Keep Portland Weird – Eclipse Trip Day 6
The next morning we packed up our things and drove to Portland. We first tired to visit the Japanese gardens but there was a $15 entrance fee that I didn’t know about so we decided to drive further downtown and visit the Lan Zu Chinese gardens instead. It was a $10 entrance fee which was within my budget. The gardens are a nice little zen oasis in a downtown Portland. There was alittle tea house cafe in there that intrigued me but their prices were a bit…steep. Lol. Steep prices, steeping tea, get it? Ha. Yes I feel bad now, thanks.
After this we trekked to Powell’s Books. Supposedly it’s the largest new & used book store, taking up multiple stories and an entire city block. It was pretty overwhelming, not gonna lie. I wasn’t sure where to start. One thing I noticed is that they were quite pricey as well. Bought a couple post cards and got out of there before I spent all my money on over price books. I have too many as is already.
As we continued our walk around the city to find a place to eat, the thing that was most noticeable right away was all of the homeless people everywhere. It seemed like half the population of the city was homeless people. Although I supposedly some are homeless by choice. I could understand that. Portland has a pretty chill atmosphere. Anyway while we were walking to our food destination we noticed a bunch of street food carts, and decided to part take in the local street food. I had some delicious bibimbap.
After the food we decided to walk from our location (4th/5th ave) to our dessert location (23rd ave). It was a longer walk than I thought, and it was much hotter than I anticipated. As we walked we could definitely tell where the dingy part of the city ended and the more posh and hipstery area began. After a good 30 minutes we finally got to Salt & Straw for some unforgettable ice cream. Their staff is very nice and friendly and the shop has really neat decor. We got there just in time too. The line was at the door when we arrived. When we got our ice cream it was around the block. I had one scoop of the almond brittle and lavender & honey flavor. So good and so Satisfying after walking in the summer heat.
After this we poked around abit in a shop called Three Monkeys. The place is a quirky and fun visual overload of pop culture and vintage items, from door knobs to jewelry, knick-knacks to clothing. I got these neat looking vintage bone beads in the shape of two kissing fish. I plan to make some simple bracelets or necklaces out of them. I really wish I could have taken photos inside the shop but they had a no cameras policy. After that we trekked back to the parking garage all the way back near the Chinese gardens.
We drove out the city and onward towards the state of Washington. We decided to stop in Tacoma for the night and Stayed at the Sunrise Motel. The price and the room was decent but the place was kind of weird. There was some serious security and I suppose for good reason. It seemed like there were people living at the motel, and those people seemed abit off. One guy was sitting in a chair outside when we parked our car around midnight and was sitting out there when we left around 7am. Kinda creepy. We had the room above them and through the night we could here random banging like someone was throwing things at the walls and we could hear someone shouting and arguing. (And apparently sometime during the night the cops showed up but I was in a sleep coma). I know it’s sad to say but I think they might have been addicts of some kind. I was pretty exhausted from walking in the heat so I went straight to bed.
I really wish we could have stayed in Portland to explore some more. The city has an interesting atmosphere like there’s many layers to it and all these layers kinda meld together in places. Portland sort of reminds me of a post-post-modern work of art where the piece is “self-aware” (art that acknowledges that it’s a piece of art, essentially breaking the forth wall so to speak). Like a hyper-realistic image that is idealized through themes of natural simplicity, reestablishing conventional wisdom while ushering in the modern age.
Next Week . . .
Seattle sites (Chihuly Garden & Glass House, The Space Needle, and Pike Place Market) and Speeding through Washington