26 & 27 June 2019
Portland, named after the city of the same name in Maine, is the largest city in Oregon. It has several nicknames, Rip City, Stumptown, Bridgetown, and the City of Roses. We visited 20 years ago on a trip down the Pacific Coast. We were not impressed. Over the years Portland’s reputation as an up and coming city has been growing. It’s hard to find a similar list on the internet that does not include Portland, so we were excited to come back and see what all the excitement was about. I hate to report, we were not impressed this time either.
Portland compared to San Francisco or Seattle is an affordable West Coast option. Its motto is ‘Keep Portland Weird’. It has a thriving craft brew market, legalized marijuana, progressive politics, green environmental policies, access to nature, and bike lanes – lots of bike lanes. In short, it is Hipster Utopia. What they also have is terrible traffic, unpleasant weather, out of control homeless population, and crime. The downtown has a lot of energy and several vibrant districts. The parks and walking paths along the river are severely underutilized. Overall the city does not live up to its potential and certainly does not come close to the hype. Normally I take hundreds of pictures and share a few on this blog, but there was not much of the city worth sharing. If you want to find a home base from which to explore Oregon, Salem, Bend and Eugene are all much better options.