Due to yesterday's blog birthday and book giveaway, this week's 'From Place To Space' post makes its appearance on an unusual Tuesday. But nonetheless I will make sure this yet another inspiring virtual trip to a new city. Today you are very welcome to join me to Hipsterville, the capital of hipsters, tattoos, moustaches and beards: Welcome to Portland, Oregon!
The City of Roses
Portland was my second stop on my Canada & USA trip mid September and early October. Since I was traveling the Pacific Northwest it was a must to go and visit Portland, the vibrant and cool city on the northern tip of Oregon. Some bare facts first: Portland is a rather small city. Very walkable or better yet easy to discover by bikes. It is also THE most bike-friendly city in the United States. The Willamette river divides the city into two parts which are interconnected with numerous bridges. Portland is also supposed to be one of the most optimistic places in the world with a very cool and relaxed lifestyle. It also is the hometown of the inimitable Kinfolk Magazine. It also is a foodie's heaven with a thriving food scene and great restaurants tucked away in various corners of the city and many food carts serving yummy food to-go. It is known for its numberless microbrews, so beer fans will feel like in heaven too, as will coffee lovers. It is nicknamed 'The City of Roses' and features one of the oldest open parks in the US with a fabulous International Rose Test Garden with more than 7.500 different roses. Sounds good, right?
I settled in Portland for four nights in the highly hyped Ace Hotel. The hotel is perfectly located in the city center and features a very Portlandian cool vibe - it feels almost like a hipster youth hostel for the cool crowd. Moreover it holds two more aces - the epitomized coffee place 'Stumptown Coffee' and a fabulous restaurant named 'Clyde Common'. Both highly recommendable. Coffee places are paramount in town so make sure you roam around and try all the different coffees as well. Opposite of the hotel is a brand new shopping passage called 'Union Way' with some very cool shops for fashion, interiors, food and sweets. I visited another very cool store at Union Way, but I will share it in a separate blogpost soon. Next doors to the hotel is also the delicious 'Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen' with luscious Jewish delicatessen and famed for its cured meats - make sure you're really hungry when you go there! Even book lovers just need to take a one minute walk to arrive at the fantastic 'Powell's City of Book', the largest independent store for new and used books worldwide. I spent like an entire evening there and left loaded with new and vintage books!
Keep Portland Weird
What attracted me most to Portland? I think it's the lifestyle in general. It was the first American city where I experienced such a relaxed, urban lifestyle, impromptu gatherings and performances on the streets, and an honest and refreshing friendliness of its people. A typical Pacific Northwest phenomenon is how the city liaises urban life with the vast surrounding nature. It is a short drive away from the wild Oregon Pacific coast as well as from the high, densly-wooded peaks of the Cascade Range. Go and see both! I will share more on the surroundings later on the blog. And when people say 'keep Portland weird' I will strongly agree if it means that the city stays as cool as it is. Or weird for that matter.
More Good Places
The problem with cities where you feel like almost every place you visited is recommendable, is how to break it down in one blogpost. Anyways, here are just a few more recommendable places if you ever happen to be in Portland: Mother's Bistro, Olympic Provisions, Barista, Voodoo Doughnuts (be prepared for queuing), Canoe for interior design lovers, Quin for the sweet thooths among you. If you have more recommendations, share them in the comment section.
Happy Tuesday, folks!
Photography by Igor Josifovic