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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland March 24 - March 31


Welcome to another edition of our all local Portland blog and most importantly, welcome Miss Lady Spring back to the Pacific Northwest!  Yes!  Nothing like the cherry blossoms in full bloom and a backdrop of...snow?  While I despise any blog that blathers on about the weather, the recent arctic temps and area snowfalls are, in fact, newsworthy much to my chagrin. Hell, its 75 degrees in the Midwest and snowing here in what is normally a year long -albeit wet, real wet- springlike utopia. Talk about a little role reversal. Polar bears, you'll be in my prayers tonight. For real.

How to Love your Hummingbird 101

Anna's Hummingbird, Greenway Park, Beaverton

Photo by Michael Barton

There are a few things to know about Spring in Portland. Just a few tips from yours truly...

1. It rains. Every single day. And...nobody carries an umbrella.

2. We go from sleepy wintery death to lush green almost overnight. Watch the leaves and be amazed at how quickly they turn from microscopic buds to full grown foliage.

3. A rare sunny day will appear and you shouldn't laugh at the fools in shorts, down jackets and homemade scarves riding along in pure bliss on their fixies. No! You should join them. Fixie or no fixie. Just get on a bike and live.

4. The time of the farmers market is upon us. Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with all your local, fresh produce options and give these folks your hard earned dollars. Eat local! And if you don't buy it...

5. Grow it!  In my North Portland neighborhood, people don't look at you like you're crazy if your yard is a little lagging- they look at you like you're crazy if your yard isn't your own personal produce bed. Yep, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, onions- it all grows here and grows well! The Jones' here don't have manicured hedges-- they have food growing in nice raised beds and chickens laying eggs-- in the city. Get to work!

6. Park the damn car. Seriously. In a city that cares more about its bike lanes and mass transit than the roads and the cars that bump and grind on them, you may as well just say, "I'm about five miles from the furthest place I need to go" and just pull out your trusty bicycle, study the bike maps and save on the gas, calories, parking, stress, you name it.

It's all about the wind in your hair, feeling alive.  Carpe a little diem, my friends. You live in a very special place, just roll with it. Literally. Breweries, farmers markets, great hikes, eschewing cars-- all of these things are yours and more.


The Portland Photo of the Week by Earl R Thomas

The Portland Photo of the Week is a great shot taken at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. This is one of our favorite spots in Portland and soooo beautiful this time of year. The squirrels will eat out of your hands, yes, yes, the folklore is true. But be wary, they are critters with teeth so mind the digits!  Go and enjoy this fabulous place, especially now, with the cherry trees and tulip trees in bloom.

Swimmin' In The Rain

Our weekly Portland photo winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Earl will receive a $20 gift cert to lone of our local favorites, Miho Izakaya. The food is always amazing and the service is attentive and charming in every single way. Some of the best food in fair PDX is found at Miho. Go!

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! 


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Cold Comfort

Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison

Snow after the spring equinox should be a crime. I realize that this would be futile, as to name it a crime would also necessitate apprehending the perpetrator known popularly as “our solar system”, that entity being only an infintitesimally small-time racket in thrall to a vast syndicate known as The Universe, who I must assume has some really good attorneys and so attempted prosecution probably isn't worth the bother and the fees. It still sucks, though.

Yes, it's pretty to look at, and of course Portland, and Oregon in general, wears any sort of weather like it was made specifically for Her. I won't debate the aesthetic pleasures of a snowfall and the attendant muting of the world. I'm not disgruntled by looking and listening (not hearing?) it. I hate having to travel through it, that's all. If my vehicles magically sprouted skis, and if I were gifted with the grace and center of gravity of Boitano, I'd gladly join the chorus of voices that wax rhapsodic over the delights of alabaster landscapes. Alas, none of those equalizers do I possess and so when I look out of the window and see snow, my appreciation of it is marred by thoughts of barely-avoided (IF avoided) fender-benders and the certainty that I will find some way to become suddenly, jarringly horizontal on a sidewalk or while walking to the car in a parking lot. It happens every season that features frozen precipitation. Some people gaze at fields of snow and ponder a winter wonderland. I ponder deductibles, bruises, and distressed joints.


Actually, the best snow is that which is piled so high it prohibits travel altogether. I'll toast any snowfall that forces me to lie bundled on the sofa with a blanket and a book and a hot beverage, IF it doesn't go beyond a couple of days. The Ice Storm of 2004 had us holed up for four days. Our respective workplaces were closed, and we couldn't get down the treacherously steep hill upon which our apartment complex sits. That was a long four days, and didn't do a thing to soften my attitude toward snow. At all. Trust me, when you have to wait out a storm for that long with your spouse AND every friend you have because they all just happen to live steps down the sidewalk from you, you'll find a new appreciation of the Donner party.


There was this one time, though...

I think it was the winter of 1993-94. The weather bureau had issued a storm warning for that morning, but off I trudged to work through the frigid dry morning (at that time I lived about a two miles from our apartment house on Belmont, so I walked most days). Two hours later we were all told to go home, business was shutting down due to weather. Awaiting me outside was a silent white and glittering city. I set off for home, searching for the sidewalk using foot-braille, the crunch of my boots into the crust the loudest sound in my ears. Occasionally I saw an automobile on a distant street moving along at a speed no faster than mine, or another dark plodding figure stutter-stepping along. Every few minutes I had to stop and wipe my eyeglasses free of fog, and twice I almost slid and fell, but as I slowly made my way I found that I was actually enjoying myself. It was as if I had the city streets to myself, alone in the near-silent lonely whiteness. It was one of those times, like walking a forest trail, or strolling along the beach as the sea reaches for my ankles, when the world seems to alter in a way I don't expect, like I turned a corner and Nature has just scraped every other being away for a few minutes so we could acknowledge each other.

It was one of my most memorable walks. I have to try to remember that the next time it snows.


Read and comment on the original post here. Like this article? Check back weekly for a peek into Rob's world.



Featured Portland Events this Week


Tuesdays with Morrie

April 6, 2012 to April 28, 2012  Public House Theatre Company performs at CoHo Theater The Pub Presents: Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom. Produced by Public House Theatre Company.  A young man, an old man, and life's greatest lesson. The Pub presents the true story of sports writer Mitch Albom’s weekly Tuesday visits with his former professor, Morrie Schwartz, during the final weeks of Morrie’s life. After a lapse of 16 years, their rekindled relationship teaches Mitch lessons he never knew he needed to learn about life, love, and letting go.




Food cART

January 7, 2012 at 11am to March 31, 2012 at 3pm –Portland Art Museum Local food carts will design menu items, both savory and sweet, to serve on Saturdays and Free Fourth Friday nights. All specials will be inspired by works in the collection. Share ideas over an art-Organized by | Type: special, event



DIY Documentary Workshop

February 5, 2012 at 12pm to April 8, 2012 at 2pm – NW Documentary Make a short documentary in 10 weeks! Week 1: brainstorm ideas; week 10: prepare to premiere your work on the big screen. Each class covers the steps of making a documentary with a strong emphasis oOrganized by NW Documentary | Type: filmmaking,workshop



John Frame

February 18, 2012 at 10am to May 27, 2012 at 5pm –Portland Art Museum Art, music, poetry, and film come together in Frame’s ambitious project, The Tale of the Crippled Boy. The goal is a feature-length collection of animated and live film vignettes. Three Fragments ofOrganized by | Type: exhibition



World Premier of "Happy Anniversary"

March 2, 2012 at 8pm to March 25, 2012 at 2pm –Serendipity Players Robert and Beth have reunion dinners on the first, fifth, and tenth anniversaries of their divorce. This is a world premiere of Happy Anniversary by local playwright, Gary Corbin! Corbin's deliciousOrganized by Tony Broom, Director | Type: live, theater,performance



Free- Sack Lunch Concerts

February 29, 2012 at 12pm to May 2, 2012 at 1pm –Old Church downtown Sack Lunch Concerts (Free Concerts every Wednesday) LOCATION The Old Church1422 SW 11th AvePortland, OR 97201 Map It! PHONE (503) 222-2031 RUN TIME 45 minutes DATE/TIME Wed 29 Feb 2012 12:00PM - WeOrganized by | Type: free, music, event



"Next to Normal"

March 6, 2012 at 7:30pm to April 15, 2012 at 7:30pm – Artists Repertory Theatre - Morrison Stage So what is it that defines “crazy” anyway? Called a groundbreaking, powerhouse rock musical, Next to Normal, is a heart-swelling, searingly painful dissection of a mother’s mental illness and her subOrganized by Artists Repertory Theatre | Type:performance



Cornerstones of a Great Civilization, Masterworks of Ancient Chinese Art

March 9, 2012 at 10am to November 11, 2012 at 5pm – The Portland Art Museum This spring, the Museum will celebrate the restoration of Money Tree, an extremely rare bronze sculpture that embodies wishes for eternal prosperity in the afterlife. The money tree will be displayedOrganized by The Portland Art Museum | Type: exhibit




March 16, 2012 to April 8, 2012  "Keller Auditorium" Back by “Popular” demand. Entertainment Weekly calls WICKED "the best musical of the decade,” and when it last played Portland in 2009, it broke box office records and sold out in record time. WinnerOrganized by Wicked | Type: musical



Scavenger Hunt Search Party at Pioneer Courthouse Square

March 17, 2012 at 6pm to December 15, 2012 at 6pm – Pioneer Courthouse Square Fan out from Pioneer Courthouse Square into the shops, malls, and downtown landmarks to solve the riddles and overcome ridiculous challenges in this race-the-clock urban adventure. Upon arrival, a hiOrganized by Gary Corbin | Type: scavenger, hunt



Paul Mooney from "The Chappelle Show"

March 22, 2012 at 8pm to March 24, 2012 at 11:45pm – Helium Comedy Club Thursday 03/22 – 8PM $15 Friday 03/23 – 7PM & 9:30PM $20 Saturday 03/24 – 7PM & 9:30PM $22 Paul Mooney has been writing and performing comedy for over forty years. He wrote many of Richard PrOrganized by Helium Comedy Club | Type: stand, up,comedy




Old Portland Sign


Photo by Joanna Ceciliani



Moving to Portland?

So many people consider moving to Portland Oregon, and with good reason. You've researched the area and found that you love the close proximity to the ocean, Mt Hood, St Helens, the seemingly endless acres of forest for hiking, camping and fishing. Or perhaps you've fallen in love with us after discovering that we are as green as they come; setting the national bar for bicycle commuting in lieu of cars, innovators of revolutionary recycling programs, demanding sustainability and organic meats and produce. Or, you've longed to move to Portland to join the masses known for being fiercely independent, home of the nation's largest open air market, jokingly dubbed Beervana for our seemingly never-ending stream of local Oregon breweries and also one of the best places in the United States to get a cup of coffee.

We count farmers markets like other cities count Taco Bell, Denny's or Safeway. We've got a plethora of independent performance theaters and even movie houses that serve beer and homemade pizza. We'll not sleep until Wal-Mart has been foiled in their bid to open shop near a lovely river neighborhood. We say we shop local and we mean it. In fact, you'll find that our Portland neighborhoods are chock full with the pioneering, innovative strength of independent artists and businesses, thriving and supporting one another.

You'll be happy to know that moving to Portland Oregon means an easy commute. We boast a mass transit system that larger cities could only hope for, a small town feel in a big, but not too big city, restaurants that find fame on the review pages of New York and Los Angeles esteemed publications and more. What's not to love? here to help prepare you either for your move to Portland or to help you settle into your new home. We want to prepare you as much as humanly possible for a move to our lovely city. Want to start a community garden? You'll be at home here. Do you love dogs, beer, wine, art and outdoorsy stuff in general? Take your coat off and stay awhile: I think you're at home already!

Read more on our Moving to Portland page, complete with places to see, locals guides and neighborhood profiles.

New to the site and want to add your own two cents to the Portland blog?  Please do!  But please remember to keep it real and community focused. Read our terms of use and don't spam the planet with self promoting material or weird stuff as it will just get deleted and you might get banned.  We have a zero spammer policy to keep the site valuable and hassle free for our members.  Thanks!

Overlook Neighborhood Real Estate Report

By Ross and Leah Seligman

Overlook is located in North Portland and is bordered by the popular University Park, Arbor Lodge, Humboldt, Boise, and Eliot neighborhoods.  Overlook also includes what is known as Swan Island, a mostly industrial area with an active recreational boat launch and port. To learn more about the Arbor Lodge neighborhood, click here.

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

On to the report:

Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending for the Overlook neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In February 2012, there were 27 closed sales, 45 pending sales, and 85 homes on the market in the Overlook Neighborhood.

One year change from February 2011 to February 2012:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 30.3%

Homes sold: Up 17.4%

Homes pending sale: Up 73.1%


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Overlook neighborhood has been between $116 and $143/sq. ft. In February 2012, the average price per square foot in the Overlook neighborhood was $117.


One year change from February 2011 to February 2012:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Up 0.8%

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 February 2012, the average time on market for a home in the Overlook neighborhood was 77 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 February 2012, sellers in Overlook received, on average, 95% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from February 2011 to February 2012:

Time on Market: Up 54%
Sold/List price % difference: No change.

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

This chart shows us that the average listing was and what the average sale was. In February 2012, the average price of a house on the market in Overlook was $318,000. The average sale was $239,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Up 14.4%
Average sold price:  Up 9.1%

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.  February 2012 in the Overlook neighborhood had 3.1 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 3.1 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in February, 77 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Overlook from this point forward, in 3.1 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.


In my monthly Portland real estate report, I always talk about how each individual neighborhood is a micro-market. 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.


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 Overlook 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

Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland Metro Area real estate and homes for sale from the RMLS, including school and neighborhood reports at :


Best Real Estate Deals in Portland

Every week, Ross and Leah share with us a selection of their best real estate deals in Portland. We like to share it because it gives you a sense of what is on the market right now.

2621 NE 21ST AVE Portland, OR 97212 - Irvington - $525,000

Click the image to see the full listing


6231 SE 34TH AVE Portland, OR 97202 - Eastmoreland - $459,900

Click the image to see the full listing


5606 N BOSTON AVE Portland, OR 97217 - Overlook - $289,000

Click the image to see the full listing

Did you know there are nearly 100 unique Portland neighborhoods?  Read and learn all about these interesting urban communities.


Powell's Bookstore Picks

We love Powells!   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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