Urban spots among Oregon's peaceful places

Credit: Paul Gerald

Urban spots among Oregon's peaceful places


by Cathy Marshall

Bio | Email | Follow: @CathyMarshall8


Posted on January 7, 2013 at 5:19 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 8 at 12:45 PM

PORTLAND -- If the holiday rush still has you worn out and you’re trying to refocus for the new year a visit to one of the area’s most peaceful places might help.

Portland author Paul Gerald has compiled a book on 103 tranquil sites across Portland and the state.

“Sit in the park and just be quiet for a while. It seems like we don’t take time to do that anymore," Gerald said as he sat on a bench in Portland’s Japanese Garden. "This spot is always peaceful. It’s a perfect combination of nature and what man made.”

The tranquility of Tillamook’s Nature Center and the serenity of Silver Falls State Park also made the book. Gerald based his recommendations on suggestions from friends and feedback on Peaceful Places in PortlandFacebook page.

“Any place you can get peace and quiet, that was the goal,” he said.

Some unexpected peaceful spots are in Portland’s busy Pearl District. Tanner Springs Park is one of his choices.

“The city came up with a design to capture all the rainwater and pump it underground, creating a little spring surrounded by native grasses,” Gerald explained.

The roof of the Eco Trust building is another inner-city surprise.

“You’re four floors up in the Pearl with a view of a nearby park. It’s phenomenal.”

If you require coffee to help you unwind, Gerald suggests Tabor Space, the old belfry of a Presbyterian Church.

“They were using it for storage and they cleaned it out and created a nonprofit coffee shop.”

Each of Gerald’s picks is accompanied by a rating of up to three stars, which he said represents heavenly at any time. Two stars is almost always sublime and a single star stands for tranquil during the right hours.

“The message of the book is that calming down or quieting down is a completely valid activity," he said. "You can relax your mind and it’s good for you.”