Salem Journals

Cherry City and Irises, a Tale of Two Capitols

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A travel journal to Salem by Migin

Oregon State Capitol Building Photo, Salem, Oregon More Photos
Quote: Salem, Oregon’s capital, sharing a border with Keizer to its north, offers governmental and historical sites, but also festivals and parks. 45 miles south of downtown Portland, they are conveniently located for excursions into the greater Willamette Valley.

Cherry City and Irises, a Tale of Two Capitols

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Overview

Oregon State Capitol Building Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
Situated in the Willamette Valley, Salem, and Keizer, separate towns with different governing bodies, function largely as one due to their shared border, and bus and school systems. Salem Salem has worked hard to preserve its downtown and most sights are roughly within this district. There are a number of fine parks and interesting historical buildings, as well as several festivals of note. When the site of Jason Lee’s first mission proved unsuitable, due to flooding, he moved it south, helping to found what was to become Salem. Those surviving structures now relocated near a historic textile mill are preserved in a park-like setting as Mission Mill Museum....Read More

Gerry Frank's Konditorei

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Restaurant | "Gerry Frank’s Konditorei"

Gerry Frank's Konditorei Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
Do you ever just eat the dessert? Or maybe you just want a treat. Gerry Frank’s Konditorei (pronounced Cone-D-Tor-Eye) is the right kind of place then. There are 35 different cakes and cheesecakes, and a variety of pastries and cookies. The cake is exceptional. My usual is "Italian Cream" with its rich flavor and texture, a yellow cake with pecans, a hint of coconut, and a maple cream cheese frosting. (Writing this is killer -- you can only presume you know the flavor described, but I can actually taste it and it just makes me want some -- right now.) The carrot cake is very fine too. In fact, I kno...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2003

Gerry Frank's Konditorei
310 Kearney Street
Salem, Oregon 97302
503/585-7070

Willamette Noodle Company

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Restaurant

Willamette Noodle Company Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
The Willamette Noodle Company is in a building appearing only slightly larger than a drive-through coffee place. It actually seats 26! That doesn’t seem possible. The kitchen must be quite efficiently laid out is all I can imagine. There was a 50s inspired diner here for many years, which finally outgrew the building and moved further south along the street, so it has actually been a functional restaurant for a long time but this restaurant only opened in July of 2003. I wish them well. More than half of all new restaurants fail in their first year. Located at the corner of Hood and Broadway Streets there is free parking behind the building although it can be awkward to get into and out o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Willamette Noodle Company
1405 Broadway Ave. NE
Salem, Oregon 97303
503-399-9992

Marco Polo Global

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Restaurant | "Marco Polo Global Cuisine"

Marco Polo Global Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
Marco Polo bills itself a Global Restaurant. A claim easy to understand after scanning the menus. Yes, menus. There are three of them. All the vegetarian choices are collected in one, with selections like spinach ravioli (8.95) and chicken and mushroom Provencal ($9.95) in the European. The final menu has everything offered. This simplifies things while preserving the overall options. If you want to consider the vegetarian options only, why wade through a thick menu of things you won't or can’t eat? However, all menus are supplied so you can check them out, even if just to satisfy your curiosity. Having a need for separate me...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 4, 2004

Marco Polo Global
210 Liberty Street SE
Salem, Oregon 97301
503-364-4833

Dutch Bros. Coffee

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Restaurant

Dutch Bros. Coffee Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
Obvious Statement #1: Travel makes you aware of the many differences between your home and other parts of the world. One difference I’ve noted is that we have an awful lot of drive-through coffee shops in my neck of the woods. In some places, there literally is one on every corner. Dutch Bros. Coffee is one of the best of them. Actually, there are currently nearly 40 of these (most of these are franchises) throughout western Oregon and Northern California, so you might find other convenient Locations. Obvious Statement #2: The fresher the coffee, the better the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 4, 2004

Dutch Bros. Coffee
4915 North River Road
Salem, Oregon 97303
(503) 304-2194

Salem Riverfront Carousel

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Attraction

Salem Riverfront Carousel Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
One striking thing about children on a carousel is seeing the difference in riding style each one adopts. Some cling to the pole their arms wrapped tight as if they were afraid the horse would suddenly leap from the platform and gallop away with them. Some ride with arms held wide in that "I’m king of the world" posture with attitude to match. Yet the choice of mount doesn‘t seem to correlate to riding style. Watching kids make their choice can be as interesting as their ride itself. The Salem Riverfront Carousel has 42 hand-carved horses, a covered wagon and a chuck wagon to choose from. Each horse is very much an individual. Ro...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 29, 2003

Salem Riverfront Carousel
101 Front Street Northeast
Salem, Oregon 97301
(503) 540-0374

Capitol Building/ Mall

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Attraction

Capitol Building/ Mall Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
The many parts of Salem (Overview entry) from where the statue atop the Oregon State Capitol Building is visible makes it useful for orientation. A man standing, left hand gripping a coat thrown over his shoulder while the other dangles a large axe, body facing north and head looking west, the piece's official name is "Oregon Pioneer." Even though it's hollow, the statue weighs 8.5 tons. Often called the "Golden Pioneer" or "Gold Man", the 23K gold sheathed bronze statue stands 22-feet atop a 23-foot marble plinth placed 140-...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on December 29, 2003

Capitol Building/ Mall
900 Court Street Northeast
Salem, Oregon 97301-4042
(503) 986-1388

AC Gilbert Discovery Village

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Attraction

AC Gilbert Discovery Village Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
Alfred Carlton Gilbert could have been a doctor, but instead was a magician, an Olympian, and an inventor. Born in Salem in 1884 he showed an early proficiency in performance of magic and athletics, as well as an interest in inventing things. At the 1908 London Olympic Games he won a gold medal. Instead of going into practice after medical school he co-founded the Mysto Manufacturing Company to make and sell magic sets. At 29, he created the Erector Set. By the time of his death, in 1961, he held 150 patents. Most of the buildings in the A.C. Discovery Vil...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 29, 2003

AC Gilbert Discovery Village
116 Marion Street Northeast
Salem, Oregon
(503) 371-3631

Riverfront Park

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Attraction

Riverfront Park Photo, Salem, Oregon
Quote:
Riverfront Park covering 23-acres along the Willamette River in downtown Salem is a success story for the community. The land was part of the Boise Cascade paper mill operations for a long time and then sat unused for years, long enough to become an eyesore. It took years from when the idea of converting it into a park was first put forward to the point where it actually became usable as such. The land had to go through a major and totally unexpected decontamination of industrial waste and poison, which almost derailed the project. The concept of what the park should contain, how it should be laid out, even...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 21, 2004

Riverfront Park
116 Marion Street Northeast
Salem, Oregon