Hello! I have lived in Portland for the past 20 years, most of my life. I love this town and learning about it from the perspective of people not from here. I think it is so interesting to hear about the place you are from through different eyes! Some things I love about Portland: really amazing food made with intention and great ingredients from cart-pods all over the city. I think it is really exciting that opening and operating a food service business is getting easier and easier for people to achieve without the huge (comparatively) financial stress of a building-business. I love that this city is so bike friendly. It still has a long way to go compared to some places, but its a perk none the less! I like finding all the free little things you can do here, from knitting and book groups to beer makers skill shares, fermentation workshops, shows, singing groups, conventions, street fairs and bookshops. Powell’s is my all time favorite place in Portland to spend idle hours. One of my all time favorite things about Portland is all the parks. I miss them when I travel to other cities. Its so great to find little patches of green in all the concrete. Forest park is also a really wonderful feature of the city, right in town you can get out of town.
Despite all the winter rain (it’s what makes this place so beautifully green!) Portland is a great city full of generally friendly people where you really can find a lot of fun quirky things to do. I recommend a good rain jacket in the winter and you’re good to go! Have fun!
Do you have any stories to share about food which you tried on your travels??
At a pizza place in Rome we got what looked like pineapple and ham pizza but it was actually yellowed potato pieces with a mystery meat. I also had pizza with hard boiled egg and corn on it. We found this all you can eat buffet in Madrid and we would eat at it every day for like hours.
What’s your favorite brew pub in Portland?
This is super boring but I really like McMenamins. They have pretty decent burgers and I really like their Ruby Ale. When the Nut Brown Ale is in season during the fall I get the two mixed together, they call this mixed beer something vaguely obscene. I like the Blue Moon on 21st and Glisan and the Rams Head on 23rd.
What are the best ways to embrace a rainy day in Portland?
When I go out I like to choose somewhere I want to stay for a while once I get there so I have ample time to relish the face that I am out of the rain. Hot drinks, rain coats and boots help too.
Where can you get the best beer in Portland?
The Tug Boat on Broadway and SW Ankeny has a quirky atmosphere and some pretty decent brews that they make in house. Mostly I get my beer from my friends who made it or I get it in bottles from the corner store. Widmer, Ninkasi and Rogue are really good local labels to try. I like the Hazelnut Brown Ale from Rogue and the Vanilla Otis Oatmeal Stout from Ninkasi, my current Widmer favorite is the Alchemey Ale. My all time favorite beer in Portland is still the Ruby Ale from McMenamins.
What’s your favorite coffee shop in Portland?
Stumptown has cold pressed coffee that is the best I have ever had plus that awesome too-cool-for-school attitude about customer service that everyone loves. But World Cup Coffee across the street has really good coffee. One of the best things about Portland is that you can get pretty decent coffee almost anywhere. There are a lot of little shops that roast their own beans such as AJ Java in N Portland, which is where I had my first ever good cup of coffee all those years ago. I like Anna Bananas on 23rd and Coffee Time on 21st is a good late night Portland cult favorite. I also like Townshend Tea on Alberta and Little Sparrow on 30th and Belmont.
What is your favorite food cart?
I really like the Snow White Crepe cart on 10th and Alder or Perierra Creperie on SE 12th and Hawthorne. Depends on my mood, they make very different crepes from one another. There is a late night Pho cart on 3rd and Oak that is really awesome.
What was your first major travel experience? Why did you choose that place?
I went to Spain and the UK when I was 18 with my aunt and sister. My mother had just passed away leaving a small life insurance policy and my aunt said that after some other expenses we should use it to travel because that is what my mother would have wanted. We chose it based on a combination of my Aunt’s recommendation of where my mother would have liked to go with us and places where we had friends. It was all kind of heavy and weird and also exciting.
What do you like about working at our hostel?
I really like how awesome my coworkers/ the staff is. I love working at a place that cares about the employees and that really cares about the guests. There are lots of policies in place to honor guests and that is not something that I actually see at most places in a sincere way. I really like the way that the place is managed, it is kind and functional in many ways.
What is one of your most memorable moments from a travel experience?
It’s hard to choose just one. On our last night in Barcelona my partner at the time and our two good friends were staying up all night in this square because we were out of money and had to catch a bus there early the next morning anyways. We had all kinds of interactions with passersby but most notably some guys gave us 4 bottles of champagne. We shook them and popped them open and spurted the champagne everywhere like in movies. It was totally gratuitous and really fun.
What might surprise a newcomer to Portland?
It really does rain as much as they all say it does. How green it is? That the city makes us compost and you have to sort your recycling well.
What’s quirky or unusual fact about you?
I like the idea of bromance and am concerned with the concept of frienemies – take what you will from that. I am currently working on large paper mache model of our solar system.
If there is one thing you recommend to see and do in Portland, what would that be?
Powell’s books. Hands down.