WHA Road Trips—Portland, Oregon Pt.1 of 2
Able to easily find a spot to get work done while on the go is what we strive to accomplish. The journey of putting our app through real-world tests and exploring foreign work spaces as we travel inspired this new section—WHA Road Trips.
Wrapping up 2014 and welcoming 2015 with open arms, Cody and I along with our partners visited Portland, Oregon this past week for the New Year. (When we probably should’ve gone down south to somewhere that’s warmer.) Suitcase packed with thermals and jackets, here goes our first trip:
WHA Spot—Oakland International Airport
To my surprise, OAK offered a pretty impressive work environment for the travelers. Free and speedy wifi, but you must watch an ad to connect. Plenty seats (of course), and every gate was equipped with a charging station.
OAK’s designed to make killing-your-downtime-during-layovers
more enjoyable less miserable.
A traveling photo can’t be more cliche than this, but just check out that view right above Oregon!
Kicked the day off with a restroom break for the dogs. Oh yea, since Portland’s one of the most dog-friendly cities, we decided to bring our loyal guards—two maltese. They’re vicious; they’d go at dogs three times their size with no hesitation. They might not win, but definitely no hesitation.
On our way to downtown, we dropped by our first destination—Barista.
Ah, witnessed first-hand the hip population of Portland.
WHA Spot—Barista | Alberta
Barista offered lightning wifi, but lacked outlets and was fairly crowded when we visited. It was a good spot for short duration work.
Portland’s off to a fairly good start.
For lunch, we went to Pine State Biscuits, just a few blocks from Barista on Alberta st.
We got the Reggie, and the Chatfield. Both were biscuits sandwiching juicy fried chicken, smoking bacon, and cheese. Reggie topped with gravy and Chatfield with apple butter. APPLE BUTTER. C’mon, no one could’ve resisted.
Oh god was it good. That was two home-runs for Portland.
The world’s largest book store—Powell’s Books.
1.6 acres of retailing space, with more than 4 millions books in inventory, they buy 3000 used books per day, and their Pearl District headquarter is dubbed the City of Books.
Located on the 3rd floor, they had a section dedicated for “Rare Books”. Collection of books from limited, signed copies by Muhammad Ali and Jeff Koon for $2500 a pop (seems like a bargain compare to other spots that sell them) to 1950s edition Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass for $200.
WHA Spot—Powell’s Books | W Burnside
Powell’s had their own cafe on the 1st floor. Plenty seats, but often crowded. Moderate wifi speed and offered no outlet. It was a space designed for peeps that like to complement their read with a cup of joe. It’s not really suitable for laptop heavy workers like me, but on the bright side, it was one of the few cafes that open till 11PM.
Before we left, I picked up this 1980’s The Camera Book. $8.
Later in the evening, we visited one of the most popular cafe joints from Portland—Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
WHA Spot—Stumptown Coffee Roasters | SW Stark
They’re a retail chain scattered across Portland. Of the many, we swung by the location next to Ace Hotel, which was the closest to us at that time. The venue was tiny and had only a handful of seats and outlets. The wifi is decent and shared with Ace Hotel. . Good coffee, pretty interior, but not the perfect spot for work.
Stumbled across the following spot by surprise. Interior decor shown through the large glass windows were too attractive:
They stock a plethora of work made/designed by the talents of Portland.
Dinner: Local ingredients, local beer, nothing much beats this to wrap the first night in Portland.
Realized this was the only picture I have of the rest the group so far into the trip. And it’s not even their frontal view.
Let alone one from the renown Coava. It’s certainly one of the best from Portland, even Jerry Seinfeld and Fred Armisen paid their visit.
WHA Spot—Coava Coffee Roaster
Sits in the Industrial District of Portland, the shop is a breath of fresh air. Minimalistic interior, wide open space, with large glass panels allowing natural light to illuminate the venue. Spacious with only a few dozen seats (if they want to, they can easily fit 80+ people). Outlets are located only on a side of the wall. Lightning wifi. Delectable coffee. I wouldn’t mind working here all day, except they close at 6PM.
After the caffeine boost, we headed up towards the Forest Park for a quick hike.
Portland’s known for many things, but ones that especially stand out to me were the coffee, food, and the outdoors.
5100 arces, with 70 miles of recreational trails, the Forest Park is one of the country’s largest urban forest. For the day, we hiked about..2 miles. That’s a bit anti-climatic, but sorry, we had a lot more on our plate, like..grabbing lunch at Brunch Box:
It’s a small but well designed burger shop with stackable sandwiches. Eating it requires plenty napkins.
This one’s called “OMG Burger”. Beef patty, turkey patty with cheddar, bacon, a fried egg, tomato, grilled onions, ketchup, mustard and mayo.
That was art for your mouth, then there’s the place with art for your eye and mind—Portland Art Museum:
Like the name suggested, behind the museum’s an elegant Japanese-own cafe—Behind the Museum Cafe.
WHA Spot—Behind the Museum Cafe
Outlets near almost all the tables, speedy wifi, and plenty of seats.
Their Matcha Latte was delicious. They also offer various teas by the pot and Japanese pastries.
A soothing location to complement the museum visit; this is one of my favorite cafes so far.
Dinner for day 2 is from Bamboo Sushi. Because they were overly crowded, we decided to take-out.
It’s the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world.
Lastly, I leave you with a view of the city. It’s just as beautiful as it is in broad day light.
The remaining days of our trip will be posted in part. 2. Stay tuned.