"Big deal," you're thinking, "Thanks to the false bottom in my murse, I have beer in the movies all the time!" But here in Portland, there are entire theaters devoted to encouraging you to drink beer in the movies, without fear of being kicked out by a sullen, Maglite-wielding teenager. The entire chain of Oregon history-meets-a really good time McMenamin's Theater Pubs (my favorites are the majestic Bagdad and uber-comfy Kennedy School) are pro-beer, burger & a movie, and a few other bastions of flask-free flicks include the Laurelhurst, Academy and Living Room theaters.
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2. RIDE A BIKEIf Portland had an official city 'method of transport', it would be the bike. The streets are infested with cycles, and if you can't beat 'em, you may as well join 'em, right? See the "Willamette River" attraction writeup for info about rentals and the gentle, car-free Springwater Corridor ride, but if you want an easy pedal through a pretty neighborhood, try making your way over the bike-friendly Hawthorne Bridge, taking a right on SE 11th Avenue and then a left on SE Clay Street, and winding your way up into the elaborate grid of peaceful Ladd's Addition. Relish the wide tree-lined streets and quaint architecture, stop to smell the roses, have a picnic in the center circle, and relax with a powerful ginger tea from Palio coffeehouse.
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PS: Summertime, the riding's easy...here are a few big summer bike events.
May 13: Northeast Sunday Parkways
June 7-30: Pedalpalooza
June 12: Cirque du Cycling
June 16: Portland World Naked Bike Ride
June 24: North Sunday Parkways
July 22: Southwest Sunday Parkways
August 12: Providence Bridge Pedal
August 26: Southeast Sunday Parkways
September 30: East Sunday Parkways
3. GO FOOD CARTING
Food carts have become as much a part of Portland's identity as rain, fleece and Portlandia, but with hundreds upon hundreds corraled into pods, holding court in solitary vacant lot outposts, and pretty much sprouting from every crack in the sidewalk, it can be hard to choose. Browse my top picks here, visit Food Carts Portland for news of the latest & greatest, or if you're short on time and want the most food cart bang for your buck, head to one of the principal pods for a concentrated cart experience: Cartopia, Good Food Here, Mississippi Marketplace, D-Street Noshery and North Station. And if you'd rather not leave downtown, get some cart action at SW 10th & SW Alder as well as SW Stark at 3rd and 5th.
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4. PICNIC IN A PARK
Ah, the park picnic, one of the simplest and most delicious ways to integrate yourself into a neighborhood. Pick up lunch or pack your own, bring a frisbee or bocce ball set, and you're good to go. Here are a few ideal picnic and park matchups:
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If creeping around cemeteries is your thing, check out Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in Portland's modest Buckman neighborhood. It's 30 placid, tree-spotted acres house 25,000 souls, many of Portland's oldest and most prominent former pillars of the community. Open daily from 8am til dusk, you can walk the winding paths at your leisure or, on the second Saturday of each month, join a guided tour from 10am to noon. On Halloween, costumed docents morph into "ghostly guides," leading sold out tours along candlelit paths under a moonlit sky. Everyday admission free, $10 suggested donation for monthly tours, Cemetery website>>
6. OGLE SOME BOOBIES
We (choose one: proudly/ashamedly) acknowledge the claim that Portland has more strip clubs per capita than anywhere else in the country. If you care to investigate this statistic, here are a few fun, close-in strips clubs--Mary's Club, Sassy's, Union Jack and the venerable Magic Garden. For a more comprehensive selection and/or to sign up for the Strip-O-Rama XXIX tour, click over to Barfly.
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