The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland.
Portlandia is a completely outlandish show portraying the bizarre hipster habits of the area. And as an avid fan, I was thrilled to find out that the show is strangely accurate.
I arrived on a Thursday to a wonderfully overcast sky. I’d first like to say that Portland has a clean and efficient transportation system. I found no need for a car during my stay. If I had to get anywhere, a bus or MAX ride could bring me anywhere I needed.
My first day was spent aimlessly wandering downtown. Pioneer Square is a bustling part of the city. It’s perfect for people watching, and trust me; there are a lot of “interesting” people to observe.
Voodoo Doughnuts is another famous Portland sight. They specialize in crazy doughnut flavors, and they are insanely cheap. I ordered the Dirty Old Bastard, which a lady in line recommended to me. It’s a chocolate doughnut filled with raspberry filling and covered in Oreos and peanut butter. I’m not a fan of doughnuts at all (they make me feel insanely sick) but this was worth the stomach ache.
However, if you’re into eating something more healthy, there are plenty of options around the city. There is no problem finding something to eat if you are vegetarian or vegan either! As someone who is dairy-free, there was a plenty of soy and almond milk substitutions available for my coffee :)
Also be sure to check out Powell Books! They have an amazing collection and the rare book section is cool.
The next day, I met up with my friend Brendan from school. Since he’s a Portland native, he definitely was a good person to have around. We had brunch at Imperial, which is downtown. The food was great and I didn’t need to fight anyone to get inside (reference to Portlandia).
Post lunch, we stopped at the Japanese Gardens. Apparently they have just reopened. It was extremely pretty and serene. In my opinion, it is slightly overpriced at $10, but there’s not much I can do about that. The Rose Garden is also in the area. Since Portland is the City of Roses, how could I not stop by?
We also visited the OMSI museum. It’s an interactive science museum and definitely worth checking out. Having had some pretty negative science class experiences in high school, it was nice to see science be fun! It was also the most Portland-esque museum that I could have imagined. Unfortunately when we went, we were surrounded by hoards of summer camp children. Neither Brendan and I are too fond of kids… but overall, a it’s a fantastic museum.
We spent the rest of the day checking out his town and just cruising around. It was super chill and just what I needed after a hectic day of traveling.
Portland is unlike any city on the East Coast. It’s far more relaxed. You don’t need to push through herds of people on the sidewalk or dress to the nines when you leave your apartment. In one word, Portland is chill.
I definitely need to come back at some point. There is so much to see and do. But until then, laters Portland! (I'll have to find Fred and Carrie next time!)