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2020, Hindsight in review.

Everything fell into place by accident. the way I ended up in Portland. My experience of the city came from the 3 days I spent here 5 years ago, and it was meh. Rewind a little bit more, I lost a bet to a good friend year earlier. Instead of going to San Francisco (which I’ve been), I pushed for a new destination. At that time, I was hooked on Olympic National Park with its’ mysterious Hoh Rainforest, and that meant flying to Portland. Neither of us cared about much about Portland and all we asked for is a rental car. As a result, we spent the entirety of Christmas here. We didn’t know PNW gets wet during the winter and we were blessed with sunny days, but nothing of interesting was opened. I’ve read it was becoming a food centric city, so we planned for Voodoo Donuts (I still think they are awesome), Tasty n’ Alder (RIP) and Skylight Restaurant. I thought the city was boring, gray, concrete, dead even. With those thoughts, we drove up north to Olympic National Park.

Portland did not excite me, especially as I learn about the growing vegan food scene there. I was also unaware of the natural beauty surrounding the Pacific Northwest, as I was still new to the East Coast and was taking in all the Mid-Atlantic has to offer. Portland was just another city that I would have checked off so that I did not need to visit again, ever. One thing made me do a 180 – my career path. Either a job chooses where I’ll live, or I choose where I want a job, which I much prefer the later. I surveyed the opportunities, resulted in potential cities such as Portland, Boise and Dallas. Portland was the highest ranked of these places. Many strokes of luck, a lot of help from friends and some work on my part, I managed to find something in Portland. Made the drive across country in 2019, and was ready to explored gods give to the world. (as what Redditors called, Earthporn on easy mode)

Then, 2020 hits. There was a epidemic that turned into a pandemic, creating a lock-down that have not been seen worldwide since WWII. Social justice finally took a front page, and people took at stand in downtown Portland. Forest fires literally set Oregon and surrounding states on fire, and turned the sky blood red. And the cherry on top of the cheesecake is watching the finale of a failed TV businessman unable to defend his title and whatever left of his dignity against the most boring and uninspiring ex-senator and vice-president who still does not know how to behave himself in public sometimes. Yet, privately, I was having a decent year. We (yes, we :D ) hiked and visited some awe-inspiring places, ate some excellent food, and my career is moving somewhat in the right direction.

With that, here are my 2020 tier list for Portland. The first category is restaurants, with absolutely no orders:

Excellent *****
Ringside Restaurant
Afuri Ramen
Kigaru Sushi
Always Spring
Boxer Ramen
Matt’s BBQ
Baby Doll Pizza
Burger Stevens
Frying Scotsman
Salt & Straw
Great ****
La Provence
Bento Burger
Fifty Lick’s
Escaped from NY Pizza
Ramen Ryoma
Skyline Restaurant
Pie Spot
Bijou’s Cafe
Ding Tai Fung
Voodoo Donuts
Tan Tan Cafe
Miss Delta
Ex Novo
Seasweets Poke
Ezell’s Fried Chicken
Hapa PDX Ramen
Holy Trinity
Good ***
Frugal’s burger
Sizzle Pizza
C&D Drive-In
Cornucopia Restaurant
Bing Mi
Wolf’s Head Smokehouse
Arrow head Chocolate Truffles
Apizza Schroll’s
Dick’s Kitchen
Black Bear Diner’s
808 Grinds
Cloud City Ice Cream
And restaurants I wouldn’t recommend, or you can’t go anymore (closed for good).
Biscuits Cafe
Portland Burger
Good Taste Noodle House.
Koya Kitchen
Schmizza Pub & Grub

This is the category for hikes and viewpoints I partake in this year. They are listed in tiers,

Excellent *****
Wiesendanger Falls
Multnomah Falls
Silverfalls State Park
Ecola State Park
Oswald West State Park
Ramona Falls
Abiqua Falls
Dry Creek Falls
Bridge of the Gods
Beach 3
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center
Hurricane Hill
Painted Hills, John Day Fossil NM
Painted Hills, John Day Fossil NM.
Hells Canyon Creek Visitor Center
Buckhorn Overlook
Hat Point
Mt. St. Helens
Maxwell Lake
Iwetemlaykin State Heritage Site
Sol Duc Falls
Trillum Lake
Mirror lake and Mt Hood
Tom, Dick and Harry
Great ****
Angel’s Rest
King’s Mountain
Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site
Sitka Sedge State Natural Area
Spirit Lake
Salmon Cascade (there is a salmon!)
Marymere Falls
Madison Falls
Murmut Falls
Spruce Tree
Hoh Rainforest
Hells Canyon Overlook
Oregon Trail Visitor Center
Tawanawa’s Falls
Mt Hood and Portland from Pittlock Mansion
The Palisades
Hoyt Arboridium.
Mt. Tabor
Mt. Hood from Larch Mountains
Oceanside Beach State Recreation Site
Good ***
Little Zigzag Falls
Washington Park
Wallowa Lake County Park
Council Crest
Larson Creek Falls
Umbrella Falls
And everything else,
Barbara Walker Crossing
Wallowa Lake State Park
Fort Vancouver NM
Alameda Ridge Stairs
Wooden Train Trestle Troll Bridge
Howell Territorial Park
Hadley’s Landing, Wapato State Greenway
Banks Vernonia State Trail
Banks Vernonia State Trail – Buxton Trestle
Joseph’s Bronze Statue
Maryhill Stonehenge
Kam Wah Chung & Co.
Sumpter Valley Dredge State Park
Cornucopia “ghost town”
Wallowa Lake Tramway
Waterhouse Trail
Tualatin Hills Nature Center
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
Tryon Creek State Natural Area


Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve
Dawson Creek Park

That’s all folks, let’s hope 2021 will be more interesting!

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