Powell's City of Books
Next, I headed to another famous city landmark, Powell’s City of Books. Located in Pearl District, it claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. Housed within four different floors, the multi-level store is a maze of new and used books and other little knick-knacks.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
We next went to Old Town Chinatown in the same area, which has some interesting Chinese shops and restaurants. It also houses the beautiful Lan Su Chinese Garden. One of Portland’s greatest treasures, it is like a window into Chinese culture, history and way of thinking. It is also the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China. The garden has its very own teahouse called The Tao of Tea, where we gorged on a variety of soothing teas and snacks while gazing at the magical garden.
The Amtrak train got me smoothly to Union station, located in the heart of the city. One of the first places I went to as soon as I reached the Portland train station was to Voodoo Doughnut. An independent shop that’s open 24 hours a day, it’s known for its unusual doughnuts and iconic pink boxes featuring the company logo and illustrations of voodoo priests. The shop accepts only payments in cash and its tagline aptly reads “The Magic is in the Hole.”
The Barrel Room
The nightlife in Portland is great fun. With a number of hip bars, bustling strip clubs and live music venues, people here are always up for a good time. Barrel Room proved to be a great address as we were looking forward to a night of dancing. Located in the heart of the city’s entertainment district, it offered the largest outdoor dance space in all of Portland.
McMenamins Kennedy School
In the evening, my friends took me out for what turned out to be another interesting experience in the city, a movie brewpub. The one we went to was called McMenamins Kennedy School. Situated in the Northeast neighborhood, it is essentially an old school building complete with heritage décor and former classrooms, library, auditorium, and gymnasium. Almost a century later, the rooms have now all been converted into restaurants, bars with pool tables, a movie theatre, brewery and heated swimming pool. It serves as a unique backdrop for an evening out with family or friends. The building also offers rooms for lodging, and guests can check in and rent rooms for days.
The next morning, we ventured out to explore the heritage of the city. The first place we went to was the French Renaissance-style château called Pittock Mansion. Belonging to the family that owned The Oregonian newspaper, the house which was built in 1914 creatively incorporates English, French and Turkish designs. It also features several progressive inventions such as a central vacuum system, intercoms, an elevator and indirect lighting that were in use almost a century ago.
¿Por Qué No?
Eating out: Portland has a number of interesting food cart pods spread all across the city. Offering diverse cuisines ranging from Mediterranean, Ethiopian, Greek, Korean, Lebanese, Mexican, Thai, Eastern European, Italian, Japanese, and Indian—it’s the best way to experience the flavours of this fun city!