I’ve now been in Portland for about 24 hours.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

  • They are a “dinner” place; not a breakfast place.
  • The homeless are pretty brazen and approach people with great frequency.
  • Most of the cool stuff happens on weekends.
  • While they consider themselves organic, natural, and into the environment, they smoke like fiends.
  • They smoke here — A LOT.
  • It’s pretty easy to get around by foot and by rail.
  • Restaurants, no matter how empty, will ask if you have a reservation.  They will act put out that you don’t.
  • Most places have wine or beer as part of their “atmosphere.”
  • There are surprisingly few pigeons given the number of trees.
  • The river walk area isn’t as long as you’d think.
  • There are a lot of people on bikes.
  • There seems to be a Starbucks on every corner.
  • Most of the people on bikes in the morning are walking them while drinking Starbucks.
  • The zoo is pretty pathetic.  The penguin exhibit was enough to make me blow chunks.
  • The Rose Garden is amazingly cool.  There are so many, and the are is so peaceful.
  • Kenny and Zuke’s is a great place to eat.  It is not, however, a great place to be served.
  • If you tell the doorman at The Governor that  you’re walking to the zoo from your hotel, he will try to dissuade you.  He is doing you a service.  That said, it’s a nice walk, and you can take the train into the zoo.
  • The Governor Hotel will try to make your experience nice and right.  Stephanie at the front desk ROCKS.
  • You’d think a place called South Park wouldn’t have good food.  It’s a nice wine bar/dinner place.  Great hummus and a good blended Portuguese white.
  • I haven’t seen a McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, or other “normal” fast food restaurant in the downtown area.  I have seen Subway and Chipolte.  Most of it seems pretty mom and pop places.
  • There are 3 Irish pubs on (what seems to me) the same block.  One has a library ladder to get the liquor down.  That’s a LOT of liquor.
  • Public transit from the airport was cheap and easy.  That’s pretty cool.

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