Portlandia, Neighborhood Edition

My friend Linda moved to Portlandia earlier this year. She declared she wanted visitors, so when I found myself with an o-daiko-free weekend, I flew up to say hello.

My two recent trips to Portland most hit city center and some of the more popular drags. It was great to experience Portland from the neighborhoods. I love that all the houses are unique, and many people have porches. Neighbors know each other, and Little Free Libraries are everywhere.

Related to me by someone with direct experience: One can prank their Portlandia neighbor by filling their Little Free Library with “God books”.

I wrote a lot about food on my previous trips. While I did revisit a few of my favorites (Coco Donuts, Grassa, Pine State Biscuits… hello carbs!), I got to try some off the beaten path neighborhood food carts, coffee shops, and restaurants: The Meddling Lime, Fairlane Coffee, Rose City Coffee, Communion Bakehouse. All delicious!

We also did a tea tasting at Steven Smith Teamaker. If you like tea, go! Bring a book or a friend and settle in for a fun and tasty experience.

Besides eating, we minded some literal Ps:

– Planet Granite: It’s huge! More tall, more walls, more everything.
– Peculiarium: A total tourist trap, as expected. Check!
– Powell’s City of Books: My mecca.

A few notes on people:
– People say hi to each other in passing.
– Drivers let each other in.
– I posed in front of a mural for a selfie. A lady approaching thought she was in my way of a picture and apologized for being in the way. This is half of us laughing about it.

Related to people, on the third day we took a bus into town. As several passengers came down the aisle, one of them stared at me, hard. After a moment, I realized she didn’t look like everyone else: she was Asian. And then I realized I was too. I hadn’t noticed how white Portland was until that moment, and no one had treated me any differently to highlight that I’m not.

Finally, some beautiful bike infrastructure:

I couldn’t figure out what purpose it served when I first came across it, but this article illustrates it well in the before and after.

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