Shopping the Bizarre at Saturday Market in Portland, Oregon
A stew of rhythms and melodies propels your feet along the cobbled paths of Skidmore Fountain as every step reveals something new to gawk at. Turn a corner and find Elvis flourishing his glittering cape while he strums a cardboard guitar; up the road, Jimi Hendrix plays a last few licks before posing for a photograph with a fan. Try not to scream when the figure you mistook for a silver statue bursts to life. Meanwhile, the contrasting aromas of Thai cuisine, gyros, and sugar-coated elephant ears vie for your stomach’s attention. You never know what you’ll come up with at the cultural grab bag that is Portland’s Saturday Market, where shopping the colorful jumble of artistic wares is only part of the entertainment. This weekly bazaar has taken on such a life of its own, it’s spilled over from its official location on the waterfront to encompass the surrounding area. But don’t let the spectacle distract you from scrutinizing the artisan booths—you’ll thank yourself when you’re walking away with earrings made from flatware or a hanging lantern intricately carved from a tin can.