What I loved about the Portland Saturday Market was oh, I don’t know: everything!
Allow me to introduce myself to the point where you and I become a little more acquainted. I positively adore outside markets. Whether I’m buying organic fruit, flowers, tastefully appointed bad artwork, or fresh alligator jerky, there isn’t a bone in my body that doesn’t start to rattle and almost break apart when I walk through an outdoor market. So naturally, when I discovered that John and I had arrived in Portland just in time for the opening day of the Portland Saturday Market, elated wasn’t even the appropriate word.
Our first pit stop was at a vendor booth called Getting to Gnome You. Let me be the first to say that having a stranger mold you into a gnome in front of a market full of confused and inquiring faces is euphoric! We chatted with Pete Bluett, the founder of this niche industry about where we were from, why we chose Portland to visit, my writing career, and how many years he’s been in the field. It took about twenty minutes for each of us to get molded and we should be getting our order in the mail within the next few weeks. Here’s a sneak peek of what they look like before they get fired and glazed. I’m sure our neighbors who already think we’re pretty weird are going to consider us even weirder and I love it.
When in Portland, you buy artisan items, like Rileyville Soap. First off, all of her handmade soaps smell good enough for human consumption. I mean, don’t do that. But still. They smelled amazing and I wanted each and every one of them.
We met with a local photographer who originally hailed from Brooklyn, Richard Lishner who captured so many beautiful and iconic landmarks in Portland. I fell head over heels for all of his pictures and bought the one as seen below. I can’t wait to hang it up in my kitchen!
John met an artist, J.R. Slattum who creates such surreal paintings who basically coined the term “psychonaut artist.” Take a look at his paintings below. Especially after hearing about his personal story of how a near-death experience inspired his creations, it’ll make you appreciate his work that much more.
Day 1 of the market was an incredible experience. We ran into a couple walking around in stilts, to a man painted silver standing off in the corner, to saxophone players, live bands, and even a young eight year old child playing piano. There were so many artists there, living their truth, inspiring the world with their creative identity that we felt fully immersed in the Portland art culture. After a quick trip to Voodoo Doughnut and Fuse Cafe, the Portland Saturday Market was definitely a great way to begin our vacation.
My best friend Helen wanted soap. So it was another short trip back to the Portland Saturday Market (this time on a Sunday) so I could grab another homemade Rileyville Soap. John stopped by and bought another painting from JR Slattum and then we were fortune enough to discover Kyle’s Gallery. He creates this awesome computer generated images completely from scratch and turns your beloved Star Wars characters into Star Wars images you’ll seriously be-love. He even went over his entire step by step process with us and it was eye-opening to learn how just one image takes six months of work. They do not disappoint in the slightest.
The Portland Saturday Market will run every weekend until Christmas Eve and if you’re in the city, it’s one I’d recommend checking out. From the funky vibe to the artwork, to the sweet smell of every food truck imaginable, the Portland Saturday Market is a beloved event for locals and visitors alike.
Plus, there’s people just casually walking around on stilts. #Bonus