
Hang out in a park: as a somewhat lazy person, this is one of my favorite activities. There are a couple of lovely downtown and West-side parks for people watching, including:
Tanner Springs (Northwest/Pearl District, two blocks from Jameson with quieter vibe).
Go to Forest Park: this park runs along the west side of town, and has lots of great hikes and places to hang out. You can walk there from Jan and Bill’s house and there are easy mass transit connections as well.
Visit Chinese Garden in NW Portland close to the river: This is a lovely little park with a tea garden where you can get lovely tea and tasty Asian snacks. We might have discounted tickets (or your hotel might) if you’re interested. There is also a lovely Japanese Garden up into Forest Park.
Walking and biking
Walk the Waterfront Park/Eastbank Esplanade loop. This loop follows the Waterfront Park along the west side of the Willamette, crosses the Hawthorne bridge, then walks the east side of the Willamette river on the Eastbank Esplanade, and loops back across the river on the lower deck of the Steel bridge. It’s about a 3 mile loop. Here’s a description of it for bicyclists, but works just fine on foot as well.
Fremont Fest, a neighborhood festival with a parade and shopping happening on NE Fremont and 42nd on Saturday
Eating and drinking
Eat and drink your way across town — if you’re interested in this option, let me know and I can give you some recommendations to meet your location/price point/cuisine preferences (and some info on this site as well). If you want to poke around online, I usually start at the Portland Eater site if I’m curious about local food happenings, and then move onto other food blogs.
Stand-up comedy: Portland has great stand-up comedy of the weird, profane, and goofy type. Let me know if you’re interested and we can figure out what is happening while you’re here.
Shopping: Portland has some delightful clothing stores that are clustered together in a couple of neighborhoods. My favorite areas are:
the West End (which also has some fabulous food options)
close-in East Burnside (also has fabulous food and drink options) and is near Distillery Row
SE Hawthorne, particularly beyond SE 28th. Lots of other great stores scattered about as well.
Fremont Fest is a neighborhood festival on Saturday is on NE Fremont with a cute parade and shops
There is an Urban Air Market happening on Saturday at Zidell Yards, south of downtown (can take streetcar or walk from downtown).
Books: well, I can never say too much about Powells. They are renovating on the West Burnside entrance, but you can go in on NW Couch and 11th and they are delightful! If you are interested in graphic novels and comics, I can give you some additional recommendations.
Visit Saturday Market: crafts and great people watching towards the North end of Waterfront Park right at the Burnside bridge. I haven’t bought much here recently, but I do enjoy hanging out and watching the crowds while sitting at the fountain to the south of the market.
Bet you didn’t know how many awesome things happen at the Oregon Convention Center? I inspect the marquee almost every morning and here are the upcoming events that are by far the coolest:
La Femme Magnifique International Pageant on Sunday, September 2. When I first saw this listing on the marquee, I had high hopes for something awesome, and my hopes (for once) have been met. This event will “crown the most glamorous female impersonator in the business.” This is sponsored by Darcelle’s, one of our civic treasures. This might be the most fun sounding event I’ve ever seen listed.
StarCityGames.com Open Series: Portland on September 8-9. No further information on the OCC website…but I’m hoping this is a Magic Tournament, which someday I will get to observe. Ideally when my friend is competing. You know who you are.
The B.U.L.L. Session Dinner & Auction on September 10. Link is broken on OCC website — so many possibilities with a name like this. Straight-talking good times? Cattle breeding association?
Watch this gorgeous time-lapse video of Portland at night.
This was put together by Larry Page, and once you’re done, go visit his article about shooting time-lapse after dark. Both the beauty of our city and talent behind this film are two of reasons why Portland is so great!