What to Do in Portland, Oregon
MMMMM, Portland - this city is at the top of our Places We Would Live list! It’s such a beautiful mix of characteristics - slow, dark, introspective, creative, and cultivated yet genuine. This was the second time we have been there, and this time we did it right. Last time, we went after driving the West Coast and visiting San Francisco. While we liked it, it didn’t compare to the life and vibrancy of San Fran because of the road tripping mood we were in. It was our first big trip together, so it was both super exciting and quite a trial. This time though, it was the only place we went and we were in a much more grounded, stable, and secure place together. This trip wasn’t as thought out, but the purpose was to cross something off my bucket list. I love Lana Del Rey, and have always wanted to see her perform live.
Miraculously, everything just fell into place for this trip. The day I put this on my life list we found out she was playing in Washington in a month. Searching for hotels and campsite, Portland kept coming up. At first I thought I was typing something in wrong but then realized the venue was only half an hour away from Portland. AND on the England trip Isaac racked up enough points that we could stay in a hotel for free! It was obviously meant to be.
Since our hotel was based on what we could get for free we didn’t get to stay where we would have liked (hello, Ace Hotel) but the Radisson Portland Airport was a pretty good location and let us check in super early. The last time we were here we had stayed in this amazing house from Airbnb downtown. There was this amazing café/bakery/magazine store that we went to everyday, so of course we had to go back this trip. It was the first place we went and we spent the afternoon there reading magazines, eating coffee cake and taking pictures.
That evening was the concert. Holy fuck, if you like Lana Del Rey and ever get the chance to see her live, DO IT. I can’t quite put into words the feeling of watching her perform live… it was deeply satisfying art. Her voice is phenomenal. Her performance style was so interesting, especially how she changed the intonations of her lyrics so that it wasn’t like you were just listening to the album play. Granted, very few things compare to hearing live music, but I think hearing your favourite songs played live is one of the best feelings in the world. It was definitely worth the crazy long drive and the couple days it took to recover from lack of sleep. And she has a new album coming out in September. I cannot wait!
As per tradition, our night ended with Robotaco. I was half asleep by the time we got there and Isaac had to physically steer me to avoid all the drunk people, but it was worth it. They have the best damn burritos I have ever had and for like half the price of what you would pay in Calgary. I love how even at 2 am Portland puts the effort into their food. It might be what Portlandia makes fun of, but it’s my favourite thing about Portland. People take the time to slow down and appreciate the details and intricacies that should go into creating a meal, even if it is a burrito for someone who has had too much beer.