I spent a weekend in Portland to visit a fellow rpcv:
1. I bought a skirt with a bird on it. This apparently has some connection to the popular television show Portlandia. I can affirm that, while running around the Portland Saturday Market, theres lots of things with birds on them here . . . and my skirt is super cute.
2. Col Summers park is ridiculous. I've lived in Santa Cruz - but this has nothing on it. Hula hoopers (light up ones when the sun went down), jugglers, professional hacky sackers, flower children, hipsters, frisbee throwers, a 90% naked guy sword fighting with styrofoam, a pick-up kick ball game, booze in paper bags, and dodgeball on the tennis courts. Also, we saw the cast of the Real World: Portland.
3. Sailing the Columbia River meant I sorta went to Washington too.
4. Every kind of food you could possibly want . . . from a food truck. And next to those food trucks, tables, chairs, free wifi, heaters, and a bookshelf of stuff to read as you stuff your face. I especially enjoyed falafels, homemade ice cream, and vietnamese noodles.
5. Theres lot of beer here. But I don't drink beer so that aspect of the city was wasted on me. The drinks were pretty cheap though - I appreciated that.
6. Bicycles. The house I was staying in had two people but four bikes. I think this is the norm in Portland.
7. People from Portland are friendly. I know that everyone says that about this town or that. But, I've traveled a bit in my day and I have to say, never have I been in a city so happy to bring you into their conversation (that is until they find out you're Californian . . . they seemed to warm up though after they found out I have no plans to move to Oregon.)
Portland: two thumbs up!