Portlandia or nah?

I'm sitting in a 24-hour coffee shop on Portland's Eastside. Plants and funky lights are hanging off the ceiling. Crochet sweaters, flags, shoes and bags are displayed for sale on the wall to my right, above a counter top with piles of disheveled, beat-up books. The coffee bar sits to my left. It has all the usual stuff, but just looks messier. In front of me sits a fountain that takes up a fourth of the sitting area, a stressed-out couple (a raggedy, long-haired, bearded man and oversized sweater-wearing lady), and neon lights. 

It's my third day living in Portland, and this is my four coffee shop I've visited. My goal is to visit as many coffee shops as possible - especially obscure ones - during my time here. Every one I visit has a different vibe to it, but I can't help but to think each is "so Portland" in its own way.

This one is called East Portland Coffee Roasters. It's on Division and right off the 205. They ask if you want your chai spicy or sweetened here. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but a perfectly, sweetened chai sure gets me excited. The taste is nice, but it's watery.

This morning, I grabbed a 8oz. New Seasons Blend of Stumptown Coffee on my way to work at the New Seasons Market down the street from my house. The hints of caramel blended perfectly with the soy I added.

Yesterday was my first day at Oregon Public Broadcasting. I started out the day with a chai and a maple bar from Kenilworth Coffee off Gladstone and Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. The chai had right amount of spice to it, while the maple bar essentially melted in my mouth with every bite, but too sweet for my liking. The interior was a modern, elegant, minimalistic style disguised in a rustic-looking building next to a plant nursery I'll be sure to check out soon.

The other night, I visited Marino Cafe on Division around 10 p.m. It was one of the few coffee shops still open. It had a familiar feel that reminded me of my week in New York City, except that was quickly disrupted by the yelling and laughter of a group of high schoolers mingling in the middle of the cafe. Everyone else in the coffee was glued to their laptops, as I was. I ordered a chai. Despite the "Marino" written in chocolate syrup on the foam, and my dislike towards chocolate, I loved it. 

I guess we'll see where tomorrow takes me. I'll be covering a story for OPB in NE Portland, where I'll be surrounded by an infinite number of coffee shops. What a life. 


Shirley ChanComment