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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Portland OR, for the New Year

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    Nancy (user ID: Noodle) and I (Ron) decided to spend a few days in Portland for the New Year.

    We're thinking of moving there in a few years and wanted to see what the winter looks and feels like. Every time we've been to the Pacific NW it's been in the summer with glorious weather.

    Here's some of what we did.

    Flew into Portland and decided to ride the light rail (MAX) line into the city. It was cool to be able to walk right out of the airport and catch a train that would take us within a couple of blocks of our hotel. Cost was $4 and the ride was just over 40 minutes. We learned quickly that many of the passengers on this line pay nothing since no one ever seems to check. Dinner: Jake's Famous Crawfish.

    Lots of walking/exploring, covering most of the city and tourist norms including a walk along the river.
    Dinner: Pazzo Ristorante.

    MAX line out to Washington Park and hiked around there for about 5 miles. Looks like a great place to go for a run.
    Dinner: The restaurant in our hotel; the Red Star Tavern

    New Years Eve.
    We'd planned to run an organized 3 miler/5K at Midnight but I started feeling like I was in the early stages of a cold or something worse and decided not to risk it. Not having any other ideas I'd remembered seeing a marquee with a Pink Martini New Years Eve show so I looked that info up online. I knew PM was a band but knew nothing more about them or the venue. Turns out they were doing two shows, the last one starting at 1030PM. Perfect, we'd try to find tickets after our dinner.

    The Arlene Schnitzer Hall was less than a ten minute walk from our hotel. When we got there the box office was still closed. Just as we walked up a nicely dressed guy in his 50s, (leaning against a light pole) said "I've got a couple of great tickets I'm selling for face value." Tickets were no longer available online and the box office was supposed to open two hours prior to the showing. This guy's tickets were on the sixth row from the stage and on the end of the left isle. This kind of seating is Nancy's favorite. While talking to the seller the Box Office opened and I took the tickets over to confirm their location. The person working there showed me the seating chart and warned me that we were taking a risk. There was no way for her to confirm the status of tickets and a chance existed that we'd enter the theater at 1030 only to be turned away if these were invalid (they scan/log each one at entry). However, the show was almost sold out and these seats were much better than what remained. We rolled the dice and handed over the $98 for the 6TH row tickets.

    The show was a good time and lasted until 105AM. Carol Channing was a surprise opening act and this 86 year old was still on stage at 1 AM. That's way past Nancy's bedtime.

    MAX line back to the airport and flew home.

    We had a nice time in Portland. Apparently our luck wasn't good enough to experience the normal rainy winter weather there but we got the idea. So much to do, lots of nice people and many great places to eat. It stays on our list of possibilities and we might have to do a bike tour including Portland in the route one of these years.

    Happy New Year!
    Last edited by Canyonlands; 01-02-2007 at 12:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Allentown, PA
    Thanks for the summary. I am going to visit a friend in Portland in late July.
    ~ Susie

    "Keep plugging along. The finish line is getting closer with every step. When you see it, you won't remember that you are hurting, that anything has gone wrong, or just how slow or fast you are.
    You will just know that you are going to finish and that was what you set out to do."
    -- Michael Pate, "When Big Boys Tri"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Hi Susie. I'm glad if it helped at all. Having a friend there will be handy for you.

    I never put on my photographer hat while there and only snapped a few images a day with the Canon G2 p&s camera I had along. I'll go ahead and link to them as well. The one above is from the flight in as we were descending toward PDX.

    Outside our hotel on the 29TH

    The next morning. Another city shot as we're headed down to the river for a walk.

    Along the river.

    Just walking around town.

    The next day's MAX ride out to Washington Park. This is the rail terminal at the park, down below ground.

    Hiking around. You can get a free map at the park that will cover short hikes.

    Back in town. The rail line shares the road with cars.

    Also the light rail has a lot of people riding it that probably wouldn't be if payment was enforced.

    Inside the Schnitz. It's a neat concert hall.

    Waiting for Pink Martini Last shot before the camera police spotted me and told me "No flash or video photography please.", even though I wasn't using either I put the camera away for the evening.

    Last meal. We ate at the hotel restaurant on three occasions and were seated in the same place each time. Odd.

    So I'd like to hear from a couple of the Portlanders here. We saw bikes and riders around but a lot of them were messengers and car free types. I'm sure summertime would bring out all the more cyclist but I also didn't see bike lanes in the city. I'd have to guess that it's acceptance and advocacy but would like to hear from someone living there if possible.

    Some things were obvious, like bikes being allowed on MAX and bike racks being easy to find around town.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    SF Bay Area
    Quote Originally Posted by Canyonlands View Post
    We learned quickly that many of the passengers on this line pay nothing since no one ever seems to check.
    It was sunny in the winter??

    You're making me a little bit homesick. I went to Portland State for school, so if you were at the Schnitz you were a few blocks from my old apartment. I live in SF now, and there's lots of water but no mountain in the background. The sunrise over Mt. Hood is beautiful (when you can see it.)

    There are a lot of people who don't pay for the train, but Tri-Met really cracks down occasionally, especially if you pass through Pioneer square. I always figured that I loved having such great public transit, so I had better be willing to pay for it. There are bike racks on the front of the buses, too!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Portland, OR
    Your first 2 photos are part of my work commute route! That driveway just past the entrance to your hotel is where I leave the street, get off my bike, and walk to the entrance to the building where I work at 6th and Washington. If you saw the 3 Lions Bakery on 6th, that's the building.



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