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The beauty of Portland

Updated on June 8, 2016

Portland, Oregon

Portland is one of the most beautiful and underrated cities in the world. The city is filled with people passionate about their crafts, which bring a lot of unique things to the city. There are countless food carts, craft beers that will make you never go back to bud light, architecture so grand and detailed that each building is a reflection of the architect. Portland is such an incredible city to be a part of. People come, and stay for the rest of their lives. I'm going to strive to communicate to you the beauty and magnificence of Portland in four sections: The Food, The layout, The Look and The Culture.

A gorgeous sunset downtown
A gorgeous sunset downtown

The Food

I've lived in Portland for eleven years and I can honestly say that there's never a shortage of great tasting, unique food. Just the other day I went to this food cart that just had one thing on the menu: Chicken and potatoes. At first I was a little hesitant, but I decided to try it. It was the best meat and potatoes dish I'd ever had! which was so weird considering how simple it was. But that's just how Portland is. We take simple things, and make them great.

There's this legendary restaurant on the east side of the city. It's called "The Waffle Window". Everyone in the city has been there, and it's easy to see why! It's literally a restaurant that serves waffles, but in a way that makes each dish a masterpiece. They have chicken and waffles that will blow you away. the chicken is breaded beautifully with waffles makes from scratch combined with a garbanzo sauce that somehow brings all the flavors together in a way that makes you feel warm and at home. All their dishes are like that! And that's just one of the countless restaurants in Portland that takes "making food" to the next level.

The Layout

This one might sound boring, but trust me, it's not!

Portland is split right down the middle by the Willamette River, causing the city to divide into a west side and an east side. The cover photo of this article is of the west side. As you can see, it consists of large office buildings. The west side holds the majority of business men working in the skyscrapers and college students going to Portland State University located downtown.

East side however, holds the more creative artists, and craftsmen. East side is where there's a plethora of food and handmade objects such as vases, wooden items, herbal remedies, and paintings. It consists of people ranging from college grads to homeless hippies.

The beauty in this layout is that, as Portlanders, we don't stay on one side or even call them " West side and East side ". We see the city as one. connected by the twelve bridges that span across the river. Those bridges unite us. That's why Portland is called " Bridgetown". We don't need that many bridges to just get across, but they help us to feel closer to the other half of the city. I like to think of Portland as a broken heart that is stitched back up with these bridges, bringing it back together.

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The Look

There's a lot of beauty in the city, from small shacks in the alley to looking out towards Mt. Hood in the distance.

To start, the architecture is astounding. I mentioned how each building reflects the architect, but just think about what that means. If each building reflects the architect, and there are literally thousands of architects who've contributed to the city's vast amount of buildings, then there must be a huge range of building style and technique in the city. Which there are! You are be walking down the street and see a 1800s style house with pillars and rose bushes, and next to it is a modern apartment with dark windows and a flashy exterior. No matter how different each building looks, they all add to the uniqueness of the city.

No only are there so many different kinds of buildings in Portland, but there are so many buildings, that you can drive for days and continue to find new ones that you didn't even know were there. After eleven years, I'll still go downtown and see a huge building that will make my jaw drop. There never a shortage of architectural beauty in Portland.

Now for the last section, The Culture.

The Culture

This is honestly the best part of Portland. The culture and the people are what make it a great city. We're all different here. Businessmen, high school dropouts, hippies, hipsters, Californians, college students, bums, professional athletes, artists, and craftsmen. There is such a huge variety of people in Portland that you'll see a big businessman standing next to a homeless man while a both are listening to a hipster playing a violin on the street corner.

Isn't that beautiful? We're all so different that we create a culture that thrives, yet are brought together as one to listen to a humble street performer or to cheer on the Portland Trail Blazers. That is what makes any great city. The diversity of individuals pursuing their passions, while being united with others who you'd never interact with. It's what makes Portland more than a city, it makes us a family.


To close, this place is home to me and to hundreds of thousands of others. The beauty and life of this city is everywhere, flourishing in every direction. The people, the buildings, the culture, the art, the nature, it's growing in size and beauty.

This city is the place I long to grow up in, to marry in, to raise my children here, to serve in, to grow old in, and to die in. This is the city that is exploding with so much art, love, unity and talent and no one really sees it. Which just adds to this hidden paradise that I am proud to call home.


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