I spent a good portion of the first part of November hanging in the Pacific Northwest, for the first time ever. Now that I've had about a week to recover from all the food (and sickness), I'm excited to share the stories and eats from two great cities with you.
Portland has been one of the places I've wanted to visit for quite a long time. In fact, I had a detailed itinerary two years ago, but it never happened until now. I was ex-ci-ted!
As you can tell by the title of this post, I really liked Portland. The vibe, the scenery, the food (and you bet I found some of the best eats in Portland — post coming soon, but you can take a sneak peek here — it just felt like a great city to be in.
Old Town Chinatown
This is quite an intriguing part of Portland. It isn't your typical Chinatown that you find in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, or New York, which are all filled with Asian grocery stores, restaurants, clothing stores, etc. There were a small handful, including the historic/iconic restaurant, Chop Suey. Rather, there were a bunch of streetwear type of stores there, such as Compound and Upper Playground, among other things, like an arcade, bars, and a cute boutique gift shop called Hello Portland. It was also pretty quiet on the streets, but it may be because we were there on a Thursday afternoon.
Powell's City of Books
Powell's City of Books is a HUGE bookstore. It boasts itself as the world's largest independent bookstore. It was hustling and bustling on a Thursday afternoon, which is really wonderful to see, given that bookstores are just dying out there (RIP Borders). I'm not much of a bookworm, but this is definitely heaven for those who are.
Ace Hotel actually wasn't on my list of places to go, but I didn't plan as well and sort of, well, ran out of things to do. I scrolled through a Portland bucket list from one of my favorite bloggers, Local Adventurer, and saw Ace Hotel on there. Since it was close to where dinner would be, I thought I might as well stop by and check it out.
This hotel has a unique charm with a vintage feeling in its decor, as you can see above. They also have an old school photo booth that gives you four shots for $5. It is old school with no screen, countdown, or anything, so we totally weren't prepared when it decided to take the first shot. If you're strolling by Powell's City of Books, which is a block away, you might as well stop by Ace Hotel and maybe grab a coffee or a drink from the establishments attached to it!
Many people compare Portland to San Francisco. To me, it's like if you take all the hipster areas in SF and put them in one place, that's essentially Portland. If, and that's a very strong if, I were to ever move out of California, Portland would definitely be on my mind.
Stay tuned for a post dedicated to Multnomah Falls, and another one dedicated to none other than FOOD.