Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Town + City Survey: Portland

image source + source

So, the Country Mouse + City Mouse hint.  Richard Scarry's version of that story was one of my favorites when I was wee.  I still want to live in his illustrations.

Where I want to live is precisely what I was hinting at, actually.  The City Mouse was checking out the country, and the Country Mouse was visiting the city.  This City Gal knows she wants to live elsewhere, but she doesn't know exactly where.  I thought it would be fun to survey some cities to determine their potential (but I promise to be far more polite and gracious than City Mouse was!).  So, for the next nine posts, I'll focus on nine different cities, and write about attractions, restaurants, events, and various other pull factors that seem pretty swell. 

In honor of Oregon's Rose Bowl victory yesterday, let's start in the Beaver State.  Despite almost being deterred by how the city is portrayed in Portlandia, I'm thinking Portland, Oregon, is a pretty super place to live.  (Yes, I know UO is in Eugene, not Portland. I just wanted to make my post seem timely, 'k?)  

I visited Portland about ten years ago, and I had three favorite spots: Voodoo Doughnuts, Powell's Books, and Multnomah Falls at the Columbia River Gorge.  Swoon, swoon, and swoon.  Wouldn't mind hitting up those three spots on the regular.

Brief and superficial research has led me to discover a few other promising tidbits:

Tag—you're it!  Have you ever visited (or lived in) Portland?  What makes it awesome?  What are some must-sees, must-eats, and must-do's?


  1. I've only been to Portland twice but my dad and several family members live there and LOVE it.

  2. Although I do think the weather was a big adjustment, coming from Santa Cruz.

  3. Good thing I love rain and have plenty of reasons to visit sunshiney California! ;]

    Do you remember any favorite restaurants or places to visit in P-land, Caitlin?

  4. I love Portland! I ran (using the word "ran" very loosely) my first 5k there. Love, love, Powell's. If you love the rain, it might be the perfect place!

    Next time I'm in Portland, it's my goal to check out Slappy Cakes.

  5. Hello! A little birdie by the name of Alicia pointed me in your direction. See, little Lita knows that I love PDX with my whole entire heart. I live in SF right now, but will most certainly be back to the grand old PNW soon enough. So, you ask, why do I heart Portland so much? Here is a brief, not so orderly list:

    -Food Carts! Sorry SF, your mobile Food Trucks and Off The Grid events are just not the same as the Portland Food Cart Culture. http://www.foodcartsportland.com/

    -Hawthorne District. Totally funky, cool, fun neighborhood. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawthorne,_Portland,_Oregon

    -Portland Farmer's Markets. Again, I just don't think SF can compare. When the Portland markets are in full swing, there is one nearly every day, all easily accessible, all featuring truly local produce and products. http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/

    -They didn't nickname it Bridgetown for nothing. Those bridges. There should be odes written about them. Google image search that business.

    -Bikes! Arguably the most bike friendly city in the U.S. It's flat and the bike lanes are prolific.

    -Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Puts Blue Bottle to shame. http://stumptowncoffee.com/

    -PDX Adult Soapbox Derby. 'Nuff said. http://soapboxracer.com/

    -Um, beer. Good beer. Like, really good beer. Again, Portland didn't earn the nickname Beervana for nothing. http://www.oregonbrewfest.com/

    -Along those same lines - pub theaters! Grab a pitcher and watch a movie on the big screen. Google "pub theaters portland".

    -Portland Timbers! Get in on the MLS excitement. The Timbers Army is diehard. http://www.portlandtimbers.com/

    -Awesome live music scene. So many wonderful, intimate venues. http://musicfestnw.com/

    And...wow I miss Portland. No doubt I will think of more suggestions in the coming days, but, uh, I have a feeling this compilation will keep you busy for a bit. :)

  6. Janet! Slappy Cakes is now atop my list of MUSTS. One of my favorite restaurant experiences in Europe was at a spot called Pancakes! in Amsterdam.

    Mala - Hi + welcome! SO glad you stopped by and offered SUCH a comprehensive list pointing toward the awesomeness of Portland! We have many of the same criteria for what makes a city wonderful. :]

  7. I want to go to here! A double decker bus + a trailer turned vintage shop. Worth a look-see.