Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Riding around Portland or Loving Portland

Yesterday I finally made it to Portland, yay! I left the house around 11, with my bike on the back of my car, drove to the Willow Creek MAX stop. It took me about an hour to get downtown, I got out at the PGE Park stop (now called something else...) in NW Portland and immediately rode down to the water front (I beat the MAX, following it's same path which is always nice!) I had plans to stop but was enjoying riding too much that I rode down to the waterfront, North along the waterfront, across this bridge (picture below) with a bike/pedestrian path that is at the same level as the waterfront trail, then South along the river on the East side to I think Hawthorne bridge. After that loop I felt good about stopping and I went to the Alder and 10th food carts.

The food carts, which I failed to take pictures of (oops) were awesome. Too many options, it was hard to choose! I also wasn't too hungry because I'd eaten breakfast just before leaving Brooklyn. I ended up being a little boring and getting a panini. $5 for a sandwich and a soda! Awesome deal! I only ate half the sandwich then I sat by the Teachers Fountain at Yamhill and Park, sketching my surroundings and doodling. I think I sat there about an hour, soaking in the Vitamin D. I wasn't going to finish the other half of the sandwich so I decided I'd give it to a homeless person. This being Portland it didn't take long to see someone, so I stopped about 2 blocks from where I was, offered her the other half of my sandwich and went on my way.

From there I rode up to NW and sat at Bridgeport Brewpub and had a beer on the deck in the shade (where it got a little chilly) and doodled some more and people watched. It was quite pleasant. From here I rode my bike way out there to Upshur to check out Canvas Art, bar and Bistro. I got there and wasn't too hungry and peaked in, thinking I might move on. I saw that they sold some art supplies and remembered that I haven't been able to find my pencil sharpener. I went in and asked the lady behind the counter if she sold them, she lent me hers from behind the counter then came back a second later and said I could have it. I thought, aw that's nice, I might as well check out the menu and see if there is anything that sounds good for a snack. It was almost 5pm, happy hour! I saw an option "pint & paint". I was intrigued and asked about it. What it is: a pint of beer on tap and a little kit of paints and a palette and some brushes and you can paint on the white butcher paper they have there! I was sold. If I had someone to take on a date, we would go here :)

After painting and slowly sipping my beer, I decided to head back to the center of town... and get donuts! On Saturday when I went to Saturday Market my friend Laura and I walked by Voodoo Doughnuts but the line was like halfway down the block and didn't seem to be moving very quickly! So as I was riding I realized I was approaching and when I got to Voodoo the line was only to the door rather than out the door! I swooped up on my bike, locked up and waited... for a while to get my donut on. I went for the Voodoo and the fruit loop one (I don't remember what it's called).

This is where it's nice to have someone you are traveling with, you can each get something and split it. When traveling solo... you either eat all the things or spend more money for less food.

I loved the Voodoo. I am not normally into filled donuts but this one had raspberry filling that was like jam... it was so good and looked so fitting when half eaten! The fruit loop one was really good, I wanted to eat the whole thing but physically couldn't. It was sooo yummy. I'm totally going back here... in like a month! I ended up eating about half of each because this was, afterall, my appetizer for dinner!

After Voodoo I headed to the East Side to meet my friend for Ethiopian food at Queen of Sheba. I love Ethipoian food and I was really excited. I kind of knew where I was going so I didn't stop to check my map until I got across and I was on the right street and it looked like I should be there really soon. Suddenly I was way the hell up North and I still have no idea where I took a wrong turn. You can see on the map below that really long stretch of riding north... yeah. I don't know what that was about. It was pretty quick and easy to ride that far out of the way (which is a nice hint to the size of Portland).

In total, I rode about 17 miles around Portland, mainly in the West side. I'll go in again to wander the East side next time... and try some new food carts (and try to be more hungry/adventurous)!

Here is our meal at Queen of Sheba, we went with the vegetarian combo where we each picked 2 dishes. I find Ethiopian food to be so filling that I don't miss meat (not that I'm a huge meat eater anyway). It was tasty, I especially like the potatoes... mmm.

My new Oregon Love logo I just made, based on the green Oregon bumpersticker (and tattoo):

Oh man, looking at those donuts is making me really want another one.
Side note, I'm thinking about doing a green smoothie cleanse starting next week. For at least 10 days... I will keep you, lovely readers, in the know about that and how it goes when I do it. I also still have to get back to the beach house. So much to do eh?!

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