Best/Worst Portland Heat Beating establishments

Aside from reeling at John’s recent foray into my niche, a sin which I shall forgive this once (I suppose), I have also been dying of hot hot weather.

Yeah, I know. I’m a wuss, and all Oregonians are complainers when it comes to hot weather, because we don’t understand how bad they have it back east.


Not to steal from another of our bloggers, who I anticipate will be posting on the best ways to beat the heat, but I was passing by one of my favorite coffee joints today, thinking how nice it would be to sit inside its cool air-conditioned interior, people watch, and sip a fresh ice-tea brewed-to-order from looseleaf teas on the counter.

And, then, I thought, where are the best places, unique to Portland, to go during hot weather? And the worst?

City Coffee. Yeah, I know. I’m a firmly established City Coffee homer. Having worked there in law school, and having a best friend with some extent of financial interest in its success, I can’t help it. But, honestly, City Coffee has great air conditioning, a great selection of cold drinks, and sits kitty-corner from the courthouse, which provides a great variety of people to watch as you sit in the cushy chairs, avoiding the weather.

Burgerville. I remember back when I was a kid and all Burgerville’s had a train in the middle of the restaurant, with cars that worked as booths to sit in. While those days are gone, Burgerville has compensated with fantastic seasonal shakes. That’s really the only reason to go, but it’s a great reason, you have to admit.

PGE Park. Not to say that you really, truly beat the heat by submitting to it, but grabbing a beer and watching the game is a nice way to give in to heat-stroke in style.

Mt. Tabor or Laurelhurst Parks. Plenty of shade, lots of open grass, and beautiful scenery make either a nice place to go to lay in the grass and while away the daylight hours.

Waterfront Park. We’re to that time of year where the Waterfront grass strains under the constant barrage of summer happenings, and the whole area loses some of the appeal it has in spring and fall. I don’t think the Esplanade’s much better.

Regal Cinemas. Ever since last summer’s A/C-depriving debacle, I shall not espouse escaping heat at the movies as a viable strategy any longer.

My neighbor’s yard. The guy across the street just laid down manure. Now, thanks to the heat, my whole neighborhood smells like a cattle ranch. Thanks!

So, your thoughts? Where should I be when the day gets to hot? Where should I flee?

1 Comment so far

  1. Betsy (unregistered) on May 27th, 2005 @ 4:32 pm

    I’d also toss Grant Park in that list of parks – they’ve got a great wading pool for the little ones over by the Beverly Cleary statues, the pool (although crowded) is popular (especially on free swim day), and there’s a sno-cone vendor right out front with a plethora of flavors to choose from – or at least, there was last year…

    Worst place? Standing on any random streetcorner waiting for a bus…

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