Inspired by some fabulous online Portlanders I decided to take a trip to the city with the grandiose motto; 'In livable cities is preservation of the wild'. Having just less than 24 hours during a very cold January I plopped myself down in the Pearl District and let my five senses lead the way.
Powell's City of Books 1005 W Burnside bring your laptop, have a coffee and be visually soothed by the thousands of titles
vintage Apple Macintosh computer at Powell's Technical
Powell's Technical Books sits just outside the North Park Blocks at 33 NW Park Avenue. A feast for techies that holds the most obscure Dover collection I've seen. Don't miss the vintage Apple computers (circa 1984) and the IMSAI 8080 (circa 1975).
the common area at The Ace Hotel Portland
Not only is the Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark Street, a great place for people watching, it's a great place to stay. Sandwiched between two of their sister companies, Stumptown Coffee and the Clyde Common, the Ace Hotel provides an exceptional boutique hotel experience.
Herman Miller, vintage industrial artifacts and handmade soap.
Until May 19th you have the opportunity to 'stick it to the man' with your room key. Leave your corporate costume behind. View more photos of The Ace Portland on our Flickr Photostream here.
830 East Burnside Street
The Doug Fir Lounge serves 299 of Portland's uber cools their music seven nights a week. Across the bridge from the Pearl District so cab it, skate it or take one of Portland's biodiesel buses.
511 NW Couch Street
Remember the arcade? Across the street from Upper Playground is Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade. You can finally beat Sinistar while downing a few pints listening to an Industrial Dj and having the Portland Pinball League compete behind you. What more could you ask for, really?
203 SW 9th Avenue
With vinyl record sales up by 50% in 2008 you'll need to pop into Jackpot Records. Admit it, those CDs should really be recycled into something useful anyway.
Parsnip cake with cream cheese frosting and clove ice cream at Clyde Common
Portland is an epicurean's dream. Local Microbreweries (Terminal Gravity), creameries (Rogue Creamery), trophy class trout and fresh produce are found readily. Vegetarian friendly Portland offers more than a cobb salad hold the meat on the menu.
So many restaurants and so little time. Arriving in Portland later in the evening, I dined at the hotel restaurant, Clyde Common. My meal was a wonderful half order (yes, you can have a half order) of pappardelle with cranberry beans, sage, rosemary and granapadano. For dessert, I savored every inch of a Parsnip cake with cream cheese frosting and clove ice cream.
interior of Clyde Common
Full from the night before I shot back a few cups of French Press in my room and inhaled a croissant from Whole Foods. I gloriously snacked on a slice of Rocco's Pizza for lunch - 949 SW Oak Street.
820 SW Alder Street
I love the smell of a cigar store. Tobacco in its raw form smells divine. Rich's Cigar Store carries over 200 blends of tobacco not to mention Euro design mags.
In my short time there I felt that Portland really was living up to its motto. A pedestrian friendly city, which, in turn, doesn't have that big city smell.
333 SW 10th Avenue
Redlight, with a sister store in Seattle, offers up some great finds. With vintage clothing representing over seven decades on the racks, the texture and color alone in this store are enough to set Liberace rolling. For the trained eye, 1970s Lanvin dresses can be found for less than $20.
apparently, bmx is not the bike of choice in Portland
Street art is pretty much on every corner in the Pearl District. Classical, modernist, brutalist it's there for you to touch.
Let Portland be your best kept West Coast secret. Did I mention there's no state tax?