2013.8.3~4We arrived at Portland at early afternoon. We first checked into the hotel near the airport then drove into the city.

We parked the car near North Park Blocks. The city center around W. Burnside Street and downtown didn’t impress me. The street is noisy. The famous Powell’s Books is a very busy store, with a lot of books and a lot of people, but the surrounding still made me feel a bit run-down.

Powell's Books, Pearl District, Portland, OR
Powell’s Books, Pearl District, Portland, OR

We walked along SW Stark Street towards downtown. We had a cup of coffee at Stumptown Coffe Roasters and stopped by several interesting shops. The perception I had about Portland is quite different from other American cities I’ve been to, but I can’t explain what it is, the way people dressed, the style that stores are arranged, just somewhat different. It’s said that Portland is the new magnet for hipsters. Maybe that’s where my feelings came from.

A bike sculpture, Burnside and 13th Av. intersection, Portland, OR
A bike sculpture, Burnside and 13th Av. intersection, Portland, OR
SW Stark St., Portland, OR
SW Stark St., Portland, OR
Street view from Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SW Stark St, Portland, OR
Street view from Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SW Stark St, Portland, OR
Jackpot Records, Downtown Portland, OR
Jackpot Records, Downtown Portland, OR

We still prefer more modern styles. After asking for direction, we walked towards the shopping district. We had a rest at Pioneer Courthouse Square and felt that it’s where we belong to.

Light Rail, Downtown Portland, OR
Light Rail, Downtown Portland, OR
Pioneer Courthouse, Portland, OR
Pioneer Courthouse, Portland, OR
Street food carts, Portland, OR
Street food carts. (CNN declared Portland home to the world’s best street food).

We had dinner at Yama Sushi & Sake Bar in Pearl District. This seems to be a high-end section of the city. The arrangement of streets, stores and parks are well considered and organized. According to explorethepearl.com, “the Pearl is clear validation that high-quality, inner-city communities can revive from the ashes of urban decay”

North Park Blocks, Portland, OR
North Park Blocks, Portland, OR
Jamison Square, Pearl District, Portland, OR
Jamison Square, Pearl District, Portland, OR

We left the city by NW Fremont Bridge. Overlooked the city by the river from this direction, it’s lovely and alive. My original impression had changed.

The next day morning, we drove along the Columbia River and went to see Multnomah Falls. Only 30 minutes from the city, the park offers quite magnificent view of this two-step waterfall.

Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Multnomah Falls, Oregon

We plan to visit the city again before flying back home. However, northbound highway 84 was shutdown for road construction. All the local roads were quite jammed. We eventually gave up and had a lunch at Thai Seasons restaurant. One side of wall is dedicated to the restaurant’s mission statement writing on the blackboard, to buy local and to be environmental friendly.

We left the city at afternoon and concluded our 4-day trip to Mt. Rainier and Portland, Oregon. A short and rewarding get away.

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