Friday, March 14, 2014

Wonderfully Weird Portland

Portland has been on my dream destination list.  My BFF Ann and I have talked about going for a while now. We like to eat, our husbands are picky eaters, and Portland seems like a dream for anyone with working taste buds. When we remembered our good friend Sara from high school lived there it became a must. Plus Sara just had an adorable baby and who can turn down adorable babies, food, and friends?

We booked a flight and last week we were off. First sign that Portland is a different kind of town?  The airport has a bike assembly area.  I love my city of Tulsa but if our airport had an assembly area for something it would be for guns or novelty fart toys.

We hopped on the MAX to meet our friend Sara at her work.  The man sitting behind us on the train was also from out of town.  He gave himself away with his southern drawl and his uncontained excitement when we passed a Panda Express.

Ann and I found the correct address only walking about 50 feet in the wrong direction.  If you know Ann and I you will know that that is quite an accomplishment for us.  Sara took off of work and her and her partner, Lena spent the next four days showing us their city.

Some of my favorite things about Portland…

Shopping. Portland takes “shop local” to a whole new level.  Sara took us to a boutique the first day.  She knew the owner and all about the owner.  The owner knew all the designers of the clothes she sold personally.  It is not uncommon for the shopkeepers to introduce themselves and in one instance, their dog.

The Green Bean bookstore is a children's bookstore that has both a finger puppet and fake mustache vending machine.  Ann modeling some of the fine finger puppet selections.

And speaking of pets-miniature goats. People have them as pets. They walk them on leashes.  How do you not love a city with miniature goats?  You don’t.  That is the answer.  You don’t.

The food.  Oh glorious Portland food!  Name a diet, any diet, and you can find a restaurant to accommodate you.  Vegetarian, vegan, carnivore, whatever…you name it, they got it.  I ate at a restaurant with nothing but pies, savory and sweet, and another that specialized in biscuits.  All those trendy places that specialize in one very particular food or have taken normal food and miniaturized it and made it handheld, it’s people like me that keep those places in business. At one of my favorite restaurants they even allowed dogs (actually not uncommon there) and had a menu for them.  I’m not sure about the goats though.  I think they’re still stuck with grass.

Voodoo Donuts
Picture by Ann Pinson

Powell’s bookstore.  It’s a bookstore that takes up almost an entire city block.  Nuff said.

It's so big it requires a map.  A very large map.
Picture by Ann Pinson

It’s weirdness.  I mean this in the best possible way.  I had always heard of the “Keep Portland Weird” bumper stickers, but now I have a whole new understanding of it.  You really have no idea what you may run into.  Man with a music stand in an open field playing the accordion? Check.  Man with a beak mask with a clothespin on it? Check.  Woman with a helmet and goggles, clown driving a van and singing over a loudspeaker?  Check and check.  Portland embraces humanity in all of its wacky forms and it’s beautiful.

Portland Japanese Garden
Photo by Ann Pinson

I could go on and on.  I could talk about the Japanese garden, the public parks, the colorful houses, the trees, etc. but I will end with this… the friendship.  I know, I know…I’m being sappy, but I got to hang out with my best friend for forever, my other friend who I have so wonderfully reconnected with, and I met my friends partner and made a new friend. In addition, Sara’s daughter thinks I’m hilarious when I do fake sneezing and pretend she has stinky feet, so I’m going to count her as a pint-sized new friend as well.   So really, what’s better than that?  Nothing.  The answer is nothing.


  1. I got Portland as the place I should live on one of those quizzes making the rounds on Facebook. Sounds like my kind of place. Austin also sports "Keep Austin Weird" bumper stickers and I loved it when I visited last year. And then there is my soul city, New Orleans. They don't have a "Keep New Orleans Weird" slogan because they don't have a clue they are weird.

  2. Oh I thought you would love it! I actually got a bit teary reading this.... ;)


  3. Great important post, where you make the main focus, really makes me happy for its necessary of importance.
    After all it is a great article with everything. Thanks in advance for posting it.