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Author Archives: Steve Unger

Comments Off on Oregonian’s Top 40 Portland Restaurants for 2014

Oregonian’s Top 40 Portland Restaurants for 2014

The best of the best whether you’re a first-time visitor
or a longtime resident

Listed alphabetically …

  • Apizza Scholls
  • Ava Gene’s
  • Aviary
  • Beast
  • Biwa
  • Bollywood Theater
  • Castagna
  • Cocotte
  • The Country Cat
  • Evoe
  • Firehouse
  • Grüner
  • Imperial
  • Ken’s Artisan Pizza
  • Laurelhurst Market
  • Le Pigeon
  • Levant
  • Lincoln
  • Little Bird
  • Mextiza

  • Nak Won
  • Navarre
  • Ned Ludd
  • Noisette
  • Nostrana
  • Olympic Provisions NW
  • Ox
  • Paley’s Place
  • Park Kitchen
  • Podnah’s Pit
  • Pok Pok
  • Ringside
  • Roe
  • Smallwares
  • St. Jack
  • Tanuki
  • Taste of Sichuan
  • Toro Bravo
  • The Woodsman
  • Tavern
  • Xico

Click here for all the details

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Comments Off on Roses in Bloom

Roses in Bloom

 June is the month when Portland roses reach their peak

Photos taken at the Portland Rose Garden
by our guest and friend Dawn-Marie Lasley

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Comments Off on True Portland: Naked Bike Ride

True Portland: Naked Bike Ride

Once a year thousands of Portlanders take to the streets in the buff


 A “Naked Bike Ride”, what more needs to be said?
“Keep Portland Weird!”

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Comments Off on True Portland: Public Art at the Lloyd Center

True Portland: Public Art at the Lloyd Center

Love is in the air!

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In surprising places all over Portland you find Public Art. This sculpture is just off Broadway in the walkway between Safeway and Newport Seafood Grill at the Lloyd Center. These Lovers always make me smile … especially in Spring time.

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Comments Off on Ecola State Park

Ecola State Park

The Hidden Treasure of Cannon Beach


Just south of the turn off from Route 26 toward Cannon Beach, Ecola State Park stretches along 9 miles of coastline and offers outstanding views overlooking Cannon Beach and Haystack rock. The park includes an 8 mile segment of the Oregon Coast Trail.

The trail around the point gives you the closest and excellent view of “Terrible Tilly”, Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. During winter and summer migrations, whales can be seen from several viewpoints

Although the name sounds like a bacterial infection (a combination of e-coli and Ebola) the name actually comes from the native Indian word, “ikoli” meaning “whale”.

Link to Ecola State Park

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Comments Off on True Portland: Nicknames for Portland, Oregon

True Portland: Nicknames for Portland, Oregon

A Rose (City) by any other (nick) name would smell as sweet.

From Wikipedia …


City of Roses

The most common, nickname for Portland is The City of Roses or Rose City. The first known reference to Portland as “The City of Roses” was made by visitors to an 1888 Episcopal Church convention. The nickname grew in popularity after the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition where Mayor Harry Lane suggested that the city needed a “festival of roses.” The first Portland Rose Festival was held two years later and remains the city’s major annual festival a century later. There are many other cities and towns known as Rose City or The City of Roses.

The nickname is often attributed to Leo Samuel,who founded the Oregon Life Insurance Company in 1906 (known today as Standard Insurance Company). Samuel, who moved to Portland in 1871, grew roses outside his home. He placed a pair of shears outside his garden so people could snip a rose from his garden to take for themselves. This encouraged other people and businesses to plant their own roses outside their homes and business. Today, roses are still planted outside the Standard Insurance Company’s home office building in downtown Portland.

This nickname inspired the name for the four-year-old female Asian elephant who arrived in 1953, Rosy. The first elephant ever to live in Oregon, she remained the matriarch of the Oregon Zoo’s herd and gave birth to six calves before her death in 1993. On August 31, 1994, her daughter Me-Tu became the first elephant in North America to have twins. On August 23, 2008, her granddaughter Rose-Tu (the surviving twin) gave birth to Samudra, the first third-generation elephant born in the United States.

On June 18, 2003, the city council unanimously approved a resolution adopting “City of Roses” as the city’s official nickname.


Portland is known as Bridgetown or Bridge City due to numerous bridges crossing the Willamette and Columbia rivers.The river width spanned varies from 850 to 7,850 feet (260 to 2,390 m), and all of the bridges also span shoreline roads, paths, or other ground at each shore. In total, there are eleven bridges over the Willamette, including eight in the central area, and three over the Columbia.


A portmanteau of “beer” and “nirvana,” Portland has more brewpubs per capita than any other city in the United States. (Also see Beer in the United States and List of breweries in Oregon.) There are six Portland entries in “America’s 100 best beer bars: 2012” from Draft Magazine, more than any other city.

Little Beirut

Staffers of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush used to refer to Portland as Little Beirut because of the protesters he encountered during his visits.


Portland is sometimes affectionately called P-Town by some locals.

Rip City

The nickname Rip City is usually used in the context of the city’s NBA team, the Portland Trail Blazers. The term was coined by the team’s play-by-play announcer Bill Schonely during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 18, 1971, the Blazers’ first season. In the days prior to the three-point field goal, Blazers guard Jim Barnett took an ill-advised long distance shot that nonetheless went in, giving the new team hope for a victory against the powerful Lakers. Excited, Schonely exclaimed “Rip City! All right!” Schonely admits that he has no idea how he came up with the expression, but it became synonymous with the team and the city of Portland.



Stumptown was coined in a period of phenomenal growth in Portland after 1847. The city was growing so rapidly that the stumps of trees cut down to make way for roads were left behind until manpower could be spared to remove them. In some areas the stumps remained for so long that locals whitewashed them to make them more visible. They also used them to cross the street without sinking into the mud. Captain John C. Ainsworth commented that there were “more stumps than trees” in Portland in the early 1850s.


The city of Portland is nicknamed PDX after the International Air Transport Association airport code for the Portland International Airport which is within the city limits. For example, the domain name for Portland State University of was chosen in 1987, since had already been given to Pennsylvania State University in the previous year. As well, many Portland businesses include pdx in their domain names to indicate their Portland location

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Comments Off on The Other “Rose Cities”

The Other “Rose Cities”

Portland is not alone in having the nickname the “Rose City”

United States
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Chico, California
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Lowell, Wyoming
  • Madison, New Jersey
  • Pana, Illinois
  • Pasadena, California
  • Richmond, Indiana
  • Thomasville, Georgia
  • Tyler, Texas

  • Camrose, Alberta
  • Welland, Ontario
  • Windsor, Ontario
  • Panguipulli, Chile
  • Shiraz
South Africa
  • Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Comments Off on Food Cart “Pods” in Downtown Portland

Food Cart “Pods” in Downtown Portland

A place to meet and eat

A Food Cart Pod is like the Food Court at the Mall except that it is outdoors and there are no fast food chains. When wondering about downtown, here’s where you can find clusters of Food Carts

SW 9th and Alder

Part of the largest lot in the city, the city block between Alder and Washington from 9th-10th boasts 60+ food carts. The largest concentration of street food in America

SW 5th and Stark

One of Portland’s first food cart lot, this pod features 20 carts including old favorites like Tabor, Give Pizza A Chance, Aybla Grill, Veli Thai and La Jarochita.

SW 3rd and Washington

A lot featuring some of Portland’s oldest Mexican carts this lot is very international featuring cuisines from Indonesia, Egypt, Lebanon, Alaska, Thailand, Vietnam, Greece and more. 20 carts on site

SW 2nd and Stark

Featuring 3-5 carts.

SW 3rd and Ash

4 carts featuring Big-Ass Sandwiches and Olympic Grill, this lot is open for lunch along with serving the masses for late night eats on the weekend.

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Portland’s Living Room, this public park features 5 carts including Honkin’ Huge Burritos, Portland’s oldest cart.

SW 4th and Hall

This lot, supported by Portland State University and local businesses features 25 carts including Homegrown Smoker, an all Vegan BBQ and Portland Soup Company, one of the most beautiful carts in town.

Click here to learn about Food Carts in Portland

Click here for a map of Food Cart Pods in Portland

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Comments Off on True Porltand – The Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

True Porltand – The Rimsky-Korsakoffee House

Portland’s “Secret” Coffee House

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From Wikipedia …

Named after Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Rimsky-Korsakoffee was one of Portland’s first coffeehouses. The classical music-themed business, serves coffee and desserts. It operates from the former living room of a reportedly haunted Craftsman-style house, built in 1902 and “nearly hidden from view” by the surrounding foliage.

The coffeehouse is owned by Goody Cable, who opened it for business in 1980 reportedly “to stop cleaning [her] house for music parties,” having hosted classical music events in her home for years prior.

Be advised the Coffee House has no exterior sign.

Rimsky-Korsakoffee House  ♦  707 SE 12th Ave.  ♦  Portland, OR 97214
(503) 232-2640

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