Archive of older cons
The Con Packet
Portland is divided in to five sections, North, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. Ignoring North Portland for a moment, the river is the divider between the east and west sides of town. Burnside Street is the divider between North and South. The hotel is in Northeast (NE) Portland but close enough to both dividers that downtown (located in Southwest (SW) is not far. The center of town, including the hotel and downtown) are within a fare-less zone so crossing the river by MAX is free. The nearest MAX station is on Holladay and 11th very near the hotel. Going north, south or east from the hotel or further afield west is a $2.40 ticket. Buses run as well, all around town with costs comparable to the MAX $2.40 for longer trips, $2.10 for shorter ones and $5 for a day pass. Go to www.trimet.org for more information. There will be info at the hotel for you as well on public transit.
PARKING AT THE HOTEL--It is just $5 a day for NPL Hotel Guests. When you check in, you’ll get a pass enabling you to go in and out as you wish and you will pay with your final bill.
PORTLAND SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES
THE OREGON ZOO--4001 SW Canyon Rd. in Washington Park. www.OregonZoo.org 503-226-1561. Accessible on MAX Blue Line. Open 9 am to 6 pm. Cost $10.50 for adults and $7.50 for children. Tour the world in just a few hours. Exhibits include The African Savannah, a pregnant elephant (she’ll be at 17 months and just starting to show), an Insect Zoo, raptors, (feathered not veloci-) sea lions, and much, much more including 4 geocaches. Distance from hotel (DFH) 5.7 miles
THE ROSE GARDEN--850 SW Rose Garden Way in Washington Park just below the Japanese Gardens. www.introsetestgarden.htm 503-823-3636. Open 9 am to 7 pm. Free to visit. Over 8,000 rose bushes in a beautiful setting. For those of you who aren’t into delicate beauty, there are also over 8,000 thorn bushes. DFH 3.2 miles
JAPANESE GARDENS--611 SW Kingston Ave in Washington Park, just above the Rose Garden. www.JapaneseGarden.com 503-223-1321. Open 10 am- 7 pm. Cost $10.50 for adults, $8.00 for children. Proclaimed the most authentic Japanese Gardens in the world, outside of Japan, that is. Five types of gardens in 5.5 acres combining the traditional elements of plants, water, and rocks. (Remember rock beats plant, plant beats water and water beats rock.)There’s the Strolling Pond Garden, the Sand and Stone Garden, the Natural Garden, the Flat Garden and the Tea Garden. Choose your favorite, get into heated arguments with those who disagree, and come to blows over which is best at inducing serenity now. DFH 3.9 miles
CHINESE GARDENS--NW 3rd and Everett. www.portlandchinesegarden.org 503-228-8131. Accessible on MAX. Cost--$9.50 for adults. $7.00 for children. Open 10 am - 6 pm. Tours at noon and one, free with admission. If Japan isn’t your cup of tea, how about a Chinese garden. Constructed to honor Portland’s sister city of Suzhou China, the garden contains 500 tons of rock imported for this structure. One city block in size, it includes a lake and numerous other traditional elements of Chinese gardens. DFH 1.2 miles
PORTLAND ART MUSEUM--1219 SW Park Avenue www.PortlandArtMuseum.org Downtown. 503-226-2811. Open 10am - 5 pm, (10am - 8 pm Thurs and Fri) Accessible on MAX. Cost Adults $15, children free. Current special exhibits include California impressionism and a small collection of 5 Monets, They considered getting others, but you know, Mo’ Monet, Mo’ Problems. DFH 2.1 miles
WORLD FORESTRY CENTER--4033 SW Canyon Rd. Near the Zoo. www.WorldForestry.org 503-228-1367. Open 10 am - 5 pm. Accessible on MAX Blue Line. Cost $9.00 for adults, $6.00 for children. We’re in Timber territory and this is a Timber museum. If you like trees, yew wood knot want to miss this. So get spruced up, but on your fir coat, it’s a pine day to learn about larches, ogle oaks, and make merry with maples. DFH 5.8 miles
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM--4015 SW Canyon Rd. Near the Zoo. www.portlandcm.org 503-223-6500. Open 9 am - 5 pm. Cost $9 ($8 if you buy online.) A fine example of the art form. When my children were little, I would go often. The water room was a blast, the grocery store was funtastic, the Vroom room, the Clay Studio, it was all terrific. In hindsight, I should probably have brought the children along with me. DFH 5.7 miles
OMSI--1945 SE Water Ave. www.OMSI.edu 503-797-4000 Open 9:30 am - 7 pm. $12.00 for adults, $9.50 for children. Portland’s science museum loaded with hands-on exhibits. There’s a submarine, an OMNImax Theater and you can even visit another planet if you go. The planet Arium is somehow contained within the museum itself. Special exhibits on now include “Inside Natural Disasters” and “What Animals Think.” DFH 2.1 miles
WASHINGTON PARK--No actual address. www.washingtonparkpdx.org No phone number. Open pretty much all the day time. It’s on MAX. Besides all the attractions mentioned in this list, the park is a maze of hiking/jogging trails. 400 acres of greenery and 15 miles of trails which connect to hundreds of miles of other trails through adjacent parks. If you hike them all, there is a fair chance you will miss the Con entirely. DFH 2.6 miles
VOODOO DONUTS--The original is at 22 SW 3rd, and Voodoo Deux, is at 1501 NE Davis. Neither is far from the hotel really. Cost--Your waistline. The “Salvador Dali” of donut shops according to Bon Appetit magazine. In addition to offering maple bars topped with bacon, donuts topped with bubble gum, tang, Froot Loops and more, they also perform wedding ceremonies. Go on, enjoy the hole experience. DFH 1.3 miles
CHURCH OF ELVIS 408 NW Couch (rhymes with smooch). www.24hourchurchofelvis.com 503-226-3671. Open 525,600 minutes a year (527,040 on leap years.) Cost--free, but bring quarters for a richer/poorer existence. Which reminds me, this is another spot where you can wed while in town. Coin-operated art in a setting that is one-part arcade, one-part shrine, one-part Radio Shack and three-parts weird. DFH 1.5 miles
OAKS PARK 7805 SE Oaks Park Way www.oakspark.com 503-233-5777. Open 12 noon to 9 pm. Cost--varies with activities selected. Slogan--”Where the fun never ends.” Not great considering the Park closes at 9, but it beats the rejected slogan--”We put the ‘semen’ in amusement park, so come one, come all.” You won’t confuse it for Disneyland, but unlike it’s grander cousin, it does have a roller skating rink, a miniature golf course, go-kart rides and a complete absence of ROUS (Princess Bride reference.) DFH 6.2 miles
LLOYD CENTER Exit the hotel, go left and left again. www.lloydcenter.com 503-282-2511 Open 10 am - 9 pm. Dozens of shops where you might pick up a forgotten item or two, a few places to eat and an ice-skating rink. Skating is $6.50 unless you forgot your skates, in which case it’ll be $10.00. (Extra if you wish to purchase the Tonya Harding Insurance plan (protecting kneecaps since 1994.) DFH 0.2 miles
PIONEER PLACE 700 SW 5th Ave. www.pioneerplace.com 503-228-5800. Open 10 am - 8 pm. Upscale shopping, chocolate mousse to Lloyd Center’s Jell-o Pudding. DFH 1.9 miles
FOOD CARTS Various locations. www.foodcartsportland.com Hours vary. Cost varies. There are nearly 500 in town mostly in clusters. The largest grouping is on SW Alder between 9th and 11th. Also SW 3rd between Stark and Oak and SW 5th between Washington and Stark. There’s even an app for them and daily tours ($25 a pop so you might wish to guide yourself.) Each cluster is an unchained, outdoor, food-court extravaganza. DFH varies, largest group is 1.8 miles.
POWELL’S CITY OF BOOKS 1005 W. Burnside. www.powells.com. Hours 9 am - 11 pm. 503-228-4651. Cost depends on you, but free shipping with purchases over $50 so don’t worry about having to lug those tomes home with you. The largest independent new and used bookstore in the solar system, and perhaps the galaxy. 3 floors of cookbooks, puzzle books, history books, children’s books, paperback books or any other kind of books you might desire, so bring your checkbook--but leave your matchbook as this place is highly flammable--and book it down to Powell’s City of Books. DFH 1.8 miles
MOVIE MADNESS 4320 SE Belmont. www.moviemadnessvideo.com 503-234-4364. A video store? Yes, but much more. The owner used to work in Hollywood and this is a combination museum and video outlet. And speaking of dinosaurs, you can see an animatronic head from Jurassic Park. In addition, Norman Bates’s knife, a statue from Charles Foster Kane’s Xanadu, Ilsa’s chair at Rick’s, one of Austin Powers’ groovy outfits, Maria Von Trapp’s Do-Re-Mi dress and much more are housed here. DFH 2.7 miles