SE Portland

Get ready for a less personal and more hints-and-tips-kind-of-post, to be left on the interweb for the future Portland travelers to get ideas. And of course, all those hundreds of pictures I took will now serve some purpose!

During my visit three years ago I stayed in Southeast Portland. There are several good streets in the area, but our favourites were SE Division, SE Hawthorne, SE Belmont and E Burnside, which is the divider between south and north. All streets are long and the good stuff is spread out in different spots, so several days are needed to fully see them all. Also little SE Gladstone St has some great food, delicious sushi (Yoko’s) and yummy modern Mexican (Rocio’s), which to both we went more than once to.

Sushi at Yoko's
Sushi  and a generous glass of umeshu plum wine at Yoko’s

Three years ago SE Division St had only started to transform into what it is today: a vibrant, fun and urban street. I was happy to notice that my host family still lived right next to where SE Division is the busies. Countless time we ventured a few blocks down to get some coffee (for example Dapper&Wise Roasters, ice cream (of course Salt&Straw), waffles (food truck Smaaken with their cute spelling mistake in the Dutch name) and salty foods at a food cart pot.

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Food cart pod on SE Division
Food cart pod on SE Division

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Were also just a short walk away from the corner of SE Division & Clinton, which already had some cool places three years ago. We of course had some waffles there as well. Bacon, overeasy egg and maple syrup for the win at Off the Waffle. Division & Clinton is especially known for cult showings of the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’, that have been going on every Saturday from 1979. It is worth checking out the website of the theatre itself, there is no better way to get a glimpse of an idea of what it is. I’ve heard some wild stories.

Spices in Bollywood Theatre on Division
Spices in Bollywood Theatre on Division

Five minutes walk up from SE Division is SE Hawthorne St, the home for classy second-hand shops, good eateries and an impressive Bagdad movie theatre by McMenamins.

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Located mostly in Portland area, McMenamins buys old buildings and revamps them into affordable theaters, pubs, restaurants and hotels.
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We, of course, stopped for waffles

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We also stopped by a great Tender Loving Empire, which is a charming local crafts boutique slash a record label. It was a fun store we returned to a few times, since it is very Portland in its selection. You can even buy fancily bottled Portland rain, which pretty much says it all.

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To SE Belmont St we went during a street fair. We were lucky enough to enjoy a nice, warm weather. Due to the fair we skipped all the shops, but it is an active street even without the fair.

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A shop selling only bowties for cats
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Matte watching a street magician
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A lady was walking a turtle around
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Typewriter Troubadour, walk-in poems on the spot
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A row of three on Burnside

What I remembered from last time were a goat pen right there in the middle of shops and residential area. The goats were known as Belmont goats. Nowadays they have been moved to quite a stretch from the original location, so we did not get a chance to say ‘hi’ again.

The final street I often visited is Burnside St, which was a half an hour walk from where we stayed. This street is more about food and drinks, and also the good areas are more spread out than on Division and Hawthorne. Burnside St also have one of my movie theater favorites, the Laurelhurst Theater. With its 4 dollar tickets, nice pizza slices, and a good selection of movies I have visited the theater tens of times. Matte was more than happy to accompany me during this years visits.

Besides, catching a movie at the end of the day, and resting your body & soul is always a great way to end a day of city exploring. Try it!

Anniina

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