PDX: Day 2

Whew, I'm pretty sure my feet will never forgive me. I've walked about 10-15 mi today in my not-so-good-for-walking shoes. Bad idea, my foot's a little swollen, but whatevers. Today was a blast! My target for the day: d-town Portland.

Just trying to remember what I did today is making my mind spin, so I'm resorting to my pics to be my memory haha. I was digging the list format I did last night, and it looks like I may be going out on a pub crawl here in a bit, so the speedier format will help me out. My day in pictures, converted to words (and eventually back to pictures when I have a chance!) from dawn til dusk:

  • Portland Saturday Market - Awesome place to find all sorts of great art, t-shirts, what-have-you, and for AWESOME prices.  I saw one guy selling original paintings for $10-35.  So tempted.  I also hopped upstairs to the Burnside Bridge and grabbed some photos of the "Welcome to Oregon" sign and all the bridges on the river.  I'm an engineer, so hey, I like bridges okay?
  • Voodoo Donuts - After like 4 people telling me yesterday I had to try out the donuts at this place, I stopped by to take a look.  As expected, there was an hour long line, since they're the best thing ever, but I didn't stay to find out :( because I had so much to do.  Thanks Brad for asking if I wanted one though.
  • Old Town / Chinatown District - Out of everywhere I went, I probably could've skipped this part of town.  Most of it isn't very Chinatown-like to me (at least compared to SF); it's a hodgepodge of random shops and empty buildings.  Also, it seemed like the red light district (if you wanna call it that) bordered on and included parts of Old Town, which was sorta weird.
  • Classical Chinese Garden - really cool and calming, so glad I got a ticket for free from the hostel.  A small patch of serenity on the northern edge of Chinatown.  I've heard the Japanese Gardens are better (at least Sarah says so :-P)
  • Pearl District - an old warehouse district that's been converted to lofts, upscale shops, and art galleries.  It didn't really have the sort of neighborhood feel to me; it seemed kinda sterile and WAY too expensive.
  • Powel's World of Books - WOW!  When I saw the sign listing all the floors of books and all the categories, I was shocked.  I'm not even a huge reader, and I spent about 2 hours in there.  I went through all the green/environmental studies and job/college books doing research on my future sustainability career.  So much good info, but in the end I restrained myself.  They even had a rare books section upstairs that included, among other things, a 1st edition of Luis and Clark's journals from their exhibition (for a meager $25,000).  Dad, if you're reading this, you'd be there for hours!
  • Kenny & Zuke's Deli - Awesome recommendation from the folks at the hostel, good call guys!  A great deli right by Powell's, I grabbed a Catherine, or turkey Reuben, which was awesome.  What was even better were the cooks at the counter yelling Borat jokes at each other.  Awesome Sorry, I should use my new catch-phrase more: it was bad-ass!
  • Cultural District / Portland Art Museum - After lunch, I strolled down Park Ave. to the Art Museum.  I got a ticket and checked out; it was pretty good.  I'm not a big art guy, but I figured I'll be doing a lot of it when in Europe, so what the hell?  There was a wide variety of art, from native american to European to Northwestern.  I'm mainly a modern guy, but I enjoyed the art from the Northwest.  It didn't take me more than a few hours to go through, I'm glad I cheated on the ticket and got a student rate.
  • Portland State University - apparently "Oregon's largest university" was right down the street, so I decided to take a stroll.  It was a very nice, urban campus; it reminded me a lot of Wayne State.  I found the Computer Engineering department (I didn't see the environmental stuff) and walked over there.  It was closed of course, but I figured I'd try.
  • Downtown - I finished of my trip with a stroll through the downtown streets, checking out all the shops.  I must say, Portland's a very nice, clean-cut town for the most part.  I was craving a coffee shop to write, so I ended up way over in the Pearl District again, where I nursed my aching feet while sipping an Italian soda and reading emails. (Probably should've worked on the blog too :-P)
  • Hawthorne - Feeling cheap (and stupid) I walked the 5 miles back to the hostel.  In the end, I'm glad I did, because crossing the Hawthorne bridge and seeing all the shops on the way to the hostel was fun.
Of course, that only covered to dusk :-P, and the night did not end there, oh no.  I walked in the door, and immediately I was out walking back down Hawthorne with Brad to go grab some dinner.  Carrie, Greg, and Sarah were heading out for a mini pup crawl of sorts in an hour, so I headed out with Brad to get food before he headed to a movie.  We decided to try out another microbrewery called Roots, an all-organic brewery that's the newest brew in town.  It was REALLY good; we had a beer and talked for a bit.  As it turned out, the waitress had just moved out to Portland from the UP, so we chatted it up a bit about MI.  Afterwords, Brad headed out to a movie he wanted to see, while I headed back to head out.

Turned out, nobody left yet, so I rushed back to the hostel and we headed out to Belmont, which was just north of Hawthorne.  We checked out a few bars and even a nickel arcade, which was a bunch of fun.  I felt like I was back at a Chuckie Cheese (and I even got to play Time Crisis!)  At the second bar, we got a chance to go downstairs and listen to a funk band, which was great.  Brad met up with us, and we all had a great time hanging out.  Portland's a great music spot, and it's been fun hearing all the different sounds as I've walked around these past few days.

We headed back to the hostel around 2:30 a.m. and I passed out at 3, feeling like I accomplished a lot that day.  I was not feeling the bike ride the next day to the gorge, but I decided to play it by ear.  Oh, and someone apparently stole my towel, which was like the one thing I didn't lock up, but no biggie, I got one from the front desk.  The only downside, I got to listen to all the jokes about why I don't want to find the towel now.  Thanks guys :-P

As for the hostel, it's be so great; I'm really glad I did this trip.  Stay tuned to next time, I feel like doing a few short bios.  There are just sooooooo many interesting stories to tell.  Laterz!


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