I had made a recent choice to see the highlights of the West Coast. My first stop was Portland, Oregon, and, with delays, it took a little more than a day to get from San Francisco to Portland. I know that, at the time, I was not thrilled with Portland. I stayed in a cheap hotel, not a hostel, because it was the most affordable option. There were no major landmarks in Portland, as there had been in San Francisco, and would be in Seattle. Portland had a reputation of being "nice," but it was hardly spectacular.
Yet I ended up living there for three and a half months in 1999.
There was a charm to Portland. It had kind people, and a feeling of home to it.
One of my first stops was a museum of advertising -- not pictured.
I also enjoyed the Portland Saturday Market:
And the Pitta Mansion:
Not as exciting for me -- but I would do an injustice by failing to mention them -- were the Church of Elvis:
And the Rose Garden:
As for sports, I attended at Portland Rockies game (I am usually not so keen to attend minor league games, but I had sooooo much free time on my hands):
And I got my picture taken outside the Rose Garden basketball arena -- no games in the summer, and no other teams from the four major professional sports:
I absolutely loved seeing, and walking over, Portland's many bridges:
And Hawthorne street struck me as a fun, poor man's Haight/Ashbury:
I also spent quite a bit of time in the Northwest Coffee shop, Coffetime, playing chess, reading, and having a great time -- I met some friendly people there.
So Portland was the least glamorous city I visited. But it was quite pleasant, with many, many solid moments of serenity and peace. Being as undeveloped spiritually as I was at the time, as well as being on the brink of my physical disaster of gaining another 100 pounds from what I weighed, I didn't appreciate Portland in 1997. But when I left, I missed it immensely. I would be back.