At one point in time, I called Portland home. After graduating the University of Texas at Austin advertising program (Hook ‘Em), I ventured out west to start my career as an advertising intern at Wieden+Kennedy’s HQ. It was an experience like no other. This was the first place that I got a strong taste of creative energy flowing through everything. The style, the art galleries, nature, the food, the people, the work. The company taught me to fail, fail again and then fail harder (a la Micheal Jordan/Nike/David Kennedy circa ’99). And boy did I fail while I was there…
Although I didn’t get the job at WK or stay in PDX, I learned a lot about what it means to get inspiration from your surroundings and create something beautiful. I found this first to be true in nature – on hikes, peering at waterfalls and during the quiet pitter patter of rainfall.
Portland is known for being #RoseCity and it’s Japanese Garden is a testament to that. I’ve visited twice and remember taking a nap on the green and taking in the free smells and warm summer air. I also ventured with a group to Canon Beach which was an amazing coastline to see and feel.
The food in Portland is 💯. Donuts, ice cream, craft beer, fried chicken, cheese, coffee, marionberries. It’s as if all foods decided to pick up their roots and start a new home where they’d thrive in a commingling of culinary mastery. The best part of that experience was sharing it with friends and the people I met while living there. We hit up Blue Star Donuts, HOTLIPs Pizza, Dutch Bros. Coffee, Perierra Creperie, India House, Henry’s 12th St. Tavern, Portland Prime, Bar Bar, Dairy Queen (why not?), Pastini Pastaria, Bamboo Sushi, Sizzle Pie, On Deck, Industrial Cafe & Saloon, Little Big Burger, Cool Moon Ice Cream, The Burrito Bar, Oba Restaurante, White Owl Social Club, Mayas Taqueria, Nuvrei Patisserie & Café, Pink Rose, Grassa, Jake’s Famous Crawfish, Ruby Jewel, Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant, Paragon, Cupcake Jones, Imperial, Irving Street Kitchen, *takes breath* Yama Sushi, Clyde Common, Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill, Voodoo Donut, Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen, Shmizza Pub & Grill, North 45 Pub, Brunch Box, TartBerry, Salt & Straw, Oven & Shaker, Lovejoy Bakers, Isabel Restaurant, Underdog Sports Bar, M Bar, Pine State Biscuits, Barista, The Parish, Petunia’s Pies & Pastries, Tasty & Alder, Fuller’s Coffee Shop, Sinju, The Whole Bowl, Sizzle Pie, Jinx, Los Gorditos, Bungalo Bar, Thai Peacock, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Ringlers Annex to name a few.
…we salute you! A visit to Portland would not be complete without a soccer game. I tried to memorize as many chants as I could from the Portland Timbers Chant App (yes, it really exists) but only managed to get When I root, I root for the Timbers stuck in my head forever and ever.
Summer 2013/ October 2015
Where should I go next? Perhaps Los Angeles.
© Copyright 2016 Akua Sencherey. All rights reserved.