Monthly Archives: November 2016

Portland is Weird, Part 2 (with more pictures!)

Welcome to my second Portland entry.

First, I must credit the success of this trip to my friend Nick who is a walking GPS device and navigated us through the entire city while we just shouted out stuff like, “OMG let’s go to this thing we just heard about online!”

Nick is a transportation freak. He gets excited about bridges, planes, buses, trains, etc. Here we are on our first bus ride in Portland:

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Which dropped us off at the light rail station near this beautiful bridge:

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Where we walked to the aerial tram station and boarded an aerial tram:

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So that we could have amazing views like these:

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Everyone, including other tourists, got really excited about the mountains. I didn’t really get the big deal. I guess one of them erupted in the last century or something? Here’s a mountain:

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And another one:

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Oh look, over there in the distance—there’s Mount Whatever.

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OK I just looked it up, and Mt. St. Helens is a volcano that erupted in the ‘80s. So is it a mountain or a volcano? I’m still confused.

The tram took us up to the VA hospital/medical school. It had a very long, geometric corridor:

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Before coming to Portland, a lot of people suggested that we visit Washington Park. So that’s what we did on two separate occasions—first to visit the Pittock Mansion and then the Japanese Garden.

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Here are Nick (and Sean) looking at a map and figuring out directions at the park:

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The park was so big…so many things to see:

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So we chose the Pittock Mansion, which was owned by a rich family because well, duh.

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We got to see special things like expensive furniture and plates.

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Oh here’s an antique mirror. Let me take a selfie. This is how selfies looked 100 years ago:

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This is a bust of James Pittock, of the famous Pittocks.

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I was more excited about the view outside the mansion:

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In Washington Park, we also went to the Japanese Garden. I’ve been to various Japanese Gardens…in California (San Jose, San Diego and San Francisco) but this one blew the others out of the water.

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And whatever this is:

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We were able to go to the famed Saturday market. The sections were organized into tchotckes and thingamabobs.

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One of the things that made my eyes roll to the back of my head was a whole booth dedicated to jewelry made from used skateboards. Like…c’mon, that is ridiculously contrived even for Portland.

I saw this view outside the Saturday market:

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By the way, let’s take a moment to admire the fall leaves in Portland…We don’t see this much where I live in California. Ooh! Ahh!

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Oh and in the last entry I showed you some examples of Portland’s outdoor/public art. Here are a few more examples:

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And this advertising campaign. We were just walking on the street when we saw free bags of chips on the wall:

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On Saturday afternoon we were rushing to catch a brewery tour 7-8 blocks away from our bus stop when my phone fell out of my pocket at some point and I couldn’t find it. I was so distraught I couldn’t enjoy (and take pictures of) the brewery tour, the arcade, the pizza restaurant or the club where we were. So there’s a chunk of time missing here. However close to midnight, my brother called Nick’s phone and told me someone in Portland had found my phone and turned it in to a nearby mediterranean restaurant and the restaurant had looked through my contacts and called my brother. My God, thank the goodness of Portland’s people! The restaurant was now closed and is only open in the evening; luckily we were able to go back the next day before right before our flights home and picked it up.

Nick and his craft beer flights (I stole this one from his Facebook):

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The first picture I snapped after I got my phone back…these are the bathrooms at Rogue Distillery. Can you guess which one is the men’s bathroom?

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Here are a couple of photos of random things I liked:

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Oh and vegan gluten-free cupcakes. Because of course.

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We went to a video store/movie memorabilia museum. Here is the knife that was used in “Scream.” It had a blood trigger on one side that squirted blood:

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Portland had a lot of “food pods” scattered around the city. A food pod is the term of a group of food carts/trucks. Because of course.

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With all the food options around, we were really surprised that the majority of people in Portland were very fit. (There were notably a lot of gyms too.) There were very few overweight people. I’m glad to say that despite all of the pictures of food pods and restaurants, I was still able to somewhat stick to my diet. I only had one heavy meal per day, and on a couple of the nights, I had salad for dinner.

Some photos on our way home at night:

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Oh Portland, until next time:

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Portland is Weird, Part 1

So…Portland. They say the dream of the ‘90s lives here.

How do I describe Portland? Well, if you’ve ever been to San Francisco… Portland is just like San Francisco. Except it’s cleaner, quieter, more modern, has better public transportation, the people are nicer, and the city is just overall a lot more pleasant to be in. You know, just a few minor differences.

The first thing I noticed is how bike-friendly the city is. As a person who is clumsy and often crashes into things, I’m kind of iffy about bikes. But wow, bikes are everywhere in the city. I’ve lived in Denmark, the world capital of bikes, and still, coming to Portland, I’m like whoaaaa…bikes:

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Wait, what? Yes.

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And even when you only have a part of a bike, you can still turn it into art as well. Because why not.

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Speaking of turning things into art, Portland is the city of repurposing stuff. I mean, good for them, turning old stuff into usable stuff. The city is one big life hack.

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Yes…a restaurant made from a school bus. Because why not.

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And speaking of restaurants…wow, the show “Portlandia” was right. The city is full of trendy restaurants, with people lining up and down the street to eat at one.

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This is the famous Voodoo Donuts by the way:

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But seriously the lines. We waited an hour and 10 minutes for this brunch place where you can make your own pancakes:

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We also waited in a long line for this biscuit place:

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But the food was worth it. Portland had the most amazing food. Lines, lines, lines everywhere. There were also many lines of protests. To be honest, I often didn’t know if people were in line for a protest or a good new brunch place. For example, this one…protest or brunch?

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Oh but not to make light of protests. If it were up to me, I’d spend a whole day protesting with the lot of them. But I didn’t want to ruin everyone’s vacation.
I’ve lived in San Francisco, the world capital of protests, and still, coming to Portland, I’m like whoaaaa…protests:

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We saw the same family at the park earlier:

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I’m not sure what this guy is saying though:

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You may have heard that the protests in Portland were violent and resulted in a shooting. We weren’t there for that part. But below are some of the night protests we witnessed. They were chanting things like “Say it loud! Say it clear! Immigrants are welcome here!”

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And we saw several incidents of police in riot gear gearing up for a riot.

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It stuck me as funny that less than a block away people were doing this:

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Donuts!

OK on that note this entry ends here. Come back tomorrow for Part 2 where I discuss more Portlandish facts about Portland.

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