I'd imagine that you're just shaking off the rust from last evening's party at Wieden + Kennedy and what appears to have gone down in room 422. We've received some kind comments from AIGA folks about the insider's guide posted Thursday. While it merely scratches the surface, I'm pleased that you found it helpful. What with this weekend's Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade, and a number of associated events, there is plenty to do. Most of you are tourists, so if you feel so compelled to join in that revelry, so be it. Enjoy.
If you have a break in the schedule, or are just getting your day started, I'd suggest heading over to Portland Farmers Market PSU. My favorite way to begin the day is with a wood-fired bagel from Tastebud or Pine State Biscuits and a hot coffee from Stumptown Coffee. The market runs until 2 p.m. With the weather a bit cloudy, it won't be as busy, but it's still a hub for activity on Saturday mornings. And yes, you can find bacon, if you must.
If you're looking for afternoon spots that are fairly near the hotel, I'd recommend Higgins (opens at 4 p.m.), Clyde Common or Kenny & Zukes (at the Ace Hotel), Typhoon!, or any of the foodcarts in the downtown area. (Check Food Carts Portland for locations.) Portland Food and Drink usually does a pretty good roundup of the week's food news and their review listing is also helpful.
If you're looking for more this evening, I'd suggest you check out Holocene's Anniversary party (1001 SE Morrison) tonight which will host a fine collection of Portland's more interesting bands (Talkdemonic is a personal favorite). Jens Lekman (Wonder Ballroom) and Neko Case (Crystal Ballroom) are also in town. If you haven't already, you might consider popping into Doug Fir for the later (9 p.m.) Handsome Furs and The Cinnamon Band show. The Portland Mercury has more. Julian Chadwick's PDX Pipeline just listed its Twitter-fueled "Best Late Night Food in Portland" and "75+ Portland Weekend Parties and Events", plus bits on the best Indian, Sushi, Thai, and breakfast spots. Hangover or not, you will have Sunday morning to think about.
You might also check Travel Portland's full listing of events as well as Dave Allen's (@pampelmoose) posts on the indie scene. Speaking of our friends at Travel Portland, if you're using Twitter, you might want to check their Twisitor Center or follow @travelportland.
While I'm not attending this year's retreat, the Portland chapter and Twitter is keeping me abreast of at least some of the happenings. Props to AIGA Idaho for keeping us all in the loop and AIGA Atlanta for some of the live feed action. I'll hope to see more of you this evening. Oh, and Phil Hamlett, I believe we have a beer or two on the books for this evening?
Thursday kicked off the 2009 AIGA National Leadership Retreat in our little town of Portland, Oregon. I serve on the local AIGA chapter board and had the good fortune of attending the annual event two years ago in Miami. I found it to be informative and inspirational. Now, I don't use that term much, inspirational, but it fit; it's a well-run gathering and an effective incubator for ideas. The few days of that retreat were jam-packed with programming, but when I stole a couple of hours for myself in Miami, I longed for an insider's perspective of what was happening locally, and where to eat. Away from the confines of the hotel.
For those attendees visiting Portland, we've pulled together a very rough list of our favorite eateries, as well as a run-down of a few of the events happening around town. This list of events comes by way of Leigh Feldman's excellent e-newsletter LifeisaParty. I'd urge you to request it from Leigh by e-mailing: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
So, attendees: we know you're at the Hilton and that's just fine. The New York office of AIGA had to pick a self-contained location cozy enough to host 250. But it's hardly representative of Portland. Not even close. Now, I know that time is limited and I'm not suggesting you pull yourselves from the retreat activities, but for chrissake, live a little. You might be interested why so many designers arrive here in the first place, and then why they end up calling Portland home. And I can tell you that it's not chain hotels, it's not the suburbs, and it's certainly not Macaroni Grill.
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