Sunday, July 10, 2011

Portland Neighborhood Ramble: East Burnside edition

It's been a while since we had a leisurely ramble on the town, but yesterday we found ourselves out and about, and though things started off poorly (at a mall), they quickly got better, involving: vintage clothing, pizza, a street fair, a snow cone, and more :-)

The mall. We are not big mall-goers. We are blessed in Portland with a wealth of independently owned shops and restaurants in great walking neighborhoods, each with their own flavor, and these beat the mall any day. However, I had heard that an H&M had opened up recently, and I was curious, as I have heard things about them and thought it might be a good place to score a couple of cheap summer dresses.

See, I'm going on BOOK TOUR tomorrow. BOOK TOUR!! My first tour!!! It's a pre-publication tour and the events are public, more like dinners and stuff, and I will be in four cities in five days and I am so excited I can't stand it and I wanted some summer dresses that are easy to pack and easy to wear. So. We started at the mall.

And oh my god. #mallfail. Everything at H&M was horrible, and we tried a few other mall-type stores while we were there and they were all horrible too. Either the clothes were uber-conservative boring J Crew/Banana Republic type stuff. Or too-young unflattering too-short too-slutty XXI type stuff, which duh I didn't realize at first was Forever 21. Yeah, Forever 21, I know I am not your target market, ha ha. Jim said I needed a "Forever 33," which is sweet, since I am in the long shadow of 33 :-)

So, that experiment was at an end. We were thinking of some small boutiques (there are a few inexpensive ones I like) to go to when a fortuitous phone call from my mom directed us to East Burnside, and we happened into Bombshell Vintage.

I posted about this neighborhood before, but then it was all about donuts and vintage hardware. This time it was pizza and vintage dresses. And oh man. Look.

Crinoline, anyone? Pink prom dress?


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With the assistance of Jim and Clementine, I tried on dresses for like two hours. 
Seriously. And ... I got some. Um, I got ...

... seven. Seven! And a skirt and two slips. So easily it could have been more! I'm loving the fit of the little '60s shift dresses, sleeveless, with all the great patterns? LOVE. Let's just say they were not made for forever-21-year-olds :-)

I am been an impatient thrift store shopper, and do not fare well at big used clothing stores like Red Light. I do not "sift" with patience. The great thing about Bombshell is it's pre-sifted! The owner has great taste, the collection is small, and it was so easy to find great stuff. Yay! Jim found some cool shirts, too, and Clementine enjoyed her time in the land of hats and sunglasses. She is such a girl, it's hilarious. She loves to walk around in high-heel shoes with a purse over her arm :-)

Bombshell is part of this little "mall" here, along with a few other cute stores. It's just a few blocks across the Burnside bridge from downtown Portland.

Redux, featuring funky locally handmade arts and jewelry:

Haunt, for jewelry and local designer clothing, off-the-rack and bespoke, including gorgeous bridal:

I fell in love with the birds on the wall at Haunt.

They're by artist Gabriela Ramos and are a temporary installation. I didn't realize at first, they are original watercolors: each bird is hand-painted and cut out. I want twenty of them "flying" through my house!

Did not splurge on art, but did get some beautiful and delicious handmade candy for gifts. Look, it's "sea glass" and it's crunchy for half a second and then soft and lovely. There's pink grapefruit, mint, rose, clementine (:-), bergamot, and more. 

We were fairly desperate for food after all this trying on of old dresses and shirts, so we went to Sizzle Pie for the first time. I admit, the first time I saw the sign I thought maybe it was a strip joint. This neighborhood *is* kinda known for strip joints. But no. It's pizza. Whew.

Good pizza, the basics plus some more unusual stuff, like pulled pork and egg pizza.

Partly it's the neighborhood, partly the place itself, but it's kinda rock n roll. The employees are tattooed, most of the customers, it seemed, had dyed black hair, and there's a heavy metal jukebox. Yeah. That made for some serious atmosphere.

See, look: Iron Maiden, Metallica, Judas Priest. Aaand, the Pixies :-) 
I'm not a heavy metal girl, but I do dig a theme jukebox. At Kennedy School they have an opera one.

At the end of all this goodness, all that remained was to get some coffee at Grendel's.

Look, Beowulf-themed specials :-)

My iced coffee was a thing of beauty.

And then we went to the Mississippi Street Fair. Next time :-)

Wish me luck on my tour. I'm off to Chicago first thing in the morning. Wheeeee!


Natalie Zaman said...

Now I'm wishing that I made the ride into Portland when I was on the West Coast last week--next time! (lovin' those swim caps!). Congrats on the book tour and have a BLAST. I'm totally in love with The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Been gushing about it every time, "so what've you been reading" comes up. It totally needs to be a best seller!

Jennie Bailey said...

You make me want to move to Portland! Luck on your tour. You're going to have a blast. I'm suddenly in the mood for iced coffee. Perhaps that will be my treat to myself for doing the grocery shopping today!

Cori Lynn Berg said...

I wanna go to Portland! I love the birdies.. loveeee the birdies! It was like going everywhere with you!....

Are you coming to Dallas on tour?

storyqueen said...

I was in Chicago a few weeks ago for the first time. Food = awesome!

Have fun and look fresh and lovely!


Rhiannon said...

egads, that ice coffee is taunting me. I want!
Don't worry about forever 33, I turned it last night and was giddily informed by no less than three separate people that 30's are the new 20's. All I can say is I couldn't possibly sleep as little as I did in my 20's anymore!
Have fun on the tour!

Jane said...

Clementine looks darling in the first photo.
I hate shopping for clothes in malls, everything is for teens who go to clubs. I don't know why there is so little real variety in this day and age.

Anonymous said...

Those dressess are amazing! I can imagine them with your pink hair! I scored the awesomest dress I own and my only ever it's-a-designer-purse-and-I-got-it-for-twenty-bucks at the Buffalo Exchange in Portland. I'm currently back living in big box store hell in small town Ontario... spend a little time every day west coast dreaming :)
Congratulations on your tour, and on being well-dressed while touring

Anonymous said...

Love the dresses, Laini, and thanks for sharing more Portland awesomeness. I'd love to visit the city one day - if I ever brave the long flight and make it to the US ;o)

Amber said...

I do love Portland. I wish Kory would move us there! Darn.


Evie said...

Portland is full of cool and wow. I wanna visit. Your dresses are perfect!

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