To preface, other than a semester abroad and travelling during summer and winter breaks, I spent about 4 years going to the University of Portland so obviously I have a bit of history with the city. Despite the doom and gloom of the rainy season it’s a great city to live in, especially for the younger crowd and I was really excited to spend a few days there, show Marelise around, and visit a few friends. (*He was a really good guide)
In typical Portland fashion it was misting when we got there, I almost forgot the feeling of snaking between lanes on a motorcycle in the rain, but it came back pretty quickly with a squeal of brakes. The plan was to meet up with my friend Sam Crider, kind of my little brother after an incident he refers to as when “I saved his life”. Last time I saw him he was in North Portland so we made our way there and decided to get a pint at my favorite bar in Portland, Plews Brews. It’s an awesome laid back place, great artwork, live music, rotating beer menu all the same price, cash only, just a really relaxing place. We grabbed a pint, dried ourselves off a little, and had a good chat with an Irish guy we met – mostly about Brasil and how we looked a riot with all our gear tied to the motorcycle.
After double checking with Sam turned out he moved down to SW Portland practically in Multnomah. We hung out for a bit then headed to a decent bar nearby to have a drink, some shots, and play some shuffleboard. We’re also really grateful because instead of crashing on Sam’s couch, they insisted we stay at Christine’s apartment nearby while she was mainly staying at Sam’s. Really nice of them we had an apartment to ourselves to relax, shower, do some laundry, and recuperate. The next morning Sam and his long time girlfriend Christine were nice enough to treat us to brunch at a O’Connors in Multnomah Village which was pretty tasty, I’ll admit.
Afterwards they offered to do whatever we would like despite the constant drizzle. Without anything special coming to mind I thought it would be really nice to show Marelise a bit of downtown and the famous Saturday Market. We parked near the riverside, and just as the sky cleared up a little we made our way through the 3 distinct sections of the market checking out the variety of homemade goods and artsy crafts. There’s metal working, clothing, bonsai plants, wind chimes, plenty of food, art , live music, wood work and so on. It doesn’t change much but it’s definitely a nice place to kill a few hours on the weekend and walk along the waterfront park. We did meet two really interesting artists who had some great pieces and really interesting methods we thought we’d share.
There’s psychonaut artist J Slattum who had some really magical or other-worldly art, some that pops out in layers when you don the 3D glasses in the tent. J Slattum’s artwork
The other artist we really enjoyed is named Sienna Morris who is a numberism artist. What she does for each piece is research the numerical or chemical makeup of her subject or a certain aspect of it, and then try to recreate that idea or process on canvas creating strokes out of dozens of tiny numbers or letters. Sienna Morris’s artwork
Afterwards we had a relaxing Sunday afternoon, cooked together, played a card game called shithead, and had a really good time when my other really good friend from Portland, Chris Robinson, came over with some cider, man it was really good to see them both, even more bittersweet that I wasn’t able to convince them to come the World Cup with us. The next day was still rainy so we didn’t think we’d see much if we went sightseeing. So I took Marelise to a few of my favorite places in north Portland. We got some tasty coffee at Anna Banana’s, and some great subs at East Side deli, two places that I frequented a lot during university.
We also had some other sights to check out. We started out the next day at Voodoo Doughnuts which thankfully had a really short line. I think Marelise really enjoyed her “cock-n-balls” doughnut, and I got some typical chocolate as Marelise went to town. We also got some food truck kebab’s which were excellent and had plenty of tzatziki and somagh! I was also pleased to tears to stop by a haberdasher shop on 21st street because I lost my favorite flatcap in the world, months before that in Taiwan. The model was out of stock, and after rooting through their storeroom leftovers I got the exact same cap in the same size, their very last one, a true miracle. (*Kiernan was giddy with happiness, it was so cute).
We popped over to Rogue brewery to check out their really cool environment and grab an amazing stout; Marelise had a tasty honey mead. I also had to take her to Powell’s bookstore which is always great to explore, and plop down with a random book. To finish off the day we headed up to the Portland Japanese Garden which is one of the gems of the city in my opinion. Manicured to perfection, it has a really pleasant and relaxing layout, variety of botanical selection, and a lot of carefully grown moods and emotions permeating from every section of the garden. The most surprising part is what they do with so little space, and how long it must have taken to make it so.
Unfortunately I didn’t have good enough good weather to check out Beacon Rock State Park which is my favorite park near Portland, and a great hike that gives amazing vistas of the Gorge. Instead we picked up some brakes for the bike, stopped by a mechanic I used to take my bike to and settled on checking out Ramona Falls near Mt. Hood but that’s for another post. We finished off the night at a Mcmenamins nearby with Sam, Christine, and Chris… shit’s wild. It was really good to see Sam and Chris, we’re hoping they come down to visit us in Brasil sometime in the next year, maybe I can twist their arms. There were of course a few other people I had hoped to see in Portland but there’s never enough time, hopefully we’ll stay in touch though.
*Portland was so much fun! Kiernan’s excitement as we neared the city was infectious and it was as awesome for me to see all the places he showed me or took me to as I imagine it must have been for him to revisit – his alma mater, places he stayed or hung out with friends.