Everything I wanted to know about Portland and more
September 28, 2005 12:49 AM   Subscribe

What to do in Portland, OR?

My girlfriend recently moved back to Portland before beginning a year doing research in Senegal (in a few months, I'll have a "What to do in the Casablanca airport/Dakar?" question.) I'm going to see her this weekend, and I would like to do something great with her while I'm there--something that she likely doesn't even know you can do in Portland, even though she's lived there most of her life. Keeping it near the city is a big plus. Money, not so much. Any suggestions?
posted by dsword to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Also, note that I'm not just interested in Restaurants, although suggestions for those are welcome.
posted by dsword at 12:52 AM on September 28, 2005

There are a lot of fantastic bands in Portland, especially punk/DIY ones. Have a look at the local gig listings.
posted by pollystark at 2:11 AM on September 28, 2005

Lots of good stuff on in Portland:
The Big Deal, pass to many area attractions, $29 each
Art Focus, big international art festival, going on now
• Graduating woodworking students will show their furniture, Sat & Sun, 1100 S.E. Grand Ave, free, info: (503) 284-1644
• Hillsboro Farmers' Market, Saturday, 8:00-1:00 pm, free, info: (503) 844-6685
• Portland Arts & Crafts Market, beneath Burnside Bridge, Sat & Sun, free, info: (503) 222-6072
• Do-it-yourself walking tours of the Pearl District or wonderful Washington Park (plus zoo and gardens). Pack a picnic!
posted by rob511 at 2:17 AM on September 28, 2005 [1 favorite]

If you like beer, Portland is an amazing city.

If you like books, Powell's is an amazing city of books.

Me, I'd head to Mt. St. Helens or up the Columbia River Gorge, but that's me -- not to knock Portland, I just like dramatic scenery.
posted by eriko at 5:12 AM on September 28, 2005

The Chinese Garden is one of the coolest places I've been in Portland.
posted by OmieWise at 6:06 AM on September 28, 2005

Sorry, that was lazy. Portland Classical Chinese Garden.
posted by OmieWise at 6:07 AM on September 28, 2005

drink a 40 under the burnside bridge, go to wacky willys and the bins (goodwill outlet), ride a bike up the eastbank esplanade, visit america's only 3D Center of Art & Photography, check out backspace and ground kontrol downtown and get some donuts at voodoo donuts at 3am, walk over 70 miles of trails through forest park. hey, i hear meth is really popular with the kids too.
posted by psychobum at 6:40 AM on September 28, 2005

I just got done reading Fugitives and Refugees : A Walk in Portland, Oregon by Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club). It's sort of like a travel guide, but better.
posted by nitsuj at 6:43 AM on September 28, 2005

"something that she likely doesn't even know you can do" is a tall order when we don't know much about your girlfriend. What does she already like to do? The trick would be getting her out of that comfort zone.

Incidentally, I've lived here all my life and never toured the Pittock Mansion, and I know I'm not alone in that. It's a possibility--though it doesn't necessarily fit the bill.

Some things she might not know about--you can tour the underground, or go on any number of fascinating walking tours.

There is always a small art installation and a gallery of public art at the Portland Buidling, and City Hall has some cool historical displays in the lobby.

The Architectural Heritage Foundation is currently showing glass lamp shades, but you have to be into that kind of thing to not be bored.
posted by frykitty at 7:33 AM on September 28, 2005

I lived in Portland for five years and made a list of some of my favorite off the beaten track stuff. Here's (sorry for the self link) my favorite Portland Places and Pubs
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:09 AM on September 28, 2005

I live in Eugene. .what we do for fun in Portland is to find a place to park in the Alphabet District, around NW 23rd and Everett, Flanders, Glisan, Hoyt (you get the picture and it is hard to park there but we always find a place) and stroll on NW 23rd up the alphabet to NW Lovejoy where we get on the streetcar and do downtown. This passes Powell's so that is a good drop off or one can go further and catch the MAX, Portland's light rail, and take it in either direction.

Lots to see. Lots to do. A fave of mine is the Multnomah County Library. Also the Art Museum, on the Park Blocks. . ..

Up in Washington Park, the Japanese Garden, as well as the Rose Garden, are cool.

The Crystal Ballroom, on 14th and Burnside, has a LOT of good acts coming through.

Bread and Ink Cafe, over on SE Hawthorne, is a pretty commented-on place. . .

Just a LOT to discover and see and do, there. .have fun!
posted by Danf at 8:12 AM on September 28, 2005

Not knowing what she likes or what you like or what social group you fit in to...Might I suggest The Clinton Street Cabaret's Rocky Horror Picture Show? It's a nice theater, in a fun part of town, and, unlike a lot of Rocky casts, this cabaret runs a great show.

I second Powells. The rare book room is the most beautiful place on earth.
posted by nadawi at 8:29 AM on September 28, 2005

I asked this question last year, and the resulting thread was incredibly helpful. Print it out, take it with you...
posted by spilon at 8:50 AM on September 28, 2005

At 927 SW Oak, one can find a shop called Counter Media. At this shop, all sundry of underground print can be fondled and purchased. The shop carries everything from strange Japanese porn and obscure fetish material to anarchist press and drug literature.

Beware of the "browsing limit" of 20 minutes and the psychotic owner who will rip your limbs off for creasing pages or otherwise abusing the books.
posted by cior at 11:01 AM on September 28, 2005 [1 favorite]

You're one weekend too early for the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, curse your luck!
posted by gurple at 1:26 PM on September 28, 2005

Mary's Place.
posted by First Post at 3:55 PM on September 28, 2005

The National, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and Talkdemonic are playing Dante's on Friday night. Print out a copy of Hipster Bingo, grab a Pabst, and enjoy the show.
posted by togdon at 10:04 AM on September 29, 2005

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