What defines a neighborhood? What makes a place feel “lived in”?
I love maps, data, Portland, research, design, real estate, and numbers. A month or so ago, I fell down a rabbit hole of research. I was thinking about Portland neighborhoods and what makes a neighborhood feel lived in, what defines a neighborhood both from a just a “feel” and from a more tangible perspective.
Turns out there are 95 neighborhoods in Portland. There are also different areas that we think of as neighborhoods that are actually districts, business alliances or tourist-friendly “districts”, that often overlap sections of several neighborhoods. One of the only neighborhoods that fits neatly within both a tourist district and real neighborhood association is the Pearl District downtown. Other neighborhoods like Hawthorne and Central Eastside etc overlap. Hawthorne intersects in parts of Hosford-Abernethy, Richmond, Sunnyside, and Buckman. While Central Eastside Industrial District overlaps the western ends of Kerns, Buckman, and Hosford Abernethy.
Portland Neighborhood Maps:
I’m kicking off a new series here on the blog featuring a mapped guide to my favorite places. I’m still not totally clear on what my personal definition of a neighborhood is. However, I feel like to be a good neighborhood, it needs to be walkable (Walkscore is still great for this). Local businesses – like coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, shops – also make a neighborhood feel “lived in”, transportation options like sidewalks, bike boulevards, public transit, and parks, places to get groceries etc. So without further ado, here’s the first guide…
Hosford Abernethy / Ladd’s Addition Neighborhood:
At about one and quarter square miles, Hosford-Abernethy is super walkable. While you probably wont hit all these places in one day (there are tons of food and drink options in this neighborhood) here’s a map of some of my favorite places in inner SE.
Drink, Eat, Shop, Explore:
Oui Presse – Oui Presse is an adorable coffee shop, bakery and magazine store. You have to buy a magazine if you’re going to read it, but a cute shop, with reliable wifi nonetheless.
1740 SE Hawthorne [Hours: Monday – Saturday 7am – 6pm, Sunday 8am – 5pm]
Ford Food + Drink – One of the few open-late coffee shops in the city. They also serve beer, so you can get your happy hour on while still computing.
2505 SE 11th [Hours: Weekdays 7am – 10pm, Saturday 9am – 10pm, Sunday 9am – 7pm]
The Commons Brewery – One of Portland’s newer small craft breweries. The Commons brews up European-inspired beers – many Belgian and some German. They always have some seasonal offerings, and their Urban Farmhouse Ale should please anyone. Order: Urban Farmhouse Ale $3, seasonals are $4-5
1810 SE 10th [Hours: Thursday – Friday 5pm – 9pm-ish, Saturday 2pm – 9pm-ish, Sunday 2pm – 6pm] No kids.
APEX & Los Gorditos – What APEX lacks in interior atmosphere, they make up for with 50 beers on tap, and what feels like an acre of picnic tables out front and a huge bike parking area (all of which will be packed to the gils in the summer time). Los Gorditos is the friendly neighbor to the west, where you can place your order and then pick it up at the fence and eat at APEX.
1216 SE Division [Hours: APEX 11:30am – 2:30am; Los Goriditos Monday – Saturday 8am – 9pm, Sunday 9am – 6pm] APEX – No kids!
Nuestra Cocina – One of Portland’s best happy hour house margaritas (margarita de la casa!). When they’re actually open, it’s some of my favorite Mexican food in town. On the pricier end of Portland dining ($17-19 plates), but worth it. Order: fish of the day $18, margarita de la casa: $6.
2135 SE Division [Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 5pm – 10pm]
broder – Portland’s only place to get your Swedish breakfast fix. Worth the wait and one of the best breakfasts in Portland. Order: seasonal baked egg skillet $11, Stumptown coffee $2.50, & aebleskivers to share)
2508 SE Clinton [Hours: 9am – 3pm]
Little T American Baker – Little T has some amazing bread and lunch options. Great for an afternoon latte stop as well, just be sure to grab a baguette for later!
2600 SE Division [Hours: Monday – Saturday 7am – 5pm, Sunday 8am – 2pm
Cartopia – 12th/Hawthorne carts: Home to Pyro Pizza (some of the tastiest wood-fired pizza in town), Potato Champion, Perierra Crêperie and more tasty carts.
SE 12th & Hawthorne [Hours: Tuesday – Wednesday Sunday 12pm – 1am, Friday – Saturday 12pm – 3am]
St Jack – St Jack is both a patisserie and restaurant. At $22-37 a plate, I’d call it high-end “rustic French cuisine”. If you’re not feeling the price tag, just stop for pastries!
2039 SE Clinton [Hours: Patisserie 8am – 3pm, Restaurant 5pm – 9:30/10:30]
Vintage Pink – While there are loads more shops on Hawthorne, this one is fun for all kinds of mid-century modern, kitschy, vintage and mod stuff. It’s very curated and quite organized, which makes for a fun walk-through. And you can actually find some great prices in here too.
2500 SE Hawthorne [Hours: 10am – 7pm]
Ladd’s Addition – Ladd’s Addition is one of those “neighborhood within a neighborhood” situations as it’s a historic district on its own. The wagon wheel design is one of the oldest planned residential developments, with most of the homes built from 1905-1930. Ladd’s is a great place to bike through, lose your sense of direction, and check out the roses. Ladd’s Addition has one of Portland’s lesser-known but ever-beautiful rose gardens.
OMSI – While Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is often packed with kids, it can be a fun place for grownups too with special exhibits like Sherlock and the monthly “OMSI After Dark” event.
1945 SE Water Ave [Hours: 9:30am – 5:30pm, Saturdays to 9pm]
Hawthorne Bridge – One of my favorite bridges in the city. Walk, run, or bike the bridge loop around the waterfront and over both the Steel and Hawthorne bridges or head south past OMSI to the Springwater Trail to Sellwood.
Springwater Trail – The Springwater Trail connects the Eastbank Esplanade to Sellwood and beyond to east Portland.