Portland, Oregon, USA Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Portland, Oregon, USA

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Portland, Oregon, USA, may well be the most beautiful city on the North American continental plate. The ethos by which its planners operate would seem to be, 'No, the trees are not in the way', resulting in a major metropolitan community that seemingly sprang up in the middle of a forest.

Despite being full of trees, Portland possesses the nickname of Stumptown. This dates from when the city was first built in the late 1800s, when the prevailing sentiment was, 'If it's in the way, chop it down'. Later on, the residents got quite weary of the nickname, and came up with others, such as River City and Rose City. Those didn't stick very well until somebody decided to replant the trees and plant a few roses, too.

However, downtown Portland is currently going through a period of massive renovation and reconstruction. Old buildings are being replaced with gleaming towers of glass and steel in order to accommodate the massive office space requirements of big business. The suburbs of Portland continue to be landscaped to oblivion. If one goes out to one of the Portland suburbs, one will find a sea of suburban development plots. The rapid expansion of business in the area is making one suburb indistinguishable from another. Portland proper is, for the most part, confined to the present limits due to the enforced boundaries of its parks.

The unspoken city motto is 'Don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you'. Particularly if you are from California, you have a lot of money and a taste for real estate, or you advocate the sales tax. This is a collective attitude, though. Individually, Portland residents are very, very nice and will gladly give you directions, break a five, or let you do their crossword puzzle.

Recommended Places to Go in Portland

  • The Crystal Ballroom, which is a great concert hall.

  • Powell's Books, which claims to be the largest used and new bookstore in the world.

  • Breweries, Portland has a plethora of local microbreweries, with tons of varieties of beer. Henry Weinhard's is a good first stop.

  • The Rose Garden, a stadium used for concerts and sports.

  • Forest Park: the largest city park in the United States.

  • Mill's End Park, the smallest city park in the United States, measuring 24 inches in diameter1

  • Mount Tabor, the only volcano within city limits in the United States. The volcano is located in the southeast quarter of the city, and is quite extinct, which is a good thing, otherwise the local citizens would be extinct as well.

If you plan to visit, take galoshes.

If you plan to live there, take money.

Lots and lots of money.

1Mill's End Park is purported to have a leprachaun inhabiting it, but as there are downtown pubs located nearby, the veracity of this information is in question.

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