Portlandia

Trip Start Aug 12, 2012
1
4
13
Trip End Aug 25, 2012


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Where I stayed
Comfort Inn
What I did
Voodoo Doughtnut
Deschutes Public House
Keep Portland Weird sign

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 4 was all about waking up in Portland! After a quick breakfast we jumped in the car and headed toward Downtown Portland on Highway 26. The traffic was heavy for 1030 on a Wednesday morning but we were downtown before we knew it and ready for a walking tour we decided to take at 11. We walked across Pioneer Square which had lots of activities going on, including a fitness class that had one person, next to a Voodoo Doughnuts cart which had…more than one person. We met our tour guide, Erik, and after a few minutes of very corny jokes we set off on the tour. At our first stop at a public fountain we learned about how Portland came to be named. The guide told us that a man from Portland, Maine wanted to incorporate the city but did not have the 25 cents to do so and had to borrow the money from a man from Boston on the agreement that the man from Boston would get half of the city. The men supposedly flipped a penny 3 times to determine the name and by a score of 2 to 1 Portland was the winner, obviously. Our next stop was at water fountains named Benson Bubblers which are located throughout the city and provide clean, non-recycled water to the citizens of Portland, before heading on to a bustling Farmer's Market and over to a statue of Abraham Lincoln. He did not look too happy that we were there. Apparently during his unveiling the citizens of Portland were not too pleased with his serious scowl, and they asked the sculptor for a redo! His response? "He was president during the Civil War; he didn’t have to much to smile about". We also saw the Portland Building with a giant Amazonian woman wielding a trident perched over its doors, her name was appropriately, Portlandia. We found out she is the second largest hammered copper figure in the world, second only to the Statue of Liberty. We then took a walk down to the riverfront to see the park that runs along the water as well as the smallest park in the world. The Mill Ends Park is in the middle of an intersection and is only 24 inches in diameter; it was apparently created by a writer named Dick Fagan who got tired of looking at an empty hole in the middle of the street (that was supposed to be for a streetlamp) and decided to plant flowers. He then created this story of a leprechaun who lived there and the people flocked to the place! He continued the story for years and they gather for leprechaun festivals at this itty bitty park in the middle of the street. We were also able to get a sense of the flavor of Portland by seeing its many food carts/trucks in business; there definitely isn’t a shortage of food here! Our guide then took us down to the section that was notoriously known for its brothels and such sinful endeavors called “the Devil’s Triangle”. This is where we learned of the term to Shanghai someone. Apparently when British sailors came to port they would come to drink in these brothels and bars until they were incoherent and Oregonian men would seize the opportunity to have experienced sailors aboard their own vessels. They dropped the sailors into the tunnels below these places to be taken out to port to be slaves on ships sailing to, you guessed it, Shanghai. Hence the term “getting Shanghaied”. We ended our tour next to the giant and ever so true sign proclaiming “Keep Portland Weird”, which they definitely do. They park children’s motorcycle toys on the street in actual parking spots, they tie little plastic horses to the old hitching rings around the city, they have man after man sporting handle bar moustaches and father time beards, and they have an annual naked bike ride event. Definitely weird!! Our next stop right across the street was what Vanessa was waiting for, Voodoo Doughnut! We had to indulge ourselves by buying more than we needed, of course we had to get a voodoo doll (with raspberry blood filling), a bacon maple bar and a chocolate/peanut buttery mess called the Old Dirty Bastard. All of it was well worth the wait outside in line, which we were told was short compared to the usual line wrapped around the block. We held onto our doughnuts for later and grabbed a late lunch at the Deschutes Brewery. Portland is a town full of award winning pubs and beers so we of course had to try some on offer. Jonathan had the Chainbreaker white IPA, and an experimental IPA called the Armory; while Vanessa had the Genevrier Wit, and the Rye-t On, all of them were delicious. So a few beers and an Elk burger later we headed to book lover’s paradise that is Powell’s City Books. It takes up an entire street block! We browsed for several hours and came out with a couple things, a very cool place. Overall a very informative and awesome time in Portland, and we walked most of the time!

Totals:
New license plates spotted: (1) Illinois
Total: 17
Miles traveled today: 25
Total: 887
Miles on foot: approx. 3.5
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