Portland Journals

Portland Greenspaces: Something for Everyone

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A travel journal to Portland by Migin

Time Travel Photo, Portland, Oregon More Photos
Quote: From tiny to immense, for natural beauty, city views, athletics, or people-watching... Want to spend a few minutes, a few hours, or longer? Somewhere in Portland there’s a park, garden, or greenspace to accommodate you.

Portland Greenspaces: Something for Everyone

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Overview

Time Travel Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
Parks, gardens, and other greenspace offerings in the Portland area range from undeveloped places meant for viewing (and preserving) wildlife and nature to the thoroughly urban brick-lined, award-winning Pioneer Courthouse Square, from the 452-square-inches of Mill Ends (world’s smallest park) to the 5,000-plus-acres of Forest Park (world’s largest urban wilderness). Mt Tabor’s covers an extinct volcano, while large Washington Park contains other parks, gardens, museums, memorials, and the zoo. There are athletic fields and facilities, aquatics centers and swimming pools, gardens for pleasure and for productivity—even one meant to help recover memory—places catering to children and to dogs, places for...Read More

Forest Park

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Attraction

Forest Park Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
Some people claim no true wilderness remains within easy reach of the city. Well, that’s simply not accurate. Witness: May, 2004. Extreme cross-country runners visiting from Australia report seeing a strange older man with a young girl deep within Forest Park. With this guide, authorities made it through waist-high brush to locate the man and his daughter, who had been living near a creek in the park undiscovered for over four years. They had a dwelling, a garden plot, a full set of encyclopedias… This family has since been relocated. Read and view the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Forest Park
Tualatin Mountains West of Downtown
Portland, Oregon 97204
(503) 823-7529

Japanese-American Historical Plaza

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Attraction

Japanese-American Historical Plaza Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
evening cherry blossoms today too is history --Kobayashi Issa (1810) With the Willamette River as a backdrop, the irregularly shaped Japanese-American Historical Plaza/Bill of Rights Memorial takes advantage of the site’s contours and setting. Partly flat and symmetrical, with large carved columns, the rest of the plaza runs out in scallops hugging an earthen berm; one side flagstone, the other lawn. Pieces of flagstone seemingly forced up by weight or pressure rise, some portions coming fully upright as...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Japanese-American Historical Plaza
NW Naito Pkwy & NW Davis
Portland, Oregon 97209

Mill Ends Park

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Attraction

Mill Ends Park Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
Mill Ends Park: A Tale of Two Cities, or Whose Park is This Anyway? SW Naito Pkwy & Taylor, next to Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, between the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges, one block north of the Salmon Street Springs The world's smallest park is in ... well, that depends on to whom you listen. There are two candidates in two cities. Both are in Oregon. Both are official city parks. Although an internet search will return both as results (because they both make the claim), it's clear from the math that Portland's claim wins out. However, looking at dates shows that for some years, Salem's claim was valid. THE CLAIMANTS: Salem (45 miles south ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Mill Ends Park
Median Strip of SW Naito Parkway & Taylor
Portland, Oregon 97204

Portland Japanese Garden

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Attraction | "Japanese Garden"

Portland Japanese Garden Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
Designed by international expert Professor Takuma Tono and opened to the public in 1967, Portland’s Japanese Garden is considered exceptional, chosen best of more than 300 Japanese-style gardens in North America, Europe, and Australia. Located within huge Washington Park, it stretches over 5½ acres, incorporating examples of both traditional Japanese hill and flat gardens in its five themed mini-gardens. Working off the ‘hide and reveal’ principle, the garden wanders the hillside, providing an ever-changing aspect: ponds (with and without koi), waterfalls, bridges, lanterns, lush and varied plantings, open lawn, and stretches of sand repr...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Portland Japanese Garden
611 SW Kingston Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205
(503) 223-1321

Pioneer Courthouse Square

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Attraction

Pioneer Courthouse Square Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
This downtown space (bound by 5th and 6th Aves and Morrison & Yamhill Sts.), an official city park, is always crowded making it a great place to people-watch or meet up with someone. It’s both open and sunny, yet has a few more intimate nooks and shady spots incorporated. The award winning plaza is considered one of the most effective urban designs in relative recent history, accessible and accessed, used often and well. Annually, about 8-million people enter the square. Officially opened April 6, 1984, it’s been Portland's living room ever since, its terraces serving as communal sofas. Irregularly s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Pioneer Courthouse Square
715 SW Morrison St. Suite 702
Portland, Oregon 97205
(503) 223-1613

Mount Tabor Park

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Attraction | "Mt Tabor "

Mount Tabor Park Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
It broods on what will become the Portland skyline. Sometimes the ground trembles, smoke-like steam rises, lava flows, but eventually it succumbs to the inevitable -- it dies. Today, it sits, tree shrouded, a constant reminder of forces shaping the landscape in which we live. Mt Tabor Park is one of only two US city parks (the other in Bend, Oregon) with an extinct volcano. This beautiful park encompasses the whole of this volcanic hill. Mt Tabor is younger than most other regional volcanoes, ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Mount Tabor Park
SE 60 & Salmon
Portland, Oregon 97215

South Park Blocks

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Attraction

South Park Blocks Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
The Park Blocks consist of a divided stretch, with the park in the center, of SW Park Avenue, from SW Market Street (at Portland State University) north to SW Salmon Street. Intersecting streets let events, even just meeting friends, be specifically located. Or use the named fountains. Or statues. Or one of the museums… Referred to as the Cultural District, much of what Portland culture visitors seek is located along or very near the Park Blocks. --The Center for the Performing Arts. With multiple venues (four auditorium/theater spaces), this is home to some 21 resident companies, including Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theater, Portland Yout...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

South Park Blocks
SW Park & Ninth Ave
Portland, Oregon 97205

Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park

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Attraction

Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
SW Naito Parkway, along the Willamette River between the Marquam and Steel Bridges. Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park is the official name (since 1984) but it’s also known as Tom McCall Park, Waterfront Park, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. You can use any of these. Once there was a bit of raised highway here and a rather ugly bit it reportedly was. Worse still, you couldn’t see the river -- it blocked the view. Although it took decades to accomplish the highway was pulled down and replaced with this park. It’s not a decision anyone regrets. Lots of people go to this park jus...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park
SW Naito Parkway
Portland, Oregon 97204

Washington Park

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Attraction

Washington Park Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
Abutting the south end of Forest Park’s immense wilderness Washington Park is like a Matryoshka, one of those Russian nesting dolls, where dolls hide within dolls, each smaller than the last. The park is full of other parks, memorials, museums, gardens, and an arboretum. Dolls within dolls. Portions of the park provide great views across the city. Originally called City Park these 129.51-acres (Washington Park only) were renamed on recommendation of the Olmsted brothers. The park has all the usual amenities and a few extras. There are lots of sports facilities in the park including 6 lighted tennis court...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 1, 2005

Washington Park
Southwest Park Place
Portland, Oregon 97210
(503) 823-2223

River View Cemetery

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Story/Tip

Spanish American War Memorial Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
Through the main gates, the sergeant advances from atop his plinth, encircled by 165 pristine-white marble tombstones. This is the Spanish American War memorial. Each headstone represents an individual Oregonian who died during that conflict. River View Cemetery, the oldest non-profit in the Portland area, has been the final resting place for much of local history since 1882. So many names, so little… information. Except for a few names you ‘might’ recognize from some other source… -Virgil Earp...Read More

A Portland Parks Sampler

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Story/Tip

Cathedral Park Photo, Portland, Oregon
Quote:
Portland’s parks and gardens system contains more than 300 locations run by a number of authorities including the State of Oregon, the three counties that contain Portland, and a number of the communities within or adjacent to the Metro area. A number of these are of interest but I don’t plan (at this time) to do separate entries for them. This piece is to give a bit of information on why they are of interest. Also to detail all the contacts for the various authorities that run parks and gardens, tos provide links to system maps and contacts. Useful Park Facts: Common hours of operation are 7am-10pm. There are restroom facilities, parking, and no user fees for these parks unless otherwise...Read More