"If it's tourist season, can we shoot them?" Top 5 Page for this destination Portland by IncogNeat-0

Portland Travel Guide: 1,441 reviews and 2,974 photos

Inclement Weather Tips:

This is my birthtown, was, and for better or worse, is again my hometown. I'll leave tourist attractions, which I seldom or never see anyway, to the tourists. Emphasis will be on less well known, albeit interesting aspects of local lore - more for newB's, nearby commuters, and home folk then for casual visitors, although some sites might be suitable during inclement weather even for them.

If I learned nothing else in the service of my country I learned the meaning of inclement weather. Below is a short list of Tourist Tips that might best be saved for those rare occasions.

1) Health Check For Dummies
2) Best Bargain In Town ~ Any Town, Anywhere.

3) Oregon Historical Society Bookstore

4) Rejuvenation: Old house parts for old houses.
5) Andy & Bax: War Surplus, Sporting Goods, Etc.
6) Hippo Hardware: Putting the 'fun' in funky

7) Titlewave Used Bookstore

Rumors of rain continue to persist. Hence the need for the preceding list. These rumors may go back as far as Lewis & Clark, miffed that best coast native Americans, already experienced in the byways & slyways of European traders, outfoxed them at every turn.

Others trace them only as far back as former Governor Tom McCall's xenophobic remark, "We want you to visit our State of Excitement often. Come again and again. But for heaven's sake, don't move here to live. Or if you do have to move in to live, don't tell any of your neighbors where you are going."

The caution didn't work, or the engraved invitation worked only too well - depending on your point of view.


PDX, Rip City, Stumptown, and Bridgetown are all commonly used nicknames for Portland, none of which existed when I was born a century ago, and Rip City is itself fast fading into oblivian as a nick. In the early days of the Trailblazers, Stumptown's one and only major league franchise - thank goodness - it was a long standing tradition for expansion teams to be among the worse in the league, any league, and who among us does not respect tradition?; no inside game at all, apparently, but the home folk have to have something to cheer about. Right? Else, why buy tickets? Anyhow, legand has it that the cheer that rocked the rafters in those days was for the occasional 3-point rrrrriiip of the ball through the net. I suspect season ticketholders were having a little fun at their own expense.

Stumptown, a term of derision now worn with pride, stems from the days when Oregon City, upriver, was still the Big Apple on the Willamette.

Bridge design across the Willamette ranges from the clunky old double-deck Steel Bridge high-rise workhorse, to the tall, gracefull, willowy St. Johns Suspension Bridge with its awe inspiring Cathedral Arches, top & bottom.

Steel Bridge acquired its generic name for the same reason famed Ironbridge did in so-so Britain (Telford, Shropshire). It was among the first bridges built with the newfangled metal, hence the name. Ironbridge is a bucolic artistic triumph as well as being the first of its kind. Coincidentially, it spans Ironbridge Gorge. The Steel Bridge, on the other hand, is an underappreciated ugly-duckling blue-coller workaholic (location, location, location).

There is no hope the St. Johns will ever equal the Golden Gate Bridge in fame or gory. No one, as far as I know, after all, has ever jumped off the St. Johns. While living in everyones favorite second city, San Francisco, there were some rumblings about hanging a net underneath. Hrumph! My view, not that anyone asked, was that an olympic class diving board, bleacher seats, inexpensive tickets, and a big brass band might be more appropriate. If all that fuss & feathers didn't bring suicides to a screeching halt, what would?

PDX = pretty damned xenophobic, especially with respect to California immigrants. Plans are in the works to build a wall 30 feet high, 20 feet deep, and 10 feet wide laced with razor wire, barbed wire, and broken beer bottles.


Timeline: October 2006

While my traveling days may be at an end, I have done enough of it to have learned a few things along the way. Everything is transitory; destinations, accommodations, methods, means, interests, traveling environment, and especially current prices. What is right today may be wrong tomorrow, so I will not dwell on those aspects of traveling. Too misleading. Europe on $5 a day, for instance. That is why I included a timeline with my copy, to emphasize the ever changing nature of the tourist industry.

Breakfast for me while traveling was the most important meal of the day, since I seldom knew where or when I might eat again, or what. Equally or more important was where or when I might need to relieve myself of that burden. Paul Theroux, a favorite "true grit" travel writer was once asked how, considering the risky local foods he consumed along the way & the run-down dives he often lived in, with poor facilities or none at all, he escaped the ravages of Moctezumas Revenge. The simple answer was that he did not.

Having never been able to figure which end of a camera is which, I am limited to word pictures. So be it.

  • Intro Updated May 15, 2007
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Reviews (52)

Comments (19)

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    I'm tossing up whether to visit NW limbo, SW nowhere or "bright, shiny and boring". Ahh, decisions, decisions.

  • morgandk's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2008 at 9:30 PM

    Thanks for the overview! Someone actually quotes Paul Theroux? You failed to mention that Kelly's serves breakfast all day. I'll have to check it out!

  • Foundryman1's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    I've been contemplating a Portland trip one of these days.Possibly a job hunt in the spring.You've got some good info on your page-I'll be back-C

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2008 at 7:27 AM

    (~_↓_~) Wooohooooo!!!!! (~_◙) Gillybob greetings

  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2008 at 10:22 PM

    Another Portland Expert. The Top 3 is calling you! PJ

  • leecouk12324's Profile Photo
    Nov 10, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Great to see someone putting lots of pages about their home town - keep up the good work

  • GenuinelyCurious's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2007 at 10:43 AM

    Really good insights and really great directions (esp. re MAX and walking routes). It would be even better if we could see some photos.

  • Fullmoonfever's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2007 at 10:42 AM

    what, no pictures! you are actually going to force me to read? Outrageous, outrageous, I say!

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Sep 29, 2007 at 8:06 AM

    well Portland is great city and this is a wonderful tour and very funky like Hippo hardware.

  • July2's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    I had to laugh at your h/p title Exactly my thoughts way back living in a tourist town in England ... can't live with them, can't live without them! It's different when you are one tho! ... L.

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