Last month, I was sent a book to review. The book, 100 Things to do in Portland Before You Die, sounded interesting, so I read my copy, and then had the opportunity to talk with one of the authors, Ann Smith, over a virtual cup of coffee (which we should exchange for a real cup of coffee since we’re in the same city!).
Frugal Portland: This is a great list, how did you come up with all 100 things?
Thanks – we think it is a fun mix that has a little something for everyone! To come up with the list I started by brainstorming my favorite things in Portland and then had a larger meeting of the minds with everyone on my team at work. It was important to me that the book didn’t just include my favorite things as that wouldn’t be a very well-rounded list!
What made you want to be a part of this project?
I was fortunate to have been contacted directly the publisher, Reedy Press, which is based in St. Louis. They were looking for someone to write a Portland-focused book and a former colleague of mine (from my time in St. Louis) sent them my way. How could I say no?!
What was item 101, as in, what’s not on the list that should be if you had more than 100 things?
What’s the craziest story you came across when you were writing this book?
Hmmm….did you know that Portland Fashion Week is the world’s first carbon-negative fashion event, and that the entire production is sustained by solar power, offers locally sourced meals, and employs cruelty-free makeup and hair products? I didn’t until we wrote this book!
My mother-in-law is in her 70s and visits often. Where should I take her?
If you’re looking for a great evening out with world-class food and wine, take her to Nostrana. Then if the weather is nice the next morning, visit the Waffle Window on SW Hawthorne. If she’s looking for some evening entertainment, consider catching some live jazz at Jimmy Mak’s in the Pearl District. Looking to get outside? Next time she’s here during the summer check out one of the lavender festivals, U-pick farms or roadside stands up and down the valley. And if she’s like my mom and loves to shop, there are lots of great options – from vintage boutiques, employee stores and the trendy retailers in the Alberta, Mississippi and Hawthorne districts.
What’s on the list that you personally don’t want to do, and why?
I have a healthy fear of Santacon. Not saying I’d never don the red suit and be part of the craziness, but it would take some convincing (and probably a few warm-up beers)!
Which experience in the book is prototypically Portland? Meaning, what’s on the list that people can’t do anywhere else?
Nearly everything! From the gardens to the food carts, to hiking Multnomah Falls or taking a spin through the Pearl District with Brewcycle, these are experiences especially reserved for those living in and visiting Portland.
Where can we find your book?
The book is available on Amazon and in various bookstores, as well as in Costco stores in and around Portland.