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Portland – Day 1: Convention Center

September 29, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

In mid-August I took a semi-vacation. Doris had a convention to attend in Portland, Oregon so I tagged along. Since she was busy most of the time, I spent my days wandering around Portland. I originally had plans of traveling to the coast and Mount St. Helens, but decided that would be overdoing it. This made life easier since I did not need to rent a car and could rely on mass transit instead.

Portland TriMet Rail

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon. The airport is in need of updating, at least the parts we were in, but it was ok. An employee was helping all us newcomers figure out the kiosk for purchasing rail tickets. We purchased a 1 day ticket for the Red line and then were off to the Doubletree near the Convention Center (CC). There is a station literally next to the hotel at Holladay Park.

Holladay Park

After we dropped off our stuff, Doris went to take of registration and whatnot at the CC, while I wandered around the CC. I wasn’t sure what to expect in the middle of the summer, but flowers were plentiful.

2013-08-11_JD_0013

One of the oddest things we saw was the Bell Circles II, with a sign that said, “ATTENTION – BELL WILL RING WITHOUT WARNING”.

Bell Circles II

This is one those things you are inclined to discount, like, “Coffee is hot”. But trust me, there is no warning, and it is really loud. Scared the heck out of us.

Bell Circles II

The CC is next to the Willamette River, and you can see downtown from here.

Downtown Portland Oregon

Even standing at this one location, you can’t help but wonder at the number of bridges. In fact, Portland is also known as ‘Bridgetown’, with 11 bridges spanning the Willamette, and more on the way.

Willamette River

Steel Bridge was the first one I came to. The photo below is in black and white because I was looking into the sun, so pretty much all color was obliterated anyway. The bridge has two decks. The lower deck is specifically for railroad, bicycles, and pedestrians. The upper deck is for light rail (mass transit) and cars. During our time here, we only used light rail to cross. Like all (?) bridges here, this one can elevate to accommodate large ships. More on that another time.

Steel Bridge

Speaking of rail, this was our favorite sign during the trip (the tracks for the rails are somewhat deep):

2013-08-11_JD_0033

For our first meal, we walked to a Lebanese restaurant, Nicholas, recommended by one of Doris’ co-workers. It was good and definitely Doris’ favorite meal of the trip. However, the neighborhood was not great and this location is pretty small. If I were to do it again, I would take some sort of mass transit, even though it may take awhile, rather than walking. One thing we learned that was there’s not much in the way of good food in the area of the CC. What there was, requires taking a bus, or better, a car. If you’ve no car, you’re better off taking the train to downtown (10-15 minutes) if you want something noteworthy.

On the first day, I came away with an impression of Portland being not too dissimilar from Austin, but with an actual public transit system and much cooler weather. The Day 1 gallery photos were taken with my new Sony RX100M2, except the picture of the park, which was with my new Canon 6D.

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