Monday, January 05, 2009

The Old Neighborhood

When Tim and I lived in Portland we were in an old Victorian home (rumoured to have once been a brothel for the seamen...pun intended) converted to apartments. We had the second floor unit and our view was stunning. It was the 405 freeway as it descended from the giant Fremont Bridge and dipped it's way through the city. Our little balcony was rendered fairly useless unless you liked the noise of Jake brakes as the big rigs tried to slow down, always right in front of our home. I loved the neighborhood though, I could walk to work at one of the hospitals where I was regularly staffed, there was a Trader's down the street and the emerging Pearl District was being shaped in front of our very eyes. A few converted lofts had been finished, but the majority were under construction and the Pearl had some very cool elements, but was not yet full.

We had a favorite hang out, Bridgeport Brewery, just a few blocks away. Our first experience of being hammered in Oregon occurred there...we tipped a little too much of their IPA and had a stumbly time finding our way back to the sister in laws via transit. Now the rustic atmosphere has been traded for sleek and refined surfaces, but the beer still rocks and the food is stunningly good. Just quite a bit more than their old stand by pizza once was. Sorry, no pics of that, we made the decision to take the boys out to eat there and that allowed no photo time, very little eating time either. But lots of scream fest on the way back to the GPs. Our apologies, Mona and Nick.

There was one afternoon I slipped away that I spent with Mona and Kyle (my nephew) walking a bit and rediscovering some old spots and finding some new.
KNit Purl
I made it into Knit Purl, a lovely place chock full of good yarn and good people. Met this lady who was sporting the cutest yarn wrapped baby and found an inspiring hat to knit up for the newbies to be in my life. I did pick up a few yarn bits, some Habu to play with and another skein of sock yarn in a very spunky colorway.

And then we found my favorite-est place yet.
A little shop full of interesting well priced pieces, all of which I would have loved to take home if I had the bankroll to do so. My MIL loved these,
Oregon Trip 2009
I loved these,
Oregon Trip 2009
and I bought these, because of budget dictation (spent my self imposed amount at the yarn store).
Oregon Trip 2009
The shop was named Canoe and if you are near, I highly recommend you drop in. The proprietor and I had a nice discussion about having more children, she was lovely and easy with us browsing for a long time and they have impeccable taste.

As much as I do think that I might live living back in Oregon, I see the Pearl and the metamorphosis and like/dislike it.
Oregon Trip 2009
This gentrification happened in my old NYC neighborhood on the Lower East Side and I recall feeling the same. There is something about being witness to the change that leaves one feeling a bit bereft of the old. And it makes me realize I am no city girl at heart. I love coming home to the same worn trail that varies only due to the season, not due to the latest trend.
Oregon Trip 2009

So, Portland, for now, nice to have visited and I look forward to an afternoon together in the future. Especially if it involves yarn.


Luckygirl said...

It is so interesting to hear about the Pearl District before it was the Pearl. When we moved here two and a half years ago, we went to Bridgeport and couldn't figure out why everyone raved about it and the area. It was new, polished and pretentious feeling. There was no parking, no diversity and overpriced galleries. It made us love our old, genuine neighborhood in NE so much more (good thing, since that's where we could afford to live :)

I LOVE the pic of you and your boys in January in the stocking caps - everyone looks SO cute!!

Happy New Year!

Preeti said...

To go back to once familiar places and feel so lost in the newness of them leaves a bit of an emptiness but makes us embrace those places that we love living in and calling home. Embrace the free spirit in you!!!

Keri said...

What great pictures...
It's an odd sad feeling of loss when the good comfy things are lost in a neighborhood... especially one peppered with good memories.
Thanks for the little glimpse into a faraway neighborhood.

oh and the yarn shop... to die for...