This week we were in PDX, The City of Roses, Rip City, Stumptown aka Portland, Oregon, Land of craft beer and hipsters. Portland has a really happening food scene for sure. We saw parking lots full of food trucks downtown, ate crazy things we wouldn't ordinarily eat like donuts and biscuits. We'll hit some of highlights of Portland and we both agreed that Portland is a great place to visit, not sure we could survive the rain and clouds. It is lush and green and we even had a day of sunshine.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
This Chinese Garden in Chinatown is truly an oasis amid the urban jungle of downtown Portland. Portland's sister is Suzhou, China, and you can see the how the garden was influenced by the architecture of the ancient water cities near Suzhou.
Pine State Biscuits
Who doesn't love fresh baked buttermilk biscuits? Combine them with tasty sandwich fillings and you have Pine State Biscuits. Bold flavors not for the faint of heart. They also make a kick ass bloody Mary
Salt & Straw Ice Creamery
Perhaps one of best scoops of ice cream I've every had! Everything is locally sourced and combined into lucious flavors. You have to have at least one scoop when you come to Portland. Worse case you can get a pre-filled cup at the airport, but it won't quite be the same. They've opened up and outpost in Los Angeles, but skip that location in Larchmont and go direct to the source in Portland. We got a 4 scoop flight of flavors and we we sad that we only had 4 scoops! We got browned butter, salted caramel swirl, Strawberry with balsamic vinegar, honey and black pepper, Pear with blue cheese, and Hazelnut toffee swirl.
Portland Japanese Garden
The Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park is well worth the visit. It's large and well manicured spaces are truly magnificent. It's over 50 years old and was curated by Japanese master gardeners brought in especially from Japan to build it as authentically as possible.
St. Honore Bakery
This will have the French rolling in the graves and thumbing their noses at this ridiculously delicious, but so wrong, bacon maple croissant. St. Honore Bakery has multiple outlets around Portland and they can't be beat for authentic French pastries and breads.
These rental bicycles are all over Shanghai. Just walk up to one scan the QR code on the lock and ride it away for 1 RMB or about 20 cents for 30 minutes. Ride it wherever and just leave it, no need to take it to a specific parking place. You see these all over Shanghai and you see people riding them at all hours of the night. This only works because there are so many of these everywhere. Props to Chinese entrepreneurs for building this business.
This store in Shanghai sells toilets. These are actually sculptural works of art, not sure how practical they are though, don't look to ergonomic. I wonder if they have a try before you buy program?
I saw this vending machine in terminal 3 at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Farmer's Fridge is a fresh salad vending machine that dispenses fresh healthy salads in plastic mason jars. Each jar of salad comes complete with dressing and fixings. You can also choose from a variety of side proteins such as grilled chicken, salmon, boiled eggs, roasted beets and tuna. The machine houses self serve eco-friendly paper trays and utensils that you can eat your tossed salad with or share it with a friend. If you choose to eat you salad there you can drop off your plastic mason jar in the receptacle in the machine so it can be recycled and reused. There is a large touch screen that displays a complete description of your salad with complete nutritional information. The price of the salads range from $8-$12, not bad for airport food. This would be a god send for travelers who arrive at night after 9:00 when most eating establishments in both the airport and in town are closing. You can pick up your salad and take it back to your hotel to eat later.