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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland, March 19 - March 26, 2011

Pink trees Downtown PortlandAs I write the blog this morning, it's 35 degrees outside, so it may not feel exactly like spring, but this year, Spring officially begins on March 20 at 7:21 EDT. I don't know about you, but I am very ready for more sunshine, warmth, and being outdoors more often.  Yes, Portland is already showing the signs of one of my favorite seasons: the crocus flowers are blooming, my favorite pink-blossomed trees along the Portland waterfront downtown are about to explode into bloom, and today we herald the return of the Portland Farmer's Market at PSU Downtown.  

This is a great place to spend a Saturday morning in Portland.  There are scores of booths with fresh produce, fresh flowers, meats, Oregon coast fish and seafood, fresh baked breads and pies, as well as food carts, and live music or other entertainment.  

If the winter doldrums have you in a slump, I highly recommend that you head Downtown and visit the market today.  All the fresh produce and smiling Portlanders will be sure to cheer you up.  

Speaking of Farmer's Markets, if you would rather visit your neighborhood Portland Famer's Market, we compiled a list of all of the Portland neighborhood farmer's markets, at

Check the website schedules to find out when your neighborhood market is open.  Most Portland area markets don't open until May, so the one at PSU is definitely getting a head start.

If indoor pursuits are more to your liking this weekend, then peruse the Portland Top Ten list below for some great ideas of places to visit this week; from baked goodies, to Portland breweries, to shopping.  We like to feature local Portland businesses and restaurants.  If you have a favorite place you would like to see featured in the top ten list, drop us a line. 

Sweet Peas photo by Sharon Lavier O'Keefe on

$5 Powell's Photo Pick - Sweet Peas - Photo by Sharon Lavier O'Keefe


Weekly Featured Portland Events

Each week we feature a handpicked list of Portland events that have been shared on the events calendar.  If you have a Portland event you would like to share, just go to the Portland Events Calendar, and click the +Add button.  Thanks for sharing what is going on in and around Portland!

The Last Polar Bear: Facing the Truth of a Warming World

February 8, 2011 at 6pm to April 3, 2011 at 5pm – World Forestry Center The polar bear — a charismatic icon in the struggle against climate change — faces a precarious future along with other ice-dependent species as its Arctic habitat rapidly continues to melt away. Wit… Organized by Amber Morrison | Type: exhibit

Hawthorne Build Your Block Challenge

February 9, 2011 to April 15, 2011 – Umpqua Bank Residents of the Hawthorne district are encouraged to submit a neighborhood project that they would like to see implemented in their community. Umpqua Bank will finance the winning project up to $10,… Organized by Umpqua Bank | Type: community, event

Riches of a City: Portland Collects

February 10, 2011 to May 22, 2011 – Portland Art Museum This celebration of arts patronage in Portland will present more than 100 works of art selected by the Museum’s curators from the city’s private collections. Includes works by Durer, Lautrec, Picasso… Organized by Portland Art Museum | Type: art,


March 1, 2011 to May 1, 2011 – Portland Art Museum Japanese folk textiles present a wonderful diversity of regional traditions. This presentation includes rare items such as a banana-fiber kimono, a sashiko embroidered jacket, and futon covers adorne… Organized by Portland Art Museum | Type: exhibit

Peace Corps: 50 Years of Service and Bringing the World Home

March 1, 2011 at 10am to June 12, 2011 at 5pm – Oregon Historical Society Ever wonder what it’s like to live and work in the most remote corners of the world?  At the Oregon History Museum’s newest exhibit, you will get to travel the world without ever leaving the state! … Organized by Rachel Butler | Type: exhibit

Lunacy Stageworks Presents “A Company of Wayward Saints”

March 3, 2011 at 8pm to March 19, 2011 at 8pm – Sellwood Masonic Lodge Le Compagnie de Santi Ostinati have toured together for years and, let's just say, relations have become strained. Tonight, however, a mysterious audience member offers to pay for the entire company… Organized by Lunacy Stageworks | Type: performance

Peter Shelton

March 9, 2011 at 10am to June 12, 2011 at 5pm – Portland Art Museum The exhibition features three recent large-scale sculptures and a selection of drawings by Los Angeles-based sculptor Peter Shelton. Manifestly precise in execution and explicitly physical, the works… Organized by Portland Art Museum | Type: exhibit

Object Stories

March 15, 2011 to December 30, 2012 – Portland Art Museum Do you have an object you would never give up? Something that lives on your wall, your mantle, or buried in the corner of your dresser drawer? Something that evokes a time in your life, a place you m… Organized by Portland Art Museum | Type: exhibit

2011 Portland Teen Idol Auditions - open 'til March 31st

March 19, 2011 to April 10, 2011 – Various - depending on date Season 5 of Portland Teen Idol - now under new management - begins auditions Saturday, March 19, 2011. To audition, you must pre-register online at   Registration closes on Marc… Organized by Dark Wing Productions - Supported by everyone else | Type: singing, competition,

Futura - Portland Center Stage

March 19, 2011 to March 27, 2011 – "Gerding Theater" At the 2009 JAW reading, Futura’s warnings about the extinction of print media (and its costs) seemed timely. Now, they seem downright spooky. What will it feel like by the… Organized by PCS | Type: portland theater

Play after Play - The Rat's Tale

March 19, 2011 at 10am to March 10, 2012 at 2pm – The Brooklyn Bay Play after Play’s final presentation of their seventh season is a sweet and humorous story about a small dissatisfied rat.  When the rat’s wishes come true, he learns to appreciate his simple life ju… Organized by Marc Otto | Type: theater, and,

Family Day

March 19, 2011 from 11am to 3pm – Oregon Historical Society Take a tour of the world at OHS’s March Family Day!  Enjoy the Oregon History Museum’s newest exhibit Peace Corps: 50 Years of Service and Bringing the World Home.  Visit with animal guests from arou… Organized by Rachel Butler | Type: family, day

EcoJaunt Sustainability Awareness Fundraiser!

March 20, 2011 from 6:30pm to 11:45pm – Green Dragon Our mission at EcoJaunt is to create an eco-educational website full of FUN 'how to' videos that teach about sustainable choices! We will travel for one year through the US, visiting and interviewing… Organized by Morgan Denny | Type: fundraiser


March 25, 2011 at 8pm to April 16, 2011 at 10pm – Miracle Theatre Group When you spend your life dreaming, what happens when you finally get what you want? In a New York barrio, a female impersonator ignores the advice of an imaginary grandmother to fall in love with an… Organized by Miracle Theatre Group | Type: theatre, performance

Ohara Ikebana Exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden

March 26, 2011 at 10am to March 27, 2011 at 4pm – Portland Japanese Garden What distinguishes ikebana from other approaches to flower arrangement is its asymmetrical form and the use of “empty” space as essential features of the composition. A sense of harmony among the mat… Organized by Portland Japanese Garden | Type: exhibit

Walk for Water

March 27, 2011 from 1pm to 3pm – "World Trade Center" World Water Day, on March 22, is recognized by the United Nations and global community to focus attention on the growing water crisis. Portlanders inspired to do something about the water crisis are… Organized by Walk for Water | Type: walk for water

Race for the Roses

April 3, 2011 all day – Downtown, Portland OR One day.  One cause.  One finish line. Join more than 5,000 runners and walkers for Albertina Kerr’s 13th Annual Race for the Roses on April 3, 2011!  This not-to-be-missed… Organized by Race for the Roses | Type: race for the roses

Photo by Jo Grishman on

Let the Games Begin! - Photo by Jo Grishman


This Week's Top Ten in Portland

1) Portland Farmer's Market at PSU - Opening Day! -  Yea, the Farmer's Market is back!  Today is opening day at one of the largest and most popular farmer's markets in Portland, the one Downtown at PSU.  I absolutely love getting fresh produce and other yummies from the market on Saturday mornings.  This is a favorite Portland past time, so if you haven't been, try to get out and experience it this spring or summer.

2)  Wish Arbor at the Portland Japanese Garden  - 611 SW Kingston Avenue, Portland, OR 97205 - (503) 223-1321 - "The March 11 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent hardships faced by people in Japan have been devastating. To serve the community, the Portland Japanese Garden has erected a “Wish Arbor” for people to visit, pray and reflect. Visitors are encouraged to write wishes and condolences for victims of the disasters and tie them to the memorial. The memorial is open to the public during Garden hours from March 15–29, and located immediately outside the Admission Gate at the Portland Japanese Garden. Visitors are not required to pay admission in order to visit the memorial"  Read more at:

3) Portland Timbers - Matchday: Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids, Mar. 19, 2011 - The 2011 Portland Timbers inaugural MLS season kicks off on March 19, 2011 against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park at 6:00 p.m. live on ROOT Sports (formerly Fox Sports NW) and KXL 750 radio. The Portland Timbers are hosting a viewing party in downtown Portland at Kells.

4) Coalition Brewing - 2724 SE Ankeny Street, Portland, OR 97214 - (503) 894-8080 - - Not only does Coalition Brewing offer delicious brews and food, but they have a cool Coalator Program where home brewers can come in and brew beer and offer it to the public: "The Coalator is a program designed to reach out to the local homebrew community, allowing participants the opportunity to work and learn alongside our brewers. Coalators will be involved in the entire process of designing and brewing a beer.

Participants will be chosen based on a brief questionnaire and a subsequent interview. Once chosen, the Coalator will sit down with the brewers to discuss the desired style of beer. Once the beer's desired attributes have been determined, the Coalator and brewers will design a recipe to be brewed on the Coalition pilot system. If possible, the pilot system brew day will coincide with a Coalition brew day, allowing the Coalator to experience large scale brewing first hand. Once brewed, the first batch will be evaluated, tweaked if necessary, and brewed again on the pilot system to be served at the pub. Coalator beers will be rotated as each pilot batch runs out, allowing for a rapid cycling. If the beer is very popular, the Coalator may be asked to brew his beer on the 10 bbl system."  Read more at

5) Buddha Bites at the PSU Food Cart Pod - SW 4th and SW Hall, Portland, OR 97201  - There are a lot of great food carts in Portland, but many don't serve the healthiest food.  Vegetarians flock to this healthy food cart in the PSU pod along 4th.  I am not a vegetarian, so I added chicken to my mango curry with brown rice--it's a delicious and healthy lunch on the go.

Buddha Bites, Downtown Portland at PSU Food Cart Pods

6) Toro Bravo - 120 NE Russell St # A, Portland, OR 97212-3791 - (503) 281-4464 -  After all this time, Toro Bravo remains one of my all time favorite restaurants in Portland.  Sit at the bar or counter if you want to feel like you're a part of the cooking experience.  Last night we struck up a conversation with two couples sitting at the bar, and shared samples of the delicious tapas as we offered ordering suggestions of our favorite dishes (paella Toro, bacon wrapped dates, spinach with golden raisins).  As we were leaving, the server handed us a box of sugar-dusted chocolate almonds, a surprise dessert, courtesy of the couple we had shared a sampling of octopus with (Thanks, Bev!).  In true friendly Portland style, Toro Bravo always seems warm and inviting, with exceptionally tasty food, delicious drinks, and friendly engaging people. No wonder we keep coming back.

Toro Bravo - Russell Street in Eliot Neighborhood

7) Kettleman Bagels New NE Store - 2200 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232 - (503) 894-8808 - - Most office workers are familiar with the usual staff meeting snacks or Friday "box of doughnuts" routine, but a former co-worker of mine would skip  the ordinary doughnuts and routinely bring in delicious Kettleman Bagels or (see below) freshly baked croissants from Ken's Artisan Bakery.  Needless to say, when my friend left to take a job elsewhere, the entire team felt the loss not just of his friendship and camaraderie, but also the high end treats he used to share with us!  We miss you, Arnoud!  Kettleman bagels are always fresh and delicious.  They just opened a new store in NE on Broadway, check it out!

8) Ken's Artisan Bakery - 338 Northwest 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97209-1102 - (503) 248-2202 - - Not to be outdone by Kettleman bagels, Ken's Artisan Bakery has some of the most mouth-wateringly delicious croissants I have ever tasted.  Try the almond or chocolate croissants.  Wow. 

9) Queen Bee Creations - 3961 North Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227 - (503) 232-1755 - - Portlanders love their indie style, and what could be better than supporting our favorite crafty handbag creators, at Queen Bee Creations in NE Portland.  Yes, they may have helped to originate the "put a bird on it!" style with their super-cute bird bags, but they also have a big selection of other styles.  Fun totes, laptop bags, diaper bags, wallets, and accessories.

10) Broadway Floral Home and Garden - 1638 NE Broadway, Portland, OR 97232 - (503) 288-5537 -  - I adore fresh flowers, and especially when my sweetie stops in at Broadway Floral and hand selects some of the finest fresh flowers in Portland.  They are always super friendly and helpful in putting together a gorgeous bouquet.

The Portland Photo of the Week

Thanks to Jo Grishman this week for sharing her set of spring flowers!  These cheery photos are a good reminder that warmer and sunnier days are just around the corner in Portland.  Thanks for sharing, Jo!  Come upload your photos, and as always, thanks so much for sharing, we really enjoy looking at the Portland photos each week!

Purple Crocus - Photo by Jo Grishman on

Purple Crocus - Jo Grishman

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing.  Jo will receive a $20 gift certificate to one of Portland's favorite coffee shops, Coava.  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! 

We've got over 3000 photos of Portland up now.  Here are the current featured photos from the site!  Thanks for sharing your Portland photos.

Find more photos like this on

March 2011 Portland Real Estate Market Report

by Ross Seligman

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

They are a comparison of February 2010 - February 2011 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 February 2011, inventory has remained flat with 3142 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 February 2011, 344 homes sold and 499 are pending for sale.  

Yearly change from February 10 to February 11:

For Sale: 3243 in February 10, 3142 in February 11. Inventory is Down 3.1%

Sold homes: 373 sold in February 10, 344 sold in February 11.  Sales are Down 7.8%.

Pending sales: 582 pending for sale in February 10, 499 pending for sale in February 11. Pending sales are Down 14.3%.

Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square foot in Portland, Oregon has been between $128 and $148. In February 2011, the average price per square foot in Portland was $128.

Yearly change from February 10 to February 11:

Average price per square foot in February 10 was $136. In February 11 it is $128. This figure has dropped 5.4%.

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, 86 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 February 2011, sellers were getting, on average, 89% of their original asking price.

Yearly change from February 10 to February 11:

Average time it takes to sell a home in February 10 was 82 days. In February 11, it is 86 days.  A increase of time on market of 4.9%. 

The percentage of original listing price that was paid was 93% in February 10  and is 89% in February 11.

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 February 2011, this figure was $251,000.

Yearly change from February 10 to February 11:

The average price of a home listed in February 10 was $353,000. In February 11, $336,000. This figure has decreased by 4.8%.

The average price of a home sold in February 10 was $271,000. In February 11 it was $251,000 This figure has decreased 7.4%.

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 February 2011, this figure was 9.1 months based on closed sales. Portland is currently, on average, a buyer's market.

This does NOT mean that it will take, on average, 9.1 months for your home to sell. That number was 86 days.   It means that, if not a single listing were to come on the market in Portland from this moment, it would take 9.1 months for all available homes to sell before there would be none left.

Yearly change from February 10 to February 11:

The months of inventory in February 10 was 8.7 months. In February 11, it is 9.1 months. This figure has increased by 5.1%. 

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 everyone, 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

Each week, Ross shares a handful of homes for sale in Portland Oregon that are great deals.  We usually select one on the higher end and lower end of the price range to share here in the blog.  You can read the full report of best real estate deals in Portland, here.

5.  7921 N SYRACUSE ST Portland, OR 97203 - Cathedral Park - $199,999

See the listing here:


2.  2425 NE 45TH AVE Portland, OR 97213 - Grant Park - $669,000

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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