Everybody knows about Portland’s food scene, its outdoor recreation, its bike lanes, beer pubs, and coffee shops. Whether you call it Stumptown or Bridgetownor even PDXPortland has been mocked as the city where young people go to retire.” But seemingly every weekend there’s a festival, organized bike ride, political march, or something else clamoring for participation. In short, Portland is a happening town.
But sometimes folks just want to chill out, to go where there isn’t much happening. They might want to enjoy a quiet meal, take a walk in a park, curl up with a good book, or get out of town to some soul-soothing destination. With books covering all the other activities in town, where’s the one that tells people where they can do
. well, not much?
As of Fall 2012, the answer is Peaceful Places: Portland, written by Paul Gerald, the man who gave this town 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland and Breakfast in Bridgetown. This time, Gerald is off in search of peace and quiet, and he invites the reader along to quiet tables, parks and gardens, enchanting walks, outdoor habitats, and other retreats.
Seeking out the places or times when the crowds will be elsewhere, Gerald will give you the essence of what each place is aboutwhat makes it peaceful or inviting. But he does not stint on also giving you all the detailed info you need to find the place and get there at the crowd-free time.
Sometimes, this will be a matter of discovery, as in Do I really stand a chance of seeing a heron in the Pearl District?” Other times it may feel like being let in on a secret, like a meadow full of camas blooming within earshot of Interstate 205. Or maybe it’s just the right time to hit just the right table for a romantic meal or some quality reading time.
But the theme that carries throughout the book is a simple one: Portland is a great city, but it’s still a city, and sometimes folks just need a break.