Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pacific Northwest Trip 2008 Day 9 Tuesday July 28, 2008 1st Day in Portland

This is the ninth of a series of posts recalling my third annual trip to Seattle, though with this report I head south of Seattle for most of the rest of the trip. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of five years later or to add further clarification; I use “NOW” to denote such cases.

Miracle happened.  Nothing significant to report.  Everyone well behaved.  I did all my packing last night so no real problems this morning.  Minor difficulties finding my glasses when I woke up but easily solved by turning on bunk light.  Set both watches' alarms at 5 minute intervals but beat them both up by about 5-10 minutes from watch #1.

[NOW: The above was written in the morning. The below is the first of two reports I wrote upon arriving in my next stop, Portland.]

In a piece of crap city the Internet correction is a piece of crap.  It couldn't handle  typing these reports and wiped out everything I just typed.

[NOW: It was at the hostel I stayed at that my report got wiped out after going slow.]

I'll try to find an Internet cafe.  Otherwise I can't justify spending money on this sluggish Internet connection, which really should be free given it can't handle simple e-mails. 

Short answer: Portland sucks.  Even Powell's Books is overrated.  I might return home a day early.  Don't bother with this dunghole of a city.  I hate it here.  Hate it, hate it, hate it.

[NOW: Time has been kinder to my recollections of Portland. Even so I have yet to return. I considered editing the above but wanted to be true to how I felt four years.]

Pardon typos above.  It's not just my mood.  Words actually take forever to appear on the screen.

[NOW: I edited out the typos] 

Can't wait for this suddenly lousy vacation to be over with.  I should never have added this dunghole of a city to my itinerary.  Barely worth a daytrip if that.

[NOW: See above. Also, the below was written after I found a place to retype my report.  I wrote the report early the next day.]

I'm paying a bit more and typing this from Powell's Technical Books.  Let's see if I make it through this without anything crashing.  Feeling better today.

So... on my way to the train station I thought I had lost the memory cards for my last Seattle day.  Luckily they turned up later.  I asked for a window seat on the train.  They gave me the left; right which would have have been better because of the sea and the lack of trains going the other way but still got lots of good shots.

The trip to Portland took longer than expected, due in part to some delay in Tacoma.   Still at first it was nice to see Tacoma again however briefly.

It was pretty overcast yesterday and Portland looks incredibly dull yesterday, hence part of why I was in such a sour mood.  First impression of the city was everything looked dull.   I walked to the #14 transit stop to get to my hostel.  There was an incorrect number 14 stop a little before; luckily I figured this out. 

They gave me the wrong room initially at the hostel, which seems to be a refurbished cottage.  I'm in one of the basement rooms.  The lockers are in a shed, which doesn't really thrill me; I'd rather the lockers be close to the room.  Walked along Hawthorne and basically confirmed that in Portland music stores are just that (i.e. no movies like most Seattle music stores have).  On a bus a woman claimed that it was against the law to take pics with people in them without permission.  The bus was about to reach the hostel and there was a nearby comic shop to check out, so I got off, confirmed my hypothesis that the woman was incorrect, and bought some comics at the comic shops before returning downtown (my hostel is a ways to the east of downtown).

I lost my list of places to check out in my final day in Seattle so I mostly just wandered around.  I visited a place that had DVDs for sale, but they were unpriced so I didn't bother looking too closely.

[NOW: I think I visited the now defunct Borders around then as well.]

Just before Powell's Technical there's a cute state of a baby elephant on top of an adult elephant.  A short walk further took me to Powell's (main store).  Huge selection and does take up a full story block.  My problem with it is that it lacks atmosphere, either of a local type (e.g. Russell Books in Victoria) or even of a chain like Chapters.  But the selection is quite good and I did buy two, one being a collection of 1970s stories featuring the sons of Superman and Batman.  The stories make no sense even to veteran comic readers (they supposedly take place in the then future, but 1970s hair styles, use of bikers, etc clearly date them to the time they were written).

The old town has some nice architecture.  The world's smallest park , Mill's End is actually in the middle of a crosswalk.  I would have stepped over it Godzilla style but there was a plant in it that I didn't want to hurt.

The old town has what appears to be a poor man's International Fountain.

I ate at Pioneer Place, not really a pioneer place but a modern shopping centre.  The sad thing is after the drab, dull look outside the mall actually energized me, which malls rarely do even to me.  I ate at McDonald's and then left the mall and comic comics at another comic shop. 

I decided to walk back to the hostel for exercise.  I used the computer there which was $1 per 20 minutes, buying 40 minutes.  The words couldn't keep up with me, so I was making tons of typos, and when I tried to correct the worst of these typos it crashed and erased everything, which is why I seemed so POed yesterday.

I worked off the stress by going for a walk, then buying DVDs at a Hawthorne branch of Hollywood Video.

[NOW: All Hollywood Video  branches are now defuct]

Don't want to tempt fate so will cover today separately.

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