Staff Opinion: Explore Portland

By Nischal Mali | March 28, 2018 11:04am

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

The Portland area is home to breathtaking sites, fascinating cultures and unique foods, but many students believe their travel is limited to Lombard St. and the St. John’s neighborhood. 

Now, I don’t for a second think North Portland is lame or boring in any way, but a walk in Cathedral Park or green curry at Drunken Noodle can get boring after a while, which is why University of Portland students should go out and explore more!

Make a late-night run to Salt & Straw with some friends and you’ll not only have a great photo for your Snapchat story, but also a time to really connect with others and even meet new people from around the world (it’s a 15-minute line, you have to keep yourself occupied some way). You might even find free poems just across the street on Kearney or see the Unipiper blowing fire from a bagpipe as he rides a unicycle. 

Portland has a lot of problems for sure. I mean, it’s known as the “Whitest City in America” for a reason (a direct result of influences by the KKK and other prejudiced groups years ago) but it’s also the place where a movement of acceptance has run widespread for many years and continues to grow and thrive. 

The thing I love about Portland is that it’s not perfect. It’s quirky but full of nice people that own these quirks and make this city what it is. Weird!

Recently, I went to Vancouver B.C. for spring break and asked locals and people from around the world what they thought of the United States, getting a mostly negative reaction. However, when I told them I was from Portland, you could see how quickly they began to smile and laugh. 

Maybe it’s because they’ve seen Portlandia. Maybe they’ve heard that it’s the craft beer capital of the world. Maybe it’s because they’ve seen the action the city is willing to take against acts of fascism and acts they see as morally wrong. 

Whatever it is, they generally agree Portland is a haven for progressive ideals, an exception to an image of a country that currently is suffering in the international spotlight. 

The city attracts many people because of this and for so many other reasons, which is why you should leave our 108-acre campus, for a city that’s 145 square miles. Especially now that spring has sprung, the possibilities are endless! 

To put it another way, you could wake up Saturday morning, take a bus or hitch a ride to Forest Park, hike to Pittock Mansion and get stellar views, eat some food from a food cart hub, read a book at Powell’s, grab some boba at the end, and still make it back in time for Pilots After Dark. 

The city provides something you can’t get in most “college towns,”  the ability to meet real people from all walks of life, and discover so many things if you’re willing to pay $2.50 for a TriMet ticket, use a car-sharing app or hitch a ride from a friend. There’s basketball and soccer games to be watched, concerts to be attended, hikes to conquer!

Sure it can rain (excessively), but rain jackets were made for a reason!

Nischal Mali is a sophomore Economics Business Administration major. He can be reached at

Nischal Mali is a reporter for The Beacon and he can be reached at and on Twitter at @NischalMali