Posted by: 28flightslater | October 7, 2009

Portland, OR

I first get into Portland, OR pretty late, around 11:30. Meeting up with Jeff we agree not to leave the airport as it wouldn’t be worth (last call in this town could be in an hour).

Portland, OR’s airport is pretty comfortable as it has some big comfy chairs that you can push together to turn into a bed and a 24hr sandwich cafe that I also took advantage of.

Jeff told me about his trip to Hawaii (I’m still jealous) and I tell him about how my trip has been going. Before you know it we decided to catch some Z’s, even though I got there late- I still had a full day ahead of me to check out Portland.

I was rudely awoken by a Airport Cop for no reason at all. He just asked when our flights were and was in his way.

Me and Jeff exchange our goodbyes and I was on my way to check out the city.

In the airport I found some good pamphlets talking about a Japanese Garden and a Chinese garden. Portland’s transportation system is really good. There’s a train that runs through the city and there are buses as well as a limited subway system.

I take these past downtown and then underground and a bus to the Japanese Garden which is just right outside of town.

I’ve never been to Japan but this was a pretty good replication of what I’ve always seen on TV, movies, and travel/food channel specials.

It was calming and nice to walk around inside it. Right across the entrance from it was a beautiful Rose Test Garden that I checked out before I headed back to downtown.

Back in downtown I checked out the Chinese Garden in Chinatown which had a lovely tour. It was no where near the size of the Japanese Garden but it was also very well crafted with explicit detail and there was even a absolutely delicious teahouse inside.

Seriously, you ever go to Portland you must go to this tea house. I had a traditional tea which had to be prepared by yours truly (I believe it’s called Gongfu), tasty rice cakes, and a fantastic rice noodle bowl with turkey and other good things- it was off the wall.

After this great experience I wandered the city, I asked someone where to walk to find something cool and they pointed me in the direction of a park where there’s supposed to be a lot going on.

I get there and it appears to be some sort of Native American fair with dancers and such. I’m not terribly interested in spending too much time here but I get approaches by someone asking what I’m filming and if I’m an AYCJ.

It’s Mike of thebluetravellers.com, apparantly they’re doing a doc on AYCJing too. We record each other and talk about our projects and exchange information, good guys who are also from NYC.

They had to catch a train to Seattle so we wished each other luck and took a picture before we went our separate ways.

Walking around some more I got a taco from a taco cart on what appeared to be food cart alley. A mix of Spanish, Asian, and Greek cuisine carts on the same block.

Heading farther back downtown I passed by an amazing independent donut shop called “Voo Doo Donuts”. It was all punk rock inside and the unique donut choices were pretty rad, such as a really big donut, a penis shaped donut, cereal donuts and yes ladies and gentlemen… The BACON donut.

I wanted to eat it so bad but for some reason a part of me wouldn’t let me. That’s not common for me because usually i’ll try anything once and I want grossed out by it- I simply couldn’t buy it for some unknown reason.

Instead I picked up the “Portland Cream” which was amazingly similar to a Boston Cream donut. This place knew how to make a good donut though. It tasted really fresh and the chocolate frosting was amazing.

While I was there I read a sign that said “Please don’t give money to the ‘spangers”. I asked the lady behind the counter and she said ‘spanger stands for “Spare Changer” and is someone who is not homeless or in a financial bind- they just ask for your money.

We got these parasites in NY too ‘cept i call then Grubs.

As I left with a happy donut dancing in my belly I checked out an independent sneaker/clothes shop and then took the convenient train back to the airport in time for my very long flight into Raleigh, NC to meet my good Internet friend Justin (aka The Good Guy)!

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