Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cargo! Or: our favorite store in Portland

All photos by Laini Taylor

An interlude before the next Morocco post, because we stopped into our favorite store, Cargo, the other day, and my mind and trigger finger were still in travel mode. I couldn't stop taking photos! Would you be able to? The other question is: could you stop yourself from wearing your credit card down to a little plastic nub? Ha ha. It is a struggle. I love this store so much. It's always difficult to head for the door. In fact, by the time we left, we realized we'd kept them a half hour past closing. Sorry, Bridget!

Here it is, on 13th St in Portland's rejuvenated industrial neighborhood, the Pearl District.

 And within, a warehouse of wonders. 

Indonesian cabinet bed, anyone? As a kid, I dreamed of a cabinet bed. I had a picture book where the animals slept all snug in cabinet beds inside their big tree, and I coveted it!
I picture this one painted all creamy white, with lovely embroidered linens.

{keeping reading after the cut; LOTS more pictures!}

Cargo is an import store with lots of antique pieces from around Asia, and then a whole lot of wonderful weirdness that goes beyond furniture. Like tiny hats, for example.


These hand-carved saints from the Phillipines that I drool over every time I go in. What I'm told is that they're left plain like this to be "all-purpose saints," and you can dress them up to be particular ones. Aren't they gorgeous?

I don't know if you can tell, but they're big, like three or four feet tall.

And did I mention, furniture?

Ahem. These metal pharmacy cabinets are coming to live at our house :-)

And a whole room of architectural salvage?

If you were skilled and carpenter-y, wouldn't this piece make the coolest front for a puppet theater? I am determined to have a cool puppet theater for Clementine when she's a little bigger. 
And make weird puppets for it!

And then, the miscellaneous weird, the assorted cool. I love this bowl. It's lacquered paper, full of scrolls.

Beads? Anyone want beads? I bet Clementine does.

The shiny.

The not-shiny.

Isn't this a sweet little Christmas tree (the one in the middle)? It's made of ox cart bells!

Bits and baubles. Isn't that phonograph flute gorgeous?

Pretty enamel dishes, ceramics.

Small heads. For all your small head needs.

Stuff. Wonderful wonderful stuff. I love stuff. Do you?

Hey, are those lion-mice canoodling over there, behind that cabinet?

Or maybe they're about to eat each other.

You never know with lion-mice.



Jennifer Morian Frye said...

OMG, are you a coolness magnate? That looks like an amazing shop, and....yep, I'm jealous. We have a Pier 1....not the same level of awesome. (but still fathoms above Wal-Mart, I guess)

Thanks for sharing, Laini!

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

oops....magnet, sorry : )

Lucy Wiggins said...

Hi, Laini!

I jumped over here from Lena's twitter. Hope you don't mind!

I want to visit Cargo, and Portland in general, soooo bad! My fave artist Sabrina Ward Harrison sells stuff there so it can't be anything less than awesome.

Have a good one!

Fiona Cartolina said...

OMG - how fantastical. I had no idea this is what they looked like. We've been selling our cards there for years and for some reason I thought they were kinda slick and modern - how wrong could I be!
Thanks for this!

Laini Taylor said...

Jennifer, I'll take "magnate." How cool to be a coolness magnate, tee hee.

Lucy, I don't mind at all :-) I love Sabrina's stuff too. It's an awesome store (and an awesome city!)

Fiona, I'll totally check out your stuff next time I'm in. Your site is very cool!

Stephanie Perkins said...

Holy eyelashes!!!

*picks jaw up off floor*

I'm jumping in a U-Haul RIGHT NOW to visit Portland.

Stephanie Perkins said...

Or maybe Jarrod and I will just MOVE to Portland. I want full, daily access to your food trucks, too.

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Stephanie, don't tease us like that (moving to Portland) -- it's not nice (any chance though? :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

Whoa-ho-ho, that place is quite gorgeous.
I just wanted to tell you I read your book, Lips Touch. And it was mind-blowingly awesome.
That is all.

Kayla said...

YAY! I live in portland and absolutely LOVE the suggestions on where to explore next! Thank you for sharing such vivid, alluring pictures :)

tone almhjell said...

I totally think Stephanie and Jarrod should move to Portland!

And that you are the coolness magnate, Laini.

Also, I'm out of breath just imagining taking Magnus to that store. He'd tear everything down in ten seconds. I love it though!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Laini, you have an amazing eye - and I love Clementine in that hat! Also, the whole idea of an all-purpose saint is kinda wonderful. Just dress it up, and poof! It's the saint you need, just in the nick of time... So much inspiration, and you didn't even have to leave your home city!!!
Love the new blog, and sending you, Jim and Clementine giant HUGS,

Amber said...

Loving the pictures from Cargo. Sadly, I live all the way across the country in Western NY and a trip to Portland is not in the foreseeable future! An easy and economical puppet theater can be had using tension rods and curtains in a door way. Even a baby gate with a blanket over it would do for the bottom. Although, the salvage piece is beautiful. Hmm, maybe hinged in a doorway or to a wall...I hope you post pictures of your future puppet creations. I so love your blog and your books. If I ever do get to Portland it would be a thrill to meet you!

MotherReader said...

Drooling over that amazing store - esp the salvage section. What a fun place! Everything is so funky and cool. Except for the masks, because masks creep me out.

Tinker said...

What a fabulous store - I could see getting lost in there for hours.
I'm swooning over that bed. I've wanted a cabinet bed for years too, ever since seeing one in a magazine photo when I was a kid. They make ne think of nesting boxes - a little room within a room...

Laini Taylor said...

Man, Steph, you guys SHOULD move to Portland. Just be sure to leave a trail of cookie crumbs so all the HBMs can find you! :-)

Tone, you guys should move here too :-)

Lucy, thank you!

Kayla, let me know if you find any must-have treasures there.

Lee, Happy New Year! The card was lovely. Your daughter is so adorable :-) Hope to see you some time this year!

Amber, yeah, I know there are all kinds of easier, less expensive, more practical ways to have a puppet show. But I have always wanted to build a really beautiful puppet theater, with set backdrops and a silk curtain and everything. Beautiful enough to be a piece of furniture, you know? It will happen!

Pam, masks can be very, very creepy!

Tinker, I know. There's just something nesty about a cabinet bed!

Anonymous said...

And I will do my best Fatty to replicate those amazing puppets I made in your oven way back when- but this time they will be clothed I'm something other than sequined lingerie!

Awesome post!!!!! I forwarded it to mom too was on cloud 9! Someone I know went back to Cargo yesterday because she had to get a very cozy something!

See you Lata for a surprise meat filled dessert...

beulah said...

Laini -
Wow - we feel like we've seen Cargo for the 1st time - through your eyes! What beautiful photos, and a wonderful journey you created through the warehouse.
And we never mind staying late - Cargo after hours is when you can hear the building breathe, and the Santos are free to dance..
We promise to call you by your name from now on, and not just Clementine's Mom!
Bridgid & The Cargo Team

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Brigid! Thank you for your fabulous store. We love it so much!!

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