Travel

Portland Picks with Lisa Coulson, Panda with Cookie (PPK, represent)

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First up in our series of personalized Portland Picks is the one-and-only Panda with Cookie, aka Lisa Coulson. These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze a little time outside of the busy, busy conference wandering in our vegan wonderland.  Let’s find out Lisa’s Portland-musts below…
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True life.

Your Name: Lisa Coulson

Your Website/Business: Panda With Cookie

What to See:

1. Mt. Tabor.  Lovely place for a stroll and a beautiful neighborhood in the spring.

SW Waterfront. Image source: Visions2200.com

2. Downtown waterfront. An excellent location for a bike ride next to the river. Roll down the Springwater trail to check out the feral cat feeding stations and the twin fluffy black cats there on occasion.

3. Portland Farmers Market, Saturdays at PSU. I love me some farmers markets and there’s a good number of vegan options aside from the usual piles of produce.

Where to get your Pizza, Scone & Waffles on:

1. Dovetail Bakery. Best scones in the US. Get many and bring me one.

2. Dove Vivi. Cornmeal crust pizza with roasted corn and homemade cashew cheese. Add the smoked tomatoes. Can I get a hallelujah for a place that still does their own cheese instead of using a packaged one?

Corn cashew vegan slice with smoked tomato (of course), Dove Vivi

3. FlavourSpot. Get your maple pecan Dutch waffle taco on.

Where to Sip Some Tea:

1. Townshend’s Tea. 2 locations serving mighty fine teas.

Lapsang souchong it up.

2. Lan Su. Chinese garden downtown that is a lovely place to visit. They have a tea house with a nice selection.

Where to Shop:

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We love Panda. We love cookies.

1.Vegan Mini Mall. Head down to Herbivore, Sweetpea, Scapegoat, and Food Fight! and enjoy that everything you can eat or buy in the whole strip is vegan.

2. Powell’s Books. Support your local independent book sellers. Sweetpea treats are in their cafe area.

3. Get some Heidi Ho chia cheese sauce. That stuff is good on everything. Usually in the cold case at Food Fight!

 

Stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC II Google Map.

What Do I Pack?!

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Maybe you’re an eleventh-hour packer, praying to the taxi gods that you have time to grab that last load of laundry before the angry honking begins. Or do you have your bags out two weeks in advance, lists (only Excel files will do) perched on your desktop for easy access?

Either way, we figure you could probably use some help deciding what to bring. It’s Portland, late May, and you’re going to spend three days or so with people who photograph and write about everything they see—no pressure there!

  • Car? Don’t bother. It’s a city, which means you will pay too much for parking at your hotel or near the museum. It’s not as bad as some cities, but still. With our public transportation, unless you’re venturing out to the ocean or mountains you just won’t need it. (But if you must, we have some tips on local parking here).
  • Comfortable shoes. We’re looking at long days, and while your needs are seen to within the Art Museum buildings during the day, you will absolutely want to explore Portland in the evenings and beyond—we’ve arranged activities all over the city, and it would be a shame not to get out there and soak up all the Portland you possibly can.
  • Layers. You never really know what you’re going to get here; a zipped-up-hoodie morning could lead to a back-sweat afternoon. And sure, it could rain.
  • Maybe a little something fancy? Saturday night’s Galarama + Silent Auction is the perfect excuse to get a little glitzy, although dressing up is by no means mandatory.
  • Business cards. How many new friends will you be making? It’s a great idea to have an easy way to share your blog URL, email address, and social media handle(s). (Remember, no swag or solicitation! Let’s keep it classy and comfortable for all.)
  • Camera! As if we need to remind bloggers to bring their cameras, but still. We’re saying it out loud—and don’t forget your charger and extra SD card! (And if you’re the social media type, use #VidaVeganCon or #VVC2013 to spread the love…and make everybody jealous.)
  • Extra bag. Hey, you’re gonna be acquiring a lot of stuff—from SWAG bag goodies to cookbooks to  tourist trinkets. How many pounds of bulk Soy Curls can you stuff in those pockets?

Did we miss something? Were you at the 2011 conference? Was there anything you either were so relieved you’d brought or really wished you’d remembered?

VVC 2013: Getting to the Portland Art Museum

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Let’s get you to Vida Vegan Con!

Our event takes place at the Portland Art Museum for the first time this May, and our Getting to Portland page has all the information and tips you need on flying, driving, taking the train, and busing from out-of-town, as well as local transportation and bike rental ideas.  If you’re planning on taking the BoltBus from Seattle, Bellingham or Vancouver, B.C., do be on the look-out, as their schedule is posted 4-6 weeks in advance and tickets go quite quickly these days (and it *is* shockingly possibly to snag a $1 ticket, as Jess here, can personally attest). This post will review the nitty-gritty of getting to the Museum & more, so please make sure to read carefully.

Here we go! Just a heads up: Classes take place in both the Admin building and the actual Museum, located next door to each other.
Here we go! Just a heads up: Classes take place in both the Admin building and the actual Museum, located next door to each other. There will be signs on how to quickly get to and from.

Immediate Area & Google Map

We’ve been putting together a brand-new Vida Vegan Con II Google Map so you can get a feel for the Portland area. It includes all official and unofficial conference happenings, as well as dining and lodging recommendations, and directions to and from several important locales. We highly suggest that you bookmark it if you’re a smart phone user. If you’d like to see something added, say the word and we’ll do our best to get it in.

The address of the Portland Art Museum is: 1219 SW Park Ave Portland, OR 97205

For more details, and to peruse the latest exhibits, visit the PAM website.

We’ve put all the official Vida Vegan Con II locations, including:
  • The Portland Art Museum
  • Staver Locomotive – the home of the Saturday night Galarama & Silent Auction, sponsored by So Delicious, which is included in conference registration (though tickets are available for family & friends!)
  • White Owl Social Club (home of our unofficial but official Thursday night Meet & Greet)
  • Numerous hotels, guesthouses, hostels and other lodging ideas, many of which are offering weekend discounts if you sign up for a room by the end of April
  • Peoples’ Coop
  • The Vegan Mini Mall at SE 12th & Stark (Herbivore Clothing, Sweetpea Baking Co., Scapegoat Tattoo and Food Fight! Grocery), the latter of which is home to the Friday night Pop-Up Sandwich & Queso Shop, hosted by Upton’s Naturals and Food for Lovers Queso
  • All our favorite must-go vegan eats & locations around town – feel free to email us or leave a comment if you’d like us to add something!
The Portland Art Museum
The Portland Art Museum

Getting to the Art Museum:

More on Public Transit 

All you need to know about using Trimet’s MAX lightrail, bus lines and the Portland Streetcar lines to get to the Portland Art Museum is on our Venue page.  For custom Trimet trips from anywhere in the Portland metro area, use the official (and easy!) Trimet Trip Planner.

The Portland Art Museum is centrally located on multiple bus lines, the recently expanded Portland Streetcar system, and a few blocks from the MAX lightrail. The closest lines are technically the streetcar and the #6 and #15 buses, but it’s also a quick walk from any bus  (which includes most lines) and the MAX that stops along the downtown bus mall.

Please note, there is no more Fareless Square. Tickets are now required for all buses and trains.
 
Metered street parking: read more below
Metered street parking: read more below

 About Parking

There is much metered street parking in the area (most spaces limited to 2 or 3 hours—and you can’t just keep feeding the meters; you have to move your car to another block or you will get a ticket), and many parking garages.

We’ve also investigated two nearby parking lots, which are across the street from each other from the conference, at SW Park and Main, and one block north. Be sure to investigate your options, as rate can vary. 

SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW 10th
SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW Park
SW Main & SW Park
These two carts are right across the street from each other on SW Main, from the corner of the Portland Art Museum

Stay tuned for a lodging round-up (plus, our favorite Portland vegan musts & local recs) soon – and check out our recommendations and various promotional discounts across town in the meantime. Remember, it’s a holiday weekend, so book those rooms!

Greetings from Austin + Contest Announcement

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Hello there!

The three of us are in sunny (really! It’s 80 degrees here today!) Austin Texas doing research for potential seminar space, havin’ meetings, and eating tacos. Lots and lots of tacos.

And guys? We’re loving it so far. There’s soy (and coconut) creamer for coffee, alfalfa sprouts as a condiment option, and puffy tacos. Not to mention awesome event spaces, friendly locals, and margaritas.

Here’s a few pictures of what we’ve been doing (eat eating) so far:

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First stop in Austin: Whole Foods.

 

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Soy Creamer and Coconut Creamer for Coffee. Rad.

 

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Puffy Tacos with sprouts

 

Michele’s Puffy Tacos at Vivo

 

chips and salsa

Chips and Salsa and Guac—THE BEST.

 

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Spot for breakfast (and lunch) meeting and meals Tuesday morning.

 

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Triplets: Breakfast Tacos at Wheatsville Co-op.

 

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Potato, black bean and vegan chorizo breakfast taco

 

 

We’re staying busy and looking forward to our meet-up tonight. In Austin? Come to The Vegan Nom at 6pm (to be followed by dessert at Sweet Ritual). Here’s our Facebook event. We’d love to see you!!

 

In other news, wanna win a ticket to the second international Vida Vegan Con this May in Portland? Of course you do. Head over to Janessa’s blog Epicurious Vegan for rules. Deadline to enter is Monday February 18th.

 

Follow us on Instagram for up-to-date pics on Instagram while we’re in Austin:

@janessapk

@VidaVeganHQ

@jdfunks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York City Vegan Food Friday: Photo Essay

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Hello, hello! Jess here, and I’m currently nearing the end of a special New York hiatus. As a native Long Islander (which I don’t always admit, so we must all be friends here), I’ve been seeking out vegetarian options in the city since I was in high school. No matter how long I’m in town for, there are always a few locales on my must-go lists, and so many damn new places to try and work in! This time around, it had not only been three years since I’d last been, I also had my never-been-to-New York girlfriend with me, and we only had so much time on our hands with a wedding to attend, museums to visit, shopping, sightseeing and sleeping. I had been talking up how New York makes the best bagels, knishes (and explaining what one was), pizza, ice cream and falafel, big time, and while we didn’t check everything off our list (I’m trying!), we threw in some Thai, a vegan diner and crossaints.

Here’s a peak into our first few days for Vida Vegan’s MoFo! Food! Friday!

A new favorite: Champs Bakery & Diner

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SAG bagel sandwich: faux egg & soysage with chipotle mayo, Champs Bakery & Diner

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Hummus Triple Deke Club, Champs Bakery & Diner

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Vegan eggplant slice for me, vegan pepperoni basil slice for J. Legume, Vinnie’s

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Tofu cream cheese selection (nearly all vegan), Bagels on the Square

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Smoked tofu, pesto & sun-dried tomato panini, S’nice

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Thanksgiving leftovers sandwich (which I have to admit, I was expecting more Tofurkey from), S’nice

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Falafel & fries, Maoz

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Eggplant & tofu in spicy garlic sauce, Pukk

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Green Delight, Pukk

 Just this morning, my sister and I walked from her apartment in Brooklyn to a nearby vegan doughnut shop…delightful….and I have three more days to go! For more obsessive NYC vegan dining updates, check it

Seattle Spotlight: Pike Place Market

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Possibly what Seattle is known best for (unless you follow sports; I bet Seattle has some famous sports team or something), Pike Place Market lives up to it’s reputation. With a beautiful view of Puget Sound, Pike Place is filled with cobblestone streets, little specialty shops, and a big market filled with fresh flowers, fresh pasta and fresh produce (Nevermind the ‘fresh’ fish; ugh).

There’s also the little thing known as the Gum Wall nearby.

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A cute shop sells authentic grenadine. Grenadine is traditionally made out of pomegranate, but now most brands just use red coloring and sugar water. I loved finding this.

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A cozy little bookstore located in the market center.

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The famous Gum Wall:

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Yep, all gum.

 

 

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We love Pike Place Market. What are some of your favorite spots in Seattle?