Just got back from my trip. Thanks again for the recommendations and hospitality. Had a good stay at the Ace Hotel--we stayed in a shared triple and sharing a bathroom was no problem. Probably helped that I don't think the hotel was booked solid. Free bikes were a plus. Biked all over downtown/pearl, as well as a lot in SE.
-dug Clyde Commons
(good food, decent whiskey selection), Lardo
(great sandwiches and beer), Tasty and Alder
(best all around meal). Ate richly. Found everything priced reasonably (Tasty and Alder is a deal) and service overall solid. Didn't get to eat a lot outside the downtown neighborhood. Juice/smoothie bar next to Winn Perry was great, too.
-I don't think there was a single place I ate that didn't have a beer list with at least one option I had never tried. No all-macro lists, lots of beers/types of beer on draft (maybe belgian/sour selection a little wanting). Best beer experiences were at Lardo, Clyde, and Deschutes
. Wanted to make it to Hair of the Dog
but it didn't happen.
--no complaints. Heart location on Burnside probably the nicest coffee shop I've ever seen. Will say I think for a standard cup of coffee my home brewed pourover holds up to any cup I had out there.
-Downtown Portland is an embarrassment of riches, so long as your tastes aren't too edgy. Self Edge
(clothing at Danner better than expected), Steven Alan
right in a row (Finally met Kiya). Cool Imogene and Willie
and Woodlands/Tanner Goods
shops right next to each other. V unpretentious and the boots/denim/leather stuff/outdoor gear combo they carry is a much more natural fit here than in NY or DC, IMO. New Winn Perry
is pleasant and very well-edited. Portland Outdoor store
is a throwback. Cal skate shop
is good as that goes.
Surprises: I thought I'd love Powell
's but I found it crowded and overwhelming; I liked Snowpeak'
s gear and clothing; I loved Canoe
for housewares/gifts; I didn't expect a fully stocked Montbell
shop; the comic book and record stores are great; maybe I wasn't looking in the right places, but I didn't see much good vintage
shopping (a least for men). Prices in general seemed good (compared to DC/NY) and no sales tax is a big plus.
The Max is 100% fine for getting downtown from the airport. Mount Tabor
is a fun quick hike with good views. Downtown closer to the water is more desolate than I expected. We were sort of on a skate trip, and Portland is v skateboard friendly
--not too many steep hills, only a few rough rough roads/sidewalks, no hassle from police or tourists. If you want to skate Burnside
go very early, bmxers already go early (to avoid skaters) so be even earlier. Then go back later and watch locals air it out. People in general were quite friendly. Being gregarious at a communal able = new friends and good recommendations. Shop owners recommended each other. Other old guy skaters offered their favorite street spots. Obviously homelessness in Portland is off the charts bad (it's bad in DC, but not THAT bad). I never got used to it; tough to see.
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