Portland, Oregon

Have you ever seen the TV show Portlandia before? Basically it takes the piss out of the hipster culture that has grabbed hold of Oregon’s largest city. There are skits about enraged feminists, organic, free range produce and vegans products or every meal or outfit. What I had seen on that show was basically the only impression I had of what Portland was actually like. To a certain extent the city of Portland is portrayed accurately on Portlandia. We did witness first hand some very colourful characters and places that could have actually been on the show. This is my experience in Portland.

The drive down to Oregon from Vancouver was supposed to be about 6 hours. As we decided to leave on Good Friday we waited in a LONG queue of cars to cross the border into Washington State. That combined with the heavy traffic resulted in about a 9 hour journey from start to finish. Finally after arriving we ditched our bags and headed to one of the many dive bars listed marked out on the map. The first was B-Side Tavern, ironically this venue is an old AA meeting hall (very Portland) with pints of PBR for only $2USD! We followed this up with a trip to Sizzle Pie, a popular pizza joint right next door. At this stage it was about 10:30pm and the line for a slice was out the door. We opted to eat in and after a few more cheap beers and some tasty pizza I was ready to call it a night.

The next morning we crossed the bridge to head to Mothers for breakfast, a good recommendation from a work colleague back in B.C. Although the wait for a table for 40 minutes it was well worth it when the monster sized meals were delivered to our table. The next few hours were spent strolling through the stalls of the Saturday morning market, whilst there was nothing I was willing to shell out my hard earned US currency for there was definitely a few more Portlandia sites to take in.

One of the main reasons for heading down the coast for this particular weekend was to see a band called Hinds play. I had discovered Hinds a few months earlier when I had to write a review of their debut album ‘leave me alone.’ I fell in love with this group of indie Spanish girls and have had their album on constantly since my first listen. Before the gig at the Holocene my excitement quickly turned to nerves. What if the pedestal I put the band on was too high? I’m pleased to report this was actually one of the best shows I had been to in a long time. Unfortunately I failed to contain the fan boy within and asked a few of the girls for a photo after the gig. What can I say? I’m obsessed.

Due to the cheap beer I had no recollection of what actually happened after the gig. I was told we had a Thai dinner but I remember eating nothing.

The next morning my entire body was consumed with one of those hangovers. The ones where you are starving but the thought of eating anything makes you wanna spew. Yeah that made the journey back up the coast a lot of fun. One positive though, there was next to no line at the border. I guess no one is as interested as getting into Vancouver as they are to get out…

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