The Amazing Powell's

by thubten

Many outside of Portland have heard of Powell’s Bookstore. It was a mystical experience at Powell’s thirteen years ago that directed me to move to Maryland to live in a Tibetan Buddhist monastic community. Mystical experiences aside, I was impressed with Powell’s. At the time I was an avid book buyer and reader, and fell in love instantly. If only I had a year or two to dedicate to hanging out at Powell’s rather than that one fateful weekend in 1996.

I brought my library with me from Denver to Portland on the Penske, rather than attempting to sell it before I left, knowing, or at least suspecting that there was gold to be found at Powell’s once we arrived. We ventured downtown early yesterday morning, hoping to find a big and free parking space for the truck. We lucked out and found a spot just across the street. All was quiet, both outside and inside the store. We received a virtual tour at the information desk, got a map and a compass and struck out on our own.

I thought that I would be able to get some “work” done in the Powell’s cafe, but it was quiet as a tomb and felt like a library. I needed some background noise, or I wouldn’t be able to work. Our stay at Powell’s was short. We ventured up West Burnside to 23rd and parked at the Zupan’s, which I’m sure they appreciated. I am getting really good at maneuvering the truck, but am also getting tired of having to maneuver it, too. I had a very productive “work” session at the Starbucks next to Zupan’s, and mapped out our next few days here in Portland.

We are learning our way around and across the city. ┬áThis is an exciting and fun process. Maybe we’ll start making some new friends here soon!

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