Since the new Linuxcon was in Portland, I got a few days (and a day after the conference) to visit Portland. All in all, it's actually a nice city. A few pictures below:
a nice lifting bridge with counter balancing weights
gondola going up
one of the few trams
wells fargo had a 'history history exhibit'
it was a nice little history museum
the guided sub visit from the Omsi science museum was well worth it
it was a nice diesel electric sub
The OMSI science museum was pretty good, even if portions of it were closed too due to low attendance (just like the St Louis one for that matter), but at least their planetarium was open, and I saw a couple of nice presentations on stars.
One exhibit I specifically liked, but that most people probably miss the significance of, is the one below that cleverly uses gravity to show gravity as ripples in space-time that try to trap passing objects, or accelerate them and slingshot them by as they get near. One of the balls goes through quite a long trajectory without any additional "trust" like a satellite would as it goes through our solar system on its way to Jupiter or even pluto:
Unfortunately, after going to the museum, I tried to skateboard to a bridge that was supposed to take me to the gondola I had seen on the other side, but the bridge was cars only and some moron put some thick black rubber tubes on a bike path to count bikes and speed, but those were way too big and stopped my skateboard dead in its tracks, throwing me forward (with the lighting and the exact same color between the tubes and the path, I did not see them). This cost me a nice hole in my right knee and elbow along with other pavement rash, making it a lot less fun and more painful to skateboard for the rest of the day.
click for video
After that, the tram I wanted to take broke down and I never really made it to their Japanese garden, so I just skateboarded around the city a bit, went to chinatown and a chinese garden (which were both slightly underwhelming), and called it a day.