An entire block of literary goodness
Head straight to Powell’s City of Books on W Burnside St, NW10th Avenue. This is not up for debate.
Taking up an entire block, no stay in Portland is complete without a visit to Powell’s. Especially so when the weather out there is cold and rainy. Nothing beats being surrounded by over one million books, free usage of wifi at the Powell’s cafe and getting lost in time in a Pulitzer Prize-worthy book.
Let it be known that I will move to Portland for Powell’s. Fact.
Kenny & Zuke's serving up a storm
Best Delicatessen: KENNY & ZUKE’S on SW Stark Street, NW11th Avenue.
Best Coffee: Stumptown (right next to K&Z)
At Kenny & Zuke’s, I ordered the Breakfast Sandwich and it didn’t disappoint – scrambled eggs with cheese, a large sausage and 2 slices of crispy back bacon on a hotdog roll served with a side of French Fries. Yum.
I washed all of that deliciousness down with a cup of aromatic coffee from Stumpdown right next door. For coffee-lovers on their last 24 hours on this earth, a trip to Portland’s Stumpdown will take you straight to seventh heaven.
Then it started to pour so the next stop would have to be… Powell’s City of Books. Naturally.
The JDI Master
This encounter deserves an entire blog post on its own.
Date: 2 February 2010
Theresa Lim may not work on Nike anymore, but Lady Nike still smiles upon her. So whilst scoffing my face with delicious pork loins at the Tarheel Cafe, and basking on the glorious fact that I’m at the Nike Campus on a sunny day in Beaverton, I thought, “Wow, this can’t get any better”. Wrong.
Not when one gets to spot an original Blue Ribbon who brought innovation, inspiration and technology to every athlete in the entire world – Mr Phil Knight. Someone’s day has just gotten A LOT better.
Plucking up loads of courage and putting shame at the door, I walked over, apologised for interrupting his lunch and then BAM! Celebrity-block. Help, I had forgotten how to speak. Hurry. Just say something. Anything. What came out was embarassing, “Hi, my name is Theresa & I’m from Shanghai. I just wanted you to know that you have been a huge inspiration to me.”
He clasped my hand with both of his hands and flashed me a huge toothy smile. Okay. Either he was pleased someone came up to him OR was secretly laughing at this little Asian weirdo fool. And I accept both assumptions. Why? Coz I shook his hand, innit. That’s all that matters. The end result.
We had a little chitty chatty about where I was from (he complimented me on my amazing oratorical skills – thank you), my unforgettable time on Team Nike China culminating with the Nike Campus AND seeing him in the glorious flesh. I think he liked that. As we bid farewell, he said he liked the Nike Sportswear silver puffer jacket I had on. This man has taste.
This beats shaking the hand of Prince Albert of Monaco back in 1996. Hands down.
Jason in his glorious flesh.. in front of me... in Portland!
You know that a trip is going to be amazing when:
1) The flight you’re on is half empty
2) That means you’ve got 3 seats to yourself
3) They dim the lights throughout the entire evening flight
4) You arrive bang on time at the destination
Walking out of the plane towards Baggage Claim, I was so so excited. Excited because I’ve never been to Portland and there was going to be so many friendly faces to see. So when I saw the vision that was Jason White standing at the Arrivals Hall in the glorious flesh, I was ecstatic! Friendly familiar face = safe.
Off we popped in Jason’s new BMW (very sleek) for a little tour around the city at nightfall. Gorgeousness. We drove round and round the 5 bridges that connected both East and West sides. Magical. After that epic encounter, we stopped at Ringside Steakhouse – only THE best steakhouse in the US. I’m just saying….
Anne + a mate dropped by and we had the most amazing bar bites EVER. True story. We had steak bites with horseradish, fish bites with tartare, buffalo wings (I reordered 4 times because it was so yummy), caesar salad, shrimp cocktail and cheese breads. All these deliciousness was washed down with glasses of wine and happy conversations. I was so happy to be dining with the two people I met in Shanghai in Portland.
With a full stomach and a smile on my face, we headed back to Jason’s. What an apartment. OMG. I want to move to Portland and live in a place like his. Huge flatscreen TV, incredible sound system, wikid leather sofa, open-planned kitchen, gorgeous bedroom and a 360 view that overlooks the entire city. This is the dream.
As I closed my eyes last night, I thought about how lucky and wonderful my life truly is. I’m really glad to be on this trip. It’s starting to give me a lot of perspective and clarity – two things I really need before I head back to the life that is Shanghai.
Good night, New World. I love you.
One of the many vintage record stores on Haight Street
Sundays are the best. True story.
We had brunch at Home by the bar counter and not only was a gastronomic feast, I feasted my eyes on the very sexy and hot bartender, Nolan – Rachel’s BFF. Unfortunately, like all the other 90% of men in San Francisco, this sexy biscuit is gay. Why. So all I could do was stare and sigh. D’oh.
Then we hit the shops on the famous Haight Street where the cool and hippie hang. Vintage shops, second hand boutiques, American Apparel, Wasteland… oh yes… come to me. I bought a purple tutu, a headpiece made of fake flowers and netting, 3 pairs of AA socks and a 2010 must-have piece – an ultra long sleeveless black vest. Bingo.
That trip killed our feet so we cabbed back to Rachel’s in time for the Grammys Red Carpet (see previous blog post for my take on it). We cooked dinner which consisted of baked chicken breasts in garlic, sauteed kale, carrots, mushrooms and onions soaked in red wine and a serving of basmati rice each. Muy delicioso.
I’m off to Portland tomorrow evening and am very excited to see the vision that is Jason White at the Arrivals Hall.
The trip has only just begun.