Monday, February 21, 2011

Portland Neighborhood Ramble: Hawthorne edition

For our Sunday "play day" today, we got out to Hawthorne Street, in Southeast Portland, for some meandering. Hawthorne is one of the prime "destination" streets in the city, known for its alternative vibe, lots of used clothing stores and vinyl, plenty of pubs and cafes and funky boutiques. 

The "waffle window" was hoppin'.

We entertained thoughts of lunch there (have never been, but want to!)
but it was cold out for alfresco dining.

We paused at the door of Chez Machin . . .

But ended up at the Bagdad.

The Bagdad Theater and Pub is a McMenamin's place, which means something to all Portlanders. The McMenamins are a pair of brothers who buy cool old properties and fix them up into pubs and hotels and second-run movie houses, etc. They are some serious awesome. One of their places is a turn-of-the-century elementary school turned pub complex with the movie theater in the old auditorium, full of comfy sofas; there are bars in the detention room, the honors room, and the boiler room! Also, a soaking pool. The classrooms are B&B rooms, chalk boards still in them. Another is the old county poor farm, out by the Columbia River Gorge, and that's a whole post in itself. And there are many more cool McMenamin's, like the Crystal Ballroom, a live music venue with possibly the only "floating dance floor" (sprung floor) left in the US. The Bagdad is a 1927 movie palace, and like all McMenamin's properties, it's all decorated with cool salvaged lighting, old furniture, and murals by local artists.

Movies are only a couple of bucks, and you can bring your pizza and beer right in with you. Portland is a great city for movie-going, because of all the quirky arthouse and second-run theaters, most of which involve pizza and beer! But we didn't see a movie today, just ate in the pub, which is so cute. There's also a completely awesome bar behind the movie screen, with pool tables and murals and a ceiling seven stories high!!!

Clementine enjoyed lunch. Ha ha. 

Actually, she did. She was awakened by the smell of pizza!

From our table, we saw this wizz by, a common sight here: a tall bicycle. 
Portland is a major bike city, and lots of people build their own.

After lunch, strolling and browsing.

Love this local muralist, Jesse Reno (my blog photo above is in front of one of his pieces;
he has a few on Hawthorne):

We ran into an acquaintance, the poet Matthew Dickman. Matthew and his identical twin brother Michael Dickman are both amazing poets, multiple fellowship winners, published in many cool and prestigious places. We hadn't seen either of them in a while, and catching sight of . . . well, one of them . . . we didn't know if it was Matthew or Michael, so we called out "Matthew Michael!" and it was Matthew :-)

Check out his pin.

Probably they get tired of being identified with this, but Matthew and Michael have an interesting thing on their CVs. They are the twins from the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report. You may remember, they spent the whole movie in a pool of water with Samantha Morton. How cool is that? But seriously, they are both amazingly talented poets. Check them out.

A favorite gift/card store, Presents of Mind:

Pretty things!

Hawthorne is really fun. I left out a lot, such as that there is a Powell's Books, and a few doors down from it, a Powell's Books devoted just to cooking and gardening books. Also our [tied for] favorite pizza and our favorite Indian food are on Hawthorne, though neither are in this central stretch. This is one of the best places in Portland to wile away some hours shopping, eating, drinking coffee, and people watching.

Did I mention we came *this close* to ordering deep-fried cookie dough for dessert? The important thing is not that we considered it, but that we resisted :-)



mel said...

i'm totally wanting to move to

what an awesomely cool area...

Unknown said...

But...but....WHY did you resist?! :D

These picture posts are FASCINATING. It makes me long to hop a flight across the country and stroll the streets myself!

sweet16 said...

*ponders deep-fried cookie dough* hmm...

Fabulously colorful photos and town. (Actually, I think Portland is too much for me, but I like these posts.)

Laini Taylor said...

Mel, it's a wonderful place to live :-)

Beth, I think there might be a "next time" for the deep fried cookie dough, ha ha!

sweet16, what do you mean, too much for you? It's actually a super mellow and beautiful place without frenetic city energy, and there's greenspace all around, and wilderness and waterfalls etc etc.

Jeni said...

This post really made me want to visit the area. How lucky you are to have so many unique places to enjoy so close by!

Tiffany S. said...

Thanks so much for posting this. We're currently purchasing a place a block off of Hawthorne and can't wait to explore the neighborhood more. I never knew I needed a waffle window so badly but I totally do!

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