About Portland, Oregon: musings by Miriam Garcia
Portland, Oregon is a point of genesis. A source of productivity. A profusion of inspired minds and passionate hearts call this city home. Craftivists, performers, and adventurers all exist in a constant swirl of collaboration and inspiration. This great creative current has made Portland a longtime destination and wellspring for belly and world dancers, burlesque, circus arts, and modern bohemians.
Perhaps that's why world famous musicians seek the stages of our tucked away theatres, where jaw-dropping performances by sought-after entertainers of every genre may be found every night of the week. The JamBallah NW festival is located at the gorgeous Artists Repertory Theatre building, making it possible while visiting to browse through flourishing handmade markets in the morning and meander through thick, lush forests in the nation's largest city park in the afternoon—all easily accessible through one of the most comprehensive public transportation systems in the world. Did we say the MAX train stops practically outside our door?
A creative threshold and hub for sustainable-living, the city was thoughtfully designed into livable neighborhoods, each stocked with top-shelf bistros and taverns featuring local brews and regional wines. Culinary treasures are found in the city's myriad food carts and local eateries—a great number of which fill their menus with free-range, vegan and vegetarian delights, and many of which are within walking distance of the JamBallah event site. They won't cost you an arm and a leg either, especially with our spectacular happy hours, routinely touted as the best in the country by blogs and news sites.
Look for hotels, hostels and B&Bs in the city's artfully detailed craftsman homes and historic Victorian buildings, and enjoy the ease of our nationally-acclaimed public transport system. Don't forget pedi-cabs or bicycle rentals in one of the most cycle-friendly cities to be found. Given the time of year, you'll most likely be disappointed that it didn't rain when subjected to our sultry August evenings and bright and sunny skies.
After the festival, stay a few days to rejuvenate, hop on the Tillamook Wave bus and head to the majestic Pacific Ocean on the Oregon Coast, or grab a rental car (you won't need one for your stay at the festival,) and explore the scenic waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge or the vineyards and tasting rooms of the Willamette Valley—all within a two-hour drive of the city.
Check out this awesome interactive Google Map for restaurants, shops, hotels, cool bars, and other useful places in the festival area, or within easy public transit access.
Extending your Visit? Bringing the family? Here's a list of places you might enjoy.
Explore Travel Oregon.com for even more ideas, or check out the Google Map above for restaurants/shops/destinations close to the festival site.
- Portland Art Museum
- Portland Saturday Market
- Shanghai Tunnels
- Washington Park (Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Garden, Zoo, Children's Museum, etc. Ride the MAX train there!)
- Forest Park (Go find the Witch's House!)
- Lan Su Chinese Garden
- Pittock Mansion
- Portland Farmer's Market
- Portland Bellydance Guild Event Calendar
- BurlesquePDX Event Calendar
- PDX Pipeline Event Calender
- Willamette Week Event Calender
- Star Theater (music and theater)
- Alberta Rose Theater (music and theater)
- Gerding Armory/Portland Center Stage (theater)
- Portland'5 Centers for the Arts (The big 5 venues for fine arts: theater, music, lectures)
- Rose City Rollers (Roller Derby)
- Hood River/the Gorge
- Tillamook Cheese Factory
- Multnomah Falls (hike optional)
- Breitenbush Hot Springs
- Visit the Coast, go hiking at Cape Lookout or Cape Mears
- Or the North Coast/Goonies House
- Or the South Coast/Newport Aquarium (Inn at Nye Beach is awesome!)
- Or Cannon Beach, if you must.
- Portland Wine Country (go visit Duck Pond and Colene Clemens!)
- John Day Fossil Beds, Eastern OR
- Ashland, Southern OR
- Crater Lake
- Mt St Helens (WA)
- Mt Hood
Photo by Ed Wheeler