October 2013


Denver is getting it right, but Portland is already there.

Mill Ends Park

There’s a park in this photo.

Written Saturday afternoon, posted today — because I was having too much fun!

As I observed after my time in Denver, I feel that Denver is getting it right. Public Transport is going to have a strong hub in the form of Union Station and a part of the city that people used to avoid is rapidly becoming a hot spot that will be vibrant.

Portland is already there. My hotel is in downtown and I must confess that the first thing I noticed during my short walk from the light-rail station to the hotel, is the widespread prevalence of people hanging out on the street – living on the street, if you will. It did not make me feel unsafe – they’ve all been polite and well mannered, but I was acutely aware of the fact that I was about to spend more money for a single night in a hotel room than many of these kids might see in a week of panhandling.

In the short amount of time that I’ve been here, I’ve knocked almost everything off of my shopping list, all within short walks. My hotel was convenient to two of my favorite bookstores on the planet, Counter Media (an incredibly quirky collection of books that are well worth exploring) and Powell’s (America’s largest new and used bookstore).

The city center is also home to a “city Target”, which knocked off a few more items from my last-stop shopping list (but, I swear, I did not buy any more socks), as well as a few other mundane little shops where I picked up stuff.

With that out of the way, I’ve spent the rest of my time hanging out and doing nothing – doing nothing is an oft overlooked aspect of vacationing – even if done away from home, I find that reading books, taking naps, and taking random walks are refreshing.

At times I find myself reflecting on the highlights of my vacation. This trip has been exceptionally good (like all of them this year, to be honest) – but I think that the Ute Mountain Tribal Park was the best adventure.

That’s not to say that I did not enjoy the rest of my trip – I did, and elements of the trip will be present in my daily life for a long time to come. Memories are, to be honest, the best part of trips – when falling asleep in bed, I can think about how I felt riding the train, what it was like climbing ladders, or what it was like visiting Portland’s world record setting park, the Mill Ends Park.

Mill Ends Park

Portland’s Mill Ends Park — a park too small to step into.

Mill Ends Park is the world’s smallest park – located conveniently in the middle of SW Naito Parkway at SW Taylor Street.

Mill Ends Park

“This is a public work of art.” The only sign I found acknowledging the park.

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