Alberta St + Ground Kontrol

How awesome is Alberta St. in Portland? So awesome! It a place where you can do so many things without burning through all the daylight – especially great if you’re short on time. You can go grab brunch at the Tin Shed, walk a bit to Green Bean Books for books or cute toys and then pick up some sweet patches or happy birthday cards at Darling Distraction around the corner. There’s also Ampersand, a unique art gallery and art book shop all in one! Right next door is Cord, where you really have to watch your wallet if you love traveling or camping. If you don’t have a wallet, you can buy one there – they have it all! While you’re walking on Alberta St., make sure to take a look at all the amazing murals put up by Forest for the Trees (then come back in the summer months to watch them paint more!) Need more art? Stop by the Antler Gallery for prints, artist good, and make sure to check out the gallery display space in the back. All this, plus cozy coffee shops and trendy lunch spots, on one street!

Oh man, Ground Kontrol. Forgive me if I sound like a salesperson, but I can sing praises for this place forever. Love classic arcade games? They have those. Want to relive the glory days of pin ball? You can. Don’t care about games and just want to hang out? They have drinks and a neat hang-out space – check out their website for DJ and upcoming event schedules. Oh by the way, they are expanding, you lucky Portland people.

Thanks for reading! If you’re looking for more things to do in Portland, read this or this.

To Powell’s!

But first – breakfast! If you live in Portland and you haven’t tried brunch at Tasty-n-Alder’s, you are seriously missing out. It is so good. We were there for five days and we ate there TWICE, that’s how good it was. First of all, let me introduce you to the humble chocolate potato donut. It’s magical. Immediately follow that by bacon bibimbap (called Bim Bop Bacon & Eggs on the menu), which will make you cry sweet tears because you don’t live in Portland and can’t have it every day forever. I should mention that the menu at Tasty-n-Alder’s is called a “chef’s menu” so it’s always evolving to include exciting dishes and seasonal ingredients (that’s how I understood it). Ah-mazing.

Brunch at Tasty-n-Alder | Katya Orlovie

 Food at Tasty-n-Alder | Katya Orlovie

Then it was on to the USC pep rally in Pioneer Square and we also stopped by the UO campus in Portland. I’m a UO alum but SC is my team here in California – thank you Karen! On the way to Powell’s Books, we passed by Gage Hamilton’s Forest for the Trees mural. There are so many amazing murals and street art around Portland, the FFTTNW blog has a great collection of videos about the works and where to find them.

Gage Hamilton Mural | Katya Orlovie

Then it was on to Powell’s Books, which is a HUGE bookstore. Powell’s has all kinds of books, genres, magazines, boardgames – it’s like 5 floors of awesome. It’s no wonder Powell’s is consistently on “Must Visit” lists. And you know how stores, especially book stores, can have that musty stale air kind of atmosphere? Not here! Here you’ll find plenty of space and room, reading benches, and there is even a coffee shop (that’s open late by the way). Upstairs in the art section, you’ll also find a gallery. I bought way too many books, so watch your wallet if you’re on a budget. The great thing is – Powell’s will buy your used books. So..maybe one more book!

At Powell's Books | Katya Orlovie

Thank you for reading!

Portland Travels + Drinks

Flying to PDX! | Katya Orlovie

Oh Portland, how I miss you! Last fall, we went to visit Portland (en route to Eugene for the USCvUO football game!) and I took my vlogging camera along. The drinking! The awesome hotel! It’s all there –

We stayed at the Ace Hotel in Portland, which is super cute. It’s like a hostel but with all the amenities of a hotel, or like a camp for adults.  Everything in the hotel is super designed – our emergency fire exit route in the room was painted on canvas! I mean, holy cow. Now there was a slight hick-up, if you haven’t watched the video then spoiler alert – we got some dog poo poo outside our door. Now, I understand it’s a dog friendly hotel so it was an unfortunate case of a dog owner not picking up after their pup. I can only think that the dog owner must have been extremely drunk because it wasn’t just a little bit so why wouldn’t you pick up after your dog? Anyway, poo is for good luck right? Right?

Ah, anyhow – the drinks! Man, Portland has a lot more good drinking spots and food spots than I remember. (Or maybe now I can afford to go there?) The first stop for us was the Oso Market & Bar,  a great little spot to grab a drink. They have so many choices of beer and wine (and food!) so I definitely recommend stopping by. Also, if anyone knows who did the bear logo, please tell me because it’s amazing. Right next door to Oso is Kachka, which serves yummy Russian food and all the vodka that’s fit to drink. Seriously, their vodka list is SO LONG. We had herring and caviar, and yes a bit of vodka. Managed not to talk Russian to anyone, but that’s ok. My babyshka would have liked the decor, it was like being back on our dacha with the linoleum tablecloths. Also, I may have ordered my main dish just because it said something like “made by your southern grandma, if she was also in the KGB”. It was really good!

We also stopped by the Tugboat Brewing Company – the combination of boardgames + drink is hard to pass up. I had cider, Jeremy had beer, and we played Battleship (which had all the pieces!) after which we took the party back to the hotel to sleep it off.

Thank you for reading! This vlog is one of 5 I’ll be uploading within the next month – stay tuned!

Above | Katya Orlovie