downtown *portland, oregon*
I had heard Portland’s name so many times in blog land in the areas of fashion, urban planning, cycle chic, food movements, simple living, environmentally friendly products and initiatives, breaking out of the normal work models, microbreweries etc that I was very curious to see this eclectic city.
There’s a real sense of “living” visible in the streets which made for fascinating people watching. Groups sitting down playing music, chess and others standing in circles for ball games. Tourists and locals sitting in the sun reading, writing, studying and dreaming. Cyclists everywhere, some with just themselves and their bike, others with seemingly their whole lives carried on their backs. The businessman pacing Pioneer Square as he spoke, phone in one hand and a white fluffy dog cradled in his other arm.
The downtown light rail system was integrated superbly and it seemed that public transport and bikes indeed ruled over cars which made it so easy to get around and to witness its reputation as a green city. The rose garden in Washington Park was stunning. You may recognise one photo that is in one of my card packs in my shop. There I spotted a monk in his robes, a coffee in one hand and a camera to capture the beauty in his other. A man walking his ferret on a lead in one hand, a bag of fast food for his lunch in the other.
Interesting things noticed that had me wondering at the answers. The closure of Saks Fifth Avenue – was it the global financial crisis or was it the wrong consumerist market for them? The obvious smell of pot in the main streets of downtown – is it accepted or not policed?
We had lunch at Rockbottom Brewery and sat outside people watching. One man came past with a white cane and he bumped into things the whole way, reacting with total surprise each time. Tears formed in my eyes. I find it so hard to see a fellow vision-impaired person struggling and even though I wouldn’t be the safest helper, a huge part of me wants to make it all ok for them.
Thank you, Portland and to our great friends L&V whom we adore who showed us around.