How do you see a city in 5 hours? Well, the truth is, I don’t think you can….but we sure tried.
This past weekend Ben’s German Men’s Choir headed south to Portland for the 90th anniversary of the Portland German Haus…stay with me here folks. I have never been to Portland so I was quite excited but then learned that by the time we would get down there just before midnight on Friday and leave on Sunday morning, I would have all of 5 hours between rehearsal and performance to actually see the city. Naturally, I did my homework and made my list of the Portland must-do’s.
Coffee house, Buffalo exchange, Powell’s and the Food Carts.
It sounds all very type A-ish but to be honest, it was relaxed, fun and the perfect way to spend those five hours in Portland.
The one item that was loosely on my list was Voodoo Donuts. On one hand, these donuts are world famous, on the other however, their claim to fame is the bacon maple bar and in my opinion, bacon does not belong on a donut. Furthermore, the line up was down the street so Voodoo Donuts was quickly scratched from the list.
We started walking with no real destination in mind. We found a used bookstore (not Powell’s) and Ben perused whilst I figured out while we were going.
First stop: Stumptown Coffee. These roasters did not disappoint. Not only was the cappuccino right on with a rich brew and perfect foam, the ambiance was also pleasant as we settled into one of the deep couches surrounding a large table with a tin top next door at the ACE hotel. We weren’t alone at the table – a variety of personalities and generations joined us and while we didn’t chat, we were in company and I liked that.
The next stop of was the Buffalo Exchange. I didn’t really expect to get here. The truth is, I am not really a second-hand clothes type of gal. I wouldn’t consider myself vintage nor a hipster, but, as they say, “when in Rome”. So I let myself go and had a lot of fun. There is definitely something for everyone in that store and it may in fact be the hipster flag ship.
Jokes on them, I found a pair of like new J brand Jeans and a cute polkadot dress. Haha.
After I finished at Buffalo Exchange, I went across the street to meet Ben at Powell’s where he had already pillaged the music section. I will give them this – they have an amazing selection, every book you could possibly want. That being said, more new books than I expected.
Our next stop was food. I had heard about the Famous Food Carts in Portland and when I would tell people that it was a must-do, they would often reply, “Oh, like Vancouver.” No. Not like Vancouver. More like 50x Vancouver. You can get ANYTHING, not just japadogs. In Portland, you have your pick on multiple corners. I opted for a Teriyaki chicken rice bowl whereas Ben had a Rueben Sandwich.
Most people just eat at the carts but Ben and I headed toward the water and found a grassy knoll, where we watched people come and go from the market, and children play in the water. Perfection.
By the end of lunch it was time to start heading back to the car, which just happened to be on the other side of the Saturday market. We wandered through admiring the wares and taking it all in. The perfect way to end the perfect day in Portland.