Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters: Parts I & II

One of my favorite things in the world is giving gifts. I love to give gifts of all kinds, tangible and otherwise, to the special people in my life regardless of the time of year. So when the holiday season comes around, I revel in the experience of sharing joy, love, and gratitude, often in the form of buying gifts for my friends and family. One of the most satisfying things about giving gifts is achieving that delicate balance of what a person wants and what they will find useful … thoughtful presents with a purpose. Here you will find thoughtfully curated gifts for the public transit commuters in your life (or possibly your own wish list!).


Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part I: $0 – $100

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Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part II: $100 – $300

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Article by Stephanie Paris

Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters $100 – $300

The items in this gift guide come with a personal recommendation from me because they embody attributes that I find desirable, and often times necessary, for someone who commutes primarily by bus. Whether you’re on the hunt for that perfect gift, or just window shopping, the items listed here are worth perusing. So what are your “must-have” items for being out in the elements, or on a journey by bus? I’d love to hear your suggestions or tips in the comments below. Enjoy! (And if you missed it, check out my Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters Part I: $0 – $100)


Keen Anchorage Boot, $130

keen_mens_anchorage_boots_32151_1Their words: “The Anchorage Boot offers the warmth and all-season traction of a winter pack boot. It boasts a handsome leather upper and an aggressive dual climate rubber outsole – enabling this hiking boot to stand up to harsh conditions with a clean look. 200g KEEN.Warm™ insulation. 4mm multi directional lugs. Dual climate non-marking rubber outsole. Gore stretch panel for easy on and off and added comfort. Injection molded EVA midsole. KEEN.DRY ™ waterproof breathable membrane. Removable thermal heat shield footbed. TPU stability shank. Waterproof nubuck leather upper.”

My thoughts: I chose to feature these because a friend of mine has them, and not only did he mention to me how comfortable they are, but they also look really great. Check out the link to Keen’s website to see a really cool feature where you can preview what the boots will look like when worn with a variety of pants. The Anchorage Boots are very sturdy, waterproof, and warm. Perfect for the upcoming cold, rainy winter.  Click here to buy the Keen Anchorage Boots.

Keen is local to Portland! (505 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209) Click here for the nearest bus stops.


LFLECT Reflective Knitwear, $138.89

LFLECT

Their words: “A cozy and extra large scarf from our exclusive reflective knitwear collection, crafted using locally sourced wools and designed in a closed loop to ensure your scarf stays in place at all times. Large enough to be wrapped three times for a cozy snood style or twice for a loose gentleman look all year around. Its technology reflects light, ensuring you are visible when a car approaches. A trendy unisex design for all ages and particularly trendy to ensure grandpa is visible on the streets when walking the dog in the evening.”

My thoughts: Reflective knitwear is one of the best inventions ever. In normal light, there’s nothing unusual about the scarf. But when it’s dark and a bright light is shined on it (like the bus’s headlights as it approaches your dark bus stop!) the reflective bits in the scarf become super bright and ensure that you are seen. This is not only great for ensuring your visibility to bus drivers while waiting at a dark bus stop, but also to other cars if you have much walking to do on your route. In addition to the reflective knitwear, this British website has a ton of other really cool reflective products. At the time of publication, they offer free worldwide shipping on orders over $78. Click here to buy something from the LFLECT Reflective Knitwear collection. Continue reading

Holiday Gift Guide for Public Transit Commuters $0 – $100

The items in this gift guide come with a personal recommendation from me because they embody attributes that I find desirable, and often times necessary, for someone who commutes primarily by bus. Whether you’re on the hunt for that perfect gift, or just window shopping, the items listed here are worth perusing. So what are your “must-have” items for being out in the elements, or on a journey by bus? If I’ve missed something important, leave your suggestions or tips in the comments below. Enjoy!


Yahoo! Weather App (Android, iOS), $0

Their words: “Don’t just check the weather – see it. Prepare for your day with the most accurate hourly, 5-day, and 10-day forecasts. Stunning Flickr photos match your location, time of day, and current conditions. Get all the details: wind, pressure, and chance of precipitation. Experience weather conditions for rain, snow, fog and extreme heat with animated weather effects. See animated sunrise, sunset, wind, and pressure modules. Browse interactive maps: radar, satellite, heat, and snow. Track all your favorite cities and destinations! Twice daily notifications help you be prepared, whatever the weather.”

My thoughts: If there’s one thing that I use daily as a public transit commuter, it’s my weather app on my smartphone. The only problem is, I’m not really sure how you give someone an app that’s free. Email them the link? In any case, this app is just too cool not to share with fellow commuters. It’s by far the prettiest weather app I’ve found. It’s fun to look at, and just about as accurate as predicting the weather can be. Click here to download the app.  


Knit City Shopper by Blue Q, $11.99

knit city bag

Their words: “Take me down to Knit Knit City, where the buildings are green and the yarns are pretty, oooh ohhh take me home! By Leslie Clerc. Double Duty Handles, this style also has a convenient shoulder length strap. Made with 95% post consumer recycled material. 15″h x 16″w x 6″d”

My thoughts: I’m pretty sure I’m a reusable bag hoarder. Not only because I forget them and have to buy new ones all the time, but because when I see something as cute as this, it’s too hard to resist. Being a knitter, I love that the image looks knitted and like the city has been yarn-bombed, and that there’s a lady on the bag actually knitting. The Blue Q website has a huge variety of other designs as well. Click here to buy the Knit City Shopper. Continue reading

Little Boxes: Shopping by Bus on Black Friday & Small Business Saturday

Shopping at Flora, photo by Mikola Accuardi

There are countless reasons why I am completely in love with Portland, and the Little Boxes shopping event has just been added to that long list. Little Boxes is a two-day shopping event on November 28th and 29th that supports local businesses. Personally, I love shopping, but I can do without the crowds, urban sprawl, and gluttonous nature of the “Big Box” superstores. I also love keeping my money in my community by purchasing at independent and neighborhood shops. So often the quality and uniqueness of the things you’ll find at these shops ends up being the most auspicious and memorable gifts for those lucky enough to be on your holiday gift list. As if the benefits of supporting your community and finding perfect gifts for your friends and family wasn’t rewarding enough, the Little Boxes event also has a raffle tied into the mix, with a chance to win huge prizes. Watch this fun video for a great visual presentation on how to play while you shop. Continue reading

Holiday Tree Lightings & Festivals in Portland

Even though big retail stores have had Christmas decorations out since the end of October, for many of us, the real harbinger of the holidays is the annual holiday tree lighting. And no matter where you live in Portland, there’s a tree lighting or festival just an easy bus ride away. I’ve even included a couple lightings in the nearby cities of Gresham and Milwaukie. Each listing below includes the closest TriMet stops to the corresponding tree lighting. Take advantage of TriMet’s trip planner to enter your starting location and the event’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary. Happy Holidays!


1. Pioneer Courthouse Square 701 SW 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97204

Friday, November 28th 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. 

pioneer

Photo by Travel Portland

“Thousands of Portlanders will gather at the Square to celebrate 30 years of lighting of the spectacular 75ft Tree provided by Stimson Lumber Company.  This year’s event will feature a holiday sing-a-long featuring Thomas Lauderdale with members of Pink Martini, “Oregon’s Own” 234th Army Band and the Pacific Youth Choir.  A pre-show with the NW Community Gospel Choir will begin at 5:00pm.” Click here for more information.

Continue reading