Monday, July 7, 2014
The Offbeat Tourist Guide to the Wild and Wacky Side of Portland Oregon (15th Edition)
The Offbeat Tourist Guide to the Wild and Wacky Side of Portland Oregon (15th Edition) The Offbeat Tourist Guide to Portland was a Great Success for Many Years but Went Out of Print a Few Years Ago. Here is an Online Version. The Original Cost of the Guide was Just 25 Cents Lex Loeb Contributor Network . Adventures and Cheap Thrills: River Front Loop --bike and bridge trails. before the city spent $60 million dollars building the elaborate pathways on the east side of the river I used to bike there all the time without any of the traffic. The bike path extends far down up river along the Willamette river for a nice days ride. passes the museum of science and industry another state financed boondoggle. The bike trail then merges with the sweet water corridor trail for a much longer ride. Bike maps of Portland are published online. look for the off road bike trails like in forest park and avoid the street trails because they are dangerous. Portland now often has bike memorials where bikes hit by cars are hung high on utility poles and flowers and stuffed animals create makeshift shrines for the in the street bikers killed by cars. Just a warning to the wise. Find the off road trails . One goes over the 1-205 bridge across the Columbia and the sidewalks of the 1-5 Columbia bridge, while it lasts, are a great place to bike too. Itty bitty Park, a.k.a. Mill Ends Park: Portland has the world smallest public dedicated park. It is 24 inches in diameter and located in a traffic island at the intersection of SW Naito Parkway and Taylor. The world's Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge at Hatfield's OHSU, this amazing enclosed foot bridge was built at the cost of 6 million pork barrel bucks. You can now take the 60 million dollar tram up to OHSU from the water front to get there. located at 3181 SW Sam Jackson Rd on "Pill Hill." If you like hospital food there is a 24 hour cafeteria there and a military commissary at the VA hospital. The bridge links the VA Hospital with OHSU. Fairless Square -- ride the articulated buses and the max trains, trolleys for free around downtown with in the defined parameters. Free all day and night till closing. Keana's Candyland-- this place might be someone's dream come true. Candy stuck to the ceilings ,walls and floors, a diabetic gluten free bakery and Hansel and Gretel's Witch house all in one. All kinds of confections for sale. 5314 SE Milwaukie Ave. tacky on the outside . sweet on the inside. Burnside Bridge Skate Park--see the finest in urban acrobatics , 2nd and Burnside under the Burnside Bridge. The 24 Hour Church of Elvis. now re-opening on Couch Street between 5th and 6th streets just off of china town in an old elevator shaft. In due time the windows should be coin operated where you can get married for some number of quarters. "Cheap but not legal" Oregon Mystery Tax Hole. 600 NE Grand at the Real Metro Zoo. This bureaucratic haven used to be an old Sears Warehouse building and store. It was converted to offices for secret tax consumption purposes for the Metropolitan Service district which is an elected secret society sort of what is portrayed in Nicolas Cages "National Treasure Movie." Go in and ask to see the map room. Maps are what give bureaucrats in this secret society power. Ask to see the earthquake , flood and fire hazard maps of the region and ask for free bicycle trails maps. If they attempt to charge you for a map tell them that you are a tax payer. Crystal Springs Park--next to Reed college on a Portland Area Map. This park has a truly amazing system of springs that emerge from what may be a buried stream. If you wan to see the source of the water just go in back of the trees on the parking lot side of the big pond. The park is free after hours only because the city believes in putting toll booths on every square inch of public property it can. After hours are after 6 pm and at other times on weekends maybe. The garden is famous for is Rhododendrons. It used to have wonderful umbrella petasites that recently mostly got torn out though a few are still there. The Water works and the ponds and lakes are very nice. The springs flowing in are a local geological wonder of sorts. You will notice that the springs all come out along the same bank at the same Geo strata layer. I have not yet solved the mystery . If you do let me know. The spring water inflow is substantial. There are more springs or a creek that terminates in a pond up by Reed College at a higher level. It maybe a different spring system or the mother of the crystal springs ? Saint Johns Bridge: This "Gothic" span is a great pedestrian walk with great views of the Willamette river , the Forested West Hills , industrial river front and Saint Johns. Giant Thunder Eggs and Petrified wood logs-- these are in front of the children's Museum in Washington Park near the zoo. only one of the thunder eggs has a polished side. The petrified wood logs are around 2 ft in diameter. Omsi used to occupy the site. They may have additional specimens down at their new location on the river? Free Sunday Buffet for Winos and Street kids in the park. Its called POTLUCK IN THE PARK --Too bad they have no beer? google for the time schedule or to make a reservation to donate food that might need to be picked up . The park is located in between SW Washington street and SW Park.. Other than Potluck in the park this is Portland's Biggest failure in urban park design. There are on and off plans to re design the park for center city RV parking and for out door camp sites sans BBQ. (contact me I would be the developer) Berry Botanical Garden --11505 SW Summerville. call 646-4112 World's Largest Ten Commandments: Too bad its not in front of the Multinomial Country Court House. Located instead at SW Dosch Rd and the Beaverton Hillsdale Highway. It is the facade of a Jewish Synagogue sandwiched between two Christian Churches. One is a Latvian church and community center , The other is maybe Methodist if so it is President Bush's Fave. Harvey the Rabbit. It's colossal. far from town. Pass through Aloha, Oregon on the TV highway. TV stands for Tualitin Valley some say others say its the transvestite highway. Harvey is hard to miss but he might not really be there. Stark's Vacuum Cleaner Museum--See hand pump vacuums and early electrics. Also a diesel model. 107 NE Grand. REED College has a Nuclear Reactor on Campus. Powell's City of Books, Art Gallery and Rare book room. On the top floor. The gallery often hosts book signings and has a monthly art opening. The rare book room has more limited hours than the rest of the book store. Powells also hosts a café' and if you ask they have a small press division. If you want to sell books when in Portland they do buy books en mass check for book buying hours and rules. Saturday Market. The Original hippie market gone mainstream. Every Saturday and Sunday in season. Not exactly off the beaten path anymore. Kidd Toy Museum. A great collection of antique toys from the collection of Frank Kidd. 1200 SE Grand. (Look for the Parts Distributing INC. Sign. Mon-Fri 8-5:30 . The collection is houses in a parts distribution business. Winks Hardware. SE industrial area location. Every imaginable type of nut and bolt imaginable is sold here. I used to get many of their big checks in my PO box because they have a similar PO box number. I hope they did not get my mail. Colossal Paul Bunyan Statue: stands on a street corner at or near NE Denver and Interstate. It is along the interstate avenue max line. the statue was moved for the building of the light rail line so my address may be off now. The Grotto-- catholic shrine. NE Sandy @84th follow the signs. Bronze station of the cross walk, elevator, Moyer memorial chapel and more. Portland has a colossal Bread loaf illuminated sign at Franz bakery. Look though the windows see all American bread being made. Not far away is a huge illuminated quality checked 1000 gallon milk carton on a pole. Walt Disney's Boyhood Home: it is one of the two Victorian homes at 17th and SE Morrison. Walt Disney;s Sister lived in the Portland area and if she had children her children's names are in her Husband's name and not her maiden name. IRA Keller Fountain-- artificially wild fountain, an oxymoron conceptual waterworks . SW RD between Market and Clay. The Roxy Café: open 24 hours. 1121 SW stark. Great place for late night/ early morning people watching. Owned by the Lovely Suzanne the place has a life size crucified Jesus in fiberglass with a neon halo over the Juke Box. This is the place to get a "Portland F_King Oregon" T shirt or one that says "Merry F_ucking Xmas". The old biz cards said something like "the Roxy. the food sucks and the service is rotten." yes really but not true. Truck drivers know it beats Denny's. The Amazing Healing Rock . It is just north of the Sandy River -i-84 bridge. After finding the rock the Sandy river delta into the Columbia river and park is of interest too.. The UFO Museum. yes it exists but is not open to the public. Have a space to donate for it's reinistallation or a collection of UFO objects. books etc to sell contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Woodstock Mystery Hole: a private amusement park not open to the public except by express invitation of the owner sorry. Google them for their mailing address and for more information. Our Lady of Eternal Combustion--Rev .C. Edward Linnvill is the proprietor. More than a car it is trinketrama! Google it to find it In case it is history? Hippo Hardware: museum of sorts-- fixtures form old houses a must see for fans of old buildings SE 11th and Burnside. The Rebuilding Center. Google for location. This is the recycled building construction materials super shop or re home depot. The steel building structure it is now housed in is fairly amazing on it's own merits. It is in the N. Mississippi area. on N Mississippi. google for times and address. The Cobb works of Portland. Visit the SE Hawthorne Youth Hostel and People;s Market . google for locations. Mark Lakeman, the architect has other projects all over town. Sunlan Light bulb store--crazy light bulb store front windows of note on N. Mississippi Street. North Mississippi, -this street has turned into a night life pub row.. It has recently been transformed from a boarded up inner city slum to a hip area with an over supply of pubs and cafés. Nice place for an evening stroll or an afternoon walk when the stores are open. including the amazing rebuilding center with it's Cobb entryway.. Habromania on Alberta-- 2303 NE Alberta open most Saturdays has collection of old neon signs from town and odd antiquities. See the neon light in a blender there. The Imported Chinese Garden--the Chinese garden in old town china down was built in china and reassembled on a city block . It includes a pond that once mysteriously consumed massive amounts of city water because of a hidden leak. The Garden is a miracle in transporting you to what seems to be ancient china in the center of the city. It is really too bad it was not built in a country side setting. Part of its charm is that it does seem more real than the rest of Portland. The varied concrete screens looking out into the city are a rude awakening from the perfection within. Portland is the birthplace of the U-haul. The little Jug Shaped Pub on NE Sandy Blvd. Los Angeles has the brown derby but Portland has the little brown jug pub on Ne sandy blvd. It may be a strip club. Talking about strip clubs--Portland, Oregon has the largest number of strip clubs than any other city in America. G strings not required. Portland Walking Tours--find out what the little swastikas on one downtown building have to do with crackers by taking their architectural tour. www.walkingtours.com they also have a supernatural tour or haunted tour. Run by the concierge of the Hilton Hotel. The Vera Katz Park. world's only side walk park! Friends pointed out that the water fountain along the side of the Armory theater looks like an old fashioned door public urinal and commode dating back to Roman times. i remember urinals in older sports arenas that looked exactly like it just not carved of such expensive stone. The hole idea of naming a side walk as a "park" is so pedestrian. The Haunted Heathman Hotel. Hotel staff maybe intentionally spooking certain rooms. If you want a haunted room just ask for one at the desk. Haunted rooms now go for more than the rest. There is no 13th floor except in the old bank of California building. The Portland Police Museum-- 1111 SW 2nd ave. definitely google or yahoo search before attempting to visit this. THE ACE HOTEL ...google for location and info. This maybe Portland's most hip hotel or maybe it is the Jupiter hotel . Yahoo it. Google the Ace. . Look for the Re New Newspaper vending machine outside. It has odd publications inside of it for two quarters. Velveteria.. velvet painting museum including wonders like Elvis of course. 2448 E. Burnside st. For times and info www.velveteria.com Voodoo Donuts--"The magic is in the hole" Now with two locations: 22 SW 3rd and 1501 NE Davis. info: www.voodoodoughnut.com Two Local Nude Beaches: Sauvies Island, Rooster Rock Chapel Pub--a McMenamins Pub in what had been a neighborhood mortuary. A morbid place to have a beer. 430 N. Killingsworth The Golden Dragon. Portland's greasiest Chinese all you can eat lunch buffet only $5.99 upstairs over Cameron's books. Chinese American but still not as great an experience to visit as the old Hung Far Low. The Alibi Restaurant and Lounge: tiki lounge 4024 N interstate ave. Rimski-Korsakoffee--trick tables and classical music. 707 SE 12th Really Cheap Food: Saint Francis Mission located on SE 12th. (FREE dining hours) Not just a soup kitchen. Make a donation. Free Food for those who dare: Ikea Cafeteria. word has it that locals find free food there because tray's are self bussed by customers with a lot of less than half eaten plates. Free for those who dare. The Montage-"- just say alligator" . located in an industrial area 301 se Morrison. The original owner was killed in prison by the Portland Police Order of the Strong. It has unusual hours beware. late night . Fuller's Restaurant. last of Portland's original dinner style restaurants.. Americana NW 9th @ Davis Western Culinary Institute--student chefs everywhere. Located in the Galleria. Test and class room restaurants. too. Washington Park Arboretum-- Groves of various types of trees including redwood, sequoia and Oregon incense cedar....Lots of trails to hike. Berry Botanical Garden 11505 SW Summerville The Oswego Furnace. the remains of an old industrial site. If you like industrial archeology this is a place in the Portland area. Ride The Canby Ferry. HIKE TO THE STONE HOUSE IN FOREST PARK. Take the Max train to the Portland Airport for lunch or dinner and to visit the mall stores. The Portland air port is a great place to get exercises walking . The shopping and the food comes with great views of take offs and landings. The hanging gardens under the flying glass truss roofs are interesting if you did not come by plane. Also take the Max train to Hillsboro to see real suburbana Americana along the way and in Hillsboro go to see the giant Red wood trees at the country court house or go and watch a trial in the court house. DUI hearings can be lots of fun to watch. More trials to choose from at the Multnomah county court house. When going to court always bring a pen and paper and tell the judge, when asked why you dare be there is because you are a "reporter." They put on a better show for you then. Lacey's Bomber (a WWII bomber) Milwaukee-- 1 mile south on McLoughlin- used to be a gas station. Now associated with a restaurant. Mt Tabor Reservoir. nice in summer when the fountain is running. Also hike up to the top of mt Tabor which is billed as the only volcano in a mainland American city. PICA -- www.pica.org The Cat's Meow-- wall to wall cats. The store for the quintessential cat lover. 3538 SE Hawthorne 97201 is the zip code of most of the inner city Portland rich. or was before the Pearl district and the South Water Front? Coffee Time. 712 NW 21st open late. The place to play chess with the regulars and strangers. Portland Cacophony Society ...Around Christmas time they have the ever growing Parade of the Santa's. Google it. Some Portland cacophonist started the Burning man festival phenomenon too. Willamette Falls-- a mini Niagara falls and site or Oregon's Original Edison Electric plant. Free elevator ride near by for a higher view point. --Oregon City. City Liquidators-- a cheap imported version of everything on earth (besides walmart) 833 SE 3rd Lobby of Wyden and Kennedy--Ad agency that created Nike's just do it slogan and may now still have world Coke Contract. There is a colossal plywood beaver in there and a totem pole. the lobby is an ad museum but there also is an ad museum in town and in Ann Saks apartment off 23rd street is Bob's Big Boy up in the private palates window visible at night. the blue hour restaurant next door has become a culinary legend.. Too expensive for readers of this guide. Side walk horses of NW 23rd street and the Big Dazzle horse. PIttock Mansion. best views of the city. Looking in the windows is cheaper than paying to go inside. Montgomery Place--the old Montgomery wards warehouse redeveloped as a design center atrium building. The Max Elevators and Les auCoin park at the zoo parking lot. ride the elevators down to see the original core samples on display at the bottom. public zoo is a rip off. The red wood trees around the world forestry center there are interesting. The world forestry center is a show case for cutting down trees in a big wooden building in a hexagonal or octagonal shape. Elvis at Saturday Market should you come across him. The Safe in City HALL. Oaks Park . Saturdays there is old fashioned roller skating at the rink in the park..skate to live Wurlitzer organ music or watch the professionals. China town and used car dealers on the real Americana 82nd Ave--Foubon mall is now the center of china town. not to be confused with old town china town. PNCA--An art school with a public art gallery space in the pearl district. The Columbia Gorge Railway ---model train club Bishop's Keep on SW Military road-- botanical garden built on solid basalt cliff lands. Strange Bird Preserve--visit the Audubon Society No Dogs park up NW Cornel Rd . There is some semi-old growth trees back in there but it usually is difficult to see any birds at all. If that seems boring go help volunteer put out English Ivy in Forest Park. The so called invasive species is invasive only in certain elevations in the northwest. So are wild blackberries but for some reason , maybe that birds like them?, there are few places to volunteer ridding Oregon of those nasty plants. Gone But NOT forgotten: (just google to find out more:) The hall of art horrors in Where's the Art a former gallery also known for its Styrofoam peanuts room. Wacky Willie's Surplus The Grey Hound Race track ' Western Big Foot Society (museum) The collections are still somewhere in Portland. The Alien Museum (not the UFO museum) Portland Contemporary Art Museum PCAM not open to the public until further notice Portland Free Museum (used to be at city hall) Pseudo Intellectual Food. It was the thinking person's restaurant and the most expensive in town. Gone! Corno's world's larges fruit stand billboard (may return?) The church of Elvis Wedding Chapel Jim Spagg (maybe should be forgotten) The Indian Petroglyph that Vera Katz, gave back to the Indians from city hall was the oldest thing in Portland maybe 10,000 years old and maybe pre-American Indian thus. The original Trader Vic's --replaced with a rather mundane stake house. London Grill is intact in the basement of the Benson hotel with its acoustic wonder ceiling allowing you , if you are quiet at your own table to hear the conversations of tables far away . If you eat there talk about impossible republican conspiracy theories and other tables will hear your entire conversation. .The council crest trolley and amusement park (views are still nice) Things to Google and consider: Beaterville café' (ah if only breakfast was served on a hub cap) City of Portland Building PIttock Mansion Rock Butte promenade The Salmon works along Johnson creek built by the WPA on the bike trail Powell Butte The Zoo Bomb (different than zoo bombers in Australia who break into the zoo and spray paint the animals) Last Thursday on NE Alberta Fort Vancouver $5 bus rides to Grand Rond--Spirit Mountain Casino. Bad Karma News Kelly Point Park. Cowboys then and now museum ? A-ball plumbing supply Portland Hostel @ 1818 NW Glisan William Temple Thrift shop Bureau of land management--to stake a claim. Metropolitan Center for public Art. The Portland Dumpster Diving Class and tour Summer time garage sales and estate sales. The stone memorial downtown with the bronze plaque that Oregon had the world first high tension power line. The 911 command center is in an underground bunker built as a nuclear fall out shelter. (never found it) Ground control may still have the original PAC man games Wunderland nickle game arcades. Vancouver Washington has a relatively new bike path along the lower Columbia river. There is a place to park across from the opening of the Willamette into the Columbia River. Multnomah County Library has a few points of interest like a Bronze tree in the children's reading room. Periodicals Paradise. The place to shoot on Hayden Island Bizarre of the Bizarre --ultimate novelty store! 7202 NE glisan The Golden Guilded Statue of Jean D'Arc in the Circle island @NE 39th and Glisan ...nearby is Laurel hurst park, Nice park with filthly duck pond. Portland Cable Access on MLK The Nike outlet on NE MLK and the Columbia sports ware outlet over near Sellwood. Goat Rock Island in the Willamette. Evergreen Air space museum not as good as the CIA evergreen museum not open to the public. The Shakespeare Garden in the rose garden with proper name dropping plants from Shakespeare plays and sonnets Watch people dodge the fountains at the Rose Garden and in the Park Across from Lloyd Center. Portland (meth addicts would love to scrap it for the scrap value of the copper. watch them salivate below) The statue represents a giant cannibal woman of the sea with a taste for the people below. The building was built on the cheap but apparently may not be safe to enter should there be a 7 Richter scale earth quake. .