Portland is known by many names and all have a distinct reasoning behind them, which makes Portland a mixture of different social groups. This creates a very unique town which has a mix of San Francisco, New York, and maybe even a little Paris. There’s even a term that people used “Keep Portland Weird” which is attributed to its intense following of bicycles, craft beers, recycling, and food carts.
The first two days in Portland Joy and I kept close to the city center and explored where ever the TriMet would take us. We started off of course by grabbing some lunch at the various food carts setup near our hotel (Westin). We found the incresingly famous Nong’s Khao Man Gai cart which sells what else, Thai Chicken and Rice served in wax paper just like in Thailand. It was a really good version of the dish and a great start to our trip after our flight fiasco (we also got some thick skinned dumplings from the Dump Truck which were meh) . We even got it again the afternoon before our flight back home. Saturday we got a porchetta sandwich of The People’s Pig food cart which was delicious and a good Lamb Gyro from Aybla Grill.
Saturday morning we took a bus to the base of Arlington Heights and walked the rest of the way up to the International Rose Test Garden, which has a huge varietal of types of roses, with so many colors that i didn’t know they could come in.
We also stopped by the Portland Saturday Market which is your typical crafts fair type of event with lots of portland-centric t-shirts, holistic body treatments, and other hippy artwork for sale. I thought they would have more interesting things, but didn’t find one thing worth buying. Although there was one weird live puppet performance piece if you can’t tell whats happening in the picture above.
Around the Saturday Market we bumped into the 45 minute line for Voodoo Doughnuts, and we always said we would come back, but we never did. I don’t think their presentation does it any justice if they are any good, because their donuts and shop just looks like a hot mess (especially compared to Blue Star Donut which we did try).
One of the more unique attraction that the city center has is Powell’s Books which is a book store that takes up an entire city block with multiple floors and every book imaginable. I could spend hours there just looking for rare and odd books. After a day and of half in the city center we got through the Pearl District, 23rd St. and the various surrounding areas and knew we had to rent a car for Sunday.