Portland Sees Green
BY Aefa Mulholland
August 05 2009 12:00 AM ET
Convention exit strategy
Between downtown meetings, browse gargantuan Powell's City of Books (1005 W. Burnside St.; 800-878-7323; Powells.com ), a vast independent bookstore that fills an entire city block with over a million new, used, and rare books. Another option for a quiet interlude is the Portland Classical Chinese Garden (Northwest Third Avenue and Everett Street; 503-228-8131; PortlandChineseGarden.org ). Draw inspiration for your next career move in this exquisite re-creation of a Ming Dynasty garden, and celebrate a successful deal at the ornate, two-story Tao of Tea Teahouse.
If Oregon's famed "liquid sunshine" (as locals refer to the state's 155 days of rainfall per year) lets up, explore the Northwest neighborhood -- upscale boutiques and restaurants line leafy Northwest 23rd Avenue. Once you're entirely off the clock, schedule a Historic Hoods ride through the Ladd's Addition and Hawthorne neighborhoods or a Coffee Crawl tour from a roasting facility to Stumptown Coffee's cupping room (where coffee buyers determine quality of batches) with Pedal Bike Tours (503-916-9704; PedalBikeTours.com ). To up the kooky content of your trip, visit the Velvetería (2448 E. Burnside St.; 503-233-5100; Velveteria.com ), a bizarre yet enjoyable museum that is home to 350 kitschy velvet artworks.
Shake off work woes on the dance floor at the up-tempo complex Red Cap Garage and Boxxes (1035 S.W. Stark St.; 503-226-4171; Boxxes.com ), a two-for-one drink emporium popular with a down-to-earth crowd, or at gay cocktail lounge Scandals (1125 S.W. Stark St.; 503-227-5887; ScandalsPDX.com), a video cruise bar that originally opened in 1979.