I’ve heard so many contradicting things about Portland before actually visiting the city myself that I don’t know where to start now. One Saturday at 9am in downtown, I was convinced I’ve never seen a poorer and more run-down place in my entire place. The only people on the streets had been sleeping on it and there was a lot of them. One Saturday
at 1pm, the sun came out and breathed some life into the city: People gathered at the famous Portland Saturday Market for food from all over the world, artistic showcases and to stand in (a 500m) line for their Voodoo Donut. On Saturday at 3pm, further west on Burnside St, folks were getting into their Jaguars to see if anything remarkable was going on downtown.
I know that a certain gap is more or less present in every city, however rich or poor, I’ve just never seen it that obvious. So that was a bit uncomfortable. (Somehow though, I totally failed to portray that in the photos) But other than that, Portland actually is a pretty cool place to hang out. Powell’s Books is the best-stocked book shop I’ve ever been to (I found three great second-hand books for my dissertation within the blink of an eye!), Jackpot Records has a huge array of indie rock, Portland’s food carts are a legend already so I don’t have to point out how amazing they are and Salt & Straw is a very hyped ice-cream parlour (they do their own cones) that does fantastically weird combinations à la Honey Balsamic Strawberry with Cracked Pepper or Arbequina Olive Oil.