Portland Day Trip: Old Town Chinatown
A mix of old and new makes this Riverside neighborhood a funky-fun place to spend the day
Why go in March: The cherry trees are blooming in a neighborhood showing signs of renewal, just like the season.
Street scene: A mix of divey Chinese lunch spots and new restaurants, mod art galleries, and century-old brick buildings.
Neighborhood mascot: The pair of golden lions flanking an ornate gate on N.W. 4th Avenue at W. Burnside Street.
Local cause: To re-erect the Hung Far Low sign, a Chinatown icon, a project that occupied the neighborhood for about a year at the end of the aughts. (Spoiler: It’s back.)
Retro hot spot: Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade (511 N.W. Couch St.), a cave of pinball and Ms. Pac-Man.
Flower power: Now is prime time for fragrant daphne plants and plum trees at the Lan Su Chinese Garden ($12.95; 239 N.W. Everett St.).
Pretty in pink: Take a walk through Waterfront Park, where 75 cherry trees are in full bloom―and the ginormous open-air Portland Saturday Market starts up this month. The expanded market location makes it better than ever. Expect more steaming bowls of pho, hand-stitched skirts, and photography. Sat–Sun; S.W. Ankeny St. and S.W. Naito Pkwy.Preferred mode of transport: No, the Pdx Pedicabs are not just for tourists. Hop on for a pedal-powered, pre-recorded audio tour. Drivers pull you from architectural to cultural sites as each is mentioned, adding fun details as you go. Ask for a spin down cherry blossom row. Hail or call ahead. From $35; 503/828-9888. Nikes like you’ve never seen: The Compound Gallery has got to have the most colorful collection of sneakers this side of Tokyo. Plus Japanese collectible figurines, offbeat art books, and an impressive selection of design magazines that even Powell’s Books doesn’t carry. 107 N.W. 5th Ave.Take it home: Pick up a stash of local Tao of Tea loose-leaf teas at the Cosmic Reflections Teahouse, located in the Lan Su Chinese Garden; it offers about 50 variations on smoky, woody, tropical, or nutty. The staff can tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about picking seasons, smoking and drying methods, and modes of steeping. Need just the right teapot? Check out the gorgeous selection. 239 N.W. Everett St.; 503/224-8455.