Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Portland Reigns Along With KV Royalty

above a "modified" scene from the ON gallery in Portland which is recommended in the article
an excerpt from the 12/2009 national geographic traveler
This Oregon city gets almost everything right: It's friendly, sustainable, accessible, maybe even a model for America's future.
There are at least three things you can do especially well in Portland, Oregon, and they're all important: eating, drinking, and getting around. Here in the self-proclaimed "city that works," restaurants pride themselves on their fresh, locally grown fare, and you're never far from inspired coffee or innovative brew-pub beers. What's more, few cities in the United States are as bicycle friendly. Add to this the ubiquitous local art and a widespread recycling ethic, and you've hit upon much of what makes this verdant, forward-thinking city of 575,930 so appealing.
Portland is so thoroughly trendy these days that at times it seems, well, retro. It's among just a handful of American cities that have managed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Friendliness and civic involvement thrive here even as they decline elsewhere. The downtown farmers market on Park Avenue is jammed every Saturday morning with shoppers dedicated to buying organically grown arugula, Willamette Valley hazelnuts, and artisanal cheeses while listening to bluegrass and folk music. People live in town and in the suburbs, but farmland around the city has been preserved; and skiing and surfing are little more than an hour away.
Portland is all about sustainable, low-impact living, including getting from here to there. So I climb aboard a shiny red bike in the Southeast section of town and angle west toward the Willamette River, through a loose network of neighborhoods both funky and high-end. The bike's long, raised handlebars elicit appreciative bell tinkles from other riders. By the time I reach the river, it's raining. Ah, Portland.
As often happens in this city, there's a place nearby where I can have a meal—in this case, the little Produce Row Cafe, set amid warehouses. The rain stops as I finish my beer-battered fries, and I mount up again and take the riverside bike trail north. The path follows the fast-flowing Willamette in its last northward stretch before its confluence with the more powerful Columbia River. I steer away from the water toward Mississippi Avenue, where I find a Laughing Planet CafĂ©, one in a local chain, whose owner—former bike shop proprietor Richard Satnick—wears Bermudas and a New York Yankees cap

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