Portland, Oregon. It’s sometimes a misunderstood place. Yes, it’s true it rains. But not as much as people might imagine. Here are a few things that make Portland, simply, Portland.
1. Portland is a great walking city. City blocks are 200 feet, half the length of those of many other cities.
2. Portland has great beer. There are more breweries in Portland than any other city in the world.
3. Portland’s air is cleaner than a lot of other major cities.
4. Portland has plenty of beautiful, natural scenery. It’s very green with lots of trees.
5. (Bad) Coastal region is said to be due with earthquake (tsunami) like activity. Are we prepared?
6. Portland was almost named Boston. A coin toss decided the name.
7. Portland is the largest city in Oregon.
8. (Bad) Perception that it rains here all the time. Really, it rains more in places like Atlanta, Houston, Indianapolis, and Seattle.
9. The International Rose Test Garden, located in Portland, is the oldest rose test garden in the US.
10. Portland has a World Famous Symphony. The Oregon Symphony was the first orchestra in the Western United States.
11. Portland has the nation’s largest outdoor and crafts market, The Portland Saturday Market.
12.The Benson Bubblers are drinking fountains located at several locations downtown. They came about long ago because there was nothing else to drink in Portland but beer during the workday at one time. Beer sales at saloons dropped considerably when they were installed. Seriously.
13. Portland has one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens outside of Japan.
14. With 5000 acres, Forest Park is the nation’s largest urban wilderness. In all, Portland has 37,000 acres of parkland with 150 miles of trails.
15. Dr. Marten’s retail store, the only one in the country, is located in Portland.
16. Recently PDX was rated one of the best airports in the country.
17. You can’t pump your own gas in Portland, in Oregon in fact. It’s illegal.
18. Here are some interesting names that reference Portland: Bridgetown, Stumptown, City of Roses, PDX, P-Town, and Puddletown.
19. Portlandia is the second largest copper statue in the US. It’s located on the Portland building downtown. The largest copper statue is the Statue of Liberty.
20. Portland celebrates the Rose Festival in June. 2 huge parades, dragonboat races, fireworks, and the crowning of the Rose Festival queen all takes place during this period. Several large ships from the Coast Guard and the Navy come to shore for tours.
21. The Columbia River Gorge, minutes from Portland, is considered the best place in the world for windsurfing.
22. Nike’s world headquarters is located in Beaverton, minutes from Portland.
23. There is no sales tax in Portland. A matter fact, there is no sales tax in Oregon.
24. Portland is the first city in the US to remove a freeway, Harbor Drive, which was later replaced by Waterfront Park.
25. At 546 feet, the Wells Fargo Center is the tallest building in Portland. Height restrictions were placed after construction in 1972. The public did not want the view of Mt. Hood blocked by tall buildings.
26. The Flying Boat known as the Spruce Goose is located at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville near Portland.
27. The submarine that featured in the movie Hunt for Red October is housed at OMSI in Portland.
28. In 1888, for Skidmore Fountains grand opening, Oregon brewer Henry Weinhard offered to pump beer from his brewery to the fountain via fire hoses. This never happened because city officials feared that residents would help themselves and poke holes into the city’s only set of fire hoses.
29. The tunnels known as The Shanghai Tunnels are located under Old Town Chinatown in Northwest Portland. These tunnels connected to basements of bars and hotels. Way back then, bar and hotel customers were drugged and incapacitated from the very same bars and hotels that served them. The tunnels were a means to smuggle unsuspecting individuals for sale as slaves to ships docked at the waterfront.
30. Oregon State Hospital, an insane asylum, was built in SE Portland in 1862. The street it was built on was named Asylum Street. People protested the name. So the street was later renamed after one of the hospital’s administrators. Asylum Street was later renamed Hawthorne Street, a very popular and thriving district today