Monday, August 16, 2010

Portland in Pictures

I spent the latter half of last week in Portland for The Dew Tour with one of my favorite clients.  I always love traveling to new cities and exploring the local neighborhoods.  As I've gotten older and many of my friends have moved to greener pastures in the 'burbs, I have realized that I love concrete and tall buildings.  I don't think I will ever leave the city.  It may not always be Los Angeles, but it will always be a city.  I've always had an affinity for Portland and here are a few reasons why:

1.  I already offered up the unique tasty treat of the Maple Bacon Bar at Voodoo Doughnuts on Friday, but remember, like Magnolia Bakery in the Big Apple, there is always a wait:
2.  As an owner of a Prius, I am definitely on board the organic, chemical-free, recycling, solar-paneled way of life.  I just loved the fact that the city of Portland offered solar-paneled compactors in the streets:
3.  I grabbed an amazing lunch at Tom's 1st Avenue Bento.  Tom must run a highly profitable business:  the line is out the door and he is only open from Monday-Friday from 11AM-5PM.  It is not to be missed on your next trip and the staff is incredibly friendly too. I had an medium rare, tender steak marinated in their special sauce with brown rice and steamed vegetables.  Yum!
4.  Speaking of food, this is what LA needs to do with all of their food trucks now that restaurants and the city council is complaining, build the trucks into local parking lots.  There were rows and rows of the Koji trucks in the corners of the city parking lots along 3rd Avenue.  It doesn't affect the restaurant business and it offers lots of choices for local foodies.  
5.  One of the best states in the US to shop because there is no sales tax on clothing.  I stocked up on birthday gifts for my niece and I checked out the nicest Goodwill store I have ever seen.  Be sure to check it out the next time you are in town.  The stock this week offered designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Stuart Weitzman, and Alice & Oliva all at affordable prices.  The outfits are well-styled inside with a significant costume jewelry collection too.  
An adorable Alice & Olivia dress at the Goodwill store all for under $45.

6.  I would be remiss if I didn't mention the MAX. It is a great way to get to and from the airport and the city offers free fares between the downtown locations.  Portland is also a great walking city, so leave that car at home and hop on foot, on a bike, or on the MAX to get around. If you need to rent a car, check out zipcar one of the most eco-friendly and innovative car-sharing ideas around. 
7.  I was there for The Dew Tour, so I had to see some of the skateboarding masters.  Bucky Lasek, an X-Games legend and two-time Snowboarding Olympic Gold Medalist, Shaun White.  Shaun had taken a year off from skateboarding to train for the 2010 Olympics and he still came in first place this weekend.  He is just that great of an athlete.  He catches so much air, it is really inspiring to watch in person:
Shaun catching some major air on the left of the ramp.
Portland is a little sleepy compared to LA, but I really enjoyed my stay.  A couple of things to note though:  the crunchy, granola vibe is often taken to an extreme with the lack of hygiene idea.  I know you don't want to waste water, you eco-friendly Portlanders, but sometimes soap and water is a good thing.  Finally, the city does have an aggressive homeless population.  There was a fight between two homeless men while I was in line for Voodoo Doughnuts that ended with one man throwing a garbage can lid at the other man's head.  This is not just in the rougher neighborhoods, it is all over the city.  Be prepared and aware of this issue when you visit.  I hope Portland has a plan in place to help those in need because it does color a visitor's perception of the city and we know how Detroit fared after my visit earlier this year.

So, get out to Oregon, shop, eat, and have a Maple Bacon Bar for me.  Let me know if I missed other Portland gems for my next visit.  (I have been to Powell's Books many times, so I know that is probably the first suggestion on everyone's list.  Thanks!)



  1. I've been to Oregon but never to Portland. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Yes, it is a must visit city....especially for shopping with the NO SALES TAX policy. I love it!


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