Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Powell's to the People

Is it the United Airlines magazine that features "Three Perfect Days in [Fill in Name of City Where the Masses Never Get to Go Because They're Stuck Flying to Dubuque]..." articles?

With three children, I'm never going to get three perfect days (i.e., sans enfants, ohne Kinder, w-i-t-h-o-u-t k-i-d-s) anywhere, but I did manage to squeak 1 and 1/2 in Portland, Oregon. Let us now praise the City of Roses.

1) Blowing the Lid off the Weather Secret: yes, Portland gets more rain than Seattle, inch per inch (many places do, actually), but in the summer it is sunnier and warmer! We got maybe 86F and 89F. And when you walk everywhere Downtown, or at least from food place to food place, this is significant.

2)Portland is a foodie town! I didn't actually know this. Hands-down winner restaurant was Andino's, which serves, hmmm...nouveau Peruvian? Excellent tapas. And sufferers from Celiac's disease, rejoice! Peruvians eat a lot of quinoa and potatoes, which means many dishes are gluten-free.

3) Or (2) Part Two: Portland is a meat town! The lady in the chocolate shop Cacao actually said this to us. Why? Because we were asking about the "bacon salted caramel." Yes, you read that right. And it's not just bacon extract, because we asked. And we ate one, or my friend did, and I gave her my half after one nibble. There was also the morning breakfast joint with the sign against the register: "We no longer serve elk sausage." That is, don't come crying to us if you can't get your food made from wild game here anymore.

4)Powell's. Powell's Powell's Powell's. Over a two-day trip, this warranted two visits. It is, after all the "City of Books," and one visit wasn't long enough. If anyone thinks independent bookstores can't thrive, they may be right, but this particular independent bookstore, covering many floors and a city block and going in all directions and obeying the retail injunction that the-store-must-be-laid-out-such-that-customers-upon-entering-cannot-easily-find-their-way-out, seemed to be thriving. Combine the zillion genres with the zillion copies, new and used, with the No Sales Tax in Oregon, and you have yourself a winner. I "only" bought five books.
Bonus: if you are accosted by the aggressive vegan panhandler outside one entrance, as we were (maybe he was grouchy because of Point (3)), you can always leave the store via a different door. I drew his wrath by giggling over him putting "vegan" on his sign, but I suppose he got tired of explaining to people who offered him turkey sandwiches.

Anyhow, I highly recommend a visit, and the Hotel Monaco was lovely and central. The only problem was that two days is far too short to crack open any of the books I bought or brought, which is why this post falls under the "And Beyond" header.

No comments:

Post a Comment