Salem is one of the most beautiful cities in Oregon. I enjoy the lively rivers, scenic parks, easy-listening creeks, and most importantly, let’s not forget about the Oregon State Fair. The city has a diverse-multi-culture community that is quite measurable and mind-boggling. Where else can you eat American food, Mexican food, Asian food, Chinese food, Filipino food, Indian food, etc. in one town?
I like the Oregon State Capitol Building that exists here surrounded by a collection of trees, flowers, and year-round green grass. This scenery atmospheres the capitol-mall area. Look for Summer Street, which is full of historically-remodeled homes. This one-way street leads you to the landscaped areas full of uniquely-designed public service buildings, modern and historical.
My favorite downtown streets have to be Court and Liberty. The Grand Theatre is located on Court and High Streets and is the central point that brings life to entertainment. A couple of blocks away along High Street you’ll see the Elsinore Theatre — amazing live plays and shows at both places. In 2013 I performed a standup comedy act for my day-job retirement celebration at the Grand Theatre. I’ll never forget that fun night.
Capping off what I like about the downtown area, are the many unique coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping stores — many are locally owned. I love that our downtown still has the Book Bin, the biggest book store in Salem.
The Willamette River divides the West Side of Salem from the rest of the city. As you drive over the four-lane Marion Street Bridge, you can catch a mesmerizing view of Riverfront Park. This striking piece of land occupies the Peter Courtney Minto-Island Bridge. This is a pedestrian-bicycle bridge. Because of the huge rail shapes, I like referring to it as the “Riverfront Taco Bridge”. To the other side of the overpass is the Union Street Railroad Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge — roughly a half-mile long. This walkway connects us to Wallace Marine Park, another beautiful park used for softball, baseball, and soccer games. Both bridges have a priceless-scenic view of the Willamette River. My wife and I love to take walks on both bridges.
I always look forward to the Oregon State Fair. It’s the biggest venue in Salem and takes place at the end of August through the start of September — eleven straight days. This event has happened since 1862 — wow! The state fair is located on 17th and Silverton Streets spreading out to 185 acres. The rides with colorful lights and the many attractions put smiles on thousands of people. The competitions from pie-eating contests, animal contests, and talent shows are exciting to watch. Big-named artists come every year and perform at the L.B. Day Amphitheater and you get to watch them with your gate ticket. There are hundreds of vendors with all sorts of unique products available to purchase — this will brighten up your day. Oh, and let’s not forget about the food. You can try just about any deep-fried dessert or junk food while listening to some live entertainment among the food booths.
There is so much to see at the Oregon State Fair. The exhibits alone are totally worth the trip. I have to mention the Oregon Authors’ Table, normally located inside the Columbia Hall. Every year, a selected group of authors come together to sign their published books. I happened to be one of those authors. 2019 will be my 12th year at the table. I love this Salem venue because I get to meet thousands of unique people. I learn so much from people and I enjoy answering any writing questions they might have.
While these are just a few of my favorite things about Salem, there are many more in the back of my mind to list. Come hang out with us in Salem — you won’t regret it.
Learn more about author David Espinoza by visiting http://www.davidespi.com/