Monday, April 16, 2007

lost in portland

april 15 11 pm

portland's not that big of a city. it's not that confusing. there's a nice little public transportation system that's pretty easy to learn. so far, i've decided taht any city with a light rail or subway system is a good place. san fran has he best system i know of, with cheap tickets and quick stations. then there's boston, whose ticket prices are getting a bit steep but the stations themselves - park, government center, fenway, kendall, are all ingrained so deeply into my being that it doesn't matter. besides, i bike everywhere anyways. new york is still so intimidating to me that i can't even begin to comprehend its rail system. and finally, portland's is relatively easy to deal with, especially when you realize there's east and westbound, and all the MAX stations go to the rose quarter and convention center.

so that's why when i jumped onto the wrong trolley - park and COLUMBIA, not market, idiot - i sat in a train that took me back to where i'd been about half an hour ago. i got off and followed the tracks back, taking 20 minutes and having another trolley pass me along the way. i walked all the way back to park and columbia, past the library where i had gotten these shitty directions, passed for the 5th time this weekend the abandoned chinese eatery that was fenced and boarded in, passed the days in and bar and grill again...i really should have just walked 5 minutes to the yamhill MAX station from the very start.

then the bus took me 10 minutes to this stop where i actually drove in the OPPOSITE direction i walked to get to the bus station, past the grill, past the boarded restaurant, past my old hotel. and then i got off and walked for another 10 minutes, around the huge doubletree suite to find the entrance on the opposite i'd arrived at.

it's good that i'm drowning the pain of walking like 10 miles with a couple of good beers and a huge plate of deep fried onion rings. unfortunately i left my bag of food - including a bunch of "plane crackers" and other goodies the southwest stewardess gave me, and a box of delicious chinese leftovers - on either the trolley or the walk
back to park and columbia.

if you ever travel with me, be sure to either have a great sense of direction or someone else who has a map. because i will get you lost within a four block area.

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