Walking in Portland is one of the great pleasures of the city, particularly when the weather is lovely. But don’t rule out a walk when it’s raining — it can still be pretty fabulous, and you just need to target coffee shops, dessert stops, and bars along the way.
In some ways, walking Portland is even easier than biking in Portland, particularly when you stay in the central core. There are a few places where the crosswalk lights will only turn to walk if you hit the button (HIT THE BUTTON) or the pedestrian route is oddly inconvenient, but these are usually surmountable problems.
As you head further east (82nd & beyond) and further south, the city shifts to be a significant challenge for walkers, and you should be very careful with crossing the larger streets.
But sticking closer in, one possible way to head North to South is to follow the suggested bike routes. These actually work better on foot than on a bicycle in places, and there are lots of great places to stop for a break to sit, eat, or drink.
View North to South walk in a larger map
Bridgetown Comedy Festival, y’all! It’s on! I went to a 10pm show last night on a work night and even made it work on time the next morning. Woot!
So, I’m in this highly disorganized pack of passholders staggering around together this weekend (I think there are currently 7 or so of us), but I have a couple of shows I’d like to see this weekend that I thought I would share with you, plus a couple of comics I find funny!
Iron Comic: Saturday at 5pm at the Hollywood Theater. It’s going to be good and funny.
Show # 2:
All Jane, No Dick: Sunday at 9pm at the Hawthorne Theater Lounge (tiny space)
Bagdad Closing Show: Sunday at 8pm.
Another way to go is to try to see certain performers. Here are a couple of out of town folks (figure we can see the locals later so sorry if you’re not local. You should go see the locals instead/as well):
- Moshe Kasher: dude can talk an excellent speed (and wear a hat with panache)
- Nato Green: smart political humor
- Tim Hammer: puns puns puns
- Kate Berlant: the embodiment my fake college thesis
- Seth Herzog: dude can dance and carry off an amazing outfit
You’re going to have to look them up on Bridgetown site ’cause I gotta work a bit more.
So, you’re thinking about going for bicycle ride in Central Portland? Excellent! There are lots of bike lanes and multi-use paths to easily get from point A to point B.
One of the first questions when biking around central Portland is how to get across the river (assuming you need to). At this point, there are two bridges that are best suited to crossing on a bicycle, particularly if you are not a very assertive bicyclist: the Steel Bridge and the Hawthorne Bridge. In a year or so, we’ll have another bridge for alternative transportation just to the south of the Hawthorne Bridge.
The Steel Bridge has a multi-use path (MUP) on the lower deck. Be aware that there may be pedestrians and confused bicyclists who are not using this path as a high speed commute route (or conversely, be aware that there may be cyclists using this path as a high speed commute route).
From the west, you get onto this path from Waterfront Park, not from the on ramp. You’ll want to be by the water with the cherry trees.
From the east, you get onto the path from this funky turn off of the sidewalk on the west side of NE Lloyd. If you are riding west on NE Lloyd, you will need to get onto the sidewalk on the left around NE Grand or do a maneuver at NE Oregon and NE Lloyd to get left onto the path down the lower deck. However, there is more decent signage if you drop down on NE Multnomah heading west and then jog through the Rose Quarter transit center. Often you’re travelling with a bunch of bike traffic.
You can ride with traffic on the upper deck, but you do have to get up a fairly significant hill on either side. The sidewalk on the upper deck is extremely narrow, and while you can bike on it, you may run into pedestrians who are not inclined to yield to a bicycle. If you’re in a hurry and don’t want to deal with dropping onto the lower deck, you might consider biking with the cars.
Want to try another bridge? How about crossing on the Hawthorne Bridge?
Central Portland bridges:
View Larger Map
…that I’m particularly excited about! And I’m going into training this week so I can stay up past by normal lazy bedtime of 9:10pm.
Okay, no doubt I’m overwhelmed by all the fabulous, wonderful, delightful known and unknown shows that are coming in the Bridgetown Comedy Festival.
Today, I’m going to try to pick four shows (one a day) that I’m particularly excited about. And we’ll see if I make it to these particular shows.
- Thursday: Come Laugh with Us at 10pm (that’s going to be late night for me!) at the Bagdad because Moshe Kasher will be there. I am sorely torn by All Jane, No Dick (great fun separate festival) and the delightfully titled Don’t Get Bored of Us and Leave.
- Friday: DadBoner and Friends, You Guys at 9pm at Mt. Tabor Theater. Selected purely on the basis of a RAD name.
- Saturday: Iron Comic at 5pm at the Hollywood. This is a really fun format. You should come.
- Sunday: Hawthorne Lounge Early Show at 7pm. Not surprisingly, it is at the Hawthorne Lounge. I love the small venue shows — some of the best parts of this event.
A quick shout-out to our local Portland bakery, Grand Central Baking Company, which is a sort of local chain. There are seven of them in Portland (and a couple up in Seattle), and they also will be at our local farmers markets.
I tend to call them Grand Central Bakery, but after a little research today, I see that they are technically Grand Central Baking Company. And after a little more research, I’m reassured to see that the local shops are called a Grand Central Bakery. So I’m all good after all. Phew.
Our local bakery is in NE Irvington (more or less) has an impressively stable staff and is full of delicious treats: warm cinnamon rolls, tasty salami sandwiches, and fresh bread. Yum!
The 2013 Portland stand up comedy festival, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, kicks off in 2.5 short weeks!
Assuming you enjoy stand up comedy, you should haul yourself off to at least a few events. Although I’d recommend the wristbands…
This year they are using not just venues on Hawthorne, but also over at Hollywood Theater (the theater I would marry if it would have me, with an occasional special dinner with the Roseway).
Schedule is not yet up, but the performers are!
Anyway, wandering from comedy event to comedy event is a highlight of April in Portland. And if you’re feeling too weenie for a wristband, you can get single tickets as well.
- All Jane No Dick comedy festival this weekend: Oct. 18-21
- International Code Council Annual Meeting is at the Portland Convention Center: Oct 21-28. That is a lot of Code. (Actually more like safety codes, rather than programming code, but that’s cool too)
- First Annual Portland Lamb Jam: Sunday, Oct. 21
- Great American Distillers Festival: Oct. 20-12
- Amanda Fritz v. Mary Nolan debate-o-rama at Portland City Club: noon on Friday, Oct. 19
Consider going to something new to you!
Bet you didn’t know how many awesome things happen at the Oregon Convention Center? I inspect the marquee almost every morning and here are the upcoming events that are by far the coolest:
- La Femme Magnifique International Pageant on Sunday, September 2. When I first saw this listing on the marquee, I had high hopes for something awesome, and my hopes (for once) have been met. This event will “crown the most glamorous female impersonator in the business.” This is sponsored by Darcelle’s, one of our civic treasures. This might be the most fun sounding event I’ve ever seen listed.
- “StarCityGames.com Open Series: Portland” on September 8-9. No further information on the OCC website…but I’m hoping this is a Magic Tournament, which someday I will get to observe. Ideally when my friend is competing. You know who you are.
- “The B.U.L.L. Session Dinner & Auction” on September 10. Link is broken on OCC website — so many possibilities with a name like this. Straight-talking good times? Cattle breeding association?
I just discovered that the International Food Blogger Conference is happening in Portland RIGHT NOW.
This is happening at one of the hotels near home for me (Doubletree Hotel near NE Holladay Park), which is digging up its driveway right now. Hope that’s not too annoying!
I’m sure they are having a great time eating lots of tasty food (although most of the food listed in the agenda looks pretty generic — don’t forget to leave the hotel!) and writing about it online.
My one recommendation to everyone who stays at that Doubletree is that they enjoy the festive classical music playing at the MAX station out front. Carmen! Die Fledermaus! Mozart!
In no particular order:
Instead of actually going to any of these events, I shall lay in the backyard and eat homemade BBQ. But you have fun.