Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut is a Portland institution.  It is the Krispy Kreme of the city.

I didn’t wait in line (I went by again later in the morning and the line was even longer) but my brother Stephen insists that I go back and wait it out as it is totally worth it, so I’ll try again tomorrow.  At least they open early!   Oh, the things I must do….

Their tag lines are “The magic is in the hole” and “Good things come in pink boxes”.  I suggest you use those phrases throughout your day in normal conversations and see what kind of reactions you get…



UPDATE: I found a Voodoo location in the suburbs near where I am staying. No line, no waiting (although a short line developed behind me). So I now have a pink box, and we all now know about pink boxes…

Frankly, I still like Krispy Kreme basic glazed doughnuts better, but then I may be biased because they are based in North Carolina (but they are sooooo good, especially Hot, Fresh, Now, which is a red sign they light up in their store window when they are making fresh ones).

I am really glad my brother told me to come back.  Voodoo is way more fun and has a much bigger variety.  Truly an experience.

Poet’s Beach

I generally start my day around 7 o’clock and a common problem I encounter is that many of places I want to visit don’t open until 9 o’clock or later.  Such was the case here.  I did go to two different places which were open early (too many other posts today, but you may see them later) before heading downtown.  Well, the Chinese garden didn’t open until 10 (I thought it was 9) so I had some time to kill and took a stroll down the Portland waterfront, which runs along the Willamette River.

At one point along the waterfront is a small area they call Poet’s Beach.  There I found thoughts etched into large rocks along the walkway representing comments made about the river by local school children of various ages.  I posted 3 such comments as photos and have transcribed the others below.

Some of the comments are very insightful, especially given the age of some of the kids.  I found the whole concept very interesting and inspiring.


“I am the Williamette and my memory is long.  In the choir of my currents, I sing a sacred song. Come and seek my silent places where the heron stands like stone. Come and let my song embrace you, seep into your heart and bone”   Jordan, 4th Grade

“As I walk tranquility propels me to the river, leading myself inside of me”   Anusnka, 4th Grade

“Somewhere along the way the river picked up some of our hopes and dreams and gave us back serenity”   Phebe,  12th Grade

“The stories will change, the surroundings will change, the people will change, and the river will keep on flowing through the ages”   Athena, 12th Grade

“The river holds a gentle current, like a piano filled with music”   Claire, 4th Grade  (Blogger’s note:  4th Grade!)

“The river shivers, from the mountain’s melted snow”   Pierce, 2nd Grade

“River you run within me”   Ashi, 6th Grade


One can only hope some of these kids become the leaders of tomorrow!  I started to say “grow up to become…” but they already seem pretty grown up.


smart Car Dealer, Portland

I walked past the beer can, I mean smart Car, dealer in downtown Portland and noticed the frame exhibit in the window.  They intended to show how well these beer cans, I mean smart Cars, are constructed.

These aren’t cheap and honestly don’t get all that great gas mileage (the window sticker on the blue one said 33 city/38 highway).  My Altima gets 38 highway and would likely survive a crash with a squirrel.

By the way, the blue beer can, I mean smart Car, will set you back 22 large.

And I bet you didn’t know that beer cans, I mean smart Cars, are built by Mercedes-Benz.

Lan Su Chinese Garden

This garden is located in the Old Chinatown section of Portland.  While it had a fair number of flowering waterplants I don’t have very good luck taking pictures of flowers to I didn’t include any in this post.  They were gorgeous, take my word for it.

I did try to capture the wide variety of other things on the property, including shadow puppets, an authentic Chinese tea house, art made from colorful paper, and a young lady playing a musical instrument (which sounded very delicate and was a perfect complement to the surroundings).  I asked her what it was but she spoke very softly and I don’t hear very well so I just nodded my head and said thank you.  (I do that in bars too and one of these days it is going to get me in trouble…).

This was a beautiful, tranquil place in the middle of a big city.

Teeny tiny condoms

My niece, Ali, attends Lewis and Clark College here in Portland (Go Pioneers!!), which is the main reason I came here.  She is in Maine for the summer, working as a camp counselor at Camp Renoia, which both she and her mother (my sister-in-law Jen) attended as girls.  Ali is a certified sailboat instructor.

I drove and walked through much of the campus, which is southwest of downtown Portland.  Before leaving, I headed to the Student Center to see if I could buy a hat and t-shirt.  Well the bookstore where they sell those items was closed (it was Sunday) but as I walked through the halls I noticed a table with a large bowl offering free condoms.  The only item in the bowl was a small zip-lock bag of ear-bud rubber thingies (for lack of a better word) to protect the inside of your ears.  Ear-bud condoms, if you will.  Anyway, I really found it amusing.

Suggestions?   BIGGER CONDOMS!

Pittock Mansion


I’m a sucker for a nice mansion.  Always fun to see how the other half lives.

This restored French Renaissance mansion was saved from demolition by the people of Portland.  It was built in 1914 by Henry Pittock, founder of The Daily Oregonian newspaper.  The mansion sits almost 1,000 feet above the city and has spectacular views of what is now downtown Portland, the Willamette River, and five distant mountains (including Mt. Hood).

World Forestry Center Discovery Museum


This, largely hands-on, museum is mainly for kids but has many interesting and thought provoking exhibits for adults as well.  It is located the the city’s Washington Park.  It has lots of activities for kids as well as samples of petrified wood and facts about the forests and trees of the world.  There was a smokejumper firefighting exhibit and a full scale logging machine with a harvester attachment which explains how trees are efficiently turned into logs.  It is quite a place.

The wood quiz consisted of several large Kit-Kat candy bar-like blocks (or think large piano keys) of various woods which demonstrate the enormous difference in weight depending on what type of wood you were lifting.  Identically sized blocks ranged in weight from 8.7 to 82.7 pounds.

Portland Japanese Garden

The Portland Japanese Garden, located in the city’s Washington Park, is said to be the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan.  If you visit at right time of year (which I didn’t) there would be much more color from the various cherry blossom trees, azalea and rhododendron plants, camelias and wisterias scattered throughout the property. While I was here it was mainly lush green, a nice proportion of water (ponds and small waterfalls), and elaborate stonework.  Nothing grandious, just a subtle, calm, relaxing place. It is a gorgeous garden, even without much color.  I did post the one lone bloom that was at it’s peak that I saw.  So in lieu of flowers I tried to post a cross section of other things in the park which represent Japanese culture and tradition.