Everything was different as soon as we entered the city of Portland. We had slept in the car at a rest stop the night before, so we weren’t feeling great, but the 90s vibes really perked me up.
Greg had been waiting his whole life to get Voo Doo doughnuts, so that was our obvious first stop. We found a convenient-ish place to park and walked to the shop. We barely had to wait in line for the famous balls of dough at the cash-only business. As soon as we ordered, I swear a whole mob of people walked in the door. The aesthetic is definitely what keeps this place alive. Everything is so “alternative.” They were playing twentyone pilots, and there were weird posters and graphics everywhere.
We ate outside and arranged our next move. I wanted to get some sort of local coffee because that just seemed like the thing to do in a place like Portland. We walked the ten feet to Stumptown Coffee and taught ourselves that Portland was once called Stumptown for the large numbers of trees that had been cut down.
I drank my cold brew and we walked around some interesting areas. We were flying by the seats of our spandex pants.
The next place we decided upon was the Patagonia store. This became a bit of a trend with us in our attempt to collect as many free city-themed Patagonia stickers in our travels. (I even have one from Tokyo, ha.)
Up next was Powell’s Used Bookstore, a fixture from the opening credits of the famous IFC show, Portlandia. The store ended up being more entertaining than I expected. I found some old Baby-Sitters Club books for which I gave my reader recommendation. Though I was inspired to pick up a book more often, the best takeaway from the store was a quote from Greg.
A bookstore is like a library where you could buy books.
It was suddenly time for lunch, and we decided on Little Big Burger. Because of its name, but expectations for the burger were low, but it was actually about the circumference of a McDouble, but thicker and made with more love and care. Greg and I each got a veggie b and shared fries which were very nice. The menu was small and their “ketchup” was good, but what struck us most was how loud the music was. The guy who took my order could barely hear me, and we had to yell to talk to each other.
Once we were full, we walked around a bit more, doing some window shopping in stores I never get to see in-person (like the Danner store).
Our big finale was driving through the city and taking a simple photo of City Hall, home of the Mayor.
Portland seems like a really cool place to spend time with someone who knows where they’re going. I hope that I’ll see more of the urban growth boundary the next time I go!