Saturday, July 3, 2010

Our Last Night in Portland

We had dinner last night at The Original, a retro-fusion-local diner/restaurant a few blocks north of our hotel. It was good. We ended up there again tonight (... thanks to the $120 restaurant gift card our hotel gave us - Thanks, The Nines. We appreciated it.) We ordered completely different stuff, and it was still very good.

They have very fresh, very good food in this town, cooked creatively. Love the restaurants, love the dozens of food carts all over the downtown core.

After dinner, we walked the couple blocks to where we could see the front of Voodoo Doughnut. Jinkies, the line was even *longer* than it was at lunchtime. Meh, forget the doughnuts. We had NikeTown to explore!

Two floors of mostly empty space and dramatically-used catwalks.

Nike is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, the suburb off to the west, so this is the "flagship" of their retail spaces. Well, it was very dramatic. And it had a lot of architectural elements going on.

We could be forgiven for thinking maybe there'd be something more interactive than trying to find the staircase to the second floor. Like a place to shoot hoops or try out the yoga gear or kick a soccer ball. Or somewhere to test new designs, or create your own apparel. And maybe it could have been bigger. Like a LOT bigger.

Maybe we're jaded with having the Mall of America at home - or having seen how retail is done when you mean it, like in Tokyo. I think the Nike people have been to those places, too. This was a Foot Locker with a much higher rent per square foot.

1. Wynn didn't want to look at anything in whatever spot we happened to be standing, rather she kept pointing at some distant place, urging me to take here "there."
2. We didn't buy anything. Not inspired...

We walked down to the river to try to see Mt. Hood, but the clouds were still not fully dispersed off to the east. Big points to the city for the redevelopment along the river, though. Clever floating walkways along the eastern shore - attached to pilings so they can float in place regardless of how high the water is. Lots of people jogging, biking, walking their dogs. No mountain view, though.

After Wynn had gone to bed, I went to the drugstore for a bottle of milk and then to the business center to check our tickets for tomorrow morning. This is the view from the front windows of our hotel. Imagine if you will a large volcanic mountain covered in fir trees behind this office building.

Maybe we'll catch a glimpse on our way to the airport...

Portland: come back again? Yes, but we'll set up base in a different neighborhood and rent a car for the next time.

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