An open-air market for local artisans, the market was set up in the 70s by two women and is still going strong. Based on the Saturday Market a little farther south in Eugene, the two pioneers wanted a place where artists could have an economic outlet, local people could have access to local arts and crafts and the city could have another dynamic event that pulled the community together.
From Peruvian scarves and Indian tapestries to spices and magnets, there was nothing missing at the market that now boasts more than 400 members! With over 750,000 visitors each year (while it's only open March - December) the website states that the artisans make an average of $8 million gross all together! Incredible!
We did our best to support the local craftmen and women by buying an array of things. First of all we bought some natural hand cream that seems like it would be greasy but turns out that it soaks into your skins amazingly and leaves them silky smooth - you can never say no to that! We, and when I say we I mean Joseba, also bought a local whiskey (well I guess in this country it's called bourbon but you know what I mean) from a local guy. While I hate whiskey (and bourbon, scotch - that whole family) Joseba swears it is delicious and when I smell his breath after he drinks a bit on the rocks, I can tell it is mighty strong. Being a paper bag community, he was given a paper bag for his whiskey and proceeded to walk around with it, brown bagging it, like a drunk homeless man.
And no day in Portland is complete without a cardboard cup of coffee to carry around, so we jumped on that bandwagon and got a cup of joe too as we listened to the band on the stage rock out as we wandered around some more, soaking up the Portland Saturday Market on a sunny day.