What to expect from this website?
I am an Independent Contractor (driver) for Lyft. I drive all over the Portland Metro Area. What better way to find out what’s good throughout the territory, than by asking the locals? You won’t find big national chains on these lists.
Many tourists, or those that are new to the area, have expressed their appreciation for the maps. Sure, it took a little work to compile lists and separate into maps. But I really want to be able to help visitors have a good time, so they’ll come back. Someone suggested that I put them on a website. I mean, I already have the Google Maps made. I just needed some content to add. And maybe during this winter slow season, I can work on some short, 2-3 minute video’s giving folks a look at these places the passengers have recommended.
Maybe I can share some of my Lyft experiences that aren’t too personal. Like my (nearly) patented method of dealing with the nightlife, and boisterous ‘saucy’ folks going out for a night on the town. Or how many times I’ve been told by women passengers they’re thankful that I’m a girl driver.
We shall see.
What Led me to make this website.
My name is Megan. I have lived in Portland, Oregon all my life. But I don’t claim to know everything about my town. Since I started driving for Lyft on Valentines Day, 2018, I have had the opportunity to learn so much more. Thanks in large part to so many of my passengers, I have been reminded of all the great things and places to eat, drink, see, do, and experience here in the town I’ve lived in all my life.
It all started that spring when I picked up a trio of passengers from PDX. They were here to pick up equipment for a brewery they wanted to take to the next level in New York. They asked me, as a representative of my city, where to sample a variety of local brews. I’m (almost) sorry to say that I don’t drink and could only suggest a few places that I’d dropped passengers off at several times. I mean, this is Beer City USA; home of the microbrewery, and I couldn’t think of anything but McMenamins. I’d picked up other passengers that came here specifically for beer tours going by someone’s suggested list online.
It became clear that I needed to rectify my ignorance, and I had a ready supply of knowledgeable people at my fingertips. I asked my passengers. “Where do you go to get a good drink?” Once my list got to the point where folks were saying, “Those are the places I would have added.” I knew I had at least a good beginning list. But a list isn’t good enough. People stay all over the city; from fancy hotels downtown to Motels and Airbnb’s all over the place. They need a map they can reference to see where they are in relation to these local recommendations. So, I used Google Maps to make it and found other local helpful things online and put it in a handy booklet.
The next question I asked my passengers was, “Where would you recommend some good Portland food? Where are those hidden gems in each neighborhood?” that list took a good 2-3 weeks to compile before I felt satisfied there was a good selection. Mapping the restaurants took some careful thought though. There were just so many! To have that many numbered spots on a single map just didn’t’ make sense for easy reading. So, I divided them up between: “Close in Downtown”, “Food Carts”, and then by cuisine. If there were only one or two per category, then they went on my “multi-cultural” page.
The next tourist question I received was, “I have 2 ½ hours until I need to leave for my plane. What should I make sure not to miss about Portland?” Have you seen the Rose Gardens? After that, my mind went blank. So, I asked my passengers. “What are Portland-centric things to do while visitors are here?” Most of them were so obvious! But, having known about them all my life, I just didn’t think about them. And the ones I’d never heard of were an eye-opening surprise to what Portland has to offer.