Portland Blues Festival

By Angie

Stepping off the plane and onto Portland concrete I could tell this was going to be a new experience. There was public transportation that was easy to navigate, more green land than where I grew up, and everyone was so damn nice. Being a city gal this all took a minute to sink in, but once it did I was stoked to see what the weekend was going to bring. My girlfriend and I got settled into to our awesome room and then hit Alberta Street, full of shops, restaurants, bars, and food truck lots. We even saw a mural of a favorite artist as we walked along the streets. Then we took off to Mississippi Avenue with some local friends. Naturally we became intoxicated soon enough, celebrating cheap drinks and the absence of taxes. This city was getting better and better.

Saturday was the day I had been looking forward to: The Waterfront Blues Festival. We started off by doing brunch with friends in the Pearl District. Then we got lost on the bus system and ended up at a farmers market in St. Johns. It took a few adventures but we had finally made it to the festival. Blues, food, and booze make me one happy lady; that is until I realized that the heat everyone had been complaining about was actually really happening. So then it became a personal mission to just make it through the day so we could enjoy the firework show. After Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Jarekus Singleton, Duffy Bishop Band, and many other bands played their sets the sun finally set. The firework show was fantastic! The traffic on the bridge that everyone used to cross the river stopped. It was just stopped, over the river, everyone enjoying the show. It made all the heat exhaustion, public napping, and porta potty horrors worth it. 

The last day was the day of “get it all in.” So we did, we checked off the rest of the list. We sat on our porch, hiked in Forest Park, drank at a brewery, walked around Alphabet District, and ate the most amazing lunch. My legs were tired from all the walking, my phone was dead from all the bus mapping, and I was definitely leaving heavier than I was when I got there. But I would not change a thing, not one thing. It’s a great city, with great people, and a million things to do. The weirdness that everyone talks about was there but it was okay because it was the kind of weird you want to experience. A person singing on a skateboard being followed by a crowd like he was their tween vampire heartthrob; pianos in the middle of a square just for impromptu recitals; an appreciation for all things local. Trees everywhere and clean streets, even in the busiest parts of the city. So fuck yeah, Portland! Keep. It. Weird.