Neighborhoods

The St. Johns Restaurant Where East Meets South

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: St. Johns THE PLACE: Fusion cuisine reigns among Portland’s foodie culture. But there’s only one place in St. Johns you can eat southern collard greens and korean kimchi harmoniously: Mama San Soul Shack. St. Johns has been historically lower income and more ethnically diverse than other parts of Portland. Mama San Soul Shack […]

/ April 3, 2019


How the Pearl District Became the Pearl

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The Pearl District THE PLACE: In the early ‘90s, the Pearl District (then known as the River District) was a sparsely populated neighborhood “as rugged as any in the Pacific Northwest.” There were warehouses and railroad yards and other symbols of the area’s industrial roots, but the industries themselves — lumber and manufacturing […]

/ March 28, 2019


Neighborhood Spotlight on the Pearl District

Powell’s Books. The Brewery Blocks. Bougie artisan coffee. You know that side of the Pearl District, but did you know the Pearl is also home to a circus education program? Or that it’s a hub for subsidized affordable housing? Or that it used to look like this? For our latest neighborhood spotlight series, we discovered the Peruvian roots […]

/ March 28, 2019


From Peru to Portland: Andina Serves up Authentic Cuisine in the Pearl

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The Pearl District THE PLACE: It all started with a a Peruvian chemistry teacher and a Peace Corps volunteer from Portland. After John S. Platt and Doris Rodriguez de Platt fell in love in Peru, they moved their family to John’s hometown of Portland. Decades later, they collaborated with their son Peter to […]

/ March 19, 2019


Portlanders run away and join the circus—without leaving town

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The Pearl District THE PLACE: The Circus Project began as a training company to help youth experiencing homelessness, but it now offers classes to both beginners and future pros. Located inside a converted warehouse in the Pearl, the Circus Project is currently spearheading “The Voice Project”, a year-long program that allows local youth […]

/ March 13, 2019


Go Ahead: Eat This Raw Cookie Dough, Portland

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The Pearl District THE PLACE: Remember sneaking cookie dough batter from the mixing bowl as a kid? Or maybe… more recently? Now there’s a spot where you dig into dough guilt-free. The Cookie Dough Cafe is the dream of sisters Julia Clark and Joan Pacetti, who discovered a way to omit the eggs […]

/ March 6, 2019


PDXplained: Why Isn’t Lower Albina an Official Portland Neighborhood?

(📸: Library of Congress, via the Volga Germans in Portland blog) “Lower Albina isn’t one of the city’s official neighborhoods. Why is that? What’s the history of how Portland’s neighborhoods were formed?” That’s the winning question from this month’s PDXplained audience vote. Here’s what we learned: ALBINA’S ORIGIN STORY About a century before neighborhood associations […]

/ February 25, 2019


Neighborhood Spotlight on Lower Albina

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” That famous Faulkner line has always rung true in our city, but it’s especially true in Lower Albina, a historically black neighborhood in Northeast Portland where gentrification and urban renewal (aka “urban removal”) have displaced thousands of residents and transformed the community. In honor of Black […]

/ February 25, 2019


The Albina Vision is a 50-Year Plan—But It Starts Now

WHAT: The Albina Vision is a community-led effort to revitalize a district that was once the heart of Portland’s black community. The plan calls for building nine city blocks of affordable housing and community gathering space, and capping the I-5 freeway that displaced thousands of families in the 1960s — but the project is about […]

/ February 20, 2019


Meet Portland’s Most Beloved Used Book Store (Not Named Powell’s)

WHAT: Title Wave Used Bookstore is where library books go to retire. From children’s books to DVDs and travel guides, this hidden gem in Lower Albina has something for every reader. WHY IT MATTERS: The shop prices and resells library materials from 18 Multnomah County branches, so they can have a second life in the […]

/ February 20, 2019