Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday in Portland, Oregon

I used to say there were only two cities I'd ever been in that I really could say I liked and enjoyed a lot; Montreal and Barcelona. Now I have to add a third...Portland. It's clean, there are lots of old buildings with architectural embellishments from whip-cream like flourishes to famous composers busts to wooden carvings...plenty of sushi bars in a variety of price ranges. There's a Penzey's Spice store (where every spice and mix has a 'smell jar' - and we smelled all of them!), a Bob's Red Mill store (didn't get there this time), Powell's Books (didn't scratch the surface), a killer farmer's market with enough samples from wine makers, cheese artisans, juice squeezers and meat vendors, many of whom raise the critters to make the meats and cheese, grow the fruit trees to squeeze the juices and till the soil it all starts from to start and stop my hunger pangs a couple dozen times,

At the farmer's market I ate samples of locally produced cheeses and meats and jams, drank samples of fresh juices, and then wandered with Sarah and Dan, up and down a lot of streets. We walked down to the park on the river, where there were people spread out on blankets or playing tossing games or walking their dogs. Yes, there were homeless people. No there was barely any trash. I think I saw maybe two pieces of trash...really. There are recycling stations where you can throw your cans and paper and plastic, then get a little slip of paper for a $ refund.  There are tons of bike racks...and most of them are full. Even at the grocery markets! There was more, but you can get the idea...

Some of the great signs downtown

The farmer's market is a plethora of many joys for fresh food lovers and well within the means of the most strict budget...they even take food stamps!


House on the corner of the market square..
and a LOT of great fruits and veggies

Squash, anyone?

Beauty (and flavor) full

No, I'm not pushing Brussel Sprouts, but they sure are pretty

Maybe one of my favorite things...this guy and his wife grow hot peppers
and then roast them RIGHT HERE in this very brilliant roaster over charcoal - 
the aroma renders you helpless as it reaches out and drags you to their stand

Yak jerk[e]y? A little pricey for this trip, but NEXT time...I'm in!

There are old buildings, lots of them, among some new ones...and I gaped like the rube that I am at most of them...

This one is for Jonny...just a small section of some extraordinary relief work

 This whole building had composers busts and their names 
etched above them...half a city block worth!

She looks really happy...

Just a neat time, we hit this bar!

Lots of the old buildings haven't painted 
over signs like these...I love that!

I can't remember the name of this building, but it was huge 
and as fanciful as an overgrown wedding cake; for more 
information on the historical buildings of Portland, 
dozens of which I haven't seen yet, check them out here

And there were bridges...did I mention I love bridges? 

Steel Bridge, over the Willamette [will AM ette] River
According to, the "Steel Bridge (1912) is the only double-decked telescoping vertical lift bridge in the world. Its upper deck is used for lightrail, vehicles and pedestrians while the lower deck carries about eight trains a day. Because the bottom deck is only 25 feet above water, it lifts often for river traffic. It slips up-and-down inside the bottom of the bridge's top deck, without interrupting top deck users."

 This is a whole lot of bridges as seen from the riverside park 
The paddlewheeler is the Maritime Museum - next trip!

There were more than a few random moments...along with a CRAZY and wonderful store that we almost didn't go in but are so glad we did (where else can you get a free Chinese finger trap and a fish fortune teller?) but that is enough for now. 

Happy Monday! And maybe Tuesday too. I leave here Wednesday for Fort Lauderdale and my brother, last stop on the Long Summer and Fall Adventure before I head home. Can't wait to see him, can't wait to get home!

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