First, the one and only rule of sister trips is "no killing each other." Obviously, we both adhered to this rule last trip, as we survived and then went to Hawaii with the whole family AND made it to Portland. We have not made it home yet, so I can't promise the rule will be upheld, but it's looking good. We planned very little for our NYC trip- some ideas of what to do, but no planning. We planned almost nothing for this trip. I've mentioned here that K is the much more prudent sister- she did all the planning that was done- booked our flights (I literally emailed her the day before to find out what time we were leaving), arranged where we were staying, etc. But we had no agenda.
We are staying in an apartment in the Pearl District. The apartment belongs to friends of my parents- they also have an apartment that is vacant and can be rented out to friends and family. We were going to stay there but ended up staying in this amazing top floor (16th floor!) apartment, with the most generous deal. Amazing! (Unlike THB, I'm not going to post every dollar spent here!) The apartment even has a deck- no, we did not eat lunch on the deck- but we have brought amazing weather (read: the drought) to Portland, and I did read on the deck this afternoon.
|view from the deck|
|gone before you finished reading this caption|
|we need this in Oakland, if we could fund it. only, I never even saw a pothole!|
Other cool things we did: visited the Portland State University farmer's market this morning- amazing selection of premade foods, including (wait for it) cookies. Went to Blue Moon, an all-analog camera store that has optical printing on site- SO cool. They also have and repair typewriters. And, of course, I've made approximately 5 (no, exactly 5) trips to Powell's. If possible, that place is too much bookstore for me. It's true.
- There are a lot of people here that appear to fall on some spectrum of unhoused, homeless, street people, homeless by choice, etc. These people appear much more like Santa Cruz homeless than Oakland homeless in demographics. There may be more of them than in Santa Cruz. What's unclear is why they don't go south where it doesn't rain so much.
- Portland is just as white as I had heard it is, at least, as far as we can tell.
- Downtown Portland is very quiet and empty during the week. It livened up a lot today, and it's not clear if that's normal- tourists? People off work? March Madness (happening here today)? Spring break?
- We aren't quite clear where everyone works. There are a TON of restaurants, so it's very possible that people work at restaurants to make money to eat at other restaurants.
- Some things seem outdated: yes, you still can't pump your own gas, no, there is still no sales tax. People smoke a lot here- it seems bumping up the cigarette tax might help with that. How is everything so clean and apparently well funded (ie: pothole hotline) with no sales tax?
- People seem VERY civilized here. For example, we saw dozens and dozens of dogs and not a single one was off leash. K saw one tied up dog this morning (in front of Starbucks, of course), and we saw one around lunch time today, although it was for approximately 1 minute and then the owner went and sat with him. We saw zero dogs strain on their leashes to lunge or bark at anything, and I think I heard two total dogs bark on their leashes. There wasn't any dog poop anywhere.
- "Food trucks" aren't food trucks. They're permanent food carts or stalls. And at least the ones in downtown Portland were disappointing.
- Meat is back. It seems to be coming back in Oakland but it is really back in Portland. Lardo's is a super popular mini-chain, but you can go anywhere and get lots and lots of meat.