Monday, November 8, 2010

Portland: The Weird and the Beautiful

My first day in Portland began with meeting Curious Thomas for an exchange of goods. Headphones for a Rogue beer. He brought his mom. Awkward. Fortunately his mom was hot and seemed to please the others (Drunk Don and The Lesbians Jessi and Stacy). I was with Cougar Eye Candy. It was Tiki Tuesday at Rogue Brewery. If you wear an Aloha shirt you get a free beer. Funny enough a Hawai'i ID doesn't count. Tell me how that works?

My first week was spent wandering around with Don, Laura and Brandon, all of whom I'd met in Hawai'i at some point. Laura was my old roomate who is from Portland. She decided our first stop should be Mary's, the very first strip club in the city. This place was anything but raunchy. It was as oldschool as it can get. One stage with one jukebox. The "dancer" chooses a song and does her thing. The place is tiny, stuffy, and full of slot machines. I wasn't even sure if people went there to see the strippers or not. We had a drink a left.

Next we went to a cheap ass sushi bar. We received our food by train. A motorized train, that is. Not the best or most classy style of eating, but fun nonetheless. After a couple sake bombs and sushi we went to a barcade. That's right. A bar and classic arcade. I'm not talking Dave and Busters crap. I'm talking about classic games from the 80s and 90s. What's more awesome is that we played for free the entire night. The pinball games rocked my world.

Brandon, my other tour guide, used to be a music promoter. We met while he was promoting a show in Hawai'i. No, we never hooked up, but I always thought he was a cool guy so I kept contact with him. I have him to thank for showing me that serenity can be found in the hustle of the city. The Chinese Tea Garden had artisans construct an authentic and harmonious area in Chinatown. Unfortunately, Portland's Chinatown is pathetic and nonexistent. I guess the strip clubs make up for the lack of any real culture.

Aside from the city's charms (which I will tell in specific at a later time),
nature does exist here. I went on an excursion with Donny to Washington Park. Full of Redwood trees, old pines, and various plants I'd never seen nor heard of. It was more beautiful than I expected to see within the city. The pathways led into a canopy of trees as the sun burst through the leaves, and we just strolled through the arboreal maze with ease. In a random niche of the wood there is a wooden overlook with benches; a perfect resting spot for lunch. Sandwiches and some wine did us fine.I guess there's more nature to see in the city than I thought.

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