Portland, Ore: The indie city

It may be rainy, but Portland pulses with entrepreneurial energy.

By Maggie Overfelt, FSB Magazine

(FSB Magazine) -- With its arena-sized farmers' markets and scarcity of brand-name retail chains, Portland celebrates local bounty and independent artisans. If you're one of the million tourists attending the 100th anniversary of Portland's Rose Festival on May 31, don't miss Portland Saturday Market (portlandsaturdaymarket.com), the nation's largest open-air arts and crafts fair.

Located under the Burnside Bridge in the city's historic Old Town district, the market showcases more than 230 artists each weekend, and all the goods, from oiled-bamboo garden rakes to rice-paper mobiles, are handmade and sold by the entrepreneurs who make them.

Directly across the Willamette River in the up-and-coming Lower Burnside neighborhood, young musicians such as Ron Sexsmith jam at the Doug Fir Lounge, the music venue and upscale diner attached to the Jupiter Hotel (jupiterhotel.com).

Owners Tod Breslau and Kelsey Bunker spent $1.5 million to renovate the dilapidated motor lodge two years ago, turning the central parking lot into an outdoor cocktail lounge with plastic easy chairs and speakers that pipe alternative rock throughout the property.

The rooms, which run from $89 to $129 a night, are outfitted with stark, contemporary furnishings and wall-sized photos of cityscapes or forest scenes. If you need a crash pad on the spur of the moment, the $59 Get-a-Room rate kicks in at midnight, depending on availability.

Local meat and produce are gospel to Portland chefs and are always found at Ken's Artisan Pizza (kensartisan.com). Ken Forkish, 48, opened the upscale pizza joint last May as an outgrowth of his nearby Ken's Artisan Bakery.

The new space, located in southeast Portland, features a wood-burning stove that bakes thin-crust pizzas ($10 to $12 for a 12-inch pie) with a choice of a dozen toppings, including locally grown hot chilies, house-cured pancetta and red onions. Locals know to order the roasted seasonal vegetable plate appetizer, which recently included Tillamook artichokes stuffed with mint, mozzarella and parsley ($10).  Top of page

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