Exploring the city. On foot. The hard way.
Trip Start Apr 23, 2011
3Trip End May 08, 2011
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Where I stayed
Julia and Amy - you're the bestest!
So let's see - day one.
I decided when I got to Portland that I would just park my car and hoof it by foot, bus, train, tram, etc. rather than having to deal with reparking my car since it is in a safe, parking-sign-free area with no time or permit restrictions of any kind (enough to make me want to move here by itself).
As part of all my walking, two things happened:
1) I got to see a lot of houses in Portland
As part of seeing all these gorgeous houses, I got to see all these blooming flowers, trees and green stuff they call "moss" (What's that? No, they don't have that in LA. Anywhere.)
Most of the pictures you'll see below are pics of all these cool blooming or growing things.
I talked to one of the homeowners in the area as I was photographing the mushrooms on her tree and she admitted that as fast as things grow it's hard work making sure that only the things you WANT to have grow and that the unwanted mold stays away from your roof, amongst other things.
Always a downside to everything. Sheesh.
Speaking of which...
2) The other thing that happened was that as I was walking up the hill from downtown to go to the International Rose Test Gardens and Japanese Gardens in Washington Park, my left knee started to give out. When I say "give out", I don't mean broken or sprained, but just painful. This sometimes happens if I've been walking for more than 5 miles or so, which I had at that point.
So to sum up the day:
Met up with Amy, Julia and Ryan and had coffee/chai, walked everywhere, took photos, went to Rose Test Gardens (disappointing - nothing was blooming), Japanese Gardens (disappointing - $9.50 admission for such a small garden), knee gave out, took the bus as much as possible, took a bunch of photos of blooming trees, flowers, macro photos of raindrops, etc. etc. bought a book (a new copy of "The Stand" by Stephen King) and tempted myself to blog, but went out for chai instead, then back to bed.
See below for the photos of most of the things I really liked, but there were a few others that I failed to get a photo of or were things that just couldn't be photographed:
1) The Pioneer Square Echo Circle - there's this corner of Pioneer Square (a large outdoor square suitable for demonstrations or the odd free outdoor movie night on a big white sheet)
2) Bunsen Bubblers - Ok, so I did get a photo of this one, but it requires some explanation: Most streets in downtown have these water fountains that are constantly running, and you just have to bend down and take a sip. I wonder if the Bunsen part is the same guy who did the Bunsen Burners? If so, hot damn.
3) Everyone jaywalks. Everyone. You look to see if there's a car coming, but generally, if there's no car coming, you just go. Apparently everyone does this.
4) Powell's Books - I didn't get a picture but this is truly the largest bookstore. THE largest. If you know the Barnes and Noble at the Grove or The Americana? The 3 story ones? 5X that size. 5 stories and they have separate buildings for just their technical books and for their cooking books. Also, they buy used and put the used copies on the shelves next to their new counterparts so if you just want a cheap used copy, you don't have to go elsewhere. Been to Amoeba Records? How if you look first in Used for a CD and only if they don't have it there do you look in New? They combined them into one. Genius. Despite the fact that a) I already have 4 books to read that I brought with me and b) I already have a copy of The Stand at home, I got a new copy since the used one I have at home is falling apart.
5) Bums - Amy and Julia tell me that most of the young bums I see on the street are actually local kids that just panhandle to make money off the tourists who feel sorry for them. Wow.
Aaaand that's pretty much it for that day. On to the next entry.