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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland, January 15 - January 22, 2011

Hey, Portland!  Enjoying our balmy spring weather the past couple of days?  Ok, it's not spring, but it sure felt like it yesterday.  What a nice change from the usual colder temps in January.  Plus, given the high winter heating bills, I am grateful for any day when my furnace doesn't run non-stop.  

Ok, so here we are in the dead of Portland winter...that lull after the holidays and before all the spring flower blubs are bursting forth.  This is the time when the dreary winter starts to weigh heavy on many people.  Which is why we're here to give you a ton of ideas of things to do in Portland in the winter, so you don't die of boredom.  Of course, most Portlanders are impervious to rain and weather, and still ride their bikes, scooters, and motorcycles year-round, while wearing hideous rain garb.  But for the rest of you, don't worry--this week there are a ton of indoor Portland events for those who are too wimpy to face winter in Portland.  Starting with the much anticipated début of Portlandia, which kicks off this week! For those who love Portland as much as we do, (yet are also painfully aware of how funny and ironic it can be, and don't mind mocking the culture a bit), you'll love this new series.  "The 6-part IFC Original short-based comedy series PORTLANDIA, created, written by and starring Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (vocalist/guitarist, WILD FLAG, Sleater-Kinney), premieres on IFC Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:30 PM ET/PT. Each episode's character-based shorts draw viewers into "Portlandia," the creators' dreamy and absurd rendering of Portland, Oregon." (IFC.COM)

You can catch it on Hulu right now.



If watching TV isn't your thing, then you might enjoy a more active form of entertainment.  We just listed our Portland Clubs pages, organized by neighborhood so you can find the best clubs in Portland in your area.  This list also includes popular Portland live music venues.  We went out on New Years Eve to "80s Video Dance Attack by VJ Kittyrox", at the Wonder Ballroom.  It was so much fun and we had a great time.  I was happy to note that Kittyrox holds "80s Video Dance Attack" parties nearly every Friday, at the Crystal Ballroom.  If you are a fan of 80s music and videos, you're going to want to don your legwarmers and check this out.  Also, this week on the Portland Spirit is Ken Davenport's Awesome 80s Prom.  But if your taste in music doesn't include the 80s, check one of the other clubs and music venues on our list and catch a live show.  There are a ton of great music shows and events coming up this month at Mississippi Studios, Doug Fir, Wonder Ballroom, and other music venues in Portland.


Portland Mornings 1 by Earl R. Thomas on

Portland Morning by Earl R. Thomas, "Looking east from downtown."



This Week's Top Ten in Portland

1. Doug Fir Lounge - Local's favorite Northwest-styled club for live music in Portland.  I am looking forward to the Derby show on January 28th!

2. McMenamin's Crystal Ballroom - "Dance on air" on their bouncy hardwood floor.

3. Ground Kontrol - An all-time favorite spot for indoor entertainment in Portland, whether it's arcade video games,  or DJ events.

4. Portland Nursery - If you're itching to plan your Portland garden, this is a great place to visit.  They have vegetable garden planning classes right now!  See the events calendar for more info.

5. Lloyd Center Ice Rink - Another great place for year-round entertainment in Portland.  This indoor ice rink has been a family favorite of Portlander's since 1960.

6. OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science and Industry offers fun for science geeks of all ages.  Right now they have the "Design Zone" exhibit.

7. MacLeay Park - My favorite Forest Park hike right in the city, at any time of the year.  It's amazingly beautiful, serene, and close to home.

8. Tasty n Sons - I am a huge fan of this place! Toro Bravo chef John Gorham spins off another fine restaurant in NE Portland.  WW Restaurant of the Year.  For brunch food all day, and now dinner.  See video below.

9. Portland Dog Parks - We have lots of great places in Portland for your dogs to play. Yes it's wet and muddy right now, but your dogs will thank you.

10. Hollywood Bowl - My favorite bowling alley in NE Hollywood District.  48 lanes of fun!


The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is Portland Morning 2 by Earl R. Thomas.

Portland Mornings by Earl R Thomas on


Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing.  Earl will receive a $20 gift certificate to one of Portland's favorite coffee shops, Barista (now in both the Pearl District and on NE Alberta Street).  Want to learn more about where to find great Portland coffee?  Visit our Portland Coffee page.

Come and upload your Portland photos to the Photo Gallery for your chance to win each week.  Check back to see if your photo is selected for a spotlight in the weekly Portland blog! 



Featured Portland Events this Week

Here are the featured Portland events this week focusing on events happening this very weekend!  Thanks to everyone for adding all the great Portland events to the community events calendar.  You can add your own Portland events directly to the events calendar, here.  Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.

Reel Music Festival 28 - NWFilmCenter

January 7, 2011 to January 18, 2011 – "Portland Art Museum " Reel Music Festival 28 Ballet isn’t the first thing that a subway platform brings to mind, but the NYC Ballet Company isn’t afraid to dance on one. James Newell Osterberg, Jr. is hardly a name you as… Organized by nwFilmCenter | Type: Portland film

Safety in Numbers? Images of African American Identity and Community

January 8, 2011 to April 17, 2011 – Portland Art Museum Featuring some 60 prints, drawings, and photographs exploring the ways in which isolation, community, and the search for identity affected African Americans during the 20th century. www.portlandartmuseu… Organized by Portland Art Museum | Type: art, exhibit

Portland Boat Show

January 12, 2011 to January 16, 2011 – "Portland Expo Center" The big indoor boat show for the Northwest is almost ready!  The Portland Boat Show® is celebrating its 51st Anniversary as a leader in the boating industry – is unveiling an all-new show!  Boaters a… Organized by Portland Boat Show | Type: Portland boat show

Duende de Lorca – World Premiere at Miracle Theatre

January 13, 2011 at 7:30pm to January 22, 2011 at 9:15pm – Miracle Theatre Group Duende de Lorca follows the early years of Federico García Lorca’s early successes from the opening night of Mariana Pineda, followed by the printing of Gypsy Ballads and Poet in New York. Audiences… Organized by Miracle Theatre Group | Type: theatre, performance

Exhibit - Perseverance: Black Pioneers in Early Oregon

January 14, 2011 at 10am to April 3, 2011 at 5pm – Oregon Historical Society Throughout Oregon’s early history, many African Americans came to the territory as slaves and free individuals, despite Black Exclusion Laws.  They worked and lived alongside other pioneers as farmer… Organized by Rachel Butler | Type: exhibit

Ken Davenport's Awesome 80s Prom

January 14, 2011 at 7pm to April 23, 2011 at 9:30pm – Boarding at the Salmon St. Springs. The Awesome 80s Prom is a brand new blast-from-the-past interactive production in the style of "Tony 'n Tina's Wedding" and "Who Stole My Dead Husband?"!  All of your favorite characters are there, f… Organized by Chris Crooker | Type: dinner, theater

80s Video Dance Attack - featuring VJ Kittyrox

January 14, 2011 at 9pm to January 28, 2011 at 11pm – McMenamins Crystal Ballroom 80s Video Dance Attack - featuring VJ Kittyrox Crystal Ballroom | Every Friday, January 7, 14, 21, 28 9 p.m. | $5 at the door | 21 and over About '80s Video Dance Attack - featuring VJ Kitt… Organized by McMenamins | Type: portland music


January 14, 2011 at 9pm to January 15, 2011 at 2am – Someday Lounge CAPRICORN PARTY @ SOMEDAY LOUNGE with special guest Fresh From Tour THE CHICHARONES featuring Sleep of Oldominion and Josh Martinez. COOL NUTZ (Jus Family Records) TOPE (Living Proof, TxE) DJ FATBOY… Organized by Runaway Productions | Type: hip, hop, &, dj, event

Oregon Symphony presents Emanuel Ax Plays Brahms - Classical Series Concert

January 15, 2011 to January 17, 2011 – "Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall" Oregon Symphony presents Emanuel Ax Plays Brahms Classical Series Concert He's a seven-time Grammy winner and a genuine A-list pianist praised by The New York Times for his "luminous intensity." When… Organized by Oregon Symphony | Type: Oregon symphony

Portland Piano International presents Nareh Arghamanyan

January 16, 2011 all day – "Newmark Theater" Portland Piano International presents Nareh Arghamanyan "From the first chord on, it was clear that she was an artist to be reckoned with. She played with an equally big technique, but her playing w… Organized by PCPA | Type: Portland music

Vegetable Garden Layout

January 16, 2011 from 1pm to 3pm – 9000 SE DIVISION January is the perfect time to plan your vegetable garden! Jen will discuss the importance of making a garden plan that will help the gardener maximize garden space by utilizing succession, crop rota… Organized by | Type: class

Human Rights Campaign Benefit DJ Anjali - Crystal Ballroom

January 16, 2011 from 7pm to 11pm – McMenamins Crystal Ballroom Human Rights Campaign Benefit DJ Anjali Crystal Ballroom - Lola's Room | Sunday, January 16 7 p.m. doors, 8 p.m. showtime | $10 at the door | 21 and over Join in on some funky fusion Bhang… Organized by McMenamins | Type: Portland music


Looking for something else? We have a ton of other local Portland events -- check 'em out and feel free to add your own!




Submit your Portland Articles and Get Featured on!

Do you love Portland? So do we! We would love to hear your favorite news, information, or facts about your favorite Portland neighborhoods or places. You can write about just about anything you desire (subject to our editorial review process*).  Just write and send us your submission (between 400-1000 words, as a general guideline) and each week we will select the best submissions for a $25 gift certificate to a local Portland business.

Here are just a few ideas of things you might write about:

Your favorite places in Portland 

Your favorite neighborhood hangouts 

Secret Portland places

Best neighborhood walks 

Best neighborhood shopping 

Best neighborhood dining

Your cool idea here

Submit the best Portland article and win!  




Neighborhood Tour: Boise, Historic Mississippi Avenue and Williams Avenue


This area is constantly changing with all of the new retail development and storefronts springing up. Home to several great restaurants and retail shops, this is a great place to come spend a Portland afternoon.

Portland's Boise-Eliot neighborhood is one of the most unique and most popular Portland neighborhoods. Most locals know Boise-Eliot by a few names: Williams Avenue and Mississippi Avenue. While technically part of the same neighborhood(s) proper, these two streets have truly developed their own unique personality and feel with respect to the independent businesses that line their streets.  Mississippi Avenue is known for great retail shopping, and some excellent breakfast spots (Gravy, Equinox, Flavor Spot, and the N Mississippi Avenue food cart pod, just to name a few).

Williams Avenue offers several great places to eat.  Standouts are Lompoc's 5Q (Fifth Quadrant), Pix Patisserie, Lincoln, and Tasty n Sons. 

Read more about Boise to learn all about this neighborhood and to discover who lives here, what local life is like and what local businesses make up this neighborhood.

Want to research or find other neighborhoods? We have nearly 100 neighborhood profiles detailing the urban Portland neighborhoods.

Just moved to Portland or planning the move?  Learn about moving to Portland.



January Portland Real Estate Report
by Ross Seligman

January 2011 Portland Oregon Real Estate Report:  What's Happening?

They are a comparison of December 2009 - December 2010 for all of Multnomah County and are taken directly from the RMLS. What follows is my own analysis of these statistics. For our purposes, I thought it best to analyze Multnomah County as a whole. Each neighborhood, however, is a little micro-universe and has its own market. Changing the parameters of the zip codes, price variables, or time periods can lead to very different results. This analysis is of all homes sold in all price ranges in Multnomah County. If you have any questions about specific zip codes, or any questions about the market in general, please reply to this forum with those questions or feel free to contact me at:

Since Portland is a neighborhood city, you can now search by "Irvington, Alberta, etc.". You can check it out by clicking here.


To see and/or bookmark a monthly automatic updating chart, click here.


On to the report:
Here is a chart of all homes for sale, pending for sale, and sold in Portland, Oregon for the last 15 months:

In December 2010, we see a drop in inventory from November with 3134 homes on the market. This buyer's market means that sellers have to make sure they are doing all of the steps necessary to sell their home.  If you are a seller and have any questions about this, feel free to contact me.  In December 2010, 488 homes sold and 424 are pending for sale.  

Yearly change from December 09 to December 10:

For Sale: 3134 in December 09, 2981 in December 10. Inventory is Up 5.1%

Sold homes: 501 sold in December 09, 488 sold in December 10.  Sales are Down 2.6%.

Pending sales: 347 pending for sale in December 09, 424 pending for sale in December 10. Pending sales are Up 22.2%.

Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square foot in Portland, Oregon has been between $136 and $148. In December 2010, the average price per square foot in Portland was $136.

Yearly change from December 09 to December 10:

Average price per square foot in December 09 was $144. In December 10 it is $136. This figure has dropped 5.7%.

Days on market and sold/list price %:

This chart is showing us two things. First, how many days on the market that a home is spending, on average, before being sold. In all of Multnomah County, in all price ranges, a home is taking, on average, 74 days to sell.

The other thing that this chart shows is what percentage of listing price the home, on average, is selling at. This is a great indicator of pressure on prices. In December 2010, sellers were getting, on average, 91% of their original asking price.

Yearly change from December 09 to December 10:

Average time it takes to sell a home in December 09 was 67 days. In December 10, it is 74 days.  An increase of time on market of 10.4%. 

The percentage of original listing price that was paid was 93% in December 09 and is 91% in December 10.

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

The largest segment of home sales have been in the price range under $400,000. You can see this reflected in the average price of a home that has sold. In December 2010, this figure was $286,000.

Yearly change from December 09 to December 10:

The average price of a home listed in December 09 was $369,000. In December 10, $335,000. This figure has decreased by 9.2%.

The average price of a home sold in December 09 was $293,000. In December 10 it was $286,000 This figure has decreased 2.4%.

Months of inventory:

Months of inventory gives a timeline of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell. Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market. In December 2010, this figure was 6.4 months based on closed sales. Portland is currently, on average, a buyer's market.

This does NOT mean that it will take, on average, 6.4 months for your home to sell. That number was 74 days.   It means that, if not a single listing were to come on the market in Portland from this moment, it would take 6.4 months for all available homes to sell before there would be nothing left.

Yearly change from December 09 to December 10:

The months of inventory in December 09 was 6 months. In December 10, it is 6.4 months. This figure has increased by 7.9%. 

As I have said before, none of this information matters if you have a particular neighborhood in mind since Portland neighborhoods are their own micro-markets. If you have one in mind to buy or are selling your home, please request a report for that neighborhood and I am happy to post it on this blog or send it to you.

Hey people, I want to know what you think of these reports. Too many stats? Just right? Something missing? Let me know so I can make these more useful for you. What are your thoughts about real estate right now? What do you think of the information in this report? Post to this blog so we can discuss.

Visit my website where you can contact me and search all Portland
Metro Area listings from the RMLS:


Best Real Estate Deals in Portland

Every week, Ross shares with us a selection of the best real estate deals in Portland.  Check out the full list of best deals.

1.  2046 NW IRVING ST Portland, OR 97209 - Northwest District - $995,000

See the listing here:


4.  7235 N ATLANTIC AVE Portland, OR 97217 - Arbor Lodge - $249,000

See the listing here:

Did you know there are nearly 100 unique Portland neighborhoodsLearn more about these interesting Portland neighborhoods.



Powell's Bookstore Picks

About Powell's Books:  Powell's personifies Portland in so many ways:  first of all, it's an independently owned bookstore.  Portland in general is highly supportive of locally owned businesses and supporting the local economy.  While we don't outwardly shun all big box chain stores, we prefer to do our business at home.  Perhaps more importantly, Powell's Bookstore is simply one of the finest bookstores in the world.  Powell's City of Books takes up an entire city block downtown, and you can get lost for hours exploring the labyrinth of color-coded rooms.  You will probably need a map, the store is so big...  Read more about Powell's Bookstore

We love Powell's!

Portland Book Review of the Day

Portland eBooks

Powell's Author Interviews


That's it for now

We hope you enjoy reading our weekly Portland blog.  Want to see more or less of something?  Let us know!  Once again, thanks for being here and making this Portland website such an asset to the community!  If you love this site as much as we do, tell your friends!  Have a great weekend!  PS -- Want to read back issues of this blog?  Here ya go!

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