PODC 2007

PODC 2007: Portland, Oregon

The Location

Click here for the CitySearch overview of Portland. Last August, the average high temperature is around 81°F (27°C) and the average low is around 57°F (14°C). While there is always a possibility of light rain, the total rainfall last August was only .10" (.25cm), and this was all on one day! Check the local weather.

Hotel Location

The conference hotel is the Portland Hilton, which is at 921 SW Sixth Avenue, which is between SW Salmon and SW Taylor Streets. There is also an entrance on SW Broadway, which is one block west of SW Sixth Avenue. (The hotel includes accommodations in a separate building, the Executive Tower, at 545 SW Taylor Street, at the corner of SW Sixth Avenue, half a block from the main hotel building. The Executive Tower has its own parking, and participants staying there may check-in there.)

Directions to Hotel

The easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport is by public transportation. There is a light-rail train called the MAX that runs directly from the airport to downtown Portland. Trains leave the airport every 15 minutes.

Take the train for just under 40 minutes to the "Pioneer Square" station. Ride in the back of the train and you will get out at the southwest corner of Sixth Avenue and Morrison Street. Walk one block south (uphill) on Sixth Avenue across the east side of Pioneer Square to Yamhill Street. One block farther south will be Taylor Street. The Executive Tower is on the northeast corner of Sixth Avenue and Taylor Street. The hotel's main building is on the west side of Sixth Avenue, between Taylor Street and the next street, which is Salmon Street.

Street System

The conference hotel is located in SW Portland. Portland is divided, more or less, into four quadrants. The division between east and west is the Willamette River. The division between north and south is Burnside Street. (Owing to a bend in the Willamette, there is also a N Portland; this is located east of the river but west of the main east-west dividing line.) Thus, the conference is west of the river and south of Burnside Street. Building numbers are 100 to the block. Thus, the hotel is at 921 SW Sixth Avenue and is about 9 blocks south of Burnside Street. The following discussion focuses on the west side of the river.

West of the river, avenues (which run north-south) are numbered going west from the river. The street right on the river is Naito Parkway; First Avenue is one street west of that; other numbered streets are progressively further west. There are a few exceptions. There is no Seventh Avenue; instead, there is Broadway. In some parts of downtown, there is Park Avenue instead of Eighth Avenue. The hotel (on Sixth Avenue) is about 6 blocks west of the river. (The hotel also has an entrance on Broadway.)

While the avenues are numbered, the streets (which run east-west) are named. In most of the city, there is no pattern to the names. There is, however, a section of streets in which the names appear in the following alphabetical order: Ankeny, Burnside, Couch (pronounced "kootch"), Davis, Everett, Flanders, Glisan (prounced "Gleason"), Hoyt, Irving, Johnson, Kearney, Lovejoy, Marshall, Northrup, Overton, Pettygrove, Quimby, Raleigh, Savier, Thurman, Upshur, Vaughn, and Wilson. As noted above, Burnside Street forms the boundary between north and south and thus these alphabetical streets cover most of the area of northwest Portland near the hotel.

Getting Around Portland

Portland is served by an excellent public transportation system. Click here for more information. Most public transportation in the downtown area is free.

Since PODC was last in Portland in 2000, a streetcar line has been built downtown. It serves from Portland State University, through all of downtown, and out into Northwest Portland.

Things to do around Portland

  • Powell's Bookstore. The world famous Powell's City of Books has over 1,000,000 new and used books on its shelves. Even closer to the hotel than the main store (located on West Burnside Street and 10th Avenue) is Powell's Technical Bookstore. It stocks used, new, hard to find, and antiquarian titles in the fields of Architecture, Chemistry, Computing, Communications, Construction, Environmental Sciences, Engineering, Electronics, Mathematics, and Physics.

  • Portland Saturday Market. It's actually open Saturdays and Sundays! The largest open-air arts and crafts market (in continuous operation) in the United States. Within walking distance of the hotel, it is between First Avenue and the Riverfront Park, under and just south of the Burnside Bridge. Buy your lunch at one of the food booths, walk across the street to the park, and eat your lunch on the river!
  • Interesting streets and areas to visit:
    • The Pearl District. This area, just north of Powell's, has been largely redeveloped since PODC was last in Portland in 2000. It now features high-rise apartment buildings, trendy shops and restaurants, and a number of small parks with fountains. The Pearl District is located, roughly speaking, north of Burnside Street, south of Marshall Street, west of Broadway, and east of 14th Avenue.
    • NW 23rd Avenue. This street, about two miles from the hotel, has a large number of shops and restaurants. Most of these are concentrated between Burnside and Lovejoy.
    • NW 21st Avenue. This street also offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars, many of which are a little less "trendy" than those on NW 23rd. There is also an excellent independent movie theatre, Cinema 21. During PODC, the theatre will be screening "No End in Sight", documentary on the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq war and occupation, which won a prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
    • The above areas are all readily accessible from downtown via the Portland Streetcar, which opened in July 2001.
  • Washington Park. A city park in the hills west of Portland; easy to reach by bus and light rail:
    • Rose Garden The International Rose Test Gardens are recommended. Located below the Japanese Garden.
    • Japanese Garden. One of the most beautiful public Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Located above the Rose Garden
    • Oregon Zoo. Directly adjacent to a light-rail station.
  • OMSI. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry; a bus ride from the hotel (take any bus that goes over the Hawthorne Bridge, e.g., the #33)
  • Portland Art Museum. Any easy walk from the hotel.

Destinations & Day Trips from Portland

  • Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. A great place to take a short hike. Many hikes are reachable by car from downtown in under 30 minutes.
  • Waterfalls. Many of these are located along trails starting in the Columbia River Gorge or on the Columbia River Highway.
  • Multnomah Falls. Located 31 miles East of Portland on Interstate 84. Very easy to get to and one of the most popular attractions in Oregon.
  • Mount St. Helens This volcano has been in an eruptive state since October 11, 2004. This is the longest drive from Portland at about 2 to 3 hours, but it is well worth it!
  • Cannon Beach. The fastest way to the Pacific Ocean is to take US-26 West to Cannon Beach. The drive is about 80 miles and takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.