To spend a summer weekend in Portland, one must be ready to experience a whole range of temperatures (from chilly breeze in the morning, to a sticky-hot city oven around late afternoon, to the humid but breezy evening), to walk around the entire city, and be ready to eat.
A good Saturday here (as we practiced this weekend) starts with the farmer's market. It spans blocks near the Portland State University campus and smells like heaven. In the early summer, the air is thick with the smell of basil and strawberries, in the late summer it smells like peach pie.
We always start by wandering the market in a loop, stopping to sample cured meats and peaches. Then we pick up a box of fruit, if strawberries are in season, to munch on while we wander and head to our favorite bakery for breakfast - a giant cinnamon roll as big as my head. This Saturday we watched a little girl run around the park covered in the juice from many berries - it stained her shirt and hands and mouth and she looked gleeful. Everything's so bursting with fruit juice that it's probably not a good idea to wear a white dress to feast at the market.
Refueled with breakfast, we set off for the real produce - green beans, tomatoes, corn, and cucumbers this time but usually some giant leafy lettuce, plant starters, and berries, berries berries. I fill up a nice basket that does double duty as a blanket storage bin in the bedroom with all the produce until it's way to heavy to carry all the way back home.
And the last stop is always flowers, a big $10 bunch of dahlias for this weekend's trip. It'll last a week in the house in a giant vase, hungrily sucking up water, until we get to the market next Saturday for something new - sunflowers, perhaps.
The hot mid-day is best spent adventuring outdoors and out of the city heat, or tucked away inside slaving over save-the-date calligraphy addresses... I suppose the second part isn't good advice for the normal Saturday but it happened to be mine - hand cramps and all.
The evening, especially a warm one like this Saturday, is meant to be spent wandering Division Street. On the East side of Portland it has everything you need - amazing thai at Pok Pok for dine-in or take-out, crazy drinks at Whiskey Soda Lounge, wait-worthy ice cream from Salt and Straw, fusion-tapas from American Local, some of Portland's best restaurants like Ava Gene's.
We had just been watching a cooking show featuring a patisserie chef and some macarons and got a craving for St. Honore french treats. A quick drive and warm walk along bustling Division St. was just perfect to finish the evening off and we ate passion fruit white chocolate macarons, fresh strawberry and black forest millefeuille in the setting sun.