Tag Archives: walking

Keep Portland Weird (Word Wise)

Portland has a reputation for being different. It is also known for being a great literary city. So, of course, there would be some things that makes it weird- or, at least, unique- for its residential readers. Let’s take a look at a couple of these.

The Bookstores

It’s no surprise that when bibliophiles come to Portland, one of their first stops is Powell’s Bookstore. With its four floors of color coded rooms, it really does seem that you’ve stepped into a “city of books”.

There are also many local independent stores specializing in a specific genre. For mystery maniacs, Murder by the Book is “the scene” in the Hawthorne Neighborhood. It’s all Agatha all the time (and other Mystery greats as well.) There are not one, but two children’s bookstores for young ones and the young at heart. A Children’s Place is in the beautiful Beaumont neighborhood. My favorite is Green Bean Books (in the Alberta Arts district) where you’ll find vending machines selling finger puppets and mustaches. Those features just help the imagination run wild.

Reading Frenzy is a great store for anyone interested in supporting popular self-made mini-publications called zines. Whatever range of topics people want to read about- from mundane and trivial to innovative and awesome, there’s sure to be something for everyone there.

Everywhere You Go, There’s Something to Read

For anyone who feels that walls are too confining, walking around Portland can be a reading experience in itself.

In “Portland’s Living Room”, check out the brick squares and read the names of those who raised funds for Pioneer Courthouse Square. And, although they weren’t sponsors, Sherlock Holmes, George Washington, and Elvis Presley (just to name some famous few) can be found among the names.

Popping up around Portland are poetry posts. These are just nice little distractions when one stumbles upon them.

While riding the streetcar, I noticed a man tattooed with words. I guess you can literally read him like an open book, which I didn’t. That would just be too weird, even for me.

There are many other ways Portland is weird, word wise. When you’re here, keep your eyes open. If your city has some interesting literary character, we would love to hear about it!

Get Your Walk On!


Although I moved to Portland over a year ago, I am still overwhelmed by all of the distinct neighborhoods that dot the city. Because Portland is a patchwork of nestled hot spots, tucked between the trees and hills, it can be difficult to know what is down the street, let alone across town.   

Thankfully, however, a recent Cash4Books customer informed us that they had located our company through the website WalkScore.com. Walk Score both rates the walkability of neighborhoods, as well as provides a wealth of information about pedestrian-friendly destinations in an area. You simply put in an address, and Walk Score generates a map and list of nearby cafes, movie theaters, libraries, bookstores, grocers, even public transportation. In addition, Walk Score provides contact information and reviews for each attraction within walking distance. As it turns out there is a café a quarter mile from my front door. Because it’s down the hill from my home, behind quite a few trees (including a cool monkey puzzle tree), I honestly would never have found this little gem without Walk Score.

But why walk? Isn’t driving faster and easier? Walk Score lists the environment, health, our pocketbooks and the community as benefactors of high walkability neighborhoods. Not to mention, by walking you get to take in that sweet sunshine, and inevitably discover far more than is possible peering from the window of your car!

With summer weather on the horizon, I am antsy to get out and explore. Although my own address scored a mere 52 out of 100 – rated as “somewhat walkable” – I am ready to check out what my new neighborhood has to offer. What’s your Walk Score?