Sean thought he’d want to come back home after 5 days in Portland for a journalism convention, but he was wrong. I’m just kidding I love CT. But I had so much fun in Oregon that I wish it lasted a lot longer. I had a blast while I was out there, and got to know some really great people. The trip was a 50/50 mix between boring but useful lectures and intensely fun nights spent bar-hopping around America’s self-proclaimed Beer Capital. Here’s a video and a recap of how the trip went down:
- Thursday – Everyone was still exhausted from the previous day’s traveling, so I spent the morning by myself roaming around downtown looking for things I might want to check out during my time there. I had wanted to update my site so I stopped in at a Starbucks, but soon found out that free-wifi is hard to come across in the city of Portland. I stopped in a few more locations, hoping I’d be able to avoid wasting time sitting in the hotel, but had no luck. By the time I got back people were finally up so I met up with everyone and we went out for a walk. A few people had suggested we check out Powell’s Bookstore on 10th and Burnside so we made our way down there. I wasn’t in much of a shopping mood so I avoided exploring the city-block sized bookstore with the intention of coming back another day. From there we stopped in Henry’s Tavern for lunch, where I had the best cheeseburger I’ve ever had in my life. The waitress was somewhat of a bitch, and gave Patty and Eliza a hard time for having the old version of the CT license. With 100 beers on tap, it was hard to avoid having a few before we left. Thus began a night of insanity.
- Friday – We all decided that we’d dedicate the day to attending our required 3 workshops and one of the keynote addresses. The first workshop I attended was called "Getting the most out of your on-line newspaper". It was run by the guys at College Publisher, who were absolutely terrible at giving presentations. It was highly uninformative and a complete waste of time. The next workshop focused on newspaper design – not exactly my area because web-based design works very differently. But I still got a few good pointers out of it. We all gathered for lunch and had a quick meeting with our adviser to discuss whether or not we should run a controversial story. I had strong opinions on the matter but decided to keep my mouth shut due to my lack of journalistic credentials.
- Friday Afternoon/Night – Took it easy for a while following the convention. Stopped down for a swim in the pool and then watched the movie Just Friends with Patty. At night we all gathered and ate dinner at a place called Lotus and then went out to a bar/club named Barracuda (a.k.a. "Barcelona"). I’d say it was the best night of the week.
- Saturday – Went on my walk up to Washington Park and the Japanese Garden in the AM and then went with the group back to Powell’s Books. I spent a good hour navigating through the countless rooms in this place. I heard it’s the largest non-chain bookstore in world – but I don’t know that for certain. Either way, the place is massive and if you have any interest in books it’s a must-see. We were all still worn-out from the night before, so we called it an early day and went back to the hotel to relax, encountering a few local-nut jobs on the way. At night we went to Romano’s Macaroni Grill for our last dinner of the trip.
- Sunday – Left the hotel at 4:30 AM, ate lunch in Chicago around 2, made it back to Hartford at 6:45, and then made it home around 8:30.
I loved Portland. I never made it to Mt. Hood or the Oregon Coast like I had hoped because of the time restrictions, but I found more then enough within the city limits to keep me satisfied. Now that I’ve gotten a taste I know I’ll be going back at some point in the future to see the rest. Check out the ACP National Newspaper Convention in Portland album for more pics.