I lived a month in Portland in 2013 and enjoyed it. We were downtown for most of that time in a high rise surrounded by the quirkiness and a plethora of food carts. We debated back then to stay awhile since we loved the town so much, and for better, we kept on exploring. I knew a visit to the PNW area wouldn’t be complete without stopping in one of our favorite cities.
It’s amazing how much changes in 8 years. I knew when we were living there that PDX was growing at a crazy rate. But knowing and seeing the changes a few years later are two different things. I still love Portland and since I had a quick stay, didn’t get to revisit all the areas we used to haunt, but – it’s changed.
It’s bigger. More condo looking skyscrapers in the Pearl, new breweries in former piano shops, and a hole in the ground for another tall building where there used to be an art college. If I sound a little bummed, I am.
At the same time, it was still nice to revisit. I had planned on two weeks in the area but due to plans, only stayed a week. One day I went in to explore the city on a day off.
I hit Pine State Biscuits again, and it was still quite good. I searched for our favorite food trucks and while some we recognized, our favorites were not in the place they used to be. A bit later I drove back into the city and revisited Kelly’s Olympian, Little Big Burger, and Rogue.
On my day off I decided to park at Indigo and take my usual walk to work a route and see what changed. I think this was the biggest indication of how much the city has shifted. I started the morning with Blue Star Donuts (always a preferred suggestion over VooDoo IMHO) and then ‘walked to work’. It was fun to try & figure out what used to be in a place, or realize that a favorite still existed. I walked around the NW district where I used to work and made a stop at Wallace Park which was my solace when I was a cube dweller.
I met my former boss for lunch and it was nice to catch up. She’s moved on as well and works at a really fun sounding company with great views from Big Pink. After lunch it was mandatory that I stop at Powell’s and then I hopped on the streetcar and took a tour of the city, making sure I was on a route that crossed the new pedestrian, bike & public transit only bridge the Tilikum Crossing.
I made a few more trips around the area as well. I of course made a stop at Multnomah Falls (pro tip, go at sunrise – the parking lot & falls area is nearly empty), and I drove out to Hood River to visit a few breweries – I enjoyed both Double Mountain and Pfriem Family.
Portland may have changed some since I last visited, but the city & surrounding area will always have a special place in my heart (and stomach).