Playing Tourist in Portland, OR

Although I now live in Portland, OR, I still feel a bit like a tourist as I explore.  This past weekend was heavy duty exploring.  First I got my veggie fix at the Saint Johns Farmers’ Market.  Don’t they look yummy?

I can tell you the peaches, beets and lettuce are wonderful.  After I got home I pondered whether I’d gotten beets or radishes, they looked so red.  So I cut one up for salad. It was a beet, but tender and tasty.  I’d not tried eating raw beet before. There are larger and smaller Farmers’ Markets about town, but this one is just the right size and quite easy to get to, so it has become my first choice.

Next stop was the Overlook Village Street Fair on N. Killingsworth St.

FatDog MustardI didn’t do a lot for the economy, but I enjoyed browsing the booths of jewelry, food, and other crafts.  I couldn’t pass up this handcrafted mustard after I’d sampled it, though. And I did have my first VooDoo Doughnut.  I’d often been advised to taste them, so with a booth brought to me, how could I not?  They didn’t have their specialty at the booth though, something like maple bacon doughnut. So I still have to find the shop itself.  There is a cool yarn shop on N Killingsworth along the street-fair route, The Naked Sheep. (Don’t you love the name?)  They were having a sidewalk sale, and they also had a tent for people to sit and knit a bit.  When I joined there were 3 others there; during the hour I was there about 10 passed through, most stopping to knit, one to spin, and a few just to chat. We were also in good listening distance of the stage, so got the full effect of the music.

The next stop was the free concert in the Park.  The Portland Festival Orchestra offers six concerts throughout the summer at different city parks.  I actually knew where the first two were located and which bus would get me there, so I attended both. The first was in Cathedral Park. No trouble seeing where the park name comes from, is there!I had wondered if the orchestra played the same concert in the six different venues, but no, there is variety in the first half. The second half is a tradition.  Often they play Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf  and always Haydn’s Toy Symphony.  For the latter they call the children forward and hand out whistles with bird like warbles. The children blow them (and stop) at the director’s signal. Since the concerts were different, I went again on Sunday to the one at Peninsula Park Rose Garden.

There is a larger, more famous, rose garden in Washington Park, but this one is lovely!  I’ll have to check for location of the other parks and the buses that will get me there. Also later in the season another orchestra provides concerts at the Washington Park. I will have to drive to that one because the last shuttle through the park is at 7:00 pm, and I have been told it is too large to walk to public transportation. I’ve also been told it is large enough to get lost in while driving. Maybe I should explore it during the day before trying to get home in the dark (even with my new GPS).

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