Good Vibrations : San Francisco :: ________ : Portland, Oregon
August 21, 2009 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Good Vibrations : San Francisco :: ________ : Portland, Oregon (and other reasons to fall in love with Portland)

I'll be visiting Portland next week (Sunday-Thursday), and since I'm from a small, vibratorless town, I figured I'd take advantage of the visit to a large city to give myself a nice birthday present.

Other, non- adult toy store Portland suggestions are also welcome, though I see that they have been covered before. I'll be on a bicycle, and I have a preference for inexpensive non-touristy suggestions. Tell me of your favorite small little vegetarian restaurant, the comfiest fair/direct-trade coffee shop, your favorite park, that infamous house on the corner of streets A and B that I should walk past to appreciate for reason C, awesome local events/gatherings X, Y, or Z that I should know about that are happening this particular week?

Many thanks and much love!
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not quite like good vibrations, but gilt is a great lingerie shop with a nice collection of vibrators. It's on nw 23rd. Cool houses abound. I love to sit in the chinese gardens and have one of their 50 or 60 varieties of tea, plus snacks that pair well. (nw 5th and couch) there's also much funkier stuff like the last thursday art opening on alberta street/ north portland. Mefi mail me for more specific suggestions or questions.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 2:55 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

When I lived in Portland, I was always enamored with City Repair projects - little community designed/built public spaces. Nothing super-special, but they are all charming. A list of all of them. I like Share-It Square and Sunnyside Piazza. Very nice bike rides.

Ladd's Addition is nice to get lost in.

The Rhododendron Garden by Reed College is lovely to drink wine in (or something less illegal to consume in public) at dusk.

There is a cherry tree somewhere near 45th and Clinton. Very tasty fruit.

Also, an excellent b-day present for yourself... (and I mean that in a non-lascivious way.)
posted by baxter_ilion at 2:56 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Spartacus and Fantasy Video are pretty near each other in the downtown core, and both offer a variety of "adult novelties" to choose from.

Fascinations is further out (and thus less bikeable) but has a good reputation.

Uh, I hear.
posted by dersins at 3:18 PM on August 21, 2009

[First MetaFilter post evar, btw.]

There is a store on NE Sandy (but it's moving soonish, I hear) called It's My Pleasure. Clean, classy, marketed to women, walls of condoms, crazy displays, & a discernible lack of skeevy men with their hands in their pockets.

There will also be lots of breasts on Sunday at Pioneer Square, downtown.
posted by opossumnus at 3:41 PM on August 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

Oh man, you're not gonna want to leave. All of the below are an easy bike, and I do it all the time. Spartacus and Fantasy are both pretty stellar.

Definitely check out the city repair projects. I like Sherrit Square in Sellwood...a lot.

My personal favorite vegan/vegetarian places (or places with veg options):

Paradox Cafe (~$8)
Jam (~9)
Red & Black (~5-6)
Sweet Pea (bakery/food ~4)
Bye & Bye (~7)
Hungry Tiger, Too (wed night is vegan corn dogs and PBR pints for a buck each, or great entrees for ~8)
Vita Cafe (~9)
Cup & Saucer (~7)
Hot Lips Pizza (~3 for a vegan slice)

If you get sleepy, there are always the myriad of brew pubs, most of which charge $3 for the movie and $7 PBR pitcher while you're watchin' it.

There are so many good coffee shops, it's hard to say, but I like:

3 Friends (amazing cold press)
Red & Black
Fuel Cafe
Cafe Rimsky-Korsakofee (late night, desserts, tables's crazy).
Fresh Pot (Mississippi)

Do go to Powell''s fucking great.

It wouldn't be a trip to Portland with a strip club stop. I recommend Sassy's, which is a fantastic neighborhood bar with lots of regulars, great micro-brews on tap for $2 a piece everyday until 7, a very laid-back/mixed gender crowd, organic kitchen (not kidding),, who tend to be on the extremely attractive (and utterly hip) side...

Listen to KBOO while you're here: its one of the oldest volunteer-run community radio stations in the country (90.7).

Say what you will, Laurelhurst is a beautiful park, and really close to the Belmont Station, one of Portland's finest (and cheapest!) beer joints, with more than 1,000 different brews. Mt. Tabor is also pretty sweet, and one of only two (I think?) urban volcanoes. And a great view of the city.

The Craft Museum is hit or miss, but its always free.

Look for the plastic toy horses chained to the old horse ties along the sidewalk. Look for the little plastic jewels glued to various things around Portland. There's pretty rocking murals almost everywhere you go and, especially on the east side, just weird quirky things people do (I'm not sure if its still up, but the Toy Room - which was really a lamp post covered in random objects - used to be on SE Oak & 20).

I'm sure I'm leaving a lot out.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:00 PM on August 21, 2009 [4 favorites]

Ugh. Lutoslawski (and might I say I've always been a fan of that user name) just made me really miss Portland.

Be sure you stop by one of the Stumptown coffees and just get a cup of the house drip. It is fabulous and I miss it. (The coffee shops listed above are great, too...but the Stumptown house coffee is one of my favorites ever.)
posted by nosila at 5:12 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

I really liked Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, some rare non-fiction by Chuck Palahniuk. I read it on the plane to Portland once and it really informed everything I saw, heard and felt for the next week.

It has a lot of nifty backstory on various buildings, landmarks etc. along with a predictable selection of sex-crazed, drug-addicted cast members.
posted by rokusan at 6:31 PM on August 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's My Pleasure is listed on Feministing as a feminist vibe shop, and thus hopefully much less skeezy than your average sex shop.
posted by elder18 at 9:21 PM on August 21, 2009

Yes to funky, friendly, feminist It's My Dildo (as it is known to local dykes), no to Spartacus -- they're expensive and have a bad rep as an employer. If you want your sex toys value-priced, go to Fantasy.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:03 PM on August 21, 2009

spartacus has a lot of stuff - but their leather and bondage gear is better than their toys. i suggest mail order from toys in babeland or good vibes over a brick and mortar store, but fantasy and my pleasure are both good shops.
posted by nadawi at 11:12 PM on August 21, 2009

Oh my! YES! You're going to be here during crazy WOMEN ARE AWESOME AND PLEASE STOP HATING ON THEM WEEK! Please do go to the topless protest on Sunday morning. Also, on wednesday (all day downtown) the Clothesline Project will be creating t-shirts and demonstrating in order to stop sexual violence against women, with a focus on violence against women in the Congo (sorry to get all editorial on ask, but it really is a cool event). More info should be posted to

Welcome to PDX! (and if you want a mini-meet-up, myself and my SO, mefi's jaimodara, will be at Hungry Tiger, Too on Wednesday night, as we always are, and please mefi mail me if you wanna hang out.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:29 PM on August 21, 2009

In addition to the restaurants Lutoslawski listed, I always liked to eat at Laughing Planet in SE on Belmont... they have some amazing burritos, among other things.... there are a few other locations as well.
posted by bengarland at 8:24 AM on August 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

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