Getting Around

We have a car, just one to share, but because parking is $125 a month, and public transportation in Portland is just dandy, we're going to consider selling the car at some point. That's a big one, letting go of one's own wheels, so no rushing into it. First we'll take some time to explore letting the streetcars, busses, and Max trains drive us around.


Our first big trek took us all the way out to the zoo, which we both had really mixed feeling about. Vegans aren't supposed to support zoos, and I'll talk more about that over at Positively Vegan at some point. For now I'll just say that I loved the zoo so little that I wasn't inspired to take even a single photo. The transportation experiment however, was most encouraging. So much so that we hopped right back out there the next day to do some shopping.

This is kind of a small downtown Target, but it's right on the streetcar line, and we find most of what we need there. For the huge store we can drive out to the mall near the airport, where we can also visit Ikea, and find a good vegan lunch in at least a couple of places.

Who watches Portlandia? They even put a bird on it... ;o)
The streetcar is just a block away from our door, and for $1 each we can ride to our heart's content for 2 hours. A $5 day pass is just that, and all day ticket that gets us on all of the public transit going all over town. It's rather magnificent. Our first stop was Target, where we picked up a bike lock for Rick, and a few other little things. After grabbing coffee at Starbuck's in the Target lobby -  where they're test marketing coconut milk, hooray! - we walked to Whole Foods for dinner provisions, then caught the streetcar back home from the stop nearest Powell's Books and Anthropologie. 

I know a lot of people are anti-Starbucks. There are loads of really good privately owned coffee places around, but we've been asking Starbucks to offer a plant-milk other than soy for years. Now that they're finally considering it, we're supporting the potential addition of coconut milk by sipping there often. They really should have a punch card.

Powell's City of Books is doing some remodeling. It's going to be better than ever, and no more leaky roof!
Portland is definitely a shopping friendly town. It would be easy to get carried away, but we were careful to bring only as many bags as we could carry home. It's a good practice that keeps us from buying things we don't need, and also offers the opportunity to forage for fresh veggies and things every couple of days. We have no space for stocking up on anything, and a Costco membership would be a waste of time.

Now that we've found out that the streetcars run until 11:30 most nights, we'll also be making use of them for our evenings out. Do we need a car? We don't know. But for me, someone who does't really like to drive anyway, this whole public transit idea is just pure wonderfulness.


Comments

Penny Axelrod said…
While Starbucks doesn't have a punch card, they do have a frequent buyer program. It involves either a registered gift card or their app. I believe you get one free drink for every 12 purchases. They also offer a weekly freebie which is usually music, an app or a drink.
Shaiha said…
I used to live in Portland, of my goodness, almost thirty years ago and even then they had a great public transport system. I can only imagine that it has gotten better.
Hurray for great public transportation! I enjoyed so much the 10 years I lived in Boston -- walked everywhere and used public transportation and didn't bother with a car. It was great. Sounds like you're having a wonderful time settling in and exploring in beautiful Portland. xo
Rachel Harper said…
Shawn, Sawyer and I did not have a car for over a year when we lived in Washington. We bought quarterly bus passes (3 months) at a time. We bought bikes and walked. We were healthy and lean. We met wonderful people and made many connections within the community/family of bus riders. It felt AMAZING not buying gas. We never had a problem getting where we wanted or needed to go. We even could travel to Seattle and Canada by bus. When we finally decided to get a car again, because we moved to the country,Shawn roofed a shed for a Toyota tercel. We only drove it to the park n ride when it was raining cats n dogs...and then caught the bus! It taught our son you don't really need a car...I look forward to hearing about your bus adventures..the ups and downs! Have fun!!