Keep Portland Weird. So the T-Shirt slogan says anyway, and I think I'd agree with that. Definitely a city that's happy doing it's own thing and not worried about being compared to anywhere else. With more independent coffee roasters and cafes that you can shake your drip-filled-reusable-cup at, Portland's chilled, laid-back attitude to life is certainly appealing.
Before I arrived in Portland, I'd watched a comedian at a stand-up show in San Francisco say "Portland's main tourist attraction is a bookstore. How pretentious is that?" Call me pretentious but until you've visited the expansive Powell's, don't judge a book by its... well, you get the idea.
Whilst Portland's downtown area might not have been vastly different to some other U.S. cities, staying in one of the areas just outside the main hustle and bustle, like Hawthorne, where we stayed, definitely had an impact on me. Food trucks, cafes, sympathetically renovated old cinemas, like the Bagdad Theatre and, if you head a little further out, an old High School converted into a spa, restaurant and bar, add a charm to this 'weird' Oregon city.
Only scratching the surface of the Pacific North West has given me the urge to come back and explore further afield. Even a hike up Mount Tabor, overlooking Hawthorne and the city, makes me want to head out into the forests and rivers of Oregon to explore the wood cabins and outdoor hot-springs nestled into the huge pine trees, when I return. A return which hopefully won't be too far away. Stay weird, Portland.