And now it’s round two of my entries about well, my round two of Portland.
I kind of lost track of what I did on what day so I’m just going to throw every last thing into this entry.
I had wanted to visit Washington Park, with its outdoor activities, but because of the weather it wasn’t feasible. Stupid clouds. Like Joni Mitchell wrote: “Now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone. So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way.”
So what was left to do in Portland? The aerial tram. The aerial tram is the primary way that people get to the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), a medical school/hospital apparently located up in the heavens…I guess to make it convenient so maybe when good people die, they’re already like…right there.
I used a lot of instagram filtering to make the day look nicer in the previous picture, but the truth is this is how the sky looked from the tram:
At the very top was the hospital, which was very nice. To get to the Veteran Affairs wing, there was a nice walkway, which I loved for its geometric shapes:
We also went to the Portland Saturday Market, which, according to Wikipedia is “the largest continuously operated outdoor market in the United States.”
The market featured a lot of people selling artisan
crap crafts. I have to hand it to them, even on a freezing, rainy day when they could’ve been in their warm beds, they were all out there…selling their sexy-print oven mitts and clocks made from old metal spoons. Just kidding, I actually love this crafty stuff…if they weren’t usually so expensive.
Here is an artist creating personalized garden gnomes that could have your face on it!:
These people are brave. I’d be creeped out to see my face on a garden gnome.
By the way, I forgot to mention that early on Saturday morning I went to the gym. I had looked up 24 Hour Fitness and discovered that there was a location less than half a mile from the hostel, and that they were having a Body Pump class at 9 a.m. So I woke up early, had breakfast, then jogged to the gym, and on my way there I noticed a street sign with tiny letters on top saying “Alphabet District.” And it suddenly clicked. We had gotten lost so many times trying to get back to the hostel during the trip, and now I realized the streets were arranged in alphabetical order: Burnside, Couch, Davis, Everett, Flanders, Glison, Hoyt, Irving, Johnson, Kearney, Lovejoy, Marshall…all the way to Quimby. And as one friend pointed out, a lot of these names are Simpsons related. Our hostel was located on Glison, so after that I always knew how many blocks away I was.
Oh and the reason I was still set on working out while on vacation? The food in Portland. The portions are huge and the prices are so much cheaper than in California, not to mention there is no tax on the food either.
I got obsessed with this ice cream chain that one of my PB friends suggested called Salt & Straw, especially one of their holiday flavors—Apple Brandy Pecan. I had it on three separate occasions.
And there is a French place that Sean, Mark, Nick and I went to last time that I had to visit again called Little Bird also known as Le Petit Oiseau. They have these amazing double brie burgers and if you go there during happy hour, it’s only $6.
For brunch, we went to The Industrial Cafe. I’m usually not a fan of posting food pictures but I had to show how rich the sauce was on this beef tips dish I ordered:
With all this food, I wonder how the majority of people in Portland still stay so slim and fit.
Oh and on the topic of food, I had yet to see any bottle of Heinz ketchup anymore. Many of the restaurants we went to provided sweet, house-made ketchup. Even the little hostel cafe had fancy ketchup as well:
And a lot of the diners in Portland had a very “homey,” mom-and-pop, “Oh, hi Bob!” feel. I didn’t see any Denny’s or Carrow’s here. This was the Byways Cafe, where a guy actually wanted to surprise his friend with a birthday brunch:
On Thursday night when we couldn’t get into Embers, we went to Game Kontrol, the famous Portland arcade with games from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Maybe a Portlander can help me out here, but did Game Kontrol go through a major change? Last year when I went, there were two busy floors stacked with arcade games. This time I noticed we had to walk away around the building and there was only one floor and it was sparse with games.
So we headed to the closest club/bar and it was CC Slaughters. It was fun and the drag queens led everyone on the dance floor to do the Cupid Shuffle. Here the queens are filling in for the go-go dancers on break:
For Friday, we wanted to do something different and went to a comedy improv show. We were seated right by the stage, like literally my knee was touching the stage:
It was awesome, we had so much fun, and the improv actors were so talented, though I was kind of surprised by how white the entire improv cast was. Like there wasn’t a single person of color. We went again the next day. I am really considering taking improv classes.