OSCON report #1: the city of Portland

Covering OSCON when you are a speaker is quite hard. Until my talk was done, I was more in a mood of reviewing my slides and not really thinking about other talks or blogging.

[caption id="attachment_136" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Convention center from the Bridge (the two twin towers)"][image][][/caption]

I will try to write a few reports now that everything is over. This first report is about Portland, the city and is not technical at all.

This is the first non-technical entry in my blog, but let's this it for once. So if you are looking for technical content, skip this entry :)

Portland is an amazing place. The weather was nice throughout the whole week: sunny and not too hot. Some evenings were a bit chilly but that felt nice to me. The convention center where OSCON took place was located on the other side of the Willamette river, in front of the city center. It is a bit far from the center, but finding places were you can put so many people must be hard I guess.

The top six things I have noticed about Portland:

Local beers are great. You can find many places where they brew their own beers, that are comparable to Belgian beers in quality and taste, like the Lucky Lab (Where Jon, a member of the local Plone user group took us, thanks!). Some place have samples so you can taste several kinds of beers. I also went to the Oregon Brewers Festival right after OSCON was over, where you could taste beers from many places.

[caption id="attachment_137" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Oregon Brewers Festival"][Beer Festival][][/caption]

Parking a car is a pain. I think the best way to travel in Portland is a mix of Tram, Bus and Bike. You can put your bike on the nose of the buses or inside the trams. Smart thing. This would be useful in Paris. We ended up parking our car far from the center and used the tram (called Max, and free in the center). Portland should set up a bike rental system like in Paris (Velib'), I am sure this would rock.

Organics: people here seem to be really concerned about sustainability and organics. I've been told there are a lot of organics farm around Portland. Supermarkets have a nice amount of organics stuff as well. This is nice.

Starbucks Coffee owns the streets: this is scary. there's a Starbucks almost on each block here. Anyway, local coffee shops have better coffees and they provide nice places to chill out, read a book or talk with people. I think this is where you can feel the real Portland way of living.

The food is good : I have to admit, when we, french people, travel, we feel a bit superior to some countries on food matters. We tend to show off about it :). But Portland has great places to eat. If you like donuts, the place you must go to is called Voodoo Doughnut. They are creative !

[caption id="attachment_138" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Voodoo Doughnut"][Voodoo Donuts][][/caption]

Big open spaces: I went to Mount Hood where people are skying in... July. I wanted to visit this place because it is where Stanley Kubrick did the outside shots of the famous motel in The Shining. I also had a walk at the Hood river sandbar, where people do kite surfing. One tip: don't walk there with shorts on, the wind is so strong that you get slapped by the sand. So if you like big open spaces and sports, Portland is the place to be: all those place are one or two hours drive from the city center.

[caption id="attachment_139" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Mt Hood"][Mount Hood][][/caption]

End of the aparté ! The next entry will focus on OSCON

[image]: http://tarekziade.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/img_3591.jpg

[Beer Festival]: http://tarekziade.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/img_3585.jpg

[Voodoo Donuts]: http://tarekziade.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/img_3614.jpg

[Mount Hood]: http://tarekziade.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/img_3402.jpg