Reasons Why Portland is Awesome, Part One


Greetings from Portland!

This is my first visit to the city that was essentially made just for me. Mountains, check. Delicious and local organic foods and beverages for me to stuff my face with, check check. Stationery shops everywhere, check check check.

I arrived yesterday afternoon for a three-day conference, and dropped my luggage before making a beeline to the food carts at Alder and SW 10th. Portland has over 500 food carts (including some new options at the airport) and even though many were closed I still had lots of options to choose from. I settled on the Grilled Cheese Grill and ordered The Mondor, with pepperjack, avocado, red onion and roasted red peppers on multigrain. It came with a side of ruffled chips well-seasoned with pepper (my favourite) and an extra pickle. It was melty, gooey and terrible. Just terrible. So terrible, I inhaled it without leaving so much as a crumb, to ensure I wouldn’t have to look at it any longer.

Grilled cheese sandwich

There was also something on the menu called The Cheesus, a fully loaded burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches in lieu of a bun. My arteries said no thanks (also, uh, my vegetarianism).

Content from my grilled cheese, I wandered around Nob Hill and the Pearl District and stumbled upon Oblation Papers & Press, which is probably the best store ever. SO MUCH STATIONERY. A whole room of cards! A letterpress machine! Old school typewriters! My head exploded.


Outside the shop you can type away to your heart’s content on two typewriters set up for public use. There was a line so I had to pass, but I’m keen to wander back and try again.

I ended my first night with a stop at Punch Bowl Social where I enjoyed a local craft beer in a mason jar, surrounded by bowling, darts, shuffleboard and plaid shirts.

I worked most of today, but enjoyed a strong cup of coffee at Stumptown and sampled a craft flight at Deschutes Brewery post-conference. On tap for tomorrow – more conferencing, followed by a trip to the World Forestry Center!

I have some time on Wednesday to putter about – have you checked out anything interesting in the city?


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