Portland, Day 2 (picture heavy)

Day 2 here wasn't nearly as bad as the first, where most of the day I tried to think of imaginary large sums of money that people would have to offer me to live here as I walked around, feeling like a horrible snob who will never want to move out of Brooklyn.

I started out my day by trying to find the not-yet-officially-open Courrier Coffee on Oak. We'd run into one of the owners while trying to find food on Day 1 and it sounded like a good coffee place. The first day I'd tried Boyd's (gross), have avoided hotel coffee (likely gross) and walked by Powell's cafe but thought to myself, "Those are all people who don't look like they give a crap about the coffee they're drinking" -- which I felt bad thinking but still I avoided it. Later it was confirmed the coffee they serve is meh, and there is certainly better to be had. Courrier Coffee was delicious (iced Americano with soy) and I had half a sticky bun from Dovetail Bakery from there - both delicious. (I've avoided the vegan mall thus far because I heard the bakery is not really on par with better NYC stuff although I know I'll be there eventually to check out Food Fight. I can't imagine wanting anything from Herbivore or getting a tattoo on this trip so the mall doesn't have a vegan siren call for me.) Anyway, try Courrier Coffee. It's next to Reading Frenzy, which you might also like (Suzz!).

Oh, and Voodoo Donuts was worth the line for vegan donuts -- got the voodoo donut, 2 cream donuts, old dirty bastard -- which were all delicious raised donuts. The other 2 (chocolate peanut and vanilla with sprinkles were regular donuts and not as awesome). Apparently there's always a line! Thankfully mine was only 15 people deep - apparently sometimes it goes around the block. (I did that on Day 1.)

So Day 2 I grabbed coffee and stopped in at Atomic Ashes (vintage) and Billy Galaxy (toys!) on Oak, happy there were cute things in the area I missed the first day. Atomic was well curated and decently priced - I got a nice pin out of the $2 tray and a set of '60s cloth napkins, 4 for $9.

Atomic ashes

Billy galaxy

I popped into Powell's to walk around a bit plus I needed some local maps for both Portland and Seattle. I picked up a Zinester Guide to Portland, which is probably the most helpful guide I've seen thus far, with an overview and then broken down into 'hoods. I grabbed 2 books (Temple Grandin and then a book on pigeons).

Then I grabbed a car over to Oregon Humane Society! Since the animal welfare group I work for is national, if we have a connection to the group in the area we'll be visiting that my boss is kind enough to share, I can set up a shelter tour with a staff member. Oregon Humane is fantastic - they have wonderful theme colony-housing rooms set up for some of the cats, great facilities/runs for their dogs, a program for camper volunteers and even house small animals (I got to see finches and a mom rat and babies!). I got there too late to see the surgery suite in action but I guess I've seen a billion spay/neuters before. You can check out my flickr for the million pictures I took there -- I also spent $50 on handmade soft fabric collars for my cats in the shop that supports the shelter. (They're mostly all microchipped but I am working on getting them to wear collars if at all possible so if they get lost people can visually identify them as an owned cat instead of a street cat and make an effort to rescue them - cats are so rarely reunited with their owners because of the collar thing!) Anyway, fantastic visit with a warm and welcoming shelter that looks amazing! I saw 3 adoptions when I was there - a pair of kittens, 2 rats and a tiny dog.

Oregon Humane

Oregon Humane

Oregon Humane

After that I had a car pick me up and drop me at the Kidd Toy Museum, which is on the SE side. It's free and in a nondescript building, which I walked by about 3x before I finally asked a local vendor where the heck it was. I knocked, patiently waited and then was welcomed inside! Very very cool. I highly recommend it! I took a million pictures of everything I liked so you can see that on my flickr too. My favorites (which you're asked to put in their guest book) were the Buddy Lee dolls outfitted in different uniforms.



From there I walked around that area of SE a little, checking my guide for a place to eat. I stopped in at Tiny's but was a little disappointed by the boring vegan options so thought I'd head over to Redwing Coffee but stumbled upon a food truck lot that had frittes and a bunch of vegan sauces so my lunch was a large frittes cone with vegan remoulade and rosemary truffle ketchup. And an iced coffee with soy from Tiny's.

Lunch @ se Hawthorne & 12th

Lunch @ se Hawthorne & 12th

After that I walked over to Ladd's Addition and walked around a bit. As I was just thinking the protected streets would be a haven for outdoor/feral cats, a little booted-tux appeared and let me pet him a few times before wandering off. The rose garden in the middle is sweet!


I left there and stopped in 2 vintage shops on Hawthorne near 12th and one was a mid-century modern dream with cheap vintage clothes. I kept reminding myself I didn't need anything and furniture is expensive to ship home! So this place definitely beat out the NYC pricing I'm used to and had a decent selection (although I've found deals in NYC - just not handed to me on a silver platter).

as close to an outfit picture as I'll get...
Vintage on Hawthorne

Vintage Hawthorne

From there I started walking back to Hobo Land (NW) via the Hawthorne Bridge, which you walk under half-way and then over half-way. I got stopped because they had to raise the drawbridge for a boat so you can see some pictures from the bridge on my flickr as well. The nice thing about the bridge was that so many bikes used it - it had a decent path for bikes as well as pedestrians. {Re the transient population - there was a marked difference between NW/SW and SE. As I started realizing and my by pointed out as well, there are a bunch of missions, parks and flop houses on the W side, which makes it a gathering place. As soon as I crossed the Hawthorne Bridge, I started getting inundated with requests for assistance again.}

At that point I met up with my boyfriend and we had dinner at some thai place with some of his conference contacts, which was nice. I was so full from the frittes that I just had some green papaya salad.

Now I'm about to head out on Day 3, my last solo day. I am going to try to get to both Saturday markets (farmers' down by PSU/SW and craft fair more NW) and possibly explore SE a little more. But I have to be back by 5pm for the closing reception for my bf's conference. Tomorrow we'll be exploring together, hitting up Washington Park/Japanese Garden and eating on the SE side. Then I think we're heading to Seattle for a day or two, then the coast for a day or two, then back to Portland on the 7th/8th.


  1. Whoo hoo! I'm loving the pictures on flickr. And the food you found sounds yum. Are you guys going to try the Farm Cafe? Thanks for posting about the coffee as yes yes, I am a big time coffee snob.

    Have fun at the markets!

  2. I don't think they're all that vegan but we'll be trying Portobello and probably Paradox/Vita.

  3. What struck me about these Portland posts...is the hobo population (it obviously struck you too) - i even read it out to the husband. We don't have a whole heap of visibly obvious homeless peeps in our cities..but this is probably because our cities are teensy in comparison i s'pose. We do have "blanket man" who sits nekkid in a blanket, drinks a bit and occasionally relieves himself on unsuspecting passers-by?

  4. Holy moly! Those frites look delicious and the donuts sound divine!


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