portland

Please excuse the crappiness of the photos in this post. They’re all cellphone shots, I didn’t use my SLR a whole lot in Portland…

We arrived in Portland pretty late in the evening. We found a cheap motel in the outskirts of town. Our motel is next door to a Chinese dive bar (never knew those things existed.) Gid and I decided to unwind from our long drive by shooting some pool. It was a pretty cool place, free pool tables and cheap beer– sounds like a place where Asians would be at home at, so I was somewhat surprised that we were the only Asians in the place.

So apparently Portland is the hipster capital of the world. So we spent the day pretending to be hipsters (without the tattoos or tight pants, so I guess we didn’t really go so far as hipsters). We rented city bikes and then hit up Stumptown coffee, which my friend Jack recommended. I ended up spending $5 for an Ethiopian something something coffee (I forget the exact name) brewed in a Chemex. I guess I’m not much of a coffee connoisseur because I couldn’t tell how it was any better than the cheapo McDonald’s coffee I typically drink.

After Stumptown we decided to bike to the Rose Garden and the Japanese Tea Garden. They were up a pretty big sized hill– it was not very fun climbing on these city bikes that were clearly not made for climbing. The Rose Garden was kind of a bust– should’ve realized that three guys would not really appreciate roses. But at least the Rose Garden was free. The Japanese Tea Garden was almost $10, so we decided not to go in. We sat around near the Rose Garden for a while, cooling off. A group of Korean grandmas were sitting near us, I thought they were from Korea, so I asked them where in Korea they were from. Apparently they were from the Portland area. They were really nice, they fed us some snacks.

Afterwards we biked into downtown for lunch. There’s this one block in Portland that’s just food pods all they way around. They served everything from pho to foie gras. Pure awesomeness.

Afterwards we attempted to burn off some of the calories from lunch by biking around the waterfront area. Portland is such an amazingly bike friendly town. Plus there’s amazing food. And no sales tax. I think I’m ready to move to Portland…

I like cities with nice riverside trails. Sacramento’s American River Parkway is nice, but it’s not as well developed as the waterfront in Portland. I think that’s also why I liked Boston– the Boston Esplanade is pretty nice.

In the evening we hit up a couple of bike shops, attempting to take advantage of Oregon’s lack of sales tax, but we didn’t find anything to buy. We then went up the hill to the Oregon Health & Science University campus. The view from the hospital there was amazing, with great views of Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood and downtown Oregon.

It was so nice in Portland that we decided to spend another night there. In the morning we visited another coffee shop called Coffeehouse Northwest. I really liked this place. They make their own caramel, and their baked goods and breakfast sandwiches were awesome. I had a prosciutto butter baguette along with an iced coffee. I didn’t realize until then that butter could be a main ingredient. Seriously, I think there was like half a stick of butter in my sandwich. I could feel the blood in my veins start to thicken as I ate it.

Afterwards we hit up a camera shop, again trying to take advantage of the lack of sales tax. I found a telephoto lens that was a pretty good deal, cheaper than anything on eBay. But I decided not to get it. Later on we discovered that Ray forgot his camera charger in the motel room, so we returned to the area. I ended up buying the lens. So in just two days in Portland I spent almost a thousand dollars (although 80% of that was the lens.)

All in all though I really enjoyed Portland. The food in general was amazing. I ate so much of it that I’ll devote a separate post just to Portland food.

Things I’m thankful for:

  • Lack of sales tax in Oregon
  • Food pods. Why don’t we have these in Sacramento?!

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