I was in downtown Portland for a wildlife conference and training workshop for a couple days this week. Such a weird city, especially the Old Town area. Kind of great though. Eccentrics, by choice or not, everywhere. I can see the draw of living in a place where no matter how weird you are or what your issues, there’s someone stranger than you around the corner.
Blue hair, pompadours, dreads, tattoos, and spectacular beards. Ubiquitous homeless sprawled out in doorways and crowded along the riverfront. Lots of guys playing guitars and singing/wailing on street corners. More cigarette smoke than I’ve smelled anywhere recently. Kind of third world bus station mixed with a shiny, hipster polish. People seem friendly, but you’re also not quite sure if they might shove you in front of an oncoming streetcar.
Here are a few photos. These first few are from my drive down from Yakima. Wind farm above the Columbia River where I did bird surveys back in 2009. The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, looking across at the WA side – the Oregon side is lined with waterfalls. And Mt Hood in the distance at sunset.
Downtown Portland at night. Packed Apple store – there was a Microsoft store just down the street that just had three bored looking employees inside. Lots of public transport options and easy pedestrian/bike access.
Downtown Portland at noon. Voodoo Doughnut, famous for weird flavor combos (maple bacon). Weird Portland. Smorgasbord of food trucks choices and my lunch selection, $6 chicken shawarma.
I took the Oregon opportunity to swing by Bob’s Red Mill to pick up 50 pounds of my favorite muesli. Sure, it may come packaged like a big bag of dog food, but think of the savings!
And finally, Portland skyline with what I presume is a much more typical cloud cover than my first two days of full sun. I somehow managed to take that last photo in between the hordes of determined-faced runners and bikers along the waterfront.