Category Archives: Festivals

Best summer activities in Portland, Oregon 2013

Well, we’ve made it to July 4th weekend, which means summer has officially begun in our fair city. Let’s make sure there is plenty of time for all our favorite Portland summer activities for 2013!

Key things to do this summer

  1. Hang out in a park: bring a snack, a book, and a blanket to lay on. Some of my favorites are Wallace Park, Oregon Park, or Laurelhurst park. Although, frankly, Portland is full of awesome parks. Find one close to you!
  2. Watch a movie outside: bring a comfy (but low) chair thing, a snack, and possibly a sweater. There are movies through Portland Parks & Rec (Movies in the Park), there are movies at Pioneer Courthouse Square (Flicks on the Bricks) on Friday nights in August, there are movies on the top of a parking garage (Top Down: Rooftop Cinema by the NW Film Center — you will need a pillow to sit on), and there is a drive in theater!
  3. Hang out on a floating dock: Eastbank Esplanade is the best place to seek an almost boating experience. Bring sunscreen, water, and a comfy chair. You might also want a book and a snack, as there is a surprising lack of refreshments along the Esplanade.
  4. Drink on a patio: I like Rose & Thistle, Holmans, or Moon & Sixpence.
  5. Grill some food: I like hamburgers (fresh ground from local butcher) or sausages (from a local place like Otto’s Sausage Kitchen)

Finally, sure to have it’s very own blog post, this is the last summer of Trek in the Park. Be there or be trapped on a planet with weird interdimensional beings who do not like you.

International Food Bloggers Convention

“I just discovered that the International Food Blogger Conference is happening in Portland RIGHT NOW.

This is happening at one of the hotels near home for me (Doubletree Hotel near NE Holladay Park), which is digging up its driveway right now. Hope that’s not too annoying!

I’m sure they are having a great time eating lots of tasty food (although most of the food listed in the agenda looks pretty generic — don’t forget to leave the hotel!) and writing about it online.

My one recommendation to everyone who stays at that Doubletree is that they enjoy the festive classical music playing at the MAX station out front. Carmen! Die Fledermaus! Mozart!

Update: we no longer get classical music at the MAX stop. 🙁 You win, teenagers, you win.

The Night Ride, 2009

I celebrated my 32 (or 2 to the 5th) birthday by taking part in the annual Portland Night Ride, a very goofy night time bike ride with 1,500 of my newest friends. I’m not particularly keen about riding my bike after dark, but we started around 9am with plenty of light and then gradually drifted into darkness. I thought my costume was pretty silly, but my favorite costumes were a crew of pirates who decorated their bicycles to look like ships, a banana, and the Three Musketeers.

The ride started at the train station, and then took us across the Broadway bridge into North Portland. I somehow managed to be in the first handful of riders out of the gate, which meant the first stretch was remarkably solitary. I had been counting on following the pirates, but it was not to be. We went up Interstate and onto Mississippi, and then smack into the Mississippi street fair. While waiting for my brother, we got to watch a fairly hilarious collision between the two events. But everyone was mostly pretty chill, and the bottleneck meant that we got to inspect the other riders and locate other favorites (low rider bicycle and bicycle with lanterns were great).

Once the brother was located, we plunged onwards, ringing our bells, hollering, and being offered beer. Out to Willamette Boulevard, we enjoyed some bagpipers and reckless bicycles as we entered darkness.

The bicycle short movies at a park near N. Carey were excellent, particularly this PSA:

And we were then off to the Columbia Slough (gorgeous ribbon of bike lights through the dark), past the racetrack and then the disco party (pumpin’ tunes, but too crowded). We shot back towards the train station trailing the Three Musketeers (who didn’t seem to find my witticisms as funny as I did — “”where was D’Artagnan? One for All and All for One! Oh, no, you’re split by the traffic light!”” Good thing I wasn’t drinking…). The final donuts at the train station were bypassed for a goodnight birthday drink at the Rose and Thistle, and then to a well-earned sleep.

All in all, a great time! Similar to wandering through the streets in large crowds of happy people, there is something delightful about cheery bike riders taking over the streets (at least for those of us on bikes). I can’t wait for the next Sunday Parkway.

Talk Like a Pirate, Sept. 19

Well, it’s been over a month since I went to work as a pirate to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate day.  On that fine day back in September, I walked through downtown to get lunch and no one batted an eye.  In fact, I even spotted a few other pirates.  Arrr!  Portland be ever friendly to those pirate-y folks.

Now I’m feeling pressure to dress as something besides a pirate for Halloween.  Perhaps a viking will do…

Rose Festival

Well, we have survived another Rose Festival.

A few things of note this year:

  1. lots more ships again
  2. annoyance with parade spot taping came to a head
  3. boy, did it dump on the Grand Floral Parade!