By Richard White, Community Strategist, Ground3 Landscape Architects
Just back from Portlandia and have a few great window licking images to share with you. For those of you who are wondering about the term "window licking" it is the literal english translation of the french words for "window shopping." If you want more details on origin of this term you can checkout my "Window Licking in Paris" blog.
Below are some samples from various streets of Portlandia:
- Alberta Street
- Hawthorne Blvd
- N. Williams
- Mississippi Ave.
- 23rd Ave
I must say that the people of Portland are the friendliest people we have ever met. As soon as they knew we were from out of town they immediately wanted to know where were we from. Then then they quickly and genuinely said "Welcome to Portland!" In one case, a guy didn't know where Calgary was, but he was immediately on the internet looking it up.
It was also refreshing to find that drivers were often prepared to stop and let pedestrians cross the street even if it wasn't at a corner or cross walk. Made for a much more enjoyable pedestrian experience. Keep Portland friendly should be their motto!
One of the interesting things about window licking in Portlandia is how long their shopping streets are. Both Alberta Street and Hawthorne Boulevard are more than 15 blocks long. Just when you think you get to the end, you see people a few blocks up and find that there is yet another cluster of shops. Our motto became "just one more block."
Here is a small sample of the wonderful windows we found while wandering the streets of Portlandia.
You can learn a lot by wandering the streets of any city. You can discouver their local culture if you explore the streets outside of the city centre. In the case of Portlandia I would recommend that tourist spend at least a half a day exploring Alberta Street of Hawthorne Boulevard if you want to experience the real city. I even suggest you venture off into the residential neighbourhoods next the retail streets to see the homs and the local parks. While downtown may be the face of the city, it's soul is often in the older neighbourhoods.