Portland = books and roses!

Arguably the two things Portland is most famous for is Powell’s bookstore and the International Rose Test Garden. So with a free day on my hands before my signing tonight I set out to see both. I’m signing at Powell’s on Hawthorne tonight, not the main downtown branch. It’s not as huge but definitely as cool! I had a nice sleep at the B&B and a relaxing breakfast on the porch. The weather is cool and breezy. I armed myself with several maps and made way via bus to Downtown. It was a pretty painless trip and I managed to find Powell’s without too much difficulty. On the way I stumbled over Reading Frenzy, a very cool zine and comic shop which happened to be (wo)manned by Colleen Coover at the time! Of course I had to get a copy of her book Small Favors and get it signed too. I was happy to see they had Tough Love in stock as well.

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Then I went into Powell’s, of course I ended up buying a book there too though I’ve been trying hard to be good, save $, and save luggage space. I predict I’ll be visiting the post office again on this trip! The store takes up a city block, but was surprisingly easy to navigate. Just amazing! They also had Tough Love in stock. Yes! Then I checked out a few rock n’ roll clothes and thrift shops. No sales tax! But I was good and only bought some punk rock socks. Then I headed to Chinatown to see the Classical Chinese Garden. Pretty and relaxing, but not that big.

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This portion of the trip has been more relaxing since I’m staying at a B&B and wandering alone today. I miss being with friends, but my throat is definitely getting a much needed rest. I had lunch at a vegetarian place in Chinatown, there are tons of veggie places here! I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m loving it anyway. Then I made the trek out to the Rose Test Garden. I had to take the MAX light rail and a shuttle from Downtown but it didn’t take long. It was gorgeous as expected and the smell was sooo good! I wish my camera could pick up the smell of those thousands of roses!

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Bonus picture! Here is a funny octopus on top of a restaurant downtown.

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Things I’ve noticed about Portland: good public transportation, nice weather, gorgeous scenery, very artsy, cheap rent, but fewer convenience stores, groceries, and drug stores than I’m used to. Homeless people are mainly ‘tweakers’ messed up on speed. This is info I got from locals and I saw them Downtown too. They seem to walk about with their shirts partially or totally off and often have tattoos. They talk or yell to themselves a lot. Aside from that it is a great place and it’s no wonder so many people are moving here! Looking forward to the reading tonight!