Portland is a pretty cool place. I only spent a couple days here but I likes what I saw. Hills, trees, flowers, rivers, shops, lots of coffee, local breweries, cheap fun, Portland has much to offer.
My Hostel was located in a trendy area on the east side of the Columbia River called Hawthorne. Hawthorne street has many clothing shops, coffee shops, used books stores and trendy places to eat and drink. My first night in Portland I spent on Hawthorne Street watching Toy Story 3 in the gorgeous Bagdad Theatre. With one massive theatre, beer and food from a kitchen The Bagdad Theatre is an awesome place to see a movie; especially at $2 a show! Then I had a late dinner at Oasis Cafe where they make pizza by the slice, whatever you want on it. They are quite adventurous at Oasis Cafe with toppings like butternut and walnut.
The next day I took a bus to Washington Park on the west side of Portland. Washington Park is a large area that houses many of the city’s outdoor attractions. I visited the Portland Japanese Garden and walked around the Hoyt Arboretum, which is a large collection of different trees that provide something new in every season.
I didn’t explore downtown Portland very much but was told a trip to Portland was not complete without visiting Powell’s Bookstore there. Powell’s bookstore is a massive new and used bookstore that is three floors and takes up an entire city block! The also have a couple satellite stores in the Portland area. I ended up buying a couple Kurt Vonnegut Jr. novels and a book about making macarons. Macarons seem very complex. I don’t think I am quite ready to try them; one day.
On my last full day in Portland I made a point of visiting ‘Alberta St., if only for its name. Alberta Street is similar to Hawthorne Street but has more art galleries. It was good to walk around and see all the local art. I ate dinner at a food cart that specialized in grilled cheese sandwiches called ‘Grilled Cheese Grille’. Their dining area is an old school bus with some of the seats turned around to make booths. The tables are covered with old yearbook photos. It was a good meal.
Now I am going to visit Vancouver briefly before visiting the folks in Abbotsford. It will be good to be back in Canada!