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Portland, Oregon?

alexg

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Cascade and The Commons are super close to each other and it's worth doing both. Both do smaller pours of their beers too, so you can try a bunch and not end up super drunk. You honestly can't go wrong with any of the beer around Portland though, even my hotel there was giving out a decent Kolsch when I checked in.

If you want hard to get bottles, my favorite two breweries from the area are deGarde and Holy Mountain, but it will likely be difficult to find their beers. You should also check out Bar Vivant. It's a dessert place that happens to have the best champagne/sherry list I've ever seen. Fuck beer, bring home Selosse. They also have killer tapas.
 

cocostella

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Thanks alex. Bar Vivant sounds great to wrap up the night... if not smashed. Appreciate the intel.
 

Spark

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FWIW, I've been here the last 20 years and have seen all the changes. We arrived from LA when it was still in the low-key, down-at-the-heels, affordable days when there was zero traffic, the Pearl had only three buildings with lights on, and a parking ticket was $8. Now it's a bubble-world of overpriced condos, smelly hipsters, endless homeless, no parking, the world's largest ghetto of genuinely bad architecture at the East Burnside bridgehead, and more recreational weed shops than Starbucks and McDonald's combined (600!).

And let's not even get into the deeply passive-aggressive nature of the mossbacks who grew up here. Unless you leave PDX, because the of population rest of the state will just openly hate on you without asking questions.

Unfortunately, it was all too predictable: PDX was the Left Coast's last "affordable" city and it was just a matter of time. Case in point: 66,000 folks moved here last year (and that's a lowball), 77,000 new apartments came online, and there are 40 towers permitted that haven't broken ground yet. But six years of nonstop blowjobs by the NYT (and others) will do that to a place that was always just off the map and sorta out of sight.

Still, it is a lovely place to live and raise kids (as long as you can afford private school; PDX public is a mattress fire): 4 real seasons (winters are gray but short and quite mild; it actually rains less than NYC on an annual basis; and the spring here is nothing short of psychedelic in terms of a bloom), a phenomenally great eating city if you know where to look (and I lived in Paris for years), more microbrews than all of Germany combined, lots of neighborhoods with strong identities and one-off shops, a growing distillery scene, including the only absinthe act operating today, awesome wine country 30-ish minutes away, stunning outdoor drama in every direction, and the best weather I have ever seen in summer - and I came from Malibu.

As far as Portlandia goes, yeah it's all here but you don't step in it every day.

I travel all the time (40 weeks last year) and, despite all the changes, it's still a great city to come home to, but the last 4 years have had a very dramatic impact on the place.

One thing that no one has called out is what is one of the most epic day trips I've ever seen in the states: Portland to the top of Mt Hood (grab lunch at Timberline Lodge where the Shining was filmed and catch the 150+ mile views north and south of the entire Cascade range) then down the backside of Hood into Hood River (one of the top 10 multip-sports towns in the country), grab a killer beer at Pfreim's, and then back into PDX via either 84 or (better yet) 14 on the WA side of the Columbia River. Mind blown - trust me!

A lot of the stuff in this thread is pretty dated, so if you're coming and looking for tips, please feel free to PM me and I'll try to help point you in the right direction...
 

cocostella

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I’ll be back in September, so will be sure to hit you up for recs. Thanks for the overview, Sparks.
 

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