Let’s start with Powell’s…a-mazing! The largest independent used and new bookstore in the world…covers a full city block…even a map is needed to find your way around inside. Of course I headed straight to the photography section and although impressive…it didn’t compare to the photo section in Strand in NYC. However, this place was beyond belief. Packed – totally packed – with every book genre imaginable as well as people. I’ve read that the store averages over 8,000 visitors a day. Totally mind boggling…you could spend forever looking around. Based on this experience…I’m happy to report that for those of us who still love to hold the real thing…we have no worries about Kindle taking over the world.
I’m sure there are a number of fabulous restaurants in the city, but with limited time we headed to Imperial located in the historic Hotel Lucia nearby. I’m a sucker for atmosphere and Imperial delivered…more so than the food. The walls…bare with hints of brick…exposed heating and electrical piping in the ceiling gave it a very industrial feel…but warmed with modern paintings and eclectic lighting. Food? OK…I’ve had much better, but still a very pleasant experience.
Now the common sight of homeless people was a different story…making NYC pale in comparison. I’m not sure if it’s specific to the district of downtown where we were visiting (Pearl District) or to downtown Portland in general…but they absolutely have a homeless problem. (After returning home and doing a quick internet search…yep, there’s a number of recent articles that definitely confirms they have a problem on their hands.)
Now having said all of that…in just a few minutes that it takes to make an impression…the streets were filled with people of all ages, bicycles, public art and a wonderful mixture of old and new architecture…so a return visit is definitely needed!
And speaking of public art…the street art was outstanding.
Two in particular that I was able to capture before we headed out to wine country…
The emotion captured in this piece left me speechless. After some research I learned the artist is a South African muralist by the name of Faith47. Wouldn’t you know…she recently completed a mural in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and has an upcoming show to exhibit her studio work at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in Chelsea (Manhattan). For those in the area…her opening is scheduled for November 19th. (Yep, it’s on my calendar for sure!)
The work of RONE from Melbourne, Australia was equally impressive and of course when you combine beauty with decay…well you have me at hello! If you also enjoy b&d…check out this link here where RONE left his art in Penang, Malaysia. Totally awesome.
After this little visit to downtown Portland it was off to wine country in Dundee…then the Mt. Hood area for a little cabin time…then down south to more wine country in and around Jacksonville and Ashland…before a final week on the Southern Coast. Travel is always fascinating to me. Regardless if I’m roughing it on the Rio Coco or wine tasting at an opulent chateau…travel allows the opportunity to enrich our lives…to think about others as well as ourselves…to see the world through a different lens. Can’t wait to share.
Stay tuned! gg