The Dream of the 90s

This past weekend I went on a short trip to Portland; where according to the popular TV series, Portlandia, the dream on the 90’s survives. While only there for a weekend I cannot say if this is completely true I think I got a pretty good taste of Portland for the time I was there.

I went to Powell’s City of Books, the self proclaimed largest independent bookstore in the world. The books store took up an entire building, which was about a city block with books available on multiple floors. The store is now so large that they’ve had to expand and create Powell’s Books 2 across the street. Though the books store was massive it was also full of people. Powell’s Books is what a physical book store aught to be, especially in a era of online shopping. Unlike the last Barnes and Nobel I went to Powell’s has not restocked their aisles with easy sells; games and toys and hundreds of copies of the latest popularized pulp, Powell’s embraces the written work, filling floor to ceiling shelves with thousands of unique volumes. A know this tactic requires an extremely literate population to keep the store full and it seems Portland and those who visit provide frequent Powell’s enough that its doing good business. While I was there I stuck mostly to the Science Fiction section, looking for a book on my reading list that I could enjoy on the train back to Seattle. I found the book but I was greatly distracted by the hundreds others there.

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Another Portland landmark, the original Voodoo Doughnuts. Possibly the only place that has a line around the corner for fired doughy confections. The line moves quickly and you’ll probably need the time to decide which of the dozens of doughnuts you’ll get, if you still can’t decide you can let the staff pick a dozen for you.

 

 

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Some of the noteworthy donuts that we got in our dozen: the Marshal Mathers, a doughnut covered in M&M’s; the Butterfingering, a doughnut covered in crushed Butterfingers; and the Loop, a doughnut  covered in fruit loops.

 

Microbrew or die

Microbrew or die

When in Portland its also advisable to go to one of the many microbreweries, as most of them are also restaurants its a good place for a meal too. We went to Descutes, for the simple reason that it was close by, for in Portland you only need to throw a stone to find the closest micro-brewery (or Starbucks, its a 50/50 chance). The dinner at Deschutes was excellent and the beer was even better.

To round out the experience I also managed to catch a screening of the recent release of the The Boxtrolls. Though it premiered internationally this weekend it was created by Portland’s Laika Studio.

A Rainy Day at Last

It seems like Seattle’s summer is over as this week we get our first rainstorm of the season. As the cool and moist spreads over the Sound a sigh of relief spreads over its residents. Summer in Pacific Northwest is beautiful; there is sun everyday, its warm but never humid, and everyone is always out trying to get a little vitamin D. But these are foreign elements to Seattle, visitors that only stay for a few months and then depart. So with the rain everyone in Seattle can settle into their normal routines, uninterrupted by sunshine or a call to the outdoors.

And this city is gorgeous in the rain.

A Bite of Bavaria

2014-08-31 17.27.52-2 This past weekend I took a day trip to Leavenworth, WA a Bavarian themed tourist town about two hours away from Seattle. When I heard it was a Bavarian town I figured it was a location settled by immigrants from  southeast Germany founded and settled the town, which still retains that culture today, but I was pretty far off. Leavenworth was just a former railroad town until it was transformed into the Bavarian themed tourist trap in the 1960’s to revitalize the towns economy. Though not genuine the effort seems to have paid off as the little village was full off people this weekend.