Broke-Ass Guide to Portland
These days you hear about a lot of people throwing in the towel in the Bay and moving their shit show up to the great Pacific Northwest to carve out a new life with cheaper rent and legal weed. Perhaps you have toyed with this idea yourself – fuck knows I have. There is no doubt, Portland is the shit. Let’s explore some reasons why!
Whenever I think of Portland, tiny food trucks dance in my head. If you find yourself in Portland and don’t take part in this cheap, delicious, and diverse eating situation, then you, my friend, are fucking stupid. The city’s over 500 food trucks are clustered together into pods. Some focus on specific types of food, like Portland Mercado’s Mexican, Central and South American food. Other’s are just straight up mish-mash, like the Mississippi Market’s pod, which features carts serving up Asian fusion, Soul food, and vegan BBQ. Oh, and they have a beer garden – YES! So check out this little treasure map and pull on some loose clothes, because you’re going to want to do some serious snack attacking.
The Waterfront Park
Portland is a city cleaved in two by the Willamette River. In the tradition of the green-loving northwest, the river is hugged on either side by grass and tree filled Waterfront Park. The park forms a loop on the banks of the Willamette and is a perfect place to take a nice stroll and absorb the beautiful city. The park is also the perfect place to kick back with a beer (or a delightfully legal joint) and enjoy the people watching. The river also plays host to a number of festivals and fairs, especially during the summer. And pro-tip: Waterfront Park is also the jam spot to watch 4th of July fireworks.
As far as cities go, Portland is dense with parks. Some are big, some are small, but all are wonderful. But the granddaddy of them all, hands down, is Washington Park. This bad boy has everything: a zoo, a Japanese garden, the International Test Rose Garden, and a children’s museum. The park itself is largely hilly and wooded making it easy to get lost in the fantasy that you are in a remote area.
I totally fucking love bookstores, the bigger the better. I can almost feel you rolling your eyes at this, but stick with me – Portland’s Powell’s Bookstore is special. Opening its doors in 1984 this bookshop it has multiple locations throughout the city. The staff is helpful, their in-store coffee shops are a great way to kill some time reading a book and waiting for the rain to stop, and their calendar is packed full of events, lectures, and book signings almost every day of the week.
Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade
I have done a lot of traveling on the broke-broke, but that is no reason why one shouldn’t have a good time. Thus over the years I have really fallen into going to arcades when I am visiting different cities. After all, what’s not to like? The games are inexpensive, pinball is the shit, and adult-catering arcades tend to serve alcohol. Dreams do come true huh? Portland’s Ground Kontrol is all of that and more. Credited as being one of the best arcades in the country it boasts a full roster or preserved arcade games, 28 pinball machines and features DJs and live music.