- 1 Vital Statistics
- 2 Getting around
- 3 Accommodation
- 4 Hotels, Motels and B&Bs
- 5 Hostels
- 6 Eating
- 7 Drinking, nightlife and entertainment
- 8 Bars, brewpubs and coffee houses
- 9 Music venues
- 10 East of the River
- 11 Old Town, Chinatown, Pearl District and Northwest Portland
- 12 West Hills and Tasardur Park
- 13 External links
Vital Statistics[edit | edit source]
Population: 2,100,000 Human: 10% Elf: 70% Dwarf: 10% Ork: 7% Troll: 3% Other: <1% Density in Populated Districts: 325 per square kilometer Per Capita Income: 29,000¥ (112,000¥ when residents of Royal Hill are included) Below Poverty Level: 32% Persons on Fortune's Active Traders List: 0% (3% when residents of Royal Hill are included) Persons of Megacorporate Affiliation: 17% Persons of Tir Tairngire-based Corporate Affiliation: 35% Felonious Crime Rate: 12 per 1,000 per annum. White: 83% Jewish: 45% German: 13% Irish: 6% English: 6% Italian: 2% Norwegian: 2% Scotch-Irish: 2% Swedish: 2% Black: 8% Hispanic: 4% Puerto Rican: 4% Aztlaner: 67% Cuban: 6% Asian: 5% Chinese: 25% Vietnamese: 20% Japanese: 12% Laotian: 9% Filipino: 8% Korean: 8% Asian Indian: 4% Hmong: 2% Hawai'ian: 2% Amerindian: 1%
High School Equivalency: 55% College Equivalency: 15% Advanced Studies Certificates: 2%
Portland serves as the interface between Tir Tairngire and the rest of the world. This city provides the nation's only opportunity for the nation's visitors to work, and then for only brief periods of time. All trade between Tir Tairngire and other nations takes place in and is transported through Portland.
Portland has long since been surrounded by a wall, similar to the old Berlin Wall constructed a century ago in Germany. It used to be patrolled and loaded with high-tech security machinery. A dozen gates secured with tank traps, guards, and sensor systems controlled traffic going in and out of the city. But when the economy bottomed out, the budget keeping the wall up dried up. Most of the cameras, sensors, and automated killing systems no longer work. The uprisings from the Rinelle terrorist group have blown more than a few major holes in the wall, and the section along Lake Oswego was demolished for safety reasons.
Having been spared the kind of aggressive, remorseless development that many Seattle residents have come to loathe, Portland still retains a pleasant, small-city feel, both for its well-preserved Beaux Arts elvish architecture and walkable urban core, as well as its easygoing atmosphere. That said, there's not a lot to keep intrepid tourists here for more than a day, with most of the city's handful of major attractions located within close walking distance of each other on the short city blocks – half the size of most American cities. On the other hand, while Portland's unpretentious bohemian flavor may be lost on more gung-ho travelers, the city remains an excellent spot for casual visitors to slack around for weeks at a time, with a wealth of good diners, microbreweries, clubs, tech shops, simsense stores, bookstores, and coffee houses to keep you occupied.
The city was named after Portland, Maine, UCAS following a coin toss between its two East Coast founders in 1845 ("Boston" was the other option). Its location on a deep part of the Willamette River, just 126 kilometersn from the Pacific and surrounded by fertile valleys, made it a perfect trading port, and it grew quickly, replacing its clapboard houses with ornate facades and Gothic gables. Nevertheless, throughout the nineteenth century it remained a raunchy, bawdy place, notorious for gambling, prostitution and opium dens. By the 1970s, Portland's historic buildings had decayed or were sacrificed to parking lots and expressways, but since then, it has salvaged what was left of its past, replacing concrete with red brick, and introducing folksy statues and murals. Although the city's rehabilitation, along with its "urban growth boundary" to limit unrestrained development, has done much for Portland's reputation nationwide, most residents are ambivalent about the praise and would prefer you move anywhere – preferably Seattle – but here.
Arrival and Information Portland International Airport, or Morningstar International Airport, (PDX) is a thirty-minute drive from downtown, by either the Gray Line Airport Express bus (every 45min 0500–midnight; 75¥), which drops off at major hotels, or the cheaper MAX light-rail line (4 hourly, 0700–2330; 7.75¥), which connects to the airport near Terminal C and takes about forty minutes to reach downtown. A cab from the airport into town costs 125¥–150¥. Greyhound at 550 NW Sixth Ave and Amtrak Tir, Inc. close by at 800 NW Sixth Ave are conveniently situated within easy walking distance of the center; if you arrive at night take a cab though – this part of town is not safe after dark. Pacific Trails (LTG# 1503 [92-4437]) runs buses from Portland to the Tir Tairngire coast.
The visitor center, by the river in the World Trade Center, 26 SW Salmon St at Front Avenue (May–Oct daily 0900–1700; Nov–Apr Mon–Fri 0900–1700, Sat 1000–2pm, LTG# 1503 [75-9750]), has plenty of maps and information on both the city and the Principality. Portland's main post office is at 715 NW Hoyt St (LTG# 1503 [94-2124]).
Getting around[edit | edit source]
Although you can see much of the compact city center on foot, or along the city's impressive, extensive network of cycling paths and trails, Portland also has an excellent public transit network. Portland's light rail system, Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) (which was just recently restored), is a mag-lev monorail system that moves tourists and commuters around central downtown and Old Town, and carries commuters over the river to the eastern suburbs, also tunneling under Tasardur Park and the zoo. The Tri-Met bus system is based at the downtown transit mall along Fifth Avenue (southbound) and Sixth Avenue (northbound). Each bus shelter is labeled with a symbol – brown beaver, blue snowflake and so on – serving as a code for a block of bus routes in a particular area of the city. Although excellent for transportation, the mall is not a place to linger: it's well known as a drug-dealing zone. The Tri-Met Info Bureau on Golradir Celebrindal Square (Mon–Fri 0800–1700; LTG# 1503 [38-7433], for disabled customers LTG# 1503 [38-4952) offers free transit map chips and sells all-zone day tickets (20¥), "andotarna," or passgate, six-hour passes (15¥), code of ten tickets (57.50¥), and monthly passes (236.25¥) with special student rates (80¥). Buses and MAX trains are free in the downtown zone – "Fareless Square" – edged by the Willamette to the east, Irving Street to the north, and I-405 to the south and west. Outside here, fares are between 5.25¥ and 7.75¥ – download exact change; transfers for onward travel within the same zone (there are three fare zones altogether) are free.
The brightly colored electric cars of the new Portland Streetcar line ply a tourist-oriented route between Portland University and Northwest Portland, covering most downtown sights on NW and SW 10th and 11th streets. Fares are free inside Fareless Square, otherwise 6.25¥. Portland's taxis don't stop in the street; you'll have to either get one at a hotel or call (Broadway Cabs LTG# 1503 [27-1234], Portland Taxi Corporation LTG# 1503 [56-5400]).
Accommodation[edit | edit source]
Scads of flavorless motels line the interstates and Sandy Boulevard northeast of the city center, but for a few dollars more you're far better staying downtown, where you'll find hostels, B&Bs and a good range of hotels, the pick of which occupy grand and elegantly restored old buildings.
Hotels, Motels and B&Bs[edit | edit source]
Luxury Hotel (40 floors) Archetype/309 SW Broadway/Emmett Bonnick, Manager/Strong Bias Against Non-Elves /LTG# 1503 (28-2000). The typical spot for visiting dignitaries and celebs, this classy hotel has a superb walnut-paneled elvish lobby, and impressive bedrooms with modern appointments. 1,000¥–1,250¥.
Elensar Inn City Center
Upper-class Hotel Archetype (15 floors)/ 1414 SW 6th Ave/Ervin Bhaskar (Owner)/Slight Bias Against Non-Elves / LTG# 1503 (21-1611). Great location with smart, well-tended rooms. Excellent value for downtown. 500¥–650¥.
Upper-class Hotel Archetype (4 floors)/2126 NE Halsey Rd/Theodore Pankau (Manager)/Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (69-8610). Fifteen minutes east of the airport, this unique brewery-resort features a Georgian Manor, restaurants, bars, winery and tasting room, distillery, simsense/trideo theater, gardens, and an 18-hole British golf course. 375¥–500¥.
General Malírel‘s House B&B
Upper-class Hotel Archetype (4 floors)/125 SW Míriel St/Sean Shawver (Manager)/No Racial Bias/LTG# 1503 (22-4435). Four attractive Victorian guestrooms, a 20-min walk from downtown. 375¥–500¥.
Luxury Hotel Archetype (60 floors)/1001 SW Broadway at Salmon St/Zella Fernandes (Manager)/Slight Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (41-4100). Occupies a finely restored Neo-Celtic building, with an elegant, teak-paneled interior and much marble and brass. Splendid rooms, excellent restaurant, and popular lobby-lounge where you can swill among the swells. 800¥-1,000¥.
Middle-class Hotel Archetype (10 floors)/2545 NW Westover Rd/Kathleen McQuain (Manager)/Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (74-1846). Stylish elvish Tudor B&B reminiscent of Tolkein’s Rivendell, whose large suites feature fireplaces and cozy sitting areas. Excellent continental breakfast and close hiking access to Portland's expansive Forest Park. 800¥-1,000¥.
Arnynas II School
Upper-class Hotel Archetype (3 floors)/5736 NE 33rd Ave/Louisa Engman (Manager)/No Racial Bias/LTG# 1503 (49-3983). Thirty-five B&B rooms, each in a refurbished schoolroom with chalkboards and cloakrooms, plus modern conveniences. Excellent breakfast, multiple brewpubs, simsense theater, outdoor bathing pool, and "detention bar." 500¥–650¥.
Arnynas I Hotel
Middle-class Hotel Archetype (3 floors)/729 SW 15th Ave/Blossom Catherson (Manager)/Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (23-6311). Stylish lobby, but rather plain – though affordable – rooms in this old Portland favorite, well placed along the MAX tracks. 500¥–650¥.
Upper-class Hotel Archetype (10 floors)/422 SW Broadway/Hallie Zizza (Owner)/Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (28-1212). An intimate boutique hotel with oversized rooms and a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Elvish wine is offered in the afternoons in the lobby. 650¥-800¥.
White Eagle Hotel/Hotel Nímthoron
Middle-class Hotel (20 floors) and Restaurant & Bar Archetypes (2 floors)/836 N Russell St/Monty Lakatos (Manager)/No Racial Bias/LTG# 1503 (82-6810). Hands-down Portland's best bargain, a refurbished old hotel converted into a hip brewpub in an industrial-elvish-bohemian neighborhood. Rooms are clean and simple, and surprisingly cheap. Live music nightly. 175¥–250¥.
Hostels[edit | edit source]
Cheap Hotel Archetype (12 floors)/3031 SE Hawthorne Blvd/Nora Spellman (Manager)/Slight Racial Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (36-3380). Popular amongst non-Elf and international visitors, Hostel facilities in a cheery Victorian house, well located in the heart of the Hawthorne District. Occasional live performances. 90¥ dorms, 225¥ private rooms.
HI-NW Portland International Hostel
Cheap Hotel Archetype (50 floors)/1818 NW Glisan/Risa Dajer (Manager)/No Racial Bias/LTG# 1503 (41-2783). Located in a nineteenth-century home in Northwest Portland, near the popular Mission Theatre & Brewpub. Contains espresso bar and family rooms. Free wireless Matrix access with valid student ID code. 95¥ dorms, private rooms (only two) 250¥.
Eating[edit | edit source]
As in Seattle, Portland's Pacific Northwest cuisine is a mix of international cooking styles and fresh regional produce, and the city offers many excellent dining options for all palates and pocketbooks. Unlike Seattle, Portland’s cuisine seems to have an ever-present Elvish flare to it. Downtown, the Pearl District and Northwest Portland have swank cocktail bars, sedate bistros, brewpubs and Pacific-fusion and vegan-friendly restaurants, while Hawthorne Boulevard has the best inexpensive food and ethnic restaurants. Downtown also has an abundance of food carts that crank out Aztlan food, Italian panini, vegetarian Indian cuisine, and rice-bowl bentos – typically cheap and tasty fare.
Fast Food/Small restaurant Archetype/Slight Bias Against Non-Elves/2534 SE Belmont St/Jarod Pak/Owner/Slight Bias Against Trolls/LTG# 1503 (36-7349). Forget the higher-priced joints downtown (three kilometers west of here): this dreary-looking spot has Portland's best – and cheapest – elvish Thai food. And if you don't like the ugly red-vinyl booths or kitschy decor, just order take-out.
Orophin Cricket Club
1925 Hawthorne Blvd/Slight Bias Against Orcs/LTG# 1503 (31-0740). Not just another excellent Indian elvish restaurant, the Cricket Club also adds a Muslim-inspired middle eastern element to the usual fare. A kilometer west of the main Hawthorne scene.
626 SW Park Ave/Slight Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (24-5552). The city's most popular elvish French bistro, with tasty pasta and free live jazz on most evenings. The favorite lunching spot for shoppers at nearby Lordstrungs.
2521 SE Clinton St/Moderate Bias Against Trolls/LTG# 1503 (35-0203). In the center of the small-but-wizzer Clinton district, a cheap late-night spot decked out in primo garage-sale decor, offering the classic bacon cheese-burger, vegan burritos and the best grilled-cheese sandwich in Portland. Non-elves seem to always notice the difference to spite the elf cooks best attempts to simulate burgers, burritos, and grilled cheese humans are used to. And the patrons don’t complain!
1239 SW Broadway/Bias Against Non-ELves/LTG# 1503 (22-9070). One of the city's finest restaurants, where fresh Elvish cuisine and scrumptious desserts are served in cozy quarters just south of the city's main attractions.
Jake's Famous Crawfish
401 SW 12th Ave/Slight Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (26-1419). Portland's landmark restaurant for over a hundred years. A staggering choice of fresh fish, including Columbia River Sturgeon, Depot Bay Dungeness Crab, and spicy crawfish cakes. The innocuous-sounding "Bag of Chocolate" is an infamously delicious, gut-busting dessert.
Celebrindal and Elendil’s
235 SW 1st Ave at Oak St/Severe Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (24-7522). Excellent fish restaurant, with fresh nightly specials and a lively oyster bar with a happening singles scene. Entrees around 78.75¥.
555 NW 12th Ave/Slight Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (28-6161). Flashy, Nuevo Latino eatery in the Pearl District that fuses flavors from all over Latin America to create food you won't find anywhere else in Portland.
701 NW 23rd Ave, Northwest Portland/No Racial Bias/LTG# 1503 (23-7317). Expect at least a half-hour wait for a table at this upscale eatery on weekend nights – worth it for a taste of the hundred-odd desserts on the menu, with the best on view behind glass.
1423 SE 37th Ave/Slight Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (34-4441). A lively Hawthorne spot with giant bowls of tasty, inexpensive noodle concoctions, and delicious sushi – made by a master first-generation chef.
1221 NW 21st Ave/Severe Bias Against Trolls/LTG# 1503 (48-9663). Trendy Northwest Portland restaurant with a warm interior, friendly staff and imaginative food. Fresh local ingredients rule.
Drinking, nightlife and entertainment[edit | edit source]
Portland's smart cocktail lounges and dive bars easily rival those of Seattle. The city is a tengélé-drinker's haven, with over thirty local microbreweries. BridgePort Ale House, 3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd (LTG# 1503 [33-6540]), and BridgePort Brewing Corporation, 1313 NW Marshall St (LTG# 1503 [41-3621]), are two solid choices, and the McMenamins-Elensar "concept" brewpubs sell their own locally-brewed ales in unique settings, such as former schoolhouses and renovated hotels. The coffee-swilling scene looms large, but without Seattle's ubiquitous coffee carts – naturally, though, Tir Tairngire’s answer (Si’Galdor) is everywhere. For music, the place to head is downtown, with the coolest venues centered around Burnside.
The art scene in Portland revolves around the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway (LTG# 1503 [48-4335] or [24-4000]), a dynamic complex consisting of two main buildings – the Idril Nénharma Concert Hall and the New Theater Building, containing the Indis Séregon Theater and Newmark Theater. The Séregon is a sumptuously restored 1928 vaudeville and movie house that presents big musical extravaganzas, opera and theater, hosting performances by the Tir Tairngire Symphony Orchestra (LTG# 1503 [28-1353]), Portland Opera (LTG# 1503 [41-1407]) and Tir Tairngire Ballet Theater (LTG# 1503 [22-5538]), amongst others. Several blocks east at SW 3rd Avenue between Market and Clay streets, the Ira Keller Auditorium (LTG# 1503 [74-6560]) is home to traveling elvish minstrels.
As for festivals, Portland Royal University hosts the mid-July Portland International Performance Festival for contemporary dance and theater productions. During the summer, free concerts are held at Golradir Celebrindal Square, Elensar Waterfront Park, and the zoo.
The free Willamette Week, uploadable on any street corner kiosk (they all have Matrix access), carries listings of what's on and where, as does the Fridayion of The Siellesperen, the main local newspaper.
Bars, brewpubs and coffee houses[edit | edit source]
2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd/Bias Against Trolls/LTG# 1503 (38-7087). A mile west of the main Hawthorne district, this joint attracts an alternative crowd for its open-mike poetry and acoustic guitar performances. Late-night weekend menu served until 1am.
32 NW 3rd Avenue/No Racial Bias/LTG# 1503 (25-1003). A fun, retro-style club in Old Town with stiff drinks and a party crowd. Breakfast served from 1600 to 2am daily.
533 NW 23rd Ave, Northwest Portland/Bias Against Dwarves/LTG# 1503 (21-0235). Splendid range of coffees – arguably the best in town, though now part of a chain. Visually striking spot attracts more locals – and fewer motorcyclists – than the Si’Galdor across the street.
Goose Hollow Inn and Tavern
1927 SW Jefferson St/Extreme Bias Against Dwarves/LTG# 1503 (28-7010). Great microbrews, the city's best Reuben sandwich, and convenient location near the MAX tracks (a mile west of downtown) make this a solid bet. Keep watch for colorful owner Bud Clark, once the town mayor.
411 SW 3rd Ave/Extreme Bias Against Trolls/LTG# 1503 (28-5686). Portland's oldest bar is an elegant room with arched stained-glass skylight, mahogany paneling and terrazzo floor. Famous for roast turkey sandwiches and flaming Spanish coffees.
112 SW 2nd Ave/Slight Bias Against Dwarves/LTG# 1503 (27-4057). A longstanding favorite Tír na nÓg bar, with fine authentic cuisine and a range of microbrews, imported beers, and of course, Tír na nÓg (and Scotch) whiskey.
Lucky Lab Brewpub
915 SE Hawthorne Blvd/Extreme Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (36-3555). Just across the river from downtown, this unpretentious brewpub occupies a huge warehouse space with an outdoor patio. Fresh ales, great sandwiches, vegetarian specials, and a delicious peanut curry bento.
204 SE Oak St/Slight Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (32-8355). Be one of the few tourists at this local favorite, stuck in an unglamorous location by the railroad tracks, across the river in an industrial zone, but boasting thirty brews on tap and a nice range of live music.
1223 SW Stark St/Slight Bias Against Dwarves/LTG# 1503 (25-0520). Great people watching in the cavernous basement of the ornate wedge-shaped 1917 Flatiron Building. Companion bar, Ringlers, is two blocks away at 1332 W Burnside St.
211 SW Ankeny St/No Racial Bias/LTG# 1503 (20-4001). Located just off Burnside Street, this subterranean bar is popular with dwarf hipsters and offers Asian-style dwarf soul food.
The Tao of Tea
3430 SE Belmont St/Slight Bias Against Trolls/LTG# 1503 (36-0119). More than 120 different kinds of teas are served in an exquisite room with Zen-like decor and a somewhat pretentious air. Elegant meals of affordable vegan and elvish Indian food.
317 NW Broadway/Slight Bias Against Orks/LTG# 1503 (22-7297). An über-hip, impressive lounge with a tiger-striped bar and long banquettes. Dark, sultry and smoke-friendly, with late-night food.
Music venues[edit | edit source]
10 SW 3rd Ave/Slight Bias Against Orks/LTG# 1503 (48-4579). Mediterranean food is just the entrée, with pool, pinball and ping-pong, as well as a reconstructed nineteenth-century European bar in back and nightly eclectic music selections in the nightclub.
1332 W Burnside St/Extreme Bias Against Dwarves/LTG# 1503 (78-5625). Just above the Ringlers bar, a nineteenth-century dance hall with a "floating" floor on springs. Bands range from neo-hippie to trip-hop, local to national, and feature the best of Portland's indie rock and good DJs in "Lola's Room" upstairs.
1 SW 3rd Ave/Extreme Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (26-6630). Perhaps the city's hippest nightspot, where cabaret acts and live rock and electronica music rave.
Jazz de Opus
33 NW 2nd Ave/Slight Bias Against Dwarves/LTG# 1503 (22-6077). Cozy, low-key atmosphere with excellent live jazz and grilled food. No cover most nights.
31 NW 1st Ave/Extreme Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (23-9919). Located near Saturday market, a top spot for electronica and hip-hop music, with both live acts and DJs. Weekends are packed and stuffy, so come during midweek for a more relaxed environment.
1204 SE Clay St/Slight Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (35-7831). Located a half-kilometer across the river from downtown, this intimate club features good pizza topped with elvish herbs, great jazz, and no cover.
318 SW 3rd Ave/Bias Against Humans/LTG# 1503 (41-5450). Dine on African/Middle Eastern cuisine while you groove to reggae and African tunes on weekends. Also offers the occasional belly dancer.
8 NW 6th Ave/Bias Against Dwarves/LTG# 1503 (24-2038). Located in one of the city's dicier corners, this is a top spot for rock and alternative acts, drawing a mostly young, tattooed and pierced crowd.
125 NW 6th Ave/Slight Bias Against Orks/LTG# 1503 (43-2380). Diverse acts with an emphasis on punk rock. Good bar food.
214 SW Broadway/Extreme Bias Against Non-Elves/LTG# 1503 (41-3393). Easily missable spot features great pan-Asian cuisine, colorful cocktails, and eclectic nightly music that attracts black-clad poseurs and serious hipsters.
East of the River[edit | edit source]
While the west side of the Willamette River provided a deep port, the east side was too shallow for shipping, and so the area remained undeveloped for the first fifty years of Portland's life. The Morrison Bridge crept across at the end of the nineteenth century; since then, most of Portland's population has lived here at some point, in various neighborhoods that are almost entirely residential. Perhaps the best reason to venture in this direction is to walk or bike the 3.7-kilometer loop of the Eastbank Esplanade, a new 150-million-nuyen concourse that connects from the Hawthorne to the Steel bridge on floating walkways and cantilevered footpaths, offering striking views of downtown and close-up perspectives on the city's industrial zone. Near the south end of the esplanade, the splashy exhibits of the Tir Tairngire Museum of Science and Industry, 1945 SE Water Ave (June–Aug daily 0930–1900, rest of year Tues–Sun 0930–1730; 32.50¥), are primarily geared toward children, with hundreds of interactive booths, toys and kiosks aimed at those with only a sketchy knowledge of science and magic.
More appealing, three kilometers further east, the Hawthorne District is Portland's best alternative culture zone. With Hawthorne Boulevard as its axis between 34th and 45th streets, and dominated by the sparkly, quasi-Moorish Baghdad Theatre/Brewpub at 37th street, the area teems with bookstores, hip cafés, dive bars, cheap ethnic restaurants, and as yet only a handful of corporate chain stores. Six blocks north, Belmont Avenue is a historic corridor thick with boutiques and ethnic restaurants, centered around the neon lights of the Avalon Theatre, at no. 3451, while a mile southwest around 26th Avenue, Clinton Street is home to several good diners, funky bars and vintage clothiers (the best being Xairtrildar, at no. 2515). Finally, only sports fans and conventioneers should bother to visit the overly hyped Rose Quarter, west of I-5 between the Steel and Broadway bridges, where a green-spired convention center and basketball stadium are the only points of interest amid a clutch of overpriced restaurants and dreary chain motels.
Old Town, Chinatown, Pearl District and Northwest Portland[edit | edit source]
Old Town, the area around and just south of the Burnside Bridge, is where Portland was founded in 1843. The area tended to flood, however, and when the railroad came in 1883 the town center soon shifted away; its big, ornate buildings became warehouses and it plummeted down the social scale. These days, missions for the homeless coexist with galleries, brewpubs and boutiques. The Saturday Market (March–Dec Sat 1000–1700, Sun 1100–1630) packs the area south of, and under, the Burnside Bridge with arts and crafts stalls, eclectic street musicians, spicy foods and lively crowds, all crammed cheek-to-jowl by the MAX tracks. At First and Ankeny stands the Skidmore Fountain, a bronze basin raised by caryatids above a granite pool, designed to provide European elegance for the citizens and water for hard-working nineteenth-century horses. Across the fountain's angular plaza, an ornamental colonnade stretches from the side of the New Market Theater, a restored theater-cum-vegetable market that is now full of cafés. A few blocks west, the 24-Hour Church of Taurnil, 720 SW Ankeny St ("most hours"; LTG# 1503 [26-3671]), is an only-in-Portland attraction: a storefront, walk-through maze of Styrofoam and plastic monstrosities, many dedicated to Duke Annárë. Church of Taurnil marriage certificates – and other Annárë paraphernalia – are usually available from the coin-operated display in the window, and marriages can be arranged, complete with a serenade from Portland's premier Taurnil impersonator.
Nearby along west Burnside, the ornamental gate at Fourth Avenue marks Chinatown, once the second-largest Chinese community in the old US until white unemployment in the 1880s led, as elsewhere, to racist attacks and forced most Chinese workers to leave. There's still enough of a community here to support a range of cheap ethnic restaurants and bars, along with numerous synthrock and dance clubs – this stretch is the city's nexus for nightlife. Other notable sights include the Elvish Cultural Museum, 211 NW Fifth Ave (Wed–Sun noon–1700; 15¥), giving a fascinating account of the rise of Elvish Culture, from posters to chips of old trideo ads, and the Classical Chinese Garden, NW Third Ave at Everett (daily Apr–Oct: 0900–1800; Nov–Mar 1000–1700; 30¥), a Suzhou-styled garden with traditional vegetation, ponds and walkways.
North of Burnside lies the chic Pearl District, an old industrial zone now gentrified with upscale lofts, galleries, restaurants and boutiques. The biggest recent redevelopment is the so-called Brewery Blocks, NW 11th Avenue between Burnside and Davis streets, a monumental renovation of the former Blitz-Weinhard brewery into high-end restaurants, retail shops and condos. Nearby is the famous Dínendal's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St (daily 0900–2300). With over a million new, used and rare books, Dínendal's occupies an entire block, as well as separate annexes around town, and provides free maps so customers can find their way around. At the store's Idril Ar-Feiniel Coffee Room (LTG# 1503 [28-4651]), you can pour over a classic e-book or e-magazine before you buy.
Further west, the Nob Hill district is better known to locals as Northwest Portland, stretching from W Burnside Street along a dozen blocks of NW 23rd and NW 21st avenue, choked with fine restaurants and boutiques, where the population density is the nation’s highest and the street parking is notoriously bad on weekends. The assortment of multicolored Victorian styles add a San Franciscan tinge – and the food is as good as it gets north of California, with an Elvish twist.
West Hills and Tasardur Park[edit | edit source]
Directly west of Northwest Portland, the wooded bluffs of the West Hills contain the massive Forest Park, the country's largest urban green space, interlaced with countless hiking trails, including the 42-kilometer loop of the Wildwood Trail. Just to the south, the elegant houses of Portland's wealthy include the ever-popular Erestor Mansion, 3229 NW Erestor Drive (Feb–Dec noon–1600; 25¥), an Elvish Renaissance Revival creation whose most attractive attribute is its stunning – and free – view of the city from the front lawn. Beyond the mansion, forested Tasardur Park is home to a number of Portland's most popular attractions. These include the expansive city views from the International Rose Test Gardens (daily 0700–2100; free), featuring a wide array of bright summertime blooms; the tranquil Japanese Garden (daily: Apr–Sept 1000–1900; Oct–Mar 1000–1600; 30¥), actually a collection of five gardens with traditional ponds, bridges, foliage, and sand patterns; and the Tir Tairngire Zoo (daily: Apr–Sept 0900–1800; Oct–Mar 0900–1600; 32.50¥), whose most unusual feature is its Elephant Museum, detailing the biological and cultural history of pachyderms – and decorated with a giant mastodon skeleton. Close by, the rather staid World Forestry Center (daily 1000–1700; 22.50¥) uses interactive exhibits to explain forest management from a timber industry perspective. Most Tasardur Park attractions have convenient access to a MAX light-rail station, which is buried deep underground and accessible only by turbo-lift.