It’s so easy to get around Portland, because the streetcar and light rail systems are not only frequent and convenient, they’re all free within the city centre, too. So, we’ve been hopping on and off all day.
Enjoying the individual personalities of the wide variety of shops and businesses in this area, we poked our heads inside a kitchen/cook shop on the corner. In Good Taste turned out to be more of a cookery school, with an enviable cooking demonstration area and super-friendly staff who gave us a few details about up and coming classes. We were sorry that we couldn’t make any of these as we’re not in the city for long – but lo and behold, on Saturday night, we’ve snagged three places at the Portland Summertime Dinner Party. How lucky is that?!
Finding it hard to resist the colourful “shop” opposite, we simply had to investigate further. Cargo was the kind of place where each of us could have spent a whole day. (Click through to their website and you’ll see what I mean – you might spend a day just looking at that!)
Indonesian Boy Scout Badge anyone?
Philippino Saint structure?
Gorgeous blue and white china?
Or a lovely oriental family photograph?
That’s all, because these gorgeous, beautifully coloured drawers are all MINE! (I wish)
What an incredible shop. Delightful people too!
So, still catching our breath, we sobered up in a knitting shop or two, enjoyed a coffee at Pearl Bakery and scoped out a few places for dinner before jumping on a tram headed for Washington Park and the Rose Gardens.
It being June, everything was in full bloom and the garden was looking lovely. I was a little disappointed that, since it was situated on a breezy hillside, there wasn’t the concentrated perfume of a more enclosed rose garden, but the flowers were truly magnificent.
Another couple of hours downtown and a bite to eat left us in need to something sweet. Lo and behold, a tram in the opposite direction from previous journeys took us to a place we’d only read about VooDoo Doughnuts.
Except, when we got there, the notice on the door said “closed”. Our guide had listed the place as 24/7 and arriving at the door was the first we’d heard that this particular shop had been closed for rebuilding since April.
But there was quite a bit of activity inside, the door was wedged open and when a young man put his head around the door, we asked what was going on. “Five minutes” he said, “we’re reopening in about five minutes”.
“Actually, it might be a bit longer”, he admitted, five minutes later.
In the meantime, we enjoyed the company of a family from Albany and a queue began to form. Only speaking to them did we realise what a following Voodoo Doughnuts have in Portland, never mind how long the queue normally is. Here we were, first in line for the “soft” reopening!
When the doors opened, we were there. Great ceremony as we ordered the first doughnuts of the new, extended store. Mary handed over the first dollar bill in the till (which was then taken away for safekeeping) and a huge cheer went up as the first doughnut was placed into the bag.
It was a Portland Cream. Wooohooo!
We went on to choose a doughnut each - Mark opted for one of the Voodoo speciality flavours, Maple and bacon (you’ll have to ask him what it was like!) Only as we stepped back did we realise that none of us had chosen the voodoo doughnut – the one with raspberry filling and a (pretzel) stake through its heart.
Quick as a flash, the gentleman from Albany stepped forward and ordered an extra one for us – how sweet was that?!
So, doughnut party here tonight, whilst watching So You Think You Can Dance (US Edition – better dancers!)
We haven’t had the heart to draw out the stake yet…