Downtown Portland, Oregon
In downtown Portland the bikers, drivers and pedestrians share the road. The bikers are actually quite spoiled, and it's noticeable by the large green boxes you will see on the sides of avenues in this city dubbed the "City of Bikes." But let me tell you, downtown Portland is a whole lot more than its perfectly roasted coffee, biker and family friendliness, numerous bridges, delicious restaurants, lively night scene, vibrant day activities in places like Pioneer Square, and its City of Books. Believe it or not, there is even more to Portland: the people. They are approachable, interesting, kind and open minded. It is easy to make friends in Portland.
Monday in Pioneer Square
The living room of downtown Portland is Pioneer Square, where there are multiple events that happen each week that attract locals, Oregonians from towns next door and visitors who are enjoying Portland for the first time. Every Monday there is a farmer’s market held in Pioneer Square, filling up the square with locally grown vegetables, fruit, baked goods and more. The vendors are cheerful, handing out apple slice samples, trading cartons of fresh blueberries for cash. Mothers with children walk around carrying their fabric bags that were once empty but now are filled with lush greens and bright red cherries. In Portland, farms and urban life coexist, and it’s a good thing because Portlanders love their organic foods.
The city got this nickname during the late 1800′s when there was a substantial amount of growth, and trees were being cut down to make room for roads. There were more stumps than trees left in the city, thus the nickname was coined and used as the name of the successful and well known coffee roaster in Portland. With several locations around Portland, along with a shop in New York City and Amsterdam, the Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SW 3rd Avenue is an attractive coffee shop for business professionals, cyclists, 20 and 30 somethings and students. The place has a spacious environment with plenty of seating at tables, the bar and a couple couches in the back. There’s always great conversation between baristas and customers, enjoyable music blaring from the speakers, and delicious french-pressed coffee steaming from hand-stamped cups.
Parks & Museums
Tom McCall Waterfront Park runs along the Willamette River and is a popular destination for the many Portland runners, bikers, dog-walkers and people watchers. With a cement path running along the waterfront for 22 blocks on the west side of the river. The park is home to Salmon Street Springs, a large fountain that brings comfort to children on hot Portland days.
Pioneer Square hosts events daily, such as a farmer’s market every Monday, “Noon Tunes” every Tuesday & Thursday featuring live music for professionals, students and locals on lunch breaks, and “Flicks on the Bricks” every Friday which gathers Portlanders for a film in the bricks of the square at dusk.
Director Park is Portland’s newest public park, located in downtown with a wonderful restaurant called Violetta conveniently located within it. The park has a large glass canopy for seating, and a fountain for kids to play in during summer time.
Portland Art Museum is an internationally renowned museum located along the Park blocks.
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall was built in 1928 and originally called the Portland Public Theater. With the classic 65 foot high Portland sign hanging overhead the theater to welcome guests, this theater is another aspect to Portland that is located in the heart of downtown.
Keller Fountain Park
Pioneer Place Mall is located right next to Pioneer Square in downtown, featuring high end retailers, an Apple Store, and a variety of other kinds of stores.
Buy and sell used books at Powell’s City of Books, located on East Burnside. The store takes up an entire block, has color coded rooms designated to different subjects, is attached to a coffee shop where people can browse through books before purchasing, and provides a parking garage for customers.
There are plenty of vintage and second hand consignment shops located around downtown Portland, such as Magpie and Ray’s Rag Time.
Homes and Real Estate
Downtown Portland features high rise condos and apartments for sale and for rent, right above all that is happening in the center of this lively city.
There are plenty of options for eating out in this city. The food is one of the main reasons why locals love this city. If you are staying on the cheaper side, look for the food carts. They come in pods, with a few located on: SW Alder between 9th and 11th, 3rd Avenue between Washington and Stark, SW 5th between Stark and Oak, SW 4th between Hall and College, and more locations.
If you are looking for finer dining, check out Mother’s Bistro & Bar, or Carafe Parisian Bistro in the SW Portland area.
Portland is also the City of Bridges. With one river separating east and west Portland, there are ten bridges to connect them. The ten bridges from south to north are: Sellwood, Ross Island, Marquam, Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside, Steel, Broadway, Fremont and St. Johns Bridges.
Benson Bubblers were installed all over the city by a man named Simon Benson who in 1912 gave Portland $10,000 to install 20 bronze drinking fountains around the city.
“Allow Me” (also known as the Umbrella Man) is a bronze statue in Pioneer Square, holding an umbrella as a kind gesture for a stranger. Dressed in a suite and tie like many of the business professionals downtown, the Umbrella Man is a staple to the square’s personality.
Downtown Portland is the area that all other Portland neighborhoods flock to for fun and entertainment. This is definitely an exciting area to live in, with something new always waiting around the next block.