Wednesday, November 5, 2014


I once did the Buzzfeed "What city should you actually live in?" quiz. I got Portland. I have a havdful of friends from Portland, or who have visited, and they've all said great things. It's also on a few of those "Best of..." lists (cities, places to raise children, food, etc...).

I figured it was high-time I checked it out. I must say, I now get the hype. Portland is a great small city, that feels a lot like Providence but a lot more well laid out. The public transit was awesome and the city felt pretty safe (save a few homeless people who yelled at me).

I arrived at the HI Portland Northwest hostel pretty late in the evening, so all I really had time to do was jump over to the Trader Joe's.... which was only like 5 minutes away(!!). I figured since I was staying for 3 nights and almost 3 full days, that I wanted to be able to cook a little bit.

Voodoo maple bacon
Riverfront walkway
The first day was quite rainy, but I braved the weather and grabbed coffee at a really tiny place a few blocks from the hostel. I walked down towards the main downtown area and just kind of looked around for a little while until I was starting to get hungry. I made a beeline to Voodoo Doughnuts and got a maple bacon donut. So.... GOOD! It was like a dream in the shape of a fluffy donut. I took my prize down a few blocks and munched on it (ok, devoured it) while I walked along the riverfront. I cut a few blocks in when it started to rain a little harder and took refuge in a Forever21. Happy accident, I swear. It ended up being the best Forever 21 I had ever been in. The stock was great (probably because the demographic they cater to in Portland is a lot more in line with my style than the demographic in RI or MA) and the staff was super friendly.

I crossed the river and ate lunch a Pok Pok, a Thai place recommended to my by my cousin Andy. He knows food, so I trusted the suggestion implicitly. The meal was fantastic, and I opted for a cocktail over dessert-- which was also great.

Later that day, I ended up hanging with my friend Nick from my time in Korea. Something about my friends from Korea, I feel like its as if time never really passes and resuming friendships is really easy. We walked around a bit and he introduced me to Powell's Books and we went to a really cool Vietnamese place for dinner. 

Day 2 was spent doing more walking, eating, and exploring; but this time on the east side of the city (across the river from where I was staying and had spent all the first day). I browsed a thrift ship, ate at a small taco place, and got a really yummy juice (figured by this point in the trip, I was in need of some vitamins). Hostelling International has 2 hostels in Portland, and I had heard that the hostel on the east side was particularly "green." I had noticed it on the bus ride over, so on my way back, I stopped by. It was a seriously cool place. There were signs outside that described the green initiative and talked about how rain water was used and recycled by the hostel.

I had woken up to an email from a job I had applied for asking for a phone-interview, so I was in an obnoxiously good mood for the whole day. I finished off the day by heading over to Nick's for dinner where two more Korea-time friends stopped over! Justin and Jenny had lived across the hall from me for 2 years, so it was nice to be able to catch up with them a bit.

Nick, me, Jenny, and Justin... the red plaid thing wasn't planned!
Next and final stop: Seattle!

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