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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland, January 22 - January 29, 2011

Hello, Portland.  Welcome to another edition of our weekly blog.  This weekend is supposed to be pretty nice for January.  I don't know about you, but I plan to spend at least some of it outside taking some photos of our great city, and enjoying myself.  If you made a New Year's resolution to get fit (like probably half the country did), you should head out and take a walk this weekend.  There are several walks planned this weekend.  Here are a few you might want to check out (from the City of Portland website):

Wapato Winter Birding Walk

Join a winter birding walk. Start the morning with a quick introduction to birding, then walk the loop around Virginia Lake, stopping along the way. Bring a sack lunch and stay to eat with the birds and park rangers, or take an optional caravan to Coon Point and try to double your birds for the day. Meet at the picnic shelter at Sauvie Island Wapato Access Greenway. Free. Advance registration required; visit at

Winter Birds at Smith and Bybee Wetlands

The winter birds are really settled in at Smith and Bybee. The most obvious winter visitors are the numerous waterfowl and raptors that hang out at the lakes until spring. The year-round residents as well as a few winter songbirds are easier to see because all the leaves are gone. Suitable for adults and children 10 and older. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair on site; spotting scopes provided. Meet Metro naturalist James Davis in the natural area parking lot at 5300 North Marine Drive. Free. Advance registration required; call 503-797-1650 option 2.
Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area, 5300 N. Marine Drive.

Guided Nature Walk - Conifers of the Creek

Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. These free walks are led by Audubon volunteer Rick Wagner and meet at the Tryon Creek Nature Center Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.

Get details on these and other parks events at:

I see several of these walks feature bird watching.  If you enjoy bird watching in your own backyard, I recommend you read Angela's Portland Hummingbird Page.  Learn how to attract these gem-like beauties to your Portland yard, year-round.  Angela told me she saw several hummingbirds in her yard just this week. 

In addition to taking Portland walks for exercise, be sure to check our Portland Fitness page for more ideas on places you can workout this winter.  


Lake Oswego Park


This Week's Top Ten in Portland

1)  Portlandia screenings at McMenamin's Mission Theatre - Friday, 8:30pm

2)  TriMet's Transit Tracker - Don't stand there in the rain next to Gotham Tavern at 2am wondering if and when the train will show up like I did.  Track your next bus/train arrival in real time. On your mobile phone at or text your Stop ID to 27299. Phone (503) 238-7433.

3)  Bikers, do you hate flat tires?  Well if you have one this week, get a FREE flat fix on Fridays (January 21 & 28) at Bike Gallery.  Sweet!

4)  Think OMSI is just for kids?  Nope: check out OMSI After Dark, this Friday, January 26 from 6-10pm.

5)  Coava coffee's uber-kool KONE filter and (coming soon) new Funnel full immersion brewer, makes coffee geeks swoon according to the New York Times, WWEEK, and , ahem...from people who have actually tried it right here at home: in my Portland kitchen.  Thanks Matt and Keith!  I wake up to delicious coffee every day.

6)  The Gem and Bead Faire - Crafty Portlanders and rock hounds will rejoice at the chance to drop some cash at the quarterly Gem and Bead Faire, this weekend at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro.  Seriously, if you like to bead and make jewelry, this is the place to find deals on gems, beads, crystals, gold and silver findings and other goodies.

7)  For all you urban farmers in Portland, visit the Urban Farm Store. Located at 2100 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR 97214.  Chicken keeping classes this Sunday.  Visit their events calendar page for more urban farmer events.

8)  Keep  your New Year's resolution to get fit (again), at one of our Portland recreation centers. Dance, swim, play tennis, or take a class at any one of our neighborhood community centers and gyms in Portland.  Also check their list of adult drop-in sports!

9)  Free Annual Event - Portland Fix-it Fair!   This is an annual FREE event where you can learn simple and affordable ways to save money at home this winter. Workshops include natural gardening, preventing ID theft, saving energy, personal health and more. From City of Portland Green Building Program.

10)  ChocolateFest!  Who doesn't love chocolate? This is a great benefit for the World Forestry Center.  The Sixth Annual ChocolateFest promises you the opportunity to sample, taste, savor, and delight in some of the finest chocolate from the Northwest and beyond.  Enjoy chocolate and wine pairings and become a chocolate aficionado with presentations and demonstrations throughout the weekend.  At the Oregon Convention Center this weekend!

The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is The band in action!  by Kathy Boyd and Phoenix Rising.  We have so many wonderful musicians in and around the City of Portland.   If you're looking for a Portland live music event, be sure to check our events calendar (where you can also post your own events and get the word out).

The band in action! by Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising on


Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Kathy 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.

Also, for those of you romantics who want to plan ahead...our Portland Valentine's Day events and ideas page has begun.  If you have a Portland Valentine's Day event you would like to see featured, go ahead and add it to the Portland Events Calendar and drop us a line. Also, if you know of a romantic restaurant in Portland that isn't already on our list, let us know.

Great Northwest Music Tour - Elizabeth Cook

January 20, 2011 at 7pm to January 28, 2011 at 11pm – "Various McMenamins" Great Northwest Music Tour A musical caravan, rolling monthly through our historic properties. In association with Check out our PHOTO GALLERY of past tours. Every month, the Great Northwes… Organized by McMenamins


January 21, 2011 at 6pm to January 23, 2011 at 5pm – Oregon Convention Center The Northwest’s Premier Chocolate Festival January 21- 23, 2011 OREGON CONVENTION CENTER More chocolate – more exhibitors – more fun! We’ve grown so big we had to move to the Oregon Convention Ce… Organized by Amber Morrison  

Fertile Ground - A Citywide Festival of New Works

January 21, 2011 to January 30, 2011 – various 10 days OF World Premiere PLAYS AND DANCE, STAGED READINGS CLOSE TO 70 Portland-GENERATED ArtS Events of New Work …and growing The glow of creation shines out into the dark, water-kissed evenin… Organized by Fertile Ground

CD Release Party at Doug Fir: On the Stairs, and Team Evil

January 22, 2011 from 8pm to 11pm – "Doug Fir Lounge" Saturday,  January 22 at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland. Barcardi presents a double CD release with the "Back To Basics" series On The Stairs (CD release) Team Evil (CD release) Ivan & AlyoshaPetoskey… Organized by Doug Fir 

Record Release at Doug Fir: Derby

January 28, 2011 from 8pm to 11pm – "Doug Fir Lounge" Doug Fir - January 28 A record release celebration with local indie-pop magnates DerbyRavishersCurtains For You Doors at 8pm, Show at 9pm$8 advance, $10 day of show Organized by Doug Fir

My Mind Is Like An Open Meadow

January 20, 2011 at 8pm to January 30, 2011 at 3pm – the mOuth studio World Premiere from Erin Leddy & Hand2Mouth!   In 2001, Hand2Mouth ensemble member Erin Leddy lived with her grandmother for a year and recorded her memoirs. These tapes form the bones for this s… Organized by Hand2Mouth 

Three Broadway Divas

January 22, 2011 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Classic meets contemporary as the Great White Way returns to Portland's Schnitzer stage. Three of Broadway's leading ladies sing showstoppers from Evita, Gypsy, A Chorus Line, Wicked and more. Is the… Organized by Kelly Vanderzanden

CD Release Party at Doug Fir: On the Stairs, and Team Evil

January 22, 2011 from 8pm to 11pm – "Doug Fir Lounge" Saturday,  January 22 at Doug Fir Lounge in Portland. Barcardi presents a double CD release with the "Back To Basics" series On The Stairs (CD release)Team Evil (CD release)Ivan & AlyoshaPetoskey… Organized by Doug Fir 

Lecture - Christopher Corbett: "True Tales of the Old West"

January 23, 2011 from 2pm to 3:30pm – Oregon Historical Society Author Christopher Corbett discusses Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the fast-mail service - and his latest boo… Organized by Rachel Butler

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.portlandartmuseum… Organized by Portland Art Museum 

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

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

Lake Oswego Walking Event - George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego

January 22, 2011 from 10am to 12pm – George Rogers Park 1/22/11 - Saturday - 10 am (please arrive early enough to sign in so the walk can begin at 10:00) (This is primarily a guided group walk, but all are welcome: fast walkers, slow walkers, and new wal… Organized by Vancouver USA Volkssporters 

Lake Oswego Library - Model Train Affecionados  in Lake Oswego

January 22, 2011 at 9am to January 23, 2011 at 5pm – Lake Oswego Library Saturday, January 22 and Sunday, January 23 during Library open hours Trains in the Library?  You bet!  Members of the Beaverton Modular Railroad Club are providing two sets of model trains and trac… Organized by Lake Oswego Library

Lakewood Center New Art Exhibit in Lake Oswego

January 3, 2011 at 6pm to February 21, 2011 at 7pm – Lakewood Center for the Arts, Lake Oswego New art exhibit at the Lakewood Center in Lake Oswego from January 3 to February 21. Organized by Betty Jung


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: The Pearl District

The Pearl District is Downtown Portland's favorite urban living neighborhood. Matching the energy of the city, it is a neighborhood constantly in flux with new construction, restaurants changing over, new retail shops, construction of the light-trail extension over the Broadway Bridge, a new dog park underway, and more.  

Portland Oregon - The Pearl District

If you like architecture and photography, this is a great place to take a stroll and snap some photos of the bridges and building-scapes, and the contrast of concrete and natural spaces.  The Pearl District is also an urbanite's shopping paradise, with upscale home design boutiques, clothing stores, and unique retail spaces.  This neighborhood offers loft-style living and the convenience of walking to a wide range neighborhood amenities such as coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants.  

The Pearl is home to several neighborhood favorite eateries such as Andina, Fratelli, Caffe Allora, Irving Street Kitchen, and the popular jazz club Jimmy Mak's.


Read more about The Pearl District 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.



Mount Tabor - Portland Real Estate Report
by Ross Seligman


Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Real Estate Report

Mt. Tabor is a lovely area of Portland with many nice older homes tucked into quiet neighborhood streets. Climb the hill up Mount Tabor and you'll have some stunning views with beautiful scenery and the Portland skyline off in the distance.

There are some great local businesses that give Mt Tabor a lot of color and character.  A few standouts are The Albina Press coffee shop, The Sapphire Hotel and Por Que No?!. 

Mount Tabor is one of the neighborhoods near the Hawthorne District.  To learn more, click here.


Are you keeping an eye on Mt. Tabor or is it your neighborhood?  Check out this link for a monthly updating real estate chart for this neighborhood.


In my monthly Portland real estate report, I always talk about how each individual neighborhood is a micro-market. If you are looking to buy or sell in a particular neighborhood, the most crucial information that you need to know is what is going on in that neighborhood. In this situation, the overall Portland market report is less important and the national real estate report is just about useless. This posting is a real estate report for the Mt. Tabor neighborhood of all homes in all price ranges. Feel free to request particular neighborhoods in which you are interested in buying or selling and I am be happy to do a report, just contact me on this forum or at

If you are looking for homes in Mt. Tabor, visit this link where you can search for homes by particular neighborhood: Click Here

The first thing you will notice about individual neighborhoods as compared to the overall Portland reports are that the numbers can be wildly different month to month. Basically, the bigger the pool of data you are working with, the smoother the stats become. As we focus on smaller areas, many different things can happen month to month.

On to the report:

Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending for the Mt. Tabor neighborhood from 10/09 to 12/10:

In December 2010, there were 15 closed sales, 12 pending sales, and 52 homes on the market in the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood.

One year change from December 2009 to December 2010:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Up 8.3%
Homes sold: Down 11.8%
Homes pending sale: Down 7.7%


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Mt. Tabor  neighborhood has been between $116 and $167/sq. ft. In December 2010, the average price per square foot in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood was $159.

One year change from December 2009 to December 2010:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:
December 2009: 167

December 2010: 159

Percentage Change: Down 4.3%

Days on Market, 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 December 2010, the average time on market for a home in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood was 55 days.

The second thing that this chart is showing you is what percentage of the listing price the owners actually are getting when the house is sold.  This is a great indication of the pressure on prices.  In December 2010, sellers in Mt. Tabor received, on average, 94% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from December 2009 to December 2010:

Time on Market: Up 22.2%
Sold/List price% difference: Down 3%

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

This chart shows us what the average listing was and what the average sale was. In December 2010, the average price of a house on the market in Mt. Tabor was $387,000. The average sale was $292,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 4.9%
Average sold price:  Down 25.1%

Months of Inventory:

Months of inventory gives a time line of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell.  Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market.  This figure is a good indicator of supply and demand.  December 2010 in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood was a balanced market leaning in the seller's favor with 3.5 months of inventory.

By the way, This does NOT mean that it will take 3.5 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average, in December 55 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Mt. Tabor from this point forward, in 3.5 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.

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.

 6651 SE SCOTT DR Portland, OR 97215 - Mt. Tabor - $1,249,000

See the listing here:


635 NE SIMPSON ST Portland, OR 97211 - King - $399,000

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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