PDX: The other seven days (almost)
So, much like the me who puts suitcase keys *inside* my suitcase and then locks it (yes, I really have done this), I totally overlooked the fact I might need my camera’s USB cable to download pictures to post here. Especially since I have also overlooked the fact that I have pictures from mid-March still on said camera. There’s only so many photos I can delete before I run out of room on the memory card (and I have a big memory card).
For now a picture from brunch at the Paradox Cafe from our Portland trip last year will have to do. I think its decadence easily speaks for the almost too delicious food we’ve had in Portland this week. The food has been so good I am almost sick of eating. And as much as I dislike going to a gym to work out, I am really looking forward to hitting the new YMCA in downtown Vancouver next week. No matter where we’ve eaten here, the servings have mostly been hefty.
We still have one more day in PDX. We’re hoping – probably in vain – that the sun will come out for more than a few hours. Every single day this week it has rained for at least half of every day. I’ve overheard several Portlanders remark that the sun comes out only after the 4th of July. If you come to spend some time here, the mantra should be much the same as it is for Vancouver – don’t leave home without your umbrella. That said, most Portlanders seem to ignore the rain here until it really pours.
If you find your way here, we know a few ways to seem like a local. Pronounce “Couch” Street as “Cooch” Street (you know, like it rhymes with hooch). The river’s named “Will-eh-met” not “Will-ah-met” (which shouldn’t be so hard for us Canucks, eh?). Glisan Street is pronounced “Glee-san”. Nobody who wants to keep any shred of dignity in this coffee town drinks anything but Stumptown Coffee (so don’t be seen in Starshmucks). And, we’re told that Portland now outnumbers Munich and any other place in Germany as the beer capital of the world as far as craft brewing goes (there’s more than 40 breweries in PDX and a few more in the surrounding region). So chase down your coffee with beer and you’ll fit right in.
Here is just a little bit of what I’ve learned here this week:
– You can never visit Sweetpea Baking Company and FoodFight too many times (and give Herbivore some love too).
– You can never have too much time to browse in Powell’s (seriously, you can’t spend any less time than an hour in there).
– There are no alleys in downtown Portland.
– Aside from food carts, Portlanders also like their tobacco delivered via a cart. Wanna know if you’ll make it to heaven? There’s a cart that can tell you that with just two free questions (we’ve no idea how much a third question costs. Your first child, perhaps?)
– Voodoo Doughnuts is seriously nuts (and they’re been appointed the official city doughnut-maker). They do a “cock and balls” doughnut. It’s big. And it’s filled (ahem) with cream. We have pictures of it. And their motto is “the magic is in the hole.” ‘Nuff said, yes?
– The transit drivers are a lovely balance of “don’t mess with me” and “have a nice day!”
– There is a curious lack of sea gulls here.
– There’s no Chinatown. It was bulldozed. Same for Japantown. As of the last census, what they call “Chinatown” doesn’t have even one full-time Chinese resident.
– We’ve never seen “vegan” on so many menus in one place (and you’ll likely never eat at the same place twice).
– There is WiFi everywhere.
– The streets are SW, NW on the west side of the river. On the east side, they’re SE, NE. Make sure know where you’re going. Especially if you’re hungry. It’s not fun to end up across the city from where you really want to be.
– The world’s smallest city park is only 452 sq in. And some people really believe a leprechaun lives there. His name is Patty O’Toole.
– Daiya cheese does not seem to have caught on here yet. Follow Your Heart cheddar and mozzarella are the vegan cheeses du jour here.
– Don’t let the tour guides at Portland Walking Tours fool you. More than 3/4 of the “Undeground” tour is above ground. The underground bit is just in a basement with low ceilings under a pizza parlour.
– There are bridges, and there are roses. If you don’t like either of these, this is not the place for you.