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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland May 29 - June 5 2010

If you're one of the lucky ones, you're about to enjoy a three day weekend!  Happy Memorial Day, Portland!  Yep, we are pretty sure its gonna be a wet one but hey, we Portlanders are basically impervious to rain. Kind of. Someone was actually joking that both Alaska and Siberia were reporting nicer, warmer weather than Portland right now. Heh. Yeah...I keep reminding myself its actually still spring and that a wet spring is a good thing, right?  The garden loves it, anyway.

A quick snap from a lunch break in downtown Portland. Yep, solar powered trash compactors. We rule!

So, maybe you want to get out and try something new for your long weekend...We have lots to see and do around Portland and I'm often surprised by how few locals have actually been to some of our very own "hot spots".

The Portland Japanese Garden is a stunning masterpiece, offering incredible views of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood. This is a popular destination when visiting Portland. Category: GARDEN LOVERS, ROMANTIC, PHOTO OPPS

Portland Classical Chinese Garden is located in downtown Portland in the Old Town China Town neighborhood. This authentic Suzhou-style garden is simply breathtaking.  Category: GARDEN LOVERS, PHOTO OPPS

The Portland Art Museum is one of the largest art museums in the country and is a popular place to visit in Portland for art and museum lovers.  Category: ART HISTORY FANS, CULTURE and MUSEUM BUFFS, FAMILIES

Portland Oaks Park - Oaks Amusement Park - Oaks Park in Portland is a nostalgic traditional amusement park, known for their year-round wooden skating rink and old time carnival rides. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, THRILLS, HISTORY BUFFS

The Portland Children's Museum - The Portland Children's Museum is hands-down one of the most popular places for fun things to do with kids in Portland.  It's a virtual fantasy land for children!  Fun activities, adventures, and playgrounds abound in this vibrant museum made just for kids! Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES

World Forestry Center - If you enjoy forests and conservation (and who doesn't in Portland?) then you'll enjoy visiting the World Forestry center for events, exhibits and opportunities to learn more about forestry. Category: GREEN - SUSTAINABILITY FANS

Portland International Rose Test Garden - One of the all-time most popular Portland attractions, this gorgeous rose garden is a favorite place to spend some time.  Stop and smell the the Rose City!  Category: GARDEN-LOVERS, PHOTO OPPS

The Oregon Historical Society is an excellent way to learn the rich history of the Pacific Northwest. Permanent exhibits include: Battleship Oregon: Bulldog of the Navy, Oregon Art and Oregon My Oregon. Category: HISTORY BUFFS

The Portland Farmers Market is located in downtown Portland and simply cannot be missed. Pick up local organic produce, dairy products, fresh baked breads, honey and much, much more. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FOODIES, PEOPLE WATCHING

Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial  - Inspired by the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, in 1982, a group Oregon Vietnam veterans conceived of the idea of a veterans memorial in Oregon. Through the efforts of many volunteers on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial Fund, the memorial was dedicated in 1987. Designed by Walker Macy, a Portland landscape architecture firm, the curved black granite wall lists the names of all Oregon residents who died in Vietnam or who are missing in action. ( Category: WALKING,  PHOTO OPPS, HISTORY BUFFS

Oregon Holocaust Memorial - The Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on August 29, 2004. The memorial features a stone bench adorned with wrought-iron gating, screened from the street by rhododendron bushes. The bench sits behind a circular, cobblestoned area - simulating a town square. During the Holocaust, many Jewish families were gathered in town squares before being loaded onto trains and taken to concentration camps. The square contains scattered bronzes of shoes, glasses, a suitcase, and other items to represent everyday objects that were left behind. A European-style, cobblestone walkway with inlaid granite bars, simulating railroad tracks, leads to a wall of history panels - giant, stone placards that offer a brief history of the Holocaust and quotes from Holocaust survivors. ( Category: WALKING,  PHOTO OPPS, HISTORY BUFFS

Hoyt Arboretum - Also in Washington Park, Hoyt Arboretum features an arboretum, trails and largest group of distinct species of any arboretum in the U.S. Categories: GARDEN-LOVERS, FAMILIES, BIKING, WALKING, HIKING, PEOPLE WATCHING, PHOTO OPPS, ROMANTIC

Want some more ideas?  We have tons more at our Visiting Portland page.  Have a safe and awesome weekend all!


The Portland Photo of the Week

This very cool photo, Someday, wins the Portland Photo of the Week. Jo Grishman will be enjoying a lot of coffee (or tea) thanks to this fine photo. I also wanted to include the quote from Jo's page: "What a caterpillar sees as the end of the world the butterfly sees as just the beginning".  Awesome.

Our weekly Portland photo winner scores a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business.  Jo will receive a gift cert to one of our favorite coffee shops of all time, The Red E Cafe. The gorgeous Red E is located in North Portland and is one of the most highly esteemed coffee shops in all of Portland.  Read our review on the Portland coffee scene. There is a reason why our Portland coffee shops and coffee roasters get written up in the New York Times, folks.

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!  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.

The Portland Saturday Market

Celebrate Memorial Day at the Portland Saturday Market's new Waterfront Home. With sprawling green lawns surrounding the Market, there is no shortage of picnic space for you, your family and your dog to play in the sun. The Bill Naito Legacy Fountain which is designed for folks of all ages to frolic in the waters adds an element of surprise with the ever-changing water patterns.

Does this make your belly rumble?  Greek, Lebanese, Creole BBQ, Polish, Asian and Thai cuisine, Vegetarian (Nepal and more), Healthy Mexican Pacific Northwest style Chowder, Guatemalan, Hawaiian, East African cuisine and American fare such as burgers, chili fries, pizza and more.

Shop the local vendors, eat some awesome cart food and listen to some great music. Who cares if its raining?

Learn more about the Portland Saturday Market


Portland Rose Festival

Nestled between Portland's bustling downtown business district and the scenic Willamette River covering the length of the Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the Waterfront Village provides a park-load of whimsical kids adventures, hysterical vaudevillian acts, festive bands, and thousands of smiling families each day.

View this Portland Event: Kenton Street Fair


King Neighborhood Farmers Market

Your local farmers market is a little fun for everyone and a great way to support local Portland.  Buy (or sell) locally prepared foods and produce. Take the kids and the dogs!  Eat "in" tonight and make it wonderful!  Learn more about our many neighborhood farmers markets or find one close to you!

View this Portland Event: King Neighborhood Farmers Market


Portland Rose Festival Starlight Parade

It's that time of year again!  The Starlight Parade, the Portland Rose Festival's illuminated parade remains one of our most popular events, drawing more than 250,000 spectators to watch sparkling floats, gleaming bands and glowing marching groups wind their way through downtown.

View this Portland Event: Rose Festival Starlight Parade


Portland Pride Festival and Parade 2010

Be sure to mark your calendars for the Portland Pride Festival this year on June 19th & 20th . As always we will have non-stop entertainment and lots of fun planned for our lovely and diverse community.  With hope and change on everyone's minds, the Pride Northwest Board members are thrilled to bring the Portland community and beyond the biggest Pride Celebration ever!

View this Portland Event: Portland Pride Festival and Parade 2010


Portland Blog, Forum Chatter & More

Good Gardening or what?

Possible move to PDX

Six police clerks lose jobs

Moving to Portland

Hummingbird Cam

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.  We have a zero spammer policy to keep the site valuable and hassle free for our members.  Thanks!

Twitter and Facebook Integration

Now you can share your community content postings directly to Twitter and Facebook.  Click the "Twitter" or "Facebook" icons when you post your Portland event, Portland photos, blogs, etc. and post your content directly to Twitter and Facebook at the same time.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Ash Creek Neighborhood Report

By Ross Seligman

Ashcreek is located in Southwest Portland. It is bordered by the Maplewood, Multnomah, West Portland Park, and Far Southwest Neighborhoods.  To learn more, click here.

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 Ash Creek 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 Ash Creek, visit this link where you can search for homes by particular neighborhood:

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 Ash Creek neighborhood from 2/09 to 4/10:

In Ash Creek, closed sales are up over last month and pending sales are basically steady.  Sales, both pending and closed, are way up since last year at this time.  In April 2010, there were 42 closed sales, 56 pending sales, and 352 on the market.

More stats for you from your friendly neighborhood real estate statistics nerd:

One year change from April 2009 to April 2010:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Up 18.5%
Homes sold: Same as last year.  Up 90.9%
Homes pending sale: Up 133.3%

Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Ash Creek neighborhood has been between $139 and $302/sq. ft. In April 2010, the average price per square foot in the Ash Creek neighborhood was $166.  

One year change from April 2009 to April 2010:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:
April 2009: 165
April 2010: 166
Percentage Change: Up 0.7%

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 April 2010, the average time on market for a home in the Ash Creek neighborhood was 58 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 April 2010, sellers in Ash Creek received, on average, 94% of their listing price.

More stats for you...Change from April 2009 to April 2010:

Time on Market: Up 13.7%
Sold/List price% difference: Down 3%

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:


Click here to read the rest of this report

Best Real Estate Deals in Portland

Every week, Ross shares with us a selection of the best real estate deals in Portland.  Check out out this funky house over in the historic Mississippi Ave area of N Portland.  Check out the full list of best deals.

3548 N ALBINA AVE Portland, OR 97227 - Boise/Mississippi - $349,000

Portland Oregon Homes

See the listing here: 

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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