By Richard White, Community Strategist, Ground3 Landscape Architects
Portland is a flaneur’s delight as there is always something to discover just around the corner or on the next block up. As our visit evolved, our Portlandia mantra became “just one more block” as it seemed just when we thought there was no point in going any further we’d find something that captured our interest on the next block - especially on Alberta Street and Hawthorne Boulevard.
Perhaps Portland is good for flaneuring as its mantra is "keep Portland weird" and to some extent flaneuring is looking for those weird off the beaten path places that are fun, quirky and on the edge. Flaneuring is kinda like staring in your own Portlandia TV show.
I thought it would be interesting to share with you our top 10 flaneuring finds (FF). “What is a flaneuring find” you ask? It is a place you discouver while wandering aimlessly that you didn't even know you were looking for. For me it is urban places, but it could be anywhere depending on what your passion is.
Flaneuring is a great way to travel and explore a new place as you are open to enjoying the place on its own term and not based on someone else's preconceived suggestions. It is about being open to the moment.
Our Portlandia Flaneuring Finds were:
#1 The Good Mod, Downtown
#2 Axe Records, Alberta Avenue
#3 Bookwerks, Alberta Avenue
#4 Tonalli’s Doughnuts, Alberta Avenue
#5 House of Vintage, Hawthorne Boulevard
#6 Powell Books, Downtown
#7 William Temple House Thriftstore, Hoyt Street, Northwest District
#8 Sunlan Lightbulbs, North Mississippi Avenue
#9 Lodekka Vintage Bus, North Williams Avenue
#10 Zenka Street Artwork, Alberta Avenue
I have also added one extra spot at the end, but I haven't listed it so you will have to read to the end to find out what it is.
Rationale for choices are in the captions accompanying the photos below.
Love to hear your comments about these finds, what have been your finds or your flaneur experiences.