What's up with Portland?
City of Roses, Bridgetown, Beervana, Rip City, Stumptown, PDX... So many different names for the city of Portland (Oregon), also so many things that made me fall in love with it that is hard to know where to begin, but here we go!
1. An example of sustainability:
Transportation wise, the city really invests in walking, bike paths and transit options, they are so efficient that you do not need a car to live here, helping reduce the carbon emission. The city is surrounded by a Urban Growth Boundary to stop the city from spreading into farmland and to grow smartly. A lot of the energy here comes from natural resources such as solar panel and wind power, not using non renewable resources. Buildings are highly efficient and most of the new ones have green certifications. The city also has a great recycling program, reducing the waste.
2. Keep Portland Weird. The city is very hipster and liberal minded, you can definitely feel the unique vibe by walking around. If you're visiting make sure to stop by a thrift shop and catch some good deals on unique clothing. Some days you can spot the unipiper riding his unicycle around, playing bagpipes and wearing a Darth Vader mask (@theunipiper). During summer, you can catch the Big Float on the Willamette River or the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby race, and during fall the Giant Pumpkin Regatta. They are exactly what you are imagining, hilarious.
3. Nature everywhere! You don't need to put a lot of work to get to a park. A lot of hikes are easily and quickly accessible by walking, biking, bus or train. Once you're there, it feels like you're in the middle of the woods.
4. Beers. Portlanders are very proud of the beer scenario in the city and they should be! You can go to big and famous breweries like Rogue and Deschutes or explore the smaller and less known stabilishments. Anyhow, you will always find local crafted beers at any bar/ restaurant, we are spoiled like that.
5. Random fun facts: Portland is the city with most strip clubs per capita in the US, and it is definitely part of the culture to go to them, some are even vegan, it's a thing! You can also get to know the smallest park in the world according to the Guiness - Mill Ends Park, it is only 60cm in diameter. On the other hand, Portland is home to the largest independently owned bookstore in the world, it is a whole block with different floors and rooms, fun to explore.
Hope those fun facts make you want to explore the amazing Portland, I am sure you will love it!
In honor of the CIEE Work & Travel USA 50th anniversary, we established the CIEE Exchange Ambassador Grants to support exchange alumni who are working to make change in their... keep reading