One of the things I wanted to do in Portland was get to know the comedy scene a little bit. I was thankful to do shows every night while I was in Portland, and I met a pretty wide swath of comics. I did shows at the Down To Funny Showcase, Helium Comedy Club, Crush, Tonic Lounge, Curious Comedy Theater, Bagdad Theater, and the World Famous Cannabis Cafe. The scene here seems pretty young, but hungry and helpful and excited about comedy. It’s fun to be around so many people that haven’t been embittered by the harsh realities of road life. The Portland comedy scene feels like one giant group hug, and it was awesome to join their group hug for a week.
Oh, and I finally got to perform in front of an aquarium. Time to cross that one off the list.
One of my favorite things about Portland is the Saturday Market. It actually runs every Saturday and Sunday, almost all year. Well, March to December. If you like crowds, art, weird people and street singing, this is a great place to go down and people watch. There’s kinda two sides to the whole thing, one that is people selling everything from hats to pipes to Tibetan jewelry. The other side is where people are making and selling art. I love art, so this is the stuff I prefer to look at. It’s open till 5pm, and it’s a great way to spend the day, especially if you like crowds and weirdness all rolled into one.
Portland is consistently rated as one of the top biking cities in America. There’s a good reason for this. All the roads have bike lanes, bike trails cross the entire city, and drivers actually know how to drive on the roads with all the bikers. It was fun, and makes me miss having a bike.
The best way to travel is to go to places where you know someone that lives there, and have them show you around. I am lucky because my cousin and her boyfriend (hereafter referred to as “my cousins”) live in Portland, and took me around to some fun, local places. I went to a farmers market in the neighborhood, Portland’s U-Brew and Pub, and a couple of fun bike rides to downtown and back. It’s nice because it’s a small city, and biking to downtown is not a behemoth ride. The U-Brew Pub was great. You can go in and make your own beer recipe without having to invest in all the equipment. James and I tried grapefruit beer, peanut butter cookie beer, and a few Belgium style drafts. All were delicious.
Voodoo donuts is one of those great places that you only think is great if you don’t live there. Most Portlanders are too busy riding bikes or recycling or getting everyone to eat vegan that they don’t normally dip on down to a donut shop, even though they have donuts with bacon. Donuts with bacon. Just saying it out loud can induce a heart attack in some people. I can’t imagine a thing more ridiculous or American, other than deep fried Snickers bars. However, it is delicious. If you’re in Portland, I recommend getting the dozen they pick for $10.50. They’re kinda pricey individually, but if they pick them, they’ll hook you up with some great ones at a reasonable price. You’ll feel fat afterwards, but just hop on your bike and hippie it home and you’ll feel much better.
Portland is a weird town. And they are so proud of it. Good for you, Portland. If you like Boulder, Colorado, you would love Portland. It’s like a bigger, better version of mostly white, socially liberal Boulder. It really is quite a charming town, all the stuff to do of a bigger city, without making you stab someone for a parking space. Which is why I don’t carry a knife in my car.
After a gig fell through, I decided to take a week and go see what the Portland comedy scene was like. It’s a great idea, and I can’t believe it took me so long to think of it. The double bonus is that my cousins live down there, and I wanted to hang out with them because they’re fun and awesome people. Special thanks to my cousins for letting me crash on their couch, eat their food, and use their stuff. They are amazing! And thanks to the Portland comedy scene, which is like the biggest, weirdest comedy group hug I have ever come across. Cheers, all you people.
Looking down 103 stories. They built a clear observation deck that hangs out over the edge. I nearly pissed myself. (Taken with Instagram)
From the other side of the tower. (Taken with Instagram)
I went to the top of the Sears Tower, now called the Willis Tower. The views were incredible. (Taken with Instagram)