Yellow MAX Northbound Vancouver Farmers Market
A work in progress
Update: December 2007
[M]etro [A]rea e[X]press = MAX, Blue, Red, and Yellow
The Market is located a few short blocks west of the Vancouver downtown bus mall on the corner of 8th & Ester Streets directly across from Esther Short Park. The park has a brand new vintage style Gay 90's Bandstand, is a great place to relax, read, & listen to the grass grow - quieter grass here then in P-town across the river.
Hilton recently opened a low rise hotel just south of the park.
Board the Yellow MAX Expo Center train on the south side of Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Exit @ N. Lombard Street. Follow the crowd to the Lombard Street TC (Transit Center) across Interstate Avenue. Board the west by northbound bound #6 M.L. King Trimet Bus. Ask driver if in doubt. MAX Trimet ticket serves as a valid bus transfer.
#6 Trimet Bus stops at Jantzen Beach. Same location, separate exit & boarding stations, so take note if you decide to shop there.
Developers ruiined a perfectly good amusement park at Jantzen Beach - "Big Dipper" Roller Coaster, Fun House, Mirror Maze, etc, and twin Olympic sized swimming pools with Olympic height diving platform - so Vancouverites could avoid paying their fair share of sales taxes. Politicians in Olympia are still trying to figure out how to plug the drain without losing votes.
Exit @ Vancouver downtown 7th Street bus mall. Walk west on 7th. 7th ends at the cross street with no name, a pedestrian passthru continues thereafter. Walk west past Columbia Street, and on through Esther Short Park to the Vancouver Farmers Market.
Ample nearby parking.
The market is more craft then Farmers Market. Clean, well maintained restrooms inside indoor market. Wish I could say the same about Esther Short Park. Ester would not be proud. What a disaster that is. Still, it could be worse. At least they're trying. Portland is not. Dogs are provided for, people are not.
Welcome to Portland, Oregon
"View looking down to Portland"
Portland is a great city to live in. There is a ton you can do and all within a reasonable distance. You have the ocean but and hour and a half a way, snowboarding [or skiing for you two plankers] about the same and some of the best camping and hiking around. There are wonderful bike routes, fabulous walking and running trails. A huge Portland Zoo & Children's Museum, gorgeous Portland Rose Garden and who can forget the Japanese & Chinese Gardens!!! Some of the best dining [casual and formal], shopping for the thrifty and spendy… plus, you get all of these great things and still get the perk of living in a very metropolitan city. What more could you ask for? I wish we would have moved here years ago!!
"Entry to China Town"
Here you will find misc little shops and some great Chinese food. I would go to House of Louis [331 NW Davis St ]. They have great Dim Sum. You should also hit the Chinese Gardens. The interior is beautiful.
"Interstate Bridge to Washington"
Portland is only 15 minutes from Vancouver Washington. Once you pass Jantzen Beach you will cross this bridge. Now you are in Washington. A little known fact for you Oregonians.... you don't have to pay tax in Washington. Just tell them you are from Oregon, show your ID and you are set for a tax free experience.
My limited experience in Portland
Portland, Oregon, USA
Location: 45° 52' North, 122° 64' West
Population: 562,690 (2006 Census)
Incorporated: February 8, 1851
My first trip to Portland was when I was 8 years old with my family. We stayed in Portland for a night on our way back home from San Francisco. I don't remember much about Portland from then, other than I remember a lot of bridges, I remember the days being overcast, and I remember an ice skating rink in a shopping mall.
In 1991 we drove through the city again on our way down to Los Angeles. Literally, we drove through via I-5,but didn't plan to stay.
In 1999, when I was 19 years old, I decided to join my family on the summer excursion down to the Oregon coast. Once again, we didn't spend any time in the city other than driving through on our way back home.
In July of 2000 I was invited to join my friends on a little weekend road trip down to Portland to see one of our favourite bands: The Misfits! According to my friend, she had a few friends who lived in Portland who kept in touch with members of the band... so not only did we have a place to spend the night, but there was a really good chance we could meet the band! While I stayed at Jantzen Beach - a neighbourhood just north-east of Portland, I was explored downtown Portland as an adult for the first time.
Finally, in May 2004, on my way back from the Coachella Music Festival in California, we decided to have dinner in Portland. We parked downtown and wandered around. For the first time I really could see the parallels between downtown Vancouver and downtown Portland, and I saw how cool this city really was. We had dinner at a nice casual Italian bistro where our server started to talk to me about his experiences at one of my favourite nightclubs in Vancouver. After travelling non-stop from Santa Monica, Portland was the first sign that we were "home" in the Pacific Northwest. Everything in Portland felt so familiar to us, it was fantastic.
Next time, I'll likely make Portland my actual destination, and I'll explore it more to give it justice.
My weekend in Portland
We left Vancouver Friday evening around 6pm. We crossed the border without any hassle, drove through Seattle around 8:30, and entered Oregon state at 11:45pm.
It turns out these friends of my friends just lived in a small community underneath the bridge that connects Washington state to Oregon state. We found their home, introduced ourselves to the new friends and said hello and hugged the old friends.
Though both me and my then boyfriend were tired, exhausted, and ready to fall asleep, my friends thought it would be a wonderful idea if we all went to the local midnight performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. So we all crammed into seperate cars and were driven to a neighbourhood just outside of (what I'd consider)downtown Portland. While we both almost fell asleep during the performance, the neighbourhood in which this theatre was located was pretty neat. Most shops were closed, but it looked like it was a very artsy type place to be. Then again who knows for sure! It just seemed that way at midnight. ;)
"After the performance..."
After the performance, we crammed back into seperate cars all the way back to Jantzen Beach. Once arriving back into the house, me and my then boyfriend realized there was no way on earth we'd comfortably be able to sleep all in the same place! So politely, we told them so and found one ourselves at one of the many hotels in the area. While the DoubleTree Inn had no vacancy for the night, we got ourselves a nice large room at the Oxford Suites. At 3am, beyond exhausted now, we finally got to sleep!
"The next morning..."
The next morning we awoke to a beautiful, warm sunny day. We decided to discover the Jantzen Beach area as we were starving, and really had no exact plans until later that afternoon.
Our first stop was at the local mall, the Jantzen Beach Supercenter, so we could purchase Misfits tickets. This mall had an old fashioned carousel located at the entrance, and the food court was located just behind it. We browsed around in the music shop, in the hobby shop, then decided to grab some lunch. We went back outside and walked over to a nearby restaurant called "Damon's". Perhaps this is a large American sports-bar chain, but we were unfamiliar with it at the time - So that's where we went.
As soon as we entered the place, the waitress said, "Welcome to Damon's!" almost as if she was rehearsing for a television commercial. She seated us down infront of the 5 large screen TV playing various sports game. Our table had our own speaker controls so we could listen to whichever game we were watching... so that came in handy. My then boyfriend had some sort of chicken burger, and I remember having their BBQ pork rib burger. It was messy as hell, but it was great - especially on our empty stomachs! But of course, the portions were so large, we couldn't finish them.
After our little meal at Damon's (or Demon's we later mockingly called it), we browsed through the Barnes & Nobles bookstore for literature and computer books. This is a huge chain bookstore pretty much identical to Chapters in Canada.
Afterwards, we decided to go back to our friends place a few blocks away to see what they were up to.
"Back at the friends place..."
Photo of me & Jerry Only - it's so funny how he looks like a trucker without his Misfits gear on! Then again, I look rather clownish myself.)
We realised that half the people staying at the house still weren't ready. Unfortunately the house was so small, and so many people were staying there that they didn't have enough shower water for everyone! But yes, eventually, they got everyone out of the house, and we all packed in cars to go hang out downtown Portland around the Roseland Theater.
It was a short 5 minute drive down I-5 and a turn off over one of the bridges, and we were in downtown Portland. We had a local in our car at the time who wanted to drop by Powell's books at the time. And boy, are we glad that's what we did! Powell's is the largest used *and* new bookstore in probably the world. If you want a rare first edition hard cover book of your favourite author - they have it. My personal definition of Powell's still stands: it's the Ikea of books! (I think it was the layout of their store that made me think that way!) But the store goes on and on... much like a warehouse.
After our little shopping spree at Powell's, we went back to the Roseland Theater and hung around outside by the RV's. This part of Portland looked modern yet historic. The buildings were built with red brick, green trees lined the streets... but for a Saturday afternoon, it was considerably quiet.
Eventually, members of the Misfits came out (without their costumes or makeup), said hi, signed autographs, and just generally hung around with us for a good half hour. Me and my boyfriend were actually very impressed with Jerry Only's presence. He was genuinely kind, funny, and loved his fans. For instance, there was a group of shy 12 year old boys wearing Misfits t-shirts off to the side. Jerry waved them over, asked them if they wanted an autograph, posed with them for a photograph - he was great. :)
(photo of the group of us with Chud who's now their ex-drummer. I'm the one on the left. Chud's the guy beside me)
After hanging outside the Roseland and the downtown Portland area for hours on end in the blazing sun, we decided to grab a bit of food to eat. We headed back over to "BJ's Brewery" for some great food and beer. Back in Vancouver the legal drinking age is 19, yet it's 21 in the USA. I wasn't even thinking when I ordered my beer at BJ's - it was only afterwards that I realized I was considered "underage" (all by one year!)... but they served me anyways. Oh well! ;) The beer was wonderful. I forget exactly what I had, but they brew their own, and it's quality stuff - none of the mass produced bland stuff.
After our meal, we drove back to the hotel, washed up, and then headed down to the Roseland for the show. The Roseland is a small-medium sized venue. The bottom floor is a lounge with tons of music memorabilia and photos of bands and musicians that have played there. The actual stage and dancefloor is located upstairs. Because the show was all ages that night (the only way I could have gotten into the show in the first place as I was 20), they reserved the upper balcony seats for over 21, and the downstairs/dancefloor was for everyone. The crowd for the Misfits show was varied - you had the old timer punks, young 10 year old kids, girly girls, goths, preps, and everyone else in the mix. The Misfits played all their classics, a lot of their new songs, and the show went quite well, even though Doyle broke about 10 guitar strings that night! Nevertheless, it was a memerable night!
While my friends wanted to stick around to talk to the band again, me and my then boyfriend left promptly to go back to our hotel. We had to finish the night by going to the local Denny's for a late night snack - then we went to bed.
The following day we woke up, said goodbye to our friends, had breakfast at Denny's, and then headed out for our daytrip to Mt St Helens.
While I didn't spend any real time exploring the city of Portland, my weekend there was memorable, and I'd love to go back and explore the actual city. The people were friendly and laid back, the atmosphere was great, and the weather was marvelous! :) Yes, I'll be back!
Looking for accomodations
We will be visiting Portland, OR for the first time in April for an auto swap meet held at the Expo Centre. We are looking for a motel close by or close to a shuttle. The woman in our group would like to be close to a shopping mall.
Any suggestions? Any other information regarding attractions, etc would be appreciated. Thanks
Re: Looking for accomodations
The only shopping in that area is the Jantzen Beach mall. It is on Hayden Island on the Columbia River near the Expo. There is a Red Lion hotel right on the river there as well as a couple others in the immediate vicinity. The bus on this island goes right down the freeway into inner Portland w/o stopping at the Expo, so this might not work if you don't have a car. There is also a Best Western in Portland Meadows which is very, very close to the PIR part of the swap meet, but across the river from the mall. The MAX train line runs right to the Expo from the Rose Quarter downtown, so you could also stay in the Lloyd Center mall/Rose Quarter area. Better shopping mall than Jantzen Beach anyway. Wouldn't want to see you trying to carry your new transmission(or whatever) back to the hotel on the MAX though.
Re: Looking for accomodations
Since there are ladies in the group you may want to check out greatgirltrips for suggestions regarding what to do in Portland. There is a really cool underground tunnel with lots of history named Shanghai Tunnel. Not sure how close it is to the Expo Center.
Re: Looking for accomodations
I'd recommend staying closer in to the city center, around the Lloyd Center shopping mall. The city is just across the river and there are all kinds of hotels/motels in the area as the Convention Center (note: NOT the expo center) is right there.
To get to the swap meet at the EXPO center, you can take the MAX YELLOW LINE or easily hop on I-5 North.