A friend from Tucson used to spend hours wandering the aisles of grocery stores until it cooled down at night; this is also a good prescription for Portland's dog days. I recommend the Hawthorne Fred Meyer (3085 SE Hawthorne Blvd.), which has a lounge and Wi-Fi.
Check out the scenery in air-conditioned comfort for $4.75 (for an all-day ticket; a 2-hour all-zone ticket is $2.35). Take the Yellow or Green lines along North Interstate Avenue or I-205 for the best city views.
LOITER IN A LOBBY
If you can look like you blend in with the clientele, any of the downtown hotel lobbies will provide a breath of cool air. Hop from one to another and watch the crowds. Another cool place to lounge is the atrium at The Armory (128 NW 11th Ave.), which has a cafe.
Electric Castles Wunderland, the local chain of arcades, is a great place to spend a few hours in the AC. Entry is under $3 and most games cost under a quarter each. In addition to the flagship Avalon Theatre (3451 SE Belmont St.), there are four other locations in northeast Portland (10306 NE Halsey St.), Beaverton (4070 Ceder Hills Blvd.), Milwaukie (11011 SE Main St.) and Gresham (140 NW Burnside Road).
READ A BOOK
Powells City of Books (1005 W Burnside St.), is a blessed refuge on those days when eating a Popsicle under the fan just won't cut it anymore. All Multnomah County library branches are air-conditioned too: Catch up on your New Yorker backlog, and stick around for a knitting-club meeting or chess tournament.
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