Over the weekend, I finally got around to completing Portland’s famed 4T line. A combination of trail, tram, trolley and train, the loop demonstrates just how rich and diverse the landscapes of Portland truly are. It all began with another hike through the woods until I reached the city’s highest point, Council Crest. From there I passed through the campus of Oregon Health and Science University, which led me to the extremely frightening aerial tram (sorry, I’m afraid of heights). Once I departed the cab, I hopped a streetcar into downtown Portland, where I took the MAX light rail train all the way back to where I started. After I finished my little excursion, I decided to reward myself by taking in some sights at the Oregon zoo—a great way to end any journey, if you ask me.
Now, normally I’d have a slew of pictures to share, but this time I do not. Why? Well, some dummy forgot to charge his phone overnight and didn’t realize it until the thing died mid-frightening-tram ride. I hope everyone will forgive me, because the scenery was absolutely beautiful and I wish I could’ve shared it with you all. However, I highly recommend taking part in the 4T if you ever find yourself in Portland. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
The other portion of my weekend was spent in the northeast part of the city—the last area I had yet to visit—and it did not disappoint. In my opinion, the northeast probably comes closest to mirroring the heightened portrayal of the city found on Portlandia. In the suburban areas, you’ll find a mix of old, colonial-style homes nudged between newly built apartments and brightly colored bohemian residences. In just one day of walking, I saw a neighborhood of tiny homes and houses painted bright pink, lavender, neon green and jet black. Personally, I loved it because I know a lot of neighborhoods would not allow such a flagrant display of personality.
On main streets like N Mississippi Ave. and NE Alberta St., you’ll find a variety of small shops, eateries and pubs. And although these are common in every part of the city, this again seems to be the only area allowed to take liberties with their exteriors. For instance, the ReBuilding Center is a unique warehouse that sells used and reclaimed building materials. Their façade features everything from recycled doors and windows to stained glass accents and large, handcrafted trees. Stunning visuals such as these are what truly set the northeast apart from the rest of the city.
There’s no denying that my final weekend here was eventful and I think it was a rather befitting way to end my time in the northwest. I completely understand now, why people are flocking here in droves. This is a magical place. If you love being yourself, being active and being part of the community, you might want to look this way. As for me, I set my sights on California at the end of the week. If the final two months are anything like the past two, we’re in for a heck of a time.