A Knit Decision

Knitting in Oregon, with other stuff, too, such as crochet, cats, dogs, history, fashion, highly opiniated rants, reading, diabetes, church, life in general, etc. I like circular needles, prefer natural yarns, don't spin, choose small projects, and don't have any one favorite yarn store. I love them all.

Friday, November 17, 2006

When visiting Portland

Barbara posted a comment that she will be visiting Portland and asked for some advice on things to do / see, etc.

Well, it's hard to give advice without knowing people very well, but here are some things I love about my town. This is based on the assumption that a person is staying in the downtown area.

1. TriMet. I love our local transit system. You can see the town and have a "busman's holiday" (I have done this) just by getting on the TriMet MAX train. It's our light rail system. It will take you east to Gresham and west to Hillsboro and back again, all on the Blue line. This would take about 4 hours for a whole round trip. (You can also catch MAX at PDX and ride into downtown Portland. That's a slick trip.) You can buy a seven-day pass, which will get you anywhere in the system, for $19.50. The website has a Destinations to Discover page. If you want to see the countryside, catch the #31 to Estacada. Ride into Estacada and ride back into Portland. Wowwee!

2. Yarn Stores. The folks at Knit-Purl are delightful. Also, downtown is the Knit-Knot studio, which I've heard good things about, but haven't visited yet. Yarn Garden is not far from downtown and has good coffee. All of the yarn stores that I link to are great places, with charms all their own.

3. Powells. This is our legendary bookstore, at NW 10th Ave and Burnside. It currently occupies more than one city block. Get a map when you go in, and arrange a time and location to meet the rest of your party. The bad thing about Powells: I cannot go in there without spending money that could be spent on yarn. The good thing about Powells: They brought the Yarn Harlot here to Portland for a book signing in September 2006.

4. Beer. Well, I don't love beer, but Dr. Parts does and Portland was recently listed as one of the top 10 Beer cities IN THE WORLD. Only two US cities were listed, and we're the only one listed on the west coast. We have microbreweries galore. If beer's a draw for you, ask around. You cannot go far wrong. I like the Laurelwood. It's owned by the brother of my friend Jenny, who is a knitter. She knits fabulous lace scarves and shawls.

5. Multnomah Falls. If you've got access to a car, drive east on I-84 (affectionately called 'the Banfield' by locals). About 30 miles out of the city, exit on the left to the parking lot. Lock your car and hide the valuables before you reach the lot. Walk up to the lodge and see the falls. If you've got a few hours and are very fit, you can walk up to the top of the falls. This will give you a taste of our fabulous Columbia Gorge. I'm a lucky gal to live so close. We go whizzing past Multnomah Falls whenever we go east without a second thought, but it is a marvelous sight.

The Portland Visitor's Association site is great, and good for events. We were always up in the Seattle area after Thanksgiving, so I'm not up on events that happen around here.

And, as women, we cannot avoid the shopping word. There are two places that are uniquely 'Portland', that I might send you to. One is the Portland Saturday Market. It's between Front and First, underneath Burnside. Yes, underneath. Burnside becomes a bridge at that point, so about half of the market is under cover. Several fun local artistans. Buy a tie-dye T-shirt, with matching panties, even. Great Christmas shopping. And SE Hawthorne Blvd. I like the area from about 25th to 39th (stop at Yarn Garden on SE 14th, first). It's less franchise-y than NW 23rd Blvd, in my humble opinion.

I'm just skipping the restaurants, because there are too many favorites to mention.

Oh, and if you're thinking of moving here, SUSAN, here's a link to local real estate listings.

Enjoy your visit. If you want to look like a local, don't use an umbrella.

And the river that goes through the middle of our city, it's not pronounced Will-uh-METTE, it's pronounced, Wuh-LAM-ette.


At 10:14 AM, Blogger Starfish said...

My husband and I are dying to go to Portland. DYING. If not for the adoption, I would have booked a surprise trip for him for his b-day in Feb. Maybe later in the year though. Thanks for the great info!

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

Hey, I haven't been to Multnomah Falls yet. This needs to be remedied! Thanks for the excellent overview :-)


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