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24 hours in Portland

January 11, 2012

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    Students chat on the Eastbank Esplanade of Portland’s Willamette River.

Portland, Oregon

by Mari Yamato and Laura Nash

It is impossible to experience all the sights, activities, restaurants, and culture that Portland has to offer in just 24 hours. But consider this a taste of the city, the first of many fun nights out on the town you will have: what to do from 8 p.m. Friday until 8 p.m. Saturday.

8 p.m.: Oaks Skating Rink

Located at the Oaks Amusement Park near the Sellwood Bridge, is a place for people to lace up and glide. Finally you can practice the moves you saw in Whip It and get your game face on. Or not, all speeds and intensities are welcomed at Oaks Skating Rink. Oaks provides guests with public skates and magnificent pipe organ music making it difficult for people to leave disappointed.

Admission charge $5.75  Monday-Thursday, $6.75 Saturday-Sunday.
(503) 233-5777
7805 SE Oaks Park Way


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10 p.m.: Ground Kontrol Arcade

Ground Kontrol undoubtedly aids Portland in living up to its title as pinball capital of the U.S. The arcade contains 27 machines, making lines for games impossible. Perhaps the most enticing aspect of Ground Kontrol, besides the fact that there is no entrance fee, is its triumph in bridging the old-school games with the latest high-tech games. Complete with refurbished Atari 2600, a Rock Band set, and so much more in between, Ground Kontrol certainly attracts a wide range of age demographics. So do not feel ashamed of being giddy as you enter the arcade for surely you will find others your age to share the excitement.

No admission charge. Pay as you play.
(503) 796-9364
511 NW Couch St.

2:30 a.m.: The Roxy Diner

If you’re looking for cheap eats at 3 a.m., look no further than the Roxy. Perfect for a late-night snack, or meal, the Roxy provides everything ranging from breakfast food to fried chicken. Be sure to try the Quentin Tarantuna Sandwich, one of the Roxy’s many tributes to the beloved film star. The plethora of neon signs inside is a beacon of hope for those wandering around the streets of SW Portland with an empty stomach. The enticing atmosphere makes this particular dining experience stand out. The walls are covered with grease from months past and pictures of drag queens, in case the vibe wasn’t wierd enough for you. This diner even has its own jukebox!

Open 24 hours. Closed Mondays.
(503) 223-9160
1121 SW Stark St.

8 a.m.: Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Take a stroll in Tom McCall Waterfront Park, along the Willamette River. You can stick to the western side of the river, or cross the Hawthorne Bridge and make a 4-mile loop, crossing back over the Burnside Bridge. On Saturday mornings, the park is full of runners, bikers, and large flocks of geese. Watch rowing shells and dragon boats fighting their way upstream.

(503) 224-4400
1020 SW Naito Pkwy.

9 a.m.: Mother’s Bistro

Mother’s Bistro serves comfort food far superior to anything your mother ever made, in a homey, light-filled space with white curtains and chandeliers. Try the Biscuit Breakfast, Breakfast Nachos, or a Greek Frittata. All of the meals are around $10 and entirely worth the price. You’ll probably bring some leftovers home with you.

(503) 464-1122
212 Southwest Stark St.

10 a.m.: Portland Saturday Market

It’s touristy, crowded, you’ve probably been there before, but we love it anyway: the Saturday Market near Burnside Bridge. Wander the booths selling everything from jewelry made out of old spoons to tie-dyed sundresses. While you’re there, grab a sandwich and some fruit for a bag lunch.

Open the first weekend in March through December 24.
(503) 241-4188
2 SW Naito Pkwy.

11 a.m.: Pittock Mansion

Believe it or not, Portland was once a quiet lumber town and not the bustling metropolis we see now. Pittock Mansion, located in the West Hills of Portland, overlooks the city and remains a symbol of the transition from small town to urban center. Not only does Pittock Mansion offer an unbeatable view of the city, but it provides a rich historical background of what Portland once was through guided tours and mini museums. Even though you may think you know all there is to know about PDX, this place will tell you otherwise. Pittock Mansion is worth the long trek through the Hills.

Admission charge $8 dollars.
(503) 823-3623
3229 N.W. Pittock Dr.

12 p.m.: Forest Park

Just north of Washington Park (home to the Rose Test Garden and Japanese Garden) is a wooded oasis, large enough to contain 70 miles of trails, including one 40-mile loop. Spend the early afternoon hiking, running, biking, and exploring the flora in Forest Park. When you get tired, find a scenic spot and pull out your bag lunch.

(503) 223-5449
4099 NW Thurman St.

3 p.m.: Academy Theater

The Academy Theater is modeled after a 1940s theater, and the interior design efforts have managed to preserve that authenticity. The Academy shows films that have just left mainstream theaters. Adult tickets are only $4. Check out the website for a list of movies and showings.

(503) 252-0500
7818 Southeast Stark St.

6 p.m.: The Waffle Window

On the corner of Hawthorne and SE 36th, the Waffle Window hides under an awning on the side of the Bread and Ink Café. Whether you want something sweet, smothered in berries and whipped cream, or something savory, piled with meat, cheese, and veggies, you will find it here on a thick Belgian waffle.

(503) 239-4756
3610 Southeast Hawthorne Blvd.

7 p.m.: The Backspace Café

After a long day of exploring, end on a comfortable note at the Backspace Café. If you haven’t already gotten your fill of hipsterdom, then this place will do the trick. Besides flannel uniformed waiters and pierced pretentious baristas, they have coffee, as well as alcoholic beverages, and are one of the few all-ages entertainment venues in Portland.

(503) 248-2900
115 NW 5th Ave.

This article originally appeared in The Pioneer Log, Lewis & Clark’s student newspaper, in the fall of 2011.

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