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

The Spirits of Portland: 10 distilleries accessible by bus

Whether you’re from Portland or not, most people know of our exceptional craft beers and locally produced wines. But did you know that the greater Portland metropolitan area is home to almost twenty local distilleries? And just as you’d expect, the distilling practices that create Portland spirits fall right in line with our usual high standards for quality, including small batch productions and seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Featured here are ten of Portland’s easily accessible distilleries, complete with the closest bus, MAX, or Streetcar stops. Tasting room hours vary at each location, so visit distillery websites for more information before making your journey. Take advantage of TriMet’s trip planner to enter your starting location and the distillery’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary. Enjoy!


1. Bull Run Distilling Company 2259 NW Quimby St, Portland, OR 97210

BullRun

Photo by Bull Run on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“The Bull Run watershed is the primary drinking water supply for the City of Portland. It’s the same beautiful, raw water we add to each of our spirits – and it’s the same soft water that helps create the great mouth feel in each of our spirits. Arriving in 2015: Bull Run has dedicated two 800-gallon distilling vats to this Oregon-made whiskey. That’s right — not Scotch, not Irish, not Bourbon, but “Oregon Whiskey” distilled using local water and grains and aged in the unique Oregon climate. While it’s expected to be released in 2015, the whiskey will decide when it’s good n’ ready.” ~Bull Run Distilling Company

Accessibility by bus:


2. Clear Creek Distillery 2389 NW Wilson St, Portland, OR 97210

ClearCreek

Photo by Kenn Wilson on flickr

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Founded in 1985 by Steve McCarthy, today Clear Creek Distillery carries forward a world renowned portfolio of eaux de vie, grappa, liqueurs and whiskey all distilled in our Portland facility from Pacific Northwest fruits and Scottish barley. We use traditional European pot stills along with techniques learned in Alsace and Switzerland, then perfected through 30 years of Oregon craftsmanship. Our products are served in the World’s best restaurants and appreciated by connoisseurs everywhere.” ~Clear Creek Distillery

Accessibility by bus:


3. Eastside Distilling 1512 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Eastside

Photo by Eastside Distilling on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Eastside Distilling has been producing high-quality, hand-crafted spirits in Southeast Portland’s Distillery Row since 2008. We believe that locally-produced spirits simply taste better, so all of our unique products are made right here in Portland, Oregon from natural ingredients in small batches for unparalleled quality and taste.” ~Eastside Distilling 


4. House Spirits Distillery 2025 SE 7th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

House

Photo by Kenn Wilson on flickr

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Founded in 2004 in Oregon, House Spirits Distillery is a leader of America’s craft distilling movement. Our award-winning products are batch-distilled and are inspired by a passion for quality spirits and delicious cocktails. Located in the heart of Portland’s famous Distillery Row, each of our spirits has the richness and craftsmanship to be enjoyed on their own and also lend themselves beautifully to your best-loved drinks and cocktails.” ~House Spirits Distillery


5. Industrial Row Distillery 645 N Tillamook St #3, Portland, OR 97277

IRD

Photo by Industrial Row Distillery 

Not yet on Yelp

IRD is a grain to bottle distillery that believes in quality above all. At IRD, our first spirit is Vodka. We perfected the process and the result is Dystopia Vodka. Our vodka retains a characteristic aroma with a subtle hint of flavor originating from the grain it was made from. On top of this we leave it unfiltered – just pure distillate and crystal mountain water.” ~Industrial Row Distillery


6. New Deal Distillery 900 SE Salmon St, Portland, OR 97214

NewDeal

Photo by New Deal Distillery on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“New Deal Distillery provides high quality, craft-distilled spirits, inspired by the DIY spirit of Portland. All of our artisan vodkas are made locally in small batches with Bull Run water and natural and organic ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible.” ~New Deal Distillery 


7. Rogue Distillery and Public House 1339 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209

Rogue

Photo by Will Vanlue on flickr

3.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Before any Rogue Spirit heads out the door, we give it a final look over to check on quality and flavor. At each step along the way, we know our ingredients because we planted them, we grew them, we harvested them, we floor malted, roasted and smoked them, and because we took the extra time to bottle them by hand. Spirits made from scratch deserve to be bottled by hand. Taste the difference it makes the next time you open a bottle of Rogue Spirits.” ~Rogue Distillery 


8. Rolling River Spirits 1215 SE 8th Ave Ste H, Portland, OR 97214

 RollingRiver

Photo by Rolling River on Yelp

No reviews on Yelp

“Rolling River Spirits is a family-owned and operated craft distillery located in Portland, Oregon. Our Rolling River Vodkas, Gins, and Whiskeys are handcrafted in Portland, Oregon, with only the finest ingredients. Our family’s Master Distiller, Tim Rickard, personally creates each blend using his own custom-built stills and Portland’s renowned pure water, which stems from our tallest peaks and one of the city’s most revered icons– Mt. Hood.” ~Rolling River Spirits


9. Stone Barn Brandyworks 3315 SE 19th, Portland, OR 97202

StoneBarn

Photo by Stone Barn Brandyworks

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Stone Barn Brandyworks produces craft distilled, regional fruit brandies, brandy-based liqueurs, and when fruit is not in season, we keep making whiskey.” ~Stone Barn Brandyworks


10. Vinn Distillery 833 SE Main St, Portland, OR 97214

Vinn

Photo by Vinn Distillery

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Vinn Distillery is a family-owned local distiller of rice-based products. We craft our products by hand right here in Oregon, using methods passed down for generations. Since our spirits are made entirely from rice, they have the added benefit of being gluten-free. We are excited to have our tasting room located right in the heart of Distillery Row in southeast Portland. Come visit us there and sample all our products!” ~Vinn Distillery


Article by Stephanie Paris

Cover photo by Thomas Heyman on flickr

Sipping in Stumptown: Portland’s best wine bars and tasting rooms

winemap

Little goes together as well as wine and not having to drive. Fortunately for Portland, the wines of our region’s local producers as well as those from around the world can be found at the copious urban tasting rooms and wine bars scattered throughout the city. Taking public transportation means that there’s no need for a designated driver, and everyone that wishes to imbibe can do so at their leisure.

The featured establishments in this article are just a few of my favorites, and by no means are the extent of what our city has to offer. Each listing includes the closest TriMet stops to its corresponding wine bar. Whether you choose to visit one of the venues below, or stick with a favorite of your own, take advantage of TriMet’s trip planner to enter your starting location and the wine bar’s address as the ending location for a detailed trip itinerary. Enjoy!


1. Ambonnay Champagne Bar 107 S E Washington St, Portland, OR 97214

Ambonnay

Photo by @AmbonnayBar

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$$

“Ambonnay is Portland’s first and only watering hole exclusively featuring champagne and sparkling wine. We offer an extensive menu of fizz, some by the glass, another 100 or so by the bottle. Our selection changes regularly. Whether you’re looking for a quick drink before dinner, a once-in-a-lifetime champagne experience, or just a place to hang with other bubble addicts, Ambonnay is here for you.” ~Ambonnay Champagne Bar

Accessibility by bus:


2. Coopers Hall Winery and Taproom 404 SE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

CoopersHall

Photo by Coopers Hall

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Coopers Hall is a winery dedicated to keg production, the first of its kind in Oregon. Our taproom and restaurant boasts 44 taps of wine, beer, and cider; with more dedicated to wine than any other location in the Pacific Northwest. The tap room serves rotisserie cooked meats and savory sides from Roscoe Roberson, former sous chef at Racion. Coopers Hall resides in a quonset hut structure built in the mid 20th century, a former auto body shop, with no confines between the winery and tap room. The spacious environment invites guests to get closer to all aspects of the wine making experience from grape to bottle. Coopers Hall is perfect for a night out drinking, dinner with friends, and also available for large events and private gatherings.” ~Coopers Hall

Accessibility by bus:


3.  Corkscrew Wine Bar 1665 SE Bybee Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

Photo by Joshua C. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Corkscrew Wine Bar is an inviting gathering place in Sellwood-Moreland that’s been offering world class wine selections and friendly hospitality since its opening in 2010. The beautifully designed, warm, and cozy atmosphere is centered around wood panels, beams and interiors from a single reclaimed barn ~ providing old world charm with glowing candle-lit ambiance. The wine bar serves interesting and thoughtful wine glass pours, bottle selections, and three local beers on tap accompanied by a small plates. With a focus on small family owned vineyards using organic, biodynamic and responsible farming.” ~Corkscrew

Accessibility by bus:


4. ENSO Winery 1416 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

Photo by Ryan S. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“ENSO is an urban winery that hand crafts authentic old-world style wines that express both the moment they were created, as well as the moment they’re enjoyed. We have chosen to source grapes from the finest vineyards up and down the west coast. Three states. All states that we have lived in. And all states that we love. Our grapes come from Washington, California, and Oregon – and we absolutely love each vineyard that we work with. At ENSO, in addition to our wines, we keep a rotating tap of all Portland Urban Wineries and local beers. There is plenty to taste and try in our tasting lounge. We have our weekday aperitivo (aka Happy Hour) from 4-6 pm where we offer discounted prices on wines by the glass, beer by the glass, and charcuterie and cheese.” ~ENSO Winery

Accessibility by bus:


5. The Hop & Vine 1914 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217

hop

Photo by Andrew C. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“The Hop & Vine is North Portland’s premier craft drinking destination. Our full bar features eight craft beer taps, an extensive wine list, creative cocktails and a local seasonal food menu. Our casual dining experience, artistic decor and beautiful large backyard patio makes us an excellent destination for small or large groups under an intimate vibe. The adjacent Bottleshop features more than 400 beers and wines, and over 40 types of vermouths and bitters … featuring local and craft beers, Willamette Valley and biodynamic wines as well as meads, ciders, and amaros. Our selection is carefully curated and constantly changing. Call or visit us to see what’s new or sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn about new brews and bottles, free tasting events, and specials.” ~Hop & Vine

Accessibility by bus:


6. Pairings Portland Wine Shop 455 NE 24th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

Parings

Photo by Pairings Portland

5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Pairings Portland is a wine shop, wine bar, and classroom dedicated to a new approach to wine.  Fun & approachability are front & center. We like to think of a glass of wine as one of the ingredients in your dish and we’ll help you find the wine that makes your food sing.   We offer wine by the glass and bottle as well as flights, classes, creative events, and custom offerings both at the shop and away. You’ll be amazed to discover it’s possible for anyone to feel like a Pairing genius!!” ~Pairings Portland

Accessibility by bus:


7. SE Wine Collective 2425 SE 35th Pl, Portland, OR 97215

SE

Photo by Joshua C. on Yelp

4 Stars on Yelp $$

“We’re making wine in the heart of southeast Portland! As southeast Portland’s only fully bonded and licensed commercial winery that performs custom crush services for both commercial and private brands, the SE Wine Collective’s production features state-of-the-art equipment and highly skilled and personable staff needed for everything from harvest crush, fermentation, blending, and ageing to filtration and bottling. Our urban wine collective brings together like-minded winemakers within Portland’s city limits. The SE Wine Collective is home to 10 Wineries.” ~SE Wine Collective

Accessibility by bus:


8. Taste on 23rd 2285 NW Johnson St, Portland, OR 97210

Taste

Photo by Leland H. on Yelp

4.5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Were I inventing the perfect neighborhood wine bar, Taste on 23rd is how one version  might look. Tucked into one of NW 23rd’s many old Victorians, it’s a lovely and welcoming space with a nice center bar and several tables of various heights and sizes scattered about. The staff is so welcoming and friendly; you can tell when regulars filter in, but they’re just as happy to see you as to see them. You should become one!” ~Hannah L. on Yelp

Accessibility by bus:


9. TeSoAria Winery Tasting Room 4003 N Williams, Portland, OR 97227

TeSoAria

Photo by Marianne S. on Yelp

5 Stars on Yelp $$

“Come visit our Portland Tasting room and experience Founder/Winemaker John Olson and Chef Max’s Wine and food pairings. We currently have over a dozen TeSoAria wines to taste, including  two Live Barrels of wines that is currently ready to barrel taste. Wine is available by the flight, glass and bottle. Barrel taste and then experience the individual hand bottling process that you can participate in.   Our friends are always welcome and new acquaintances leave as friends! ” ~TeSoAria Winery

Accessibility by bus:


Article by Stephanie Paris

Cover photo by Coopers Hall

Portland in a Glass photo by David Paris

 

 

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

The 4T Trail: A Quintessential Portland Experience

Portland’s 4T Trail is quite possibly the coolest city/forest/transit adventure in existence. The T’s of the 4T Trail stand for Train (MAX), Trail, Tram, and Trolley (Portland Streetcar). When combined, these T’s create an approximately nine-mile loop and a quintessential Portland experience. The 4T highlights some of the city’s best assets: urban parks and trails, stunning views of volcanoes and cityscapes, a tram ride, and our legendary public transportation. For all these reasons and more, the 4T makes for an excellent outing for adventurers of all ages.

There are four different trailheads, one for each T of the trip. And although you can begin the trip at any of the trailheads, I prefer to start and finish downtown, making the Train the first T segment of the trip. Before you begin your journey, you’ll want to purchase a TriMet Day Pass at one of the fareboxes located at any MAX stop. Put your ticket in a safe place, as it is valid on the Portland Streetcar as well.

train

Hop on a westbound MAX train, either the Red Line towards Beaverton or the Blue Line towards Hillsboro. Both will get you to your stop at Washington Park/Oregon Zoo. If you’re travelling with children, you might want to alert them of the awesomeness that you are about experience as you enter a tunnel that takes you deep beneath the zoo. At 260 feet below the surface, the MAX station at Washington Park is the deepest transit station in North America! Get off here and take the elevator up to the zoo parking area where you will begin the second T of your trip.

highway26     4t trail sign

The Trail segment of the loop departs from the Washington Park MAX station and takes you on a 4.5-mile hike up to OHSU. Begin the hike by walking over to the zoo entrance, but not into the zoo. We’ll save that for another trip. Follow the sidewalk as it leads you downhill and out of the parking area. Remember to watch for the 4T signs. The sidewalk will lead you over Highway 26. Cross the eastbound onramp to the shoulder and take a left, hiking east down the onramp a short distance. Don’t be fooled by the unmarked boot path off to the right. Wait until you see the sign marking the 4T Trail and begin hiking up the Marquam Trail towards Council Crest. Even though you’re within city limits, you’d never know it by the lush beauty of this forest. Once you reach the summit of Council Crest, the highest point in Portland proper, soak up the views and take a well-earned breather before descending into the Marquam Nature Park. Follow the 4T Trail signs, which eventually lead you to Fairmount Blvd where you will turn right to take the Urban Shortcut to the Tram.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Tram from OHSU is the third T segment of your journey. Hours vary, but the ride is free since you’re heading down. The ride is brief but breathtaking, especially on a clear day when the volcanic peaks are visible. Although the tram’s main purpose is the daily commute of hospital staff, it sure is a fun 5 minutes for those of us that don’t get to take the ride every day!

Once you exit the Tram, the OHSU Commons streetcar (Trolley) stop is just steps away. The streetcar signifies the end of hiking or standing, and your final T segment of the day, so take a load off. Enjoy the ride for ten full stops, exiting the streetcar at the Central Library (SW 10th & SW Yamhill). I love finishing at this downtown location because it is an optimal spot to grab lunch or dinner. If you’re looking for a tasty bite, Elephants in the Park, located at Director Park (SW Taylor and SW 9th) is a crowdpleaser. If you want a sweet treat, try TartBerry for delicious self-serve frozen yogurt (SW 9th & SW Taylor). There are a number of options here, including the food cart pod at SW 9th and SW Alder, so you should be able to find many tasty ways to reward your day’s efforts.

TartBerry

For maps and detailed directions, please check out the 4T website.

(Original story by Adam Sawyer, adapted with permission by Stephanie Paris)