Portland is less of a city than it is an experience. It's hard to characterize it except by a few of its core beliefs. Like recycling. Buying local. Good, fresh, local food. And beautiful views. It doesn't believe in the sales tax, big corporations, keeping up with the Joneses, or any of the other big-city expectations you might bring with you.
To get a feel for it, start by seeing some of the city's only-in-Portland sights, such as the independent bookstore Powell's City of Books (population: 1.5 million books). No one does the written word better than Portland--you can get your fix of high book culture every day at Powell's, and each year at the star-studded Wordstock Festival. Many cities have art festivals, but only one has an art festival as specific as the "Time-based Art Festival." (Hint: it's Portland.) "Sporty" types entering the Adult Soap Box Derby can relive their childhood-- with the addition BYOB adult beverages. Did you know that Portland's own coffeehouse Stumptown Coffee Roasters is famous for their "latte art"? Neither did we. Better check it out. If you're looking for a fun night on the town, how about the out-of-the-box theatre experience of "Trek in the Park," a live production of the first episode of the iconic TV series Star Trek? Portland seems to breed out-of-the-box fun. Boredom will be a distant memory once you move to one of the nation's great creative capitals.
Of course, there are still plenty of ordinary city pleasures, too, like great parks and public green spaces. One of them is the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Created by gardeners from Suzhou, Portland's Chinese sister city, this is one of the most authentic Asian gardens to be found this side of the Pacific. The 5000-acre Forest Park lets you get out in nature--5000 acres deep in nature, in fact. Might want to bring a map and a cell phone. Bikers will enjoy the Springwater Corridor-- a former railroad-- all the way into the Mount Hood National Forest.
Recharge from a day on the trails with a great meal. And in Portland, you know your food will be organic, fresh, and from right around the corner on a local farm. You might even know the farmer's name who grew it. Or his kids' names. No matter. The experience of getting to know your food will add immeasurably to your dining experience. The Farmers' Market-- arguably one of the world's best-- specializes in organic fruits, veggies, and cheese. If you're into fast, prepared food, local food trucks cater to every cuisine under the sun. Whether you're into African food or falafel, Caribbean curry or Indian curry, there's a food truck dedicated to its existence.
Distinct neighborhoods make a walking tour of Portland one of the most interesting-- and free-- things you can do there. Compass-like street addresses (e.g. SW, NW, NE, etc) will help you out as you get your bearings as you explore. The Pearl District (NW), a former factory town-turned-culture-hotspot, leads you to Portland's own Chinatown (also NW), known for its underground tunnels where the city's first gangsters kidnapped their political enemies. The Lloyd District (NE) is one in which, if you work in business, you might be spending a fair amount of time-- it's the home of the Oregon Convention Center. The restaurants, coffee shops, and little eateries of Mississippi Avenue (N) is where you will go to unwind after work. Stay on the lookout for Portland's music scene, which includes Jimmy Mak's jazz club, rated one of the world's best by Down Beat magazine. Dante's is renowned for its high-stakes karaoke, where would-be stars stand up to sing while a live band supports their every note (or not-- the success or failure of any band depends on the singer, wouldn't you say?) Indie-rock churches like the Doug Fir Lounge, Aladdin Theatre, and Crystal Ballroom, are dedicated to what's new and next in rock and roll.
Portland is effortlessly hip, inexhaustibly fascinating-- and now it's the place you'll call home. Start the journey toward owning a new home or condo in Portland with New Home Source, or browse for new homes in Vancouver, ranging from modular homes to luxury homes.
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