For Labor Day weekend, we took a short vacation to Oregon. Sarah has been here when she was little, so she didn’t really remember much. Eitan has never been, and with cheap flight tickets, this was the best destination to go.
We flew to Portland early in the morning and the view of Mt Hood from the airplane was fantastic.
Portland has a great public transport network. We took the train from the airport to the city center. From there, we walked a few blocks to the hotel.
On the way there, we stopped at a store we have never seen before. A Cannabis trimming machine store! Portland is a very Cannabis friendly city, so they also sell all the equipment necessary to grow and process your plants. Very interesting.
When we got to the hotel, we were highly disappointed. The hotels on those dates were extremely expensive so we needed to settle for a cheap one. The location was excellent and we were used to sleeping in way worse hotels than this in places like India or Myanmar, so we were fine with it.
We started our sightseeing day walking to downtown. The first thing we noticed was the incredible amount of homeless people. We later learned that with the huge inflow of people wanting to live in Portland, house prices went up, supply stayed low, so all the people living paycheck to paycheck ended up not being able to afford a place to live and ended up homeless.. Pretty sad.
The city is full of art in the walls. This was painted on the side of one of the buildings.
The “famous” Portland sign. We needed to take a photo!
Named after Portland, Maine, the Oregon settlement began to be populated in the 1830s near the end of the Oregon Trail. Its water access provided convenient transportation of goods, and the timber industry was a major force in the city’s early economy. At the turn of the 20th century, the city had a reputation as one of the most dangerous port cities in the world, a hub for organized crime and racketeering. After the city’s economy experienced an industrial boom during World War II, its hard-edged reputation began to dissipate. Beginning in the 1960s, Portland became noted for its growing liberal political values, and the city has earned a reputation as a bastion of counterculture, which proceeded into the 21st century.
We headed to Pine St. Market, which is one of those hipster fast food places where everybody serves pork belly, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer. The food was not that mind blowing but it kept us going.
Our next stop was the Voodoo Doughnuts, a place literally EVERYBODY recommended. It was good, but none of us actually loves doughnuts, so we shared a guava-coconut.
They have multiple options, some very interesting like maple-bacon and fruity loops.
The whole city is full of street food stand that looks delicious. In a block, you can find every variety of food, from Thai to Lebanese, from Mexican to Vietnamese.
We visited the Pioneer Courthouse Square. The square is named after the Pioneer Courthouse, an 1875 federal building occupying the block directly east of the square.
Right in the middle of the square, there is a tourist information shop where we hoard a million brochures to find something to do, as we have found out, Portland does not offer too much to see.
The Director’s Park.
The nice lady at the tourist information recommended we visited the statue of Portlandia. We did not know what to expect, but we were not impressed. This was because she told us that this statue was almost the same size as the Statue Of Liberty, which is really not (keep reading)…
Portlandia is a sculpture by Raymond Kaskey located above the entrance of the Portland Building. It is the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty.
The statue is based on the design of the city seal. It depicts a woman dressed in classical clothes, holding a trident in the left hand and reaching down with the right hand.
We walked across the street from where you can see the sculpture from another viewpoint.
We then visited the beautiful Keller Fountain Park. It was really nice to just sit the to relax.
Something we noticed almost immediately while walking in Portland is that there are no 7-Elevens or any other store to buy water. They only have hipster coffeeshops. We finally found a Target to buy some hydration supplies.
We continue our hydration recovery with a very famous brewery, Deschutes Brewery.
Great beer and beautiful restaurant decorated with carved wood all over the place.
While reading in the Frommers guidebook what to do in Portland we found a very recommended gallery very close to where we were. So we decided to check it out. It was weird as f*&ck…
A horse with some kind of horrible growth? I guess we just don’t get “Art”.
Our day continued with a visit to Powell’s Bookstore. They claim to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.
The City of Books has nine color-coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections. The inventory for its retail and online sales is over four million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books. Powell’s buys around 3,000 used books a day. After spending about an hour reading some books (mostly in the travel section), Sarah bought one book and we headed over to another Oregon Brewery (there will be many, many, many more)!
More brewery!! yeeeey!
Before going to sleep we decided to check the arcade bar next to our hotel. It had like 40 different pinball machines! We had a blast!
We were not hungry, but we walked by a very looking authentic Mexican place. We got a Plantain margarita which sounded awesome, unfortunately, it didn’t taste at all like plantains. Shameeee!
Bonus Pic Of The Day: Oregon is a blue state (Democrat). People here are VERY liberal, artsy and obviously anti-Trump. We found this sign walking around downtown.