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Entering into Portland is an interesting experience for anyone, as you will find yourself immediately immersed in the culture of weird. Everywhere you turn there is something unique to see, for example the painted intersections of Portland. There is a stunning display of this creativity on the pavement at the intersection of Holman and 8th in northeast. There is also the self-proclaimed largest independent new and used bookstore in the world, Powell’s City of Books, which occupies an entire city block in the Pearl District. However, when you are stoned, you are not just an average tourist, and you will have your own sight-seeing trail in this strange but highly pot-friendly city in Oregon.
I have compiled the top must stop at stops for the touring smoker. These are some of the most “user” friendly and unique places in Portland that helps give the slogan “Keep Portland Weird” life and longevity.
Our first stop has been a part of the cities local culture since 1987, The Third Eye Shoppe. This counter-culture destination was founded by one of the most infamous cannabis activists known, Jack Herer. The store boasts a wide array of functional glass for many budgets, shirts, rare rocks, books and more. The current owner (and son of Jack) Mark Herer has ensured that the vibrant culture his father brought to life still lives on inside the intricately painted classic Portland Hippie/Dead Head store. Be sure to buy a local hand-blown glass piece from the store, and support the local artists.
Grabbing your glass, hop on the Tri-Met Max light rail train and ride down to Downtown Portland’s Tom McCall waterfront park, near Old Town/Chinatown. This park is home to some of Portland’s most well-known festivals, The Portland Hempstalk and The Waterfront Blues festival, as well as our next destination, the 41-year old Portland Saturday Market.
Every Saturday and Sunday this busy downtown area turns into a cultural flea market complete with delicious sidewalk food, live music, street artists and performance acts. There is booth after booth of local, unique goods neatly organized into rows that you can spend the day walking around. Every vendor is friendly and easy to strike up a conversation with. Check out the locally carved Didgeridoos and sustainable vegan hemp hand soap artisans.
After spending a couple of hours walking around Saturday market, you will be sure to find yourself hungry as a bear and ready to eat plentifully. Avoiding the fair food of the Market, travel farther into downtown by foot to take in the sights of Old Town Portland. You will want to be heading up Adler St. to its intersection with 10th. There you will find the largest food cart pod in Portland. Food carts are everywhere in Portland. These are not your common taco trucks. These are some of the most unique and interesting food vendors that you will find anywhere. Many of the food carts are nestled into pods. There are crowd favorites such as The Grilled Cheese Grill and Euro Trash, healthy choices such as The Whole Bowl and Island Grill. Nearly every type of ethnic food imaginable can be found at the various cart pods, satisfying every possible pot-induced craving you find yourself searching for.
Stay tuned for more 420 Weird Portland brought to you by me, Brandon Krenzler, Cannadad.
For previous Cannadad pieces by Brandon here on Ladybud, click here!
Photo Credit: Darren Stone under (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr