I made last minute decision and hopped on a train to Portland instead of driving to Denver where they have blizzard like conditions, with tornadoes. The train came half an hour in advance instead of the usual two hour delay. I recall that the delays in the past were caused by trains carrying crude is crowding out the passenger train. So I suppose this is the sign of the times. Still, the Amtrak is still a very good deal at about half the price of Greyhound bus. I’ve read that the government is subsidizing the train.

So, here is Portland’s very convincing pitch:

  1. Powell Books – The grand-daddy of all bookstores. The size of ten bookstores into one. Therefore, the depth of their offerings is ten times that of an average bookstore. The layout reminds me of the British Museum. About a dozen big rooms, color coded as Red room, Gold room etc. After seeing this, I thought I would like to live as long as I can and consume these books and won’t go for the terminal assistance. And that is a very compelling reason.
  2. The Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, the World Forestry Center and Arborateum. – why grow and keep a garden when one can just go to these beautiful, relaxing and inspiring gardens.
  3. Best strip clubs – nuff said

And of course Portland is a liberal center and comes with its downside of lots of homeless, crazy and freeloading people. Liberal initiatives are all over the place which is good because it also inspires creativity which makes Portland a foodies paradise and an artist’s haven. And most stuff have a reasonable price tag and much affordable compared to San Francisco, Seattle or Denver.