I’ve been wanting to travel to Portland for years so when I had the opportunity to go for work recently I jumped at the chance. The city was everything I had hoped for and more. From the convenience of the public transportation system (Max Light Rail), to the abundance of coffeehouses and friendly neighborhood restaurants, I was immediately drawn to this city. Luckily I only saw a few rain showers while I was in town so I was able to walk almost everywhere.
I stayed at the Ace Hotel which was around the corner from a Wholefoods and Powells Books. If you haven’t stayed at the Ace before it is one of my favorite hotels offering some of the best accommodations from cities like Palm Springs to New Orleans. This particular location is connected to a Stumptown Coffee which is a must try. I was close enough to stroll just about everywhere: from world famous franchise Voodoo Doughnut, to my personal favorite of the two, Blue Star Donuts. Situated close to the Pearl District made shopping and finding new restaurants easy.
Turns out theres more than just eco friendly, vegan inspired health conscious natives posting up here: Portland is said to have the most strip clubs per capita. From eccentric dancers to embellished naked establishments, my friends dragged me out to what I thought was dinner to see what the strip club hype was all about. I’m not really into this sort of entertainment but was shocked to find out they were serving strictly vegan cuisine. Apparently Casa Diablo aka “Vegan House of Sin” is known for its vegan menu and non-animal based lingerie. Some of these ladies where said to be professional dancers with such technique they appeared to be classically trained. It seemed more like a beautiful burlesque show from a glance but I was only there long enough to get one peak before I left.
I didn’t have a chance to explore all of the bars but I did hop around to checkout a few places. Jack Knife seemed to be a chill spot with a good music selection. Then there was the ecclectic group of grunge meets Betty Davis at Valentines a karaoke/music bar. Not sure that was my vibe but since its within walking distance of so many other clubs and bars it works.
My trip was short lived since I only had 4 days in Portland but I did manage to snag a pair of kicks from the Nike flagship store before I headed back to LA. Portland definitely takes one of the top 5 spots for my favorite cities in the U.S. now. Trip well spent!