Too Weird and too big: Portland, Oregon

They are doing a great job keeping Portland weird.
Too Weird and too big: Portland, Oregon

What can one say about Portland?

Too wet, rains a lot of the time, too windy, as the winds from the east side of the state are funneled right down the Columbia Gorge. Fact is the damn place is just too darn big and too weird for me. That said, I can see why so many people think it is the best city to live in. Not that I would EVER consider moving to any large city and Portland would be far from my first pick. If I did, I would be in jail in rather short order. No two ways about this.

Great view from Portland
At the risk of enraging those who love Portland, all those uber liberals who drive around in hybrids, ride bicycles naked and otherwise, think Tri-Met is the best transit system in the country, think the MAX light rail is a great bargain, why would I care if I risk making those who love the Rose City angry? Of course, I could care less if  Portlanders get mad at me. To be sure, Portland has a lot going for it. Clean air, excellent water, right on the Columbia River, excellent music, outdoor, indoor sports scene, outstanding places to eat and there is always a lot going on throughout the greater Portland-Vancouver area.

As previously mentioned, we had to take our daughter back to school at gag, Portland State. I was not thrilled when she decided to go to school there but after a being there a few times I see why she loves the damn place. PSU is right in downtown Portland. It is known as a commuter school and I believe it is the largest of of the state schools in Oregon. Our daughter agreed to live in the dorm for her first year and she has done well in spite of having a roommate she barely gets along with. They actually do not get along well at all, sort of tolerate each other at best. She lives in a high rise dorm and that is all I will say.

So how did PatriotUSA handle Portland, did he embarrass the Mrs. and their daughter while tromping about the University and the Pearl District of Portland? 

What do you think? OF COURSE I DID! There are just too many posers, hipsters, gang bangers, gangsta wanna b's, hipsters, hipster wanna b's, hippies, freaks, fairies, earth muffins, prairie fairies, tree huggers, the oh so politically correct who do their best to offend no one and by this very act are so offensive themselves they may be the worst of them all, and protesters by the busload. I just could not control nor could I stop myself from making way too many snarky comments. Imagine that, me making too many snarky, colorful comments, just loud enough to be heard by those across Burnside Avenue. Oops and darn it! My feet are still sore from the Mrs. stomping on them to try and get me to shut up. Heh! My daughter, totally horrified by my using the term 'ghetto' too many times. No apologies there either as the term just fits.

After parking the car for $5.00 for all day(a grand bargain indeed)at the closest parking garage near our kid's residence, I waited for the Mrs. and our daughter to meet me. I just watched the wildlife walk, bike, drive, skate or stagger by. The skateboarders I met were ALL extremely polite and very aware of the pedestrians. Skateboarders, in my opinion get a very undeserved bad rap just about anywhere we go. I find those who ride bicycles to be much more offensive and rude, hands down. So when they showed up, off we went on a walk to a great pizza joint about 20 minutes away. The scenery was incredibly diverse. From great old buildings to the newest high rise structures, the architecture is outstanding. We were headed to the Pearl District which is about as diverse as one can get, at least that is what it looked like to me. But then what do I know? I am from Spaltzville in Central Oregon, seriously the middle of nowhere.

First stop was Sizzle Pie West. This pizza joint is on West Burnside almost directly across from Powell's Bookstore. Powell's is an amazing bookstore. If you are in Portland, just go to Powell's. You will understand once you are in the store. Back to Sizzle Pie. Pretty good east coast style pizza and a great menu. Truly a great spot to watch the weirdness, stupidity and wonder of Portland. Our daughter likes Sizzle Pie because it has a great selection of vegan pizza(blah, I gotta have real cheese and meats on my pizza). Not the best pizza I have sampled but pretty damn good but I enjoyed Hot Lips Pizza right by PSU, a bit better. This might annoy those who voted Sizzle Pie the best pizza in Portland.

After a few slices of pizza and a three large glasses of real Coca Cola, we wandered over to Powell's and killed a couple hours there. The Mrs. and our girl could spend all day in Powell's but I was already getting restless and feeling like I needed to do damage to something or someone. Some loser got in my face asking for money. I asked him why he needed my money or anyone's money since he could afford so many facial piercings? I suggested he pawn his piercings or make better life choices with his money. Next thing I know, his 'girlfriend' was in my face and she had even more piercings. I sure wish there had been a huge industrial magnet close by. I pushed her away from me(she smelled really rank, worse than rotten fish or really rank roadkill) and was more hairy than I am, not a good thing for a girl to be like this. I think it was a female of some sort. Her boyfriend came back and I had to trip him. He got the message and just cursed at me and then spit at me, classy, real classy.  By this time my daughter had pushed me away and the Mrs. had also intervened, knowing quite well that I was extremely pissed off and bad things usually happen to other people when I reach this point. This always happens to me in a big city no matter what it is like. It could be Chicago, Kansas City, L. A. or Portland. The traffic, too many people, weird, straight, whatever, and the constant noise gets to me after a few hours. My daughter was muttering something like "geez, old man, we can't take you anyplace without something happening." After 19 years of being my daughter, you are just now figuring this out?

A trip to this part of Portland would not be complete without a stop at Voodoo Donuts and this place does have perhaps the best donuts I have ever had. Krispy Kreme has nothing on Voodoo, nothing at all. How good are these donuts? We waited in line for about 45 minutes. I got a dozen to take back home as our son always enjoys a few Voodoo's. They make some pretty interesting donuts and I had a Maple Bacon Bar and it was quite decent, actually very good. I  do not care for the off the wall flavors, fruit loop, cocoa puff covered, bubble gum or grape glazed donuts, no thanks and I'll take just boring, standard donuts. Voodoo does these types of donuts extremely well. We crossed the street and got an outstanding espresso before we returned to the university area.

The walk back was uneventful and we bid farewell to our daughter and her boyfriend. I had to drag the Mrs. away before they all got teary eyed and emotional. We had to get over the Cascades before dark. We drove into the tail end of the storm we had hit coming over that morning. There was very little traffic going east and we were never passed by another car after we got through Sandy, Oregon on Highway 26. It was a beautiful drive back. The fading sunlight hitting the tops of some small thunderstorms that had broken out on the east side of the mountains. The transition from very rain soaked Western Oregon to very dry, high desert Central/Eastern Oregon is one that you have see and experience for yourself. This is truly a landscape of many contrasts, topography and colors. As we say here in Central Oregon; "Poverty with a view." It was great to get back home. We took AJ for a night time walk, enjoyed a cigar, whiskey and called it a day.

As for Portland? I think we may risk spending a weekend there before the end of school. My daughter has already assured me she will refuse to bail me out of jail. There is nothing like family, is there?

Holy Mackerel? But this is actually a salmon

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7 Comments - Share Yours!:

Nick said...

Very nice record of your road trip; reminded me of colby buzzell's book where he travelled around America, only I have to say yours was funnier. If you ever hit the road seriously, you could write about it & you just might have a bestseller on your hands!

Travels with A.J.? Why not?

PatriotUSA said...

Thank you Nick, you are much too kind.

Funny you mention a book as I have had MANY people tell me I should write one. It would not be for the politically correct or America hating liberals, that's for sure.

Takes money to travel, even modestly. Just a wee bit of a problem with that right now.

Of course, road trips without AJ would never happen even though he sat out this last one to dorkland.

Nick said...

I've read a lot of books over the years - I was reading books before I went to school & have never really stopped - and the older I get the less time I have to so-called "literature". Give me something that's real and hopefully entertaining and that'll do for me. Nowadays, with the possibility of self-publishing via Kindle etc. someone writing a book themselves about their own experiences is definitely do-able.

You'll recall my two friends who passed away not too long ago; I spoke about the second lad, "C", writing his life story, and even suggested I would help him out with that project, but sadly that never came to fruition. He had some incredible stories too - saw Cream way back in the 60s when they were doing small gigs, from then went on to see all the major bands playing over the years, etc. I kind of regret not having pushed that project a bit harder, now those stories are gone.

Of course the stories that "H" had were just as incredible. He and I both had long drinking careers, and there were many stories which normal people wouldn't even believe happened - but they did.

And I'd rather read that sort of thing nowadays, instead of a lot of the half-baked rubbish that you find on the shelves of your average bookstores.

HermitLion said...

What a great read, Patriot, and quite insightful as well.

My favorite line was: "I sure wish there had been a huge industrial magnet close by".

So do I, my friend. So do I.

Dymphna said...

Oh I have missed you!

I am glad you took on Portland. Come here and do the same to Charlottesville.

Here in the hinterlands, without even cellphone coverage, we have poverty without a view...but if you go a few miles down the road to where they've logged off every last tree, clearcutting acres and acres...voila! the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. Blue as can be.

I vote for Kindle.

You have a truly American voice.

And I hate these darn twisty words I have to put in before I can get thru. Sometimes I have to give up...


PatriotUSA said...

Glad you caught this post and enjoyed this.

I am so pleased to hear from you, you have no idea what a pleasant surprise this is.

I have been very, very scarce due to life's challenges and struggles.

Will see what I can do to get off an email to you and it will be a lengthy thing.

Hope all is well with you and Baron.

Dymphna said...

Well, my thoughts - if one could call what I do thinking - and my prayers have been with you. A pregnant silence, shall we say...?

This post was so wonderful I'm trying to think of some way to make it On Topic for GoV. Funnier n Mark Steyn. I'll bet he would agree.

Meanwhile, I've been leaving copies here and there.

Today is our son's b'day. He be moving thru his 20s like Obama thru our financial future...

Later, dude.