The challenge is to come up with one word that describes the place in question better than it describes any other place. “Quirky” fits Portland, but plenty of places are quirky. “Weird”? No, Austin’s been lobbying the “weird” market long enough to foil expectations (though between you and me Austin has invested too much in “hip” to really compete in the “weird” market).
You could get married there too – for real. Or you could head down a few blocks and stop at Voodoo Donut and Wedding Chapel. I didn’t know about Voodoo Donut back then, but this spring when Paul told me the conference we were submitting our paper to was in Portland, it was the first thing out of his mouth: “Voodoo Donuts, Pablo – Voodoo Donuts.” I’ll admit that I’m a little intimidated. Apparently they got in trouble with the FDA over their Nyquil-glazed Vanilla Tums donut, but even the ones that don’t get them in trouble seem a little intimidating.
Yes – that’s the moment I want to focus on right now: the food trucks. The moment Devon and I, sitting on the lone bench amid all the trucks and urchins, looked up to read the sign for the “Salmon Fusion” truck. I had a plastic container of Bi Bim Bap from Korean BBQ, and Devon had some sort of chicken, rice and peanut sauce thing in her lap. But in front of us was the sign, offering all things salmon. Smoked salmon pita wrap. Smoked salmon pot pie. Salmon sushi. And there, under the dessert header: “Peppermint white chocolate salmon – $4.00”. Improbable. What else would you expect? Welcome to Portland.