Snapshots from Portland, Oregon

This past weekend the state of Oregon charmed my pants off. I only spent one day in Portland and a day in Hood River, but these pants are definitely not coming back on any time soon (probably because the weather is so damn hot now).

Here are snapshots I took while wandering around Portland, and below are my recommendations to a fellow visitor (not that you asked).

If time allows and weather permits, I try to visit a garden or arboretum while in another part of the world. And if there were ever a garden to see– it is Portland’s International Rose Test Garden. Hoooolyyy shit. (I mean, you kind of don’t need to because there is a glorious rose bush blooming on every single corner of this city in the summer, but still.)

Any place with 550+ varieties of roses is a sight to behold, and this one doesn’t disappoint. My favorite piece of trivia about the test garden is that during WWI it served as a safe haven for all the hybrid rose breeds that had be cultivated in Europe. Rose growers sent grafts & bushes from all over to Portland for safe keeping. Isn’t that beautiful? And today Portland is the only city in all of North America that can grant awards to roses internationally. 

How much does it cost to enter this floral dreamland you ask? $0. Admission is free! (and they have a souvenir flattened penny machine– what!)

Eat & Drink:

Pine State Biscuits - Yes the line will probably be wrapped around the corner when you arrive and YES it’s worth the wait. Here is where I ate the best biscuit I’ve ever eaten (sorry grandma). I mean, I don’t want to build your expectations up too much. It’s okay… pretty good. Get there early before the homemade pop-tarts sell out.

Expatriate (& Beast) - If you’re one to roll your eyes at the term “mixologist” please come here and be floored by the brilliant bartenders. Their cocktails are so damn good, and worth the pricetag. And if you’re able to work into your schedule a reservation across the street at Beast, please also do that.

Hat Yai - No this is not your typical Americanized Thai food take out. Yes it is ludicrously delicious. Fried Chicken! Curries! Meat skewers! You don’t need any more information– just go eat here!

Honorable mentions - Tasty N Sons, Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen, Olympia Provisions, (and the hometown heroes:) Salt & Straw, Blue Star Donuts

Do:
Have your mind blown @ The International Rose Test Garden - Need I say more? Of course a visit here is ideally made in the spring or summer. The Portland Japanese Garden is next door, and plenty of other things in Washington Park, too.

Buy more books than can fit in your suitcase @ Powell’s City of Books - This is easily on every to do list you read about Portland, and with good reason! All those hard to find books on your list that are never available on Amazon… look here.

Decide you need to remodel your home @ Schoolhouse Electric - You probably ought to go for a hike & enjoy the beautiful outdoors that Portland and the surrounding area has to offer. But if weather doesn’t permit, or you’re not the outdoorsy type (why did you come to the PNW??) take a walk around SHE’s showroom. I’m not saying it’s as beautiful as Mother Nature herself, but goooooood looooord!

Get cozy @ Multnomah Whiskey Library - Maybe this one belongs more in the “to drink” category, but this place doesn’t feel like your average whiskey bar. It’s more of an event which requires participation. (Kind of like how Seven Grand in DTLA used to feel years ago before the college bros discovered it.)

Bye Portland! I love you. I hope it’s not another three years before I see you again.

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