Portland is an eclectic, progressive town that is everything I want. The embrace recycling, composting, and bicycle riding. Their bike lanes are separate and big and painted green so that you don't kill people who chose to ride their bike everywhere. It's a city where, I think, your quality of life is elevated. They have parks and restaurants and food carts and live a laid-back lifestyle.
That being said, my first stop was Voo Doo Donuts. You have to wait in line for a donut!!! But, the wait is worth it.
Besides all the vegan and vegetarian restaurants, the recycling bins all over, the donuts, and the laid-back lifestyle, one of the things I really love about Portland is that they embrace and encourage bicycle riding. There are separate lanes for the bikes (painted green!), and signs all over the city regarding bike riding. Bike rider are everywhere here!
LOVE that the lanes are totally separate and painted! (In my town, for the bicyclists, we just paint a bike in the middle of the street where auto traffic travels and call it a "bike lane" - that's SO not a bike lane.)
Love all these historic buildings.
Portland is very vegan friendly! I couldn't stop eating! (Ok, that's my norm!)
Street musicians, and their dog!
Something else my city doesn't have - Recycle bins all over the city.
Portland has a GREAT public transportation system. Yet another thing my own city doesn't have! My city has public transpo, it just isn't great - it isn't even good - not even close! Some would say, "Well, if you love Portland so much, rather than your own city, why don't you just move there? Well, that would be because I do love where I was born and live, and I would rather see it improve instead of just picking up and running away from it. Where you were born is a part of who you are, and that's definitely true with me. My city just could be SO much better with proper management and people who care about our history and quality of life. I will never stop hoping that that will be accomplished.
Just so I don't give the impression that Portland is perfect, I have to say, they DO have their pretentious side. Like, for example:
They sell BOXED WATER! Really?!? For those times when perfectly fine water out of the faucet isn't good enough. And, the small box of water is $2. I had to buy one, as painful as it was, just so I could keep the box!
I"m not making this up - here's a pic!
And, of course, there's an artsy coffeehouse on every corner. No, make that, every corner and in the middle of every block. People are in there staring at their Apple computers, iPhones, and iPads (not any other devices, because those wouldn't be good enough). [I have nothing against Apple - Steve Jobs was genius!]