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

Restaurants on the Route: Bus Line 19 – Woodstock/Glisan

The bus line 19-Woodstock/Glisan connects Mt. Scott, SE Portland, Woodstock, Eastmoreland, Portland City Center, Laurelhurst, and Gateway. This route is almost like a double route, as it starts out in SE Portland, travels all the way downtown, then all the way back out to NE Portland. There are so many fantastic restaurants along this route that I really spent some time discerning which ones would be included in this diverse collection of the best. Below are my current restaurant recommendations that made the cut.

The closest 19 bus stops are listed for each restaurant below. For additional trip planning assistance, visit TriMet.org and enter your starting location and the restaurant’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary.


1. Bun Bo Hue Restaurant 7002 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266

Photo by Ben S. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“This place started my love affair with Bun Bo Hue. It’s that good! The namesake dish here is one of the most authentic and flavorful versions out there, the gold standard for Portland. The rich broth is spicy and tangy, and it comes with noodles and all the right meats. I usually get mine without the pork hock and the pig’s blood. It comes with a huge plate of veggies – most places don’t give you shredded banana flower, but they do here. It’s a hole in the wall eatery, so don’t go in with your fancy pants expecting much. Parking is in the back.” ~Caroline N. on Yelp

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


2. El Gallo Taqueria 4804 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97206

Photo by El Gallo

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“At El Gallo we maintain our commitment to offering local, sustainable products by frequenting farmer’s markets and sourcing our ingredients from local purveyors who share our commitment to high quality foods. We offer handmade tortillas, locally sourced meats, wild fish, and seasonally organic, locally grown herbs and vegetables.” ~ El Gallo

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


3. Otto’s Sausage Kitchen & Meat Market 4138 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

Photo by Otto’s Sausage Kitchen

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“After more than 80 years, Otto’s Sausage Kitchen is still using the same traditional recipes and handcrafted techniques to make delicious high quality sausage. The secret to Otto’s sausages are in the handcrafted artisan techniques, recipes, and of course the one of a kind smokehouse that have all been handed down for four generations. Every sausage that we create is gluten-free using high quality beef, pork or chicken.” ~ Otto’s Sausage Kitchen & Meat Market

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


4. Papa Haydn 5829 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland, OR 97202

Photo by Esther Y. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“Seasonal and local ingredients are used to create beautiful and delicious dishes with French influence. In 1978, Papa Haydn was home to Portland’s first espresso machine, and the lines of hungry diners were legendary. The limited menu of European-inspired pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads soon gave way to an expanded space with a full kitchen and a comprehensive lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch menu. A comprehensive remodel was finished in late 2007, with updates including a full bar, expanded kitchen, and a heated patio.” ~ Papa Haydn

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


5. The Brooklyn House Restaurant 3131 SE 12th Ave, Portland, OR 97202

 

Photo by Brian Hines

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“We’re changing the name of the game from ‘local when possible,’ to ‘local, with a few exceptions.’ We have a long list of local produce farmers, dairy farmers, urban farmers, ranchers, foragers, cheese-makers, grain-millers, coffee-roasters, chocolate-roasters, meat-smokers, oil-pressers & -curers, wine-makers – all manner of artisan producers who have stood strong in a storm of industrial food destruction & proliferated the Slow Food Movement that allows our restaurant to exist.” ~ The Brooklyn House Restaurant

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


6. Urban Farmer Portland, 525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204

farm

Photo by Urban Farmer on Yelp

3.5 Stars on Yelp $$$

“Our menus reflect an emphasis on Northwest, sustainable ingredients and simple, straightforward preparations. We offer a range of beef options including grass-fed Oregon beef, pasture-raised, grain-finished beef, as well as corn-fed beef. Our beverage program extends the theme of local and sustainable with a 350-bottle wine list, beer selections from the Portland city limits and cocktails made with Oregon spirits. Focusing on sustainable practices, Urban Farmer creates a connection between the diner and our local farmers, ranchers, distillers and winemakers.” ~ Urban Farmer

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


7. Mi Mero Mole 32 NW 5th Ave, Portland, OR 97209

mole

Photo by Anna S. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“In Mexico, guisados are cooked dishes, especially stews and stir-fries. In Mexico City, where urban life doesn’t always allow for a home-cooked meal, guisados are one of the most popular street foods.Our goal at Mi Mero Mole is to serve traditional dishes from Mexico City that Chilangos love at a reasonable price. Our tortillas are made fresh using ground nixtamal rather than commercial Maseca. Everything we serve, including our moles, salsas, rice, and beans, are made from scratch.” ~ Mi Mero Mole

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


8. Noble Rot 1111 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Photo by Noble Rot

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“We are a neighborhood restaurant & wine bar. A great place to come and enjoy with your friends and family. Pop into the bar, watch the sunset on our outdoor patio or get comfy in one of our Blazer booths. The seasonal change is directly reflected in the NOBLE ROT offerings. From daily specials, wine flights and pours, NOBLE ROT will harmonize your experience in food and drink with the surroundings of the season. When our Rooftop Garden is flourishing, we grow the freshest ingredients and then carefully harvest, prepare and serve them with ingenuity. Nothing could be fresher.” ~ Noble Rot

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


9. EastBurn 1800 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

Photo by EastBurn on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“At EastBurn, we have created what we believe to be the perfect Public House. We bring together honest food, the best drinks and great people in a fun atmosphere. It’s where Portlander’s go to meet. We have something for everyone with three different atmospheres between the pub dining room, the downstairs Tap Room and the 4 season patio. Enjoy a wonderful lunch, dinner or brunch paired with a local craft beer, wine on tap or cocktail crafted with love. Gather your friends around a fire table on the patio or opt for the tables with swinging chairs” ~EastBurn

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


10. Voodoo Doughnut Too 1501 NE Davis St, Portland, OR 97232

Voodoo Doughnuts

Photo by Holly Haze on Flickr

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“Here at Voodoo Doughnut, we make thousands of doughnuts every day, but availability may vary due to supply, the voodoo gods and gluttony. Doughnuts cost between 95¢ and up. They are hand made and come in all shapes and sizes and full of surprises. They are worth every penny. Contact us for your special order of wedding treats, birthday parties, business meetings, movie sets and theme parties.” ~ Voodoo Doughnut

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


11. Pambiche 2811 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232

pambiche

Photo by Nate C. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“For over a decade, Pambiche has been nourishing Portland with traditional Cuban dishes that have been in the Maribona Family for generations. We serve Cuban comfort food straight out of grandma’s kitchen with an emphasis on fresh, natural, and healthy meals, just as she intended for us.” ~ Pambiche

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


12. Hanoi Kitchen 7925 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97213

hanoi

Photo by Momo B. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $

“Welcome to Hanoi Kitchen, where the best of Vietnamese cuisine is served! We offer specialty hot noodle soups, homestyle cooking, grilled bun dishes, and Grandma’s Banh Cuon. Hanoi Kitchen is family owned and operated. The very same dishes that we grew up on and cook at home in our family kitchen are certainly what we serve here at Hanoi Kitchen. So come on in and grab a table at Hanoi Kitchen, where everything is made fresh to order from our family kitchen to your table!” ~ Hanoi Kitchen

Nearest line 19 bus stops:


Article by Stephanie Paris, all quotes pulled from corresponding restaurant websites

Cover photo by Brian Hines.

 

Restaurants on the Route: Bus Line 14 – Hawthorne

TriMet bus line 14-Hawthorne connects Lents Town Center, SE Portland and Portland City Center. It travels through one of the most eclectic neighborhoods in Portland, the Hawthorne District. The boulevard includes McMenamins’ Bagdad Theatre & Pub, a branch of Powell’s Books, New Seasons Market, and a seemingly endless number of great shopping and dining options. In fact, there are so many great places to eat on this route that it was hard to choose which ones to feature! As of now, these are my top 7 restaurants recommendations on the Line 14 bus route.

The closest 14 bus stops are listed for each restaurant below. For additional trip planning assistance, visit TriMet.org and enter your starting location and the restaurant’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary.


1. Lardo 1212 SE Hawthorne St, Portland, OR 97214

and pickled veg and lamb burgerPhoto by Jack Pinette on flickr

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“Starting life as a food cart in SE Portland, rarely has a spot been so aptly named. Rocking an ancient charcuterie moniker that truly serves as a harbinger of things to come, Lardo is a sandwich shop that worships at the altar of  bovine & swine. Using old-world techniques, contemporary flourishes and a gonzo approach, Lardo proudly celebrates its excesses. Pushing a menu that features pork drenched double burgers, a giant meatball Banh Mi, and hand-cut french fries (again) smothered in pork, Lardo also has beer. Lots of beer, actually. Rotating taps of knee-buckling craft brew greatness, backed-up with a refreshing mix of premium cocktails. Operating on both sides of the river, Lardo serves as a mecca for those seeking a uniquely smash-mouth deli experience.” ~ Lardo

Nearest line 14 bus stops:


2. Harlow 3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

HarlowPhoto by Shannon Kringen on flickr

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“An all organic restaurant featuring a gluten-free food menu with raw, vegan vegetarian options, extensive juice and smoothie bar, house cocktails, beer and wine. Healthy food made with love.” ~Harlow

Nearest line 14 bus stops:


3. 3 Doors Down Cafe 1429 SE 37th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Photo by Alyssa C. on Yelp

4.5 stars on Yelp $$$

“Come in. Sit down. Eat! Comforting yet inspiring … classic and creative … curated with taste.” ~3 Doors Down Cafe & Lounge

Nearest line 14 bus stops:


4. Cultured Caveman 4031 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214

Cultured CavemanPhoto by Ken Snyder on flickr

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“Cultured Caveman began as the first paleo-friendly food cart on the west coast. We are now 3 food carts and a restaurant in Portland, OR. We welcome everyone, especially those with dietary restrictions or allergies. Thank you for supporting the next evolution of restaurant nutrition.” ~Cultured Caveman

Nearest line 14 bus stops:


5. ¿Por Que No? 4635 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97215

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Rick Chung on flickr

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“¿Por Que No? strives to support our local economy, whether it means using line caught fish and local meats or remodeling with recycled materials. We have traveled from the Pacific Coast of Mexico to the mountains of Oaxaca to share the flavors and the essence of what we found. In the end, it’s all about the food and the community of people who enjoy it!” ~¿Por Que No?

Nearest line 14 bus stops:


6. Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant 2504 SE 50th Ave Ste D, Portland, OR 97206

BetePhoto by Lisa Brandt Heckman on flickr

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“We are happy to have you enjoy the different Ethiopian cuisine. We serve many vegetarian and various meat dishes as well as seafood. Experience Bete-Lukas’s exceptional cuisine featuring a complete menu with everything from salad, tibs (meat), alicha, vegetarian dishes, sambusa in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. The Ethiopian art decorated dining room with warm walls, and the stylish artistic photos in the wall, nurture the setting.” ~Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant

Nearest line 14 bus stops:


7. The Egg Carton 5205 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

EggCartonPhoto by The Egg Carton

4.5 Stars on Yelp $

“The Egg Carton is family run by Sarah and Tim Arkwright. We pride ourselves on both our service and our fantastic food and drinks. The Egg Carton has been named one of the top food carts in Portland and one of the friendliest. Come on down and visit our pride and joy.” ~The Egg Carton

Nearest line 14 bus stops:


Article by Stephanie Paris, all quotes pulled from corresponding restaurant websites

Cover photo by Rick Chung on flickr

 

Fall Colors at the Portland Japanese Garden

680370_609184945805253_968123052_oPhoto by Adam Sawyer

Autumn has descended upon the city of roses, and it’s time to celebrate one of the Pacific Northwest’s finest seasons. It’s time for brisk air, football, pumpkin lattes, fall markets, and of course, time to get out and enjoy those changing colors. Topping pretty much every list for best places to view fall color is the Portland Japanese Garden. October and November are perhaps the most breathtaking months of the year to see the Garden, when a multitude of native and Japanese trees put on a stunning fall color display.

Photo by Adam Sawyer

Whether you visit with your sweetie for a romantic walk, journey alone for some peaceful meditation, or bring the family for a day of adventuring, the Japanese Garden is one of the most unique places to spend an afternoon. Kiddos are even provided with a special map of the Garden’s five distinct areas. There are a number of small statues and landmarks listed throughout the area to find while they explore. The objects range from easy to difficult to spot, though all can be found from the main trail.

Visit the Garden’s Hours & Admission page to check current pricing and hours of operation.

imag0025bPhoto by Adam Sawyer

Accessibility by bus:

Monday through Friday only:

Daily service, if you don’t mind walking about a mile:

For easy trip planning assistance, visit TriMet.org and enter your starting location and the Garden’s address (611 SW Kingston Ave.) for a detailed trip itinerary.

PB058644Photo by Adam Sawyer

Portland Japanese Garden

611 SW Kingston Ave., Portland, OR 97205 503-223-1321

imag0038

Photo by Adam Sawyer

 


Article by Adam Sawyer and Stephanie Paris

Cover photo by Adam Sawyer

 

Fall & Winter Farmers Markets in Portland

Many of Portland’s abundant farmers markets have closed for the season. And although people often associate farmers markets with spring and summer’s bounty – berries, stone fruit, tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, peas … Oregon’s ability to provide farm-fresh harvest is far from over. There are many farmers markets in Portland that are open through fall and even into winter, and they boast pears, apples, brussels sprouts, collards, kale, winter squash, sweet potatoes, walnuts, and so much more! In addition to fresh produce, you can find artisan cheeses, cured meats, bread and pastries, pastured eggs, specialty meats like goose and rabbit, pickles and preserves, wine and liquors, as well as non-edible gifts. Many of the markets also have vendors selling hot food and beverages. Summer may be over, but the fall/winter market season has just begun.

For each farmers market in this article, I have listed the location, day of the week on which the market takes place, and the nearest TriMet bus/MAX/streetcar stops. Pay close attention to the dates of the markets. Some of them transition to every other week, or even just one day in the season. For easy trip planning assistance, visit TriMet.org and enter your starting location and the location of your desired market for a detailed trip itinerary.


Lloyd Farmers Market

LloydPhoto by All Good Bakers on flickr

Lloyd Farmers Market, NE Holladay St between 7th Ave and 9th Ave

Tuesdays Year-round (except December 30), 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

lloydfarmersmkt.net

Accessibility:


Portland Farmers Market at Shemanski Park

Winter Market at Shemanski ParkPhoto by Reid Beels on flickr

Portland Farmers Market at Shemanski Park, South Park Blocks between SW Salmon St and SW Main St

Wednesdays through November 26, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

portlandfarmersmarket.org/markets/shemanski/

Accessibility:


People’s Farmers’ Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Stephanie Paris

People’s Farmers’ Market, 3029 SE 21st Ave

Wednesdays Year-round, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

peoples.coop/farmers-market

Accessibility:


  South Waterfront Farmers Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Stephanie Paris

South Waterfront Farmers Market, 3508 SW Moody Ave

Thursday October 30, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

southwaterfrontfarmersmarket.com

Accessibility:


 Portland Farmers Market at Portland State University

Photo by Pasha X-Pose-U

Portland Farmers Market at PSU, South Park Blocks between SW Hall St and SW Montgomery St

Saturdays Year-round, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

portlandfarmersmarket.org

Accessibility:


 Hillsdale Farmers’ Market

HillsdalePhoto by Sarah Gilbert on flickr

Hillsdale Farmers’ Market, SW Capitol Hwy and SW Sunset Blvd

Sundays through November 23 and December 7 & 21, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

hillsdalefarmersmarket.com

Accessibility:


 King Portland Farmers Market

HollywoodPhoto by Matt Kowal on flickr

King Portland Farmers Market, NE 7th Ave and Wygant St

Sundays through November 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

portlandfarmersmarket.org/markets/king/

Accessibility:


 Hollywood Farmers Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Stephanie Paris

Hollywood Farmers Market, NE Hancock St between 44th Ave and 45th Ave

Saturdays October – November, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

1st and 3rd Saturdays December – April, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

hollywoodfarmersmarket.org

Accessibility:


 Montavilla Farmers Market

MontavillaPhoto by kori monster on flickr

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7600 block of SE Stark St

Sunday November 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sundays December 21, January 11, and February 8, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

montavillamarket.org

Accessibility:


 Woodstock Farmers Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Stephanie Paris

Woodstock Farmers Market, S.E. 46th and Woodstock Blvd

Sunday November 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

woodstockmarketpdx.com

Accessibility:


Article by Stephanie Paris

Cover photo by Pasha X-Pose-U

Shopping for Comics in Portland

One of the best jobs I ever had was during my brief stint of Southern California living when I worked at a locally-owned comic book shop in San Diego called Comics-N-Stuff. My co-workers were great, the clientele was fun and interesting, and the excitement of receiving each week’s shipment of new comics for the shop brought out the kid in me that my young adult self was so desperately trying to leave behind.

Now that I’m firmly in adulthood, I see the value of never letting go of those things that make you feel young, alive, and inspired. For some, that may be comic books. And although comics were never a big part of my life after I left that job, there were a few that really resonated with me. My own children definitely love their age-appropriate comics, but I’ve learned that most comics today actually have a target audience of teens through grown adults. If you’re not familiar with comic books other than the superhero blockbusters of your youth, I encourage you to check out the seemingly endless variety of modern comics. Many have interesting, complex concepts and themes, a myriad of styles of artwork,  and there are many genres to choose from (not just humor as their name suggests). If you don’t know where to start, just ask one of the knowledgeable employees at any of these amazing Portland comic book shops and they’ll be more than happy to help. For the rest of you that already know what you want and love, what are you waiting for?! Hop on a bus and get yourself to one of Portland’s many comic book shops.


Websites for each location are listed below and should be referenced for store hours and further details on each shop’s specialty. Also listed are the nearest TriMet stops to each shop. For further trip planning assistance, visit TriMet.org and enter your starting location and the location of your desired shop for a detailed trip itinerary.

Bridge City Comics

3725 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227, (503) 282-5484

BridgeCityPhoto by Marie Richie on flickr

“Bridge City Comics is dedicated to fulfilling the needs of comic book enthusiasts in Portland, Oregon! We are firmly committed to expanding the market and educating people about the fun and excitement that goes along with enjoying comic books and graphic novels.”

Visit bridgecitycomics.com

Accessibility:


 

Cosmic Monkey Comics Inc

5335 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213, (503) 517-9050

CosmicComicShopPhoto by Janet Lackey on flickr

“We carry a full selection of new comics, back issues, graphic novels and supplies. Whether it’s that elusive hot new title or obscure back issue from the vaults, we can find it for you. We delight in filling special orders and searching for the issues you need to fill those empty holes in your collection and your soul.”

Visit cosmicmonkeycomics.com

Accessibility:


Excalibur Books & Comics

2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214, (503) 231-7351

Photo by Christopher Sohler on flickr

“Excalibur comics is the oldest comic book shop in Portland, OR. Excalibur boasts the largest back-stock inventory in the Pacific Northwest, including an impressive collection of Golden and Silver Age comics as well as literally millions of current issues that we diligently keep organized and accessible to our patrons. We also have a wide selection of trade paperbacks, graphic novels, manga, and more!”

Visit excaliburcomics.net

Accessibility:


Floating World Comics

400 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209, (503) 241-0227

FloatingWorldPhoto by Joshin Yamada on flickr

“Floating World Comics is a store for people who still like going to stores. We’re a bookstore that just happens to carry the coolest books of all – comics. But also art books, international art magazines, graphic design, illustration, animation, music and movie related items, anything that might serve as inspiration for creative people looking for something new.”

Visit floatingworldcomics.com

Accessibility:


Future Dreams

1847 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214, (503) 231-8311

FutureDreamsPhoto by Christopher Sohler on flickr

“We have been a full service Science Fiction and Comic Book Specialty Bookstore for over 35 years. We carry a full line of new items in the field. We also have an extensive supply of back issue comics and magazines, pre-owned paperback and hardcover novels, collectible paperbacks, prints, posters and portfolios, graphic novels, statues and much more.”

Visit futuredreamsbooks.com

Accessibility:


Things From Another World

Portland Store: 2916 NE Broadway St., Portland, OR 97232(503) 284-4693

Milwaukie store: 10977 SE Main St., Milwaukie, OR 97222, (503) 652-2752

ThingsPhoto by Joshin Yamada on flickr

“If you’ve been looking for comic book stores, look no further. Things From Another World is the premier comic book store in the world. Visit one of our four local comic book shops in Oregon and California, or order online and we’ll carefully pack and ship your comics and graphic novels right to your door! No matter what you’re into, TFAW.com is the online comic book store that has just the thing for your collection!”

Visit tfaw.com

Accessiblity to Portland store:

Accessibility to Milwaukie store:


 

Article by Stephanie Paris

Cover photo by Sam Howzit on flickr

Restaurants on the Route: Bus Line 15 – Belmont/NW 23rd

The TriMet line 15-Belmont/NW 23rd connects Gateway, SE Portland, Portland City Center, and Nob Hill. The route continues to connect Nob Hill to NW Gordon, or to connect Montgomery Park and the NW Industrial neighborhood. On such a long route, there is no shortage of great eateries. These are just a few of my personal favorites.

1. Meriwether’s Restaurant & Skyline Farm 2601 NW Vaughn St, Portland, OR 97210

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Adam Sawyer

4 Stars on Yelp. $$$

“One way to make sure you’re cooking with the freshest ingredients is to grow them yourself. Meriwether’s grows the produce it serves at its own Skyline Farm and is proud to be among only a handful of truly farm-to-table restaurants across the country.” ~Meriwether’s Restaurant & Skyline Farm

Nearest Line 15 bus stops:

Click here to read my feature post on Meriwether’s.


 

2. St. Honoré Bakery 2335 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97210

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Adam Sawyer

4 Stars on Yelp. $$

“From the selection of our quality ingredients to our traditional baking techniques, our menu reflects the French baking tradition in combination with the flavors of the season. In addition to honoring traditional methods, we encourage our production staff to expose their creative talents and develop their own recipes.” ~St Honoré

Nearest Line 15 bus stops:

Click here to read my feature post on St Honoré.


 

3. Huber’s Cafe 411 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204

Photo by drburtoni on Flickr

4 Stars on Yelp. $$

“Specializing in a traditional turkey dinner Huber’s also serves Certified Angus Beef, fresh seafood, entrée salads and a variety of pasta dishes. Their signature drink is Spanish Coffee prepared tableside with great flair.” ~Huber’s Cafe

Nearest line 15 bus stops:

Click here to read my feature post on Huber’s Cafe.


 

4. Cascade Brewing 939 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

CascadePhoto by Christopher Murphy on flickr

4 Stars on Yelp. $$

“Tart, barrel-aged beers are the emerging beer style and Cascade Brewing is a pioneer of the NW style sour beer movement. We are, by nature, the definition of artisanal brewing: we’re not bound by stylistic guidelines, just our own imagination and the ingredients we can access.” ~Cascade Brewing

Nearest line 15 bus stops:

Click here to read my feature post on Cascade Brewing.


 

5. The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar 7937 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Adam Sawyer

4 Stars on Yelp. $$

“At The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar, American craft cooking is truly at its prime. The seasonally-focused menu represents the best local offerings from surrounding markets; in fact, 65 percent of their produce is hand-picked from the farmer’s market.” ~The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar

Nearest line 15 bus stops:

Click here to read my feature post on The Country Cat.


 

6. Miyamoto Sushi 420 SE 81st Ave, Portland, OR 97215

MiyamotoPhoto by Stephanie Paris

4 Stars on Yelp. $$

“Amazing Sushi on the corner of 81st and Stark.” ~Miyamoto Sushi

Nearest line 15 bus stops:

Click here to read my feature post on Miyamoto Sushi.


Article by Stephanie Paris

Cover photo by Adam Sawyer

A Hike from Balch Creek to The Pittock Mansion

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Photo by Frank Paris

The Balch Creek Canyon is one of the most beautiful urban canyons to be found anywhere. The transition from crowded city streets to peaceful canopied trail and flourishing canyon happens so quickly that you’ll find it hard to believe a bustling city is just steps away. Located in the Macleay Park section of Forest Park, the trail begins at the Lower Macleay Park Trailhead and soon joins up with the Wildwood Trail. Although the diverse trail system of Forest Park can take you on a number of unique adventures though the 5,100-acre park, one of my favorites is the heart-pumping trip through Balch Creek Canyon up to the historic Pittock Mansion

Leaving from the lower trailhead at the terminus of Northwest Upshur Street, the trail begins smooth and paved as it enters the canyon. But the concrete soon ends, and the surroundings become more wild and lush as the canyon walls rise. The largest Doug fir trees in Portland are in this part of the park, as well as native cutthroat trout. Discovered in 1987, the small population of trout that reside in the creek helped solidify efforts to restore the health of the entire watershed.

BalchCreek-Castle-webPhoto by Adam Sawyer

After 0.85 miles, you’ll come to a junction with the Wildwood Trail. Just past this turnoff you’ll find the Stone House, also known as “The Witch’s Castle.” Despite its medieval appearance, what remains here is the stone framework of an elaborate rest station, once with bathrooms, that was originally erected by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 1930s (though what you tell the kids about the mossy, fern-covered tribute to spookiness is entirely up to you).

Continue straight along the path that follows the creek, cross over a footbridge, and soon the trail ascends up three long switchbacks to the Upper Macleay Park on Cornell Road, .54 miles from the Stone House. Follow the path around the parking lot and use the crosswalk to cross Cornell Road and pick up the Wildwood Trail on the other side. The trail continues steadily up hill to the Pittock Mansion parking lot.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Frank Paris

The Pittock Mansion holds historical significance, and the visual magnificence of the mansion and its grounds, including views of Portland’s skyline and Mt. Hood, offer a generous reward for your efforts.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto by Frank Paris

Touring the grounds is free, but for an extra treat, I highly recommend paying the small entrance fee to tour the inside of the mansion. The exquisite artifacts, furniture, art, and every other piece of the house has been carefully preserved, and the moment you step into the mansion, you feel as though you’ve stepped 100 years back in time.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      Photos by Frank Paris

Once you’ve satiated your Downton Abbey fantasies, head back the way you came, and enjoy the lush forest as you descend back down the trail, across Cornell road, and down through the Balch Creek Canyon. The total hike is approximately 5 miles round trip, with about 900 feet of elevation gain. 

How to get there by bus:

From downtown, board Line 15 at SW Washington & Broadway stop ID 6137. Alternatively, you can also take line 77 from the rose quarter transit center stop ID 2592. Whichever bus you choose, you’ll get off at NW Vaughn & 27th stop ID 8802To get to the trailhead, walk east on Vaughn St., turn left on 26th Ave, right on Upshur St., and walk a short distance to the Lower Macleay Park Trailhead. Visit trimet.org‘s trip planning page and enter your starting location and use the ending location of stop ID 8802 to get your specific route and scheduled departures/arrivals.

Collaborative article by Adam Sawyer and Stephanie Paris