Mostly by accident, I’ve spent the last three Summers in and around Portland Oregon. Born and raised in Texas, the delightfully cool temperatures and positively luscious flora are all the reason I need to make a yearly pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest. I have fallen so in love with this place and its food and art and the sense of vibrancy that pulses through the pavement everywhere you go. I consider it a real privilege to walk upon this land, tasting her flowers and fruits and breathing the sweet cool air that is her exhale. The communities which thrive here, both human and otherwise, hold a special kind magic, that I hope you will have the opportunity to experience for yourself.
Portland is also a place of great complexity and it is essential to remain sensitive to this. Modern day Portland sits upon the Land of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, and Molalla Peoples. As one of the most intensely gentrified cities in the US, the many folks within the BIPOC communities who have historically made their homes here are no longer able to do so, due to the rising cost of housing as well as more explicitly racist real estate practices. This is deeply disturbing and problematic on many levels. As a visitor and as a white woman of relative privilege, it is important to me to be sensitive to and aware of the power dynamics that exist in this place. If you have the opportunity, I recommend attending an upcoming screening of the film Priced Out, to learn more about the political, social, and economic implications of gentrification, as well as the lived experience of folks being displaced through this insidious pattern of modern-day colonization.
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Below you’ll find a long list of my favorite city places, an interactive map to guide you to them, as well as meaningful suggestions for how to give back to and nourish this Land and all who make their home here. In Part Two of our Guide we cover our favorite hot springs, wild waters, epic hikes, and day trips. While this guide is far from exhaustive, these are the places that touched my heart and stuck in my mind. If there are places you think should be on it, I’d love to know about them.