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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland June 23 - June 30, 2012

Hey, Portlanders.  Welcome to another edition of our all-local Portland blog!  

We finally--FINALLY--! made it to our gloriously long-awaited Portland summer (yet as I write this, it is still raining outside.. which I am totally ignoring, of course.)  I'd like to invite you to read WWEEK's article, "It's not a Portland Summer until you've..." for some ideas of fun summertime past times and stupidly Portland things to do that coincide with out all-too-brief sunny warm season.  "Locals talk about Portland summers in near spiritual terms..." (read more) 

This is actually true. When defending to my friends and family why it is I choose to live in a city where it rains like months or so out of the year, I often do wax nostalgic about the Portland summers. Because honestly, if there is a heaven, to me I imagine  it looks a lot like Portland in the summertime. Do you realize how lucky we are? Portland in the summertime is amazing! We Portlanders know how to cram it all in, too.  We crawl out of our annual wet winter hibernation, all pale-skinned and starved for sunshine, primed and ready for a hearty dose of Vitamin D, and adrenaline (or beer or coffee) fueled fun. From PedalPalooza to the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby, to any number of bike/run/brew/music/patio events outdoors, we are ready for Portland summer fun.  And, we earned it!  (And just around the corner at the tail end of summer,  is MusicFestNW, the icing on the cake to end summer, as far as I am concerned).

Anyway, read WWEEK's Portland Summer Guide if you need some ideas of things to do when the sun comes out.  And, of course, read our weekly blog, too.  We try to cover neighborhood and super local Portland events to give you lots of ideas for fun things to do in Portland.

North Portland Sunday Parkways

Speaking of outdoor family-friendly fun, this weekend is another Portland Sunday Parkways event.  Celebrate summer with a host of Portland neighbors, and celebrate a strong sense of community while walking or biking throughout our North Portland neighborhoods.

Join us June 24th in North Portland!  Portland Sunday Parkways promotes healthy active living through a series of free events opening the city's largest public space - its streets - to walk, bike, roll, and discover active transportation.   Sunday Parkways fosters civic pride, stimulates economic development, and represents the community, business, and government investments in Portland's vitality, livability, and diversity.

Portland Summer Movies in the Park

Well, it wouldn't feel like summer without outdoor movies on the lawn at your favorite Portland park, would it? Take the family, and enjoy outdoor movies at several Portland parks this summer.   Here's the Portland Movies in the Park 2012 Schedule.


Continues this week! Pedalpalooza is 3+ weeks of bikey fun. With 293 different events, most organized by individuals, bikers of all persuasions are likely to find many events of interest. Nearly all events are free.   Visit

Portland Karaoke

Written by Portland Guest Writer Jamal St. Peters

Ok, so this is not summer-specific, but it certainly applies to any night in Portland. The culture of Portland is synonymous with a host of fabulous and quirky things. We have beards, bicycles, tattoos, food carts, microbrews, and last but definitely not least -- we have KARAOKE!

In the last 15 years Karaoke bars have sprung from the Portland landscape like so many Ink Cap mushrooms in a Pacific Northwest forest.  With over 120 bars and restaurants (120? Really? Check out offering you a chance to step up to the mic, there is no shortage of opportunities for you and your friends to get your “sing-song” on.

Luckily just about every karaoke spot in Portland offers the alcoholic beverages you’ll need to get up on stage for your 3 minutes of fame.  Whether you enjoy singing to a raucous crowd of drunk strangers who will cheer you on relentlessly no matter how poor your singing chops, or if want to cozy up in a private suite with just you and a few of your closest friends, Portland has a karaoke spot for you.

So down that shot of whiskey, take your beta blockers, shake off that stage fright, and grab the spotlight at one of these awesome Portland karaoke venues!

1.       Voicebox Karaoke – 2112 NW Hoyt, Portland, OR – 503.303.8220

If the idea of getting up in front of a room full of complete strangers and belting your heart out does not appeal to you or if you’re an old pro tired of waiting 3 hours to sing one song, Voicebox Karaoke is the place for you! With a decent sized song book and private rooms complete with couches, disco ball, and big screen TV’s there’s no competing for mic time with regulars, KJs, and all their closest friends.  This Portland Karaoke convenience comes at a cost - $7/hr per person. The budget conscious should plan to take advantage of their Tuesday night special when you can sing all night long for only $10.

2.       Ambassador Restaurant – 4744 NE Sandy, Portland, OR – 503.280.0330

As one of the original karaoke bars in Portland, the Ambassador has karaoke down to a science. Big stage, cheesy disco ball, and bright lights put the attention squarely on you. Their huge song list is unrivaled. I’ve found songs here that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Their whole system is computerized so you can see how many people are ahead of you and what they’re singing. You can only put one song in at a time so you don’t have to worry about regulars or big tippers getting more turns than others. The Ambassador is also one of the only clubs in Portland that offers family karaoke.  From 5pm – 9pm on Sunday bring the kids and enjoy!

3.       The Alibi - 4024 N Interstate, Portland, OR - 503.287.5335

I come to the Alibi for the atmosphere and the food, and stay for the singing. The drinks are yummy and strong. The food is varied and quite tasty. The wait time for karaoke can be long on a busy night. I’ve waited upwards of two hours and not been called up to sing. Luckily the food and drink are a good distraction. Everyone always seems to be in a good mood at the Alibi. Most will sing along and clap enthusiastically when you’re done.  Who can blame them? The laid back mood of this tiki bar is contagious!

Find even more Portland Karaoke Bars and read reviews on and  

South Waterfront Storage

New Self Storage Facility in South Waterfront – Now OPEN!

South Waterfront Heated Storage offers a State of the Art Self-Storage facility located in Portland, Oregon. This modern day Self-Storage Facility offers extravagant features including: A digital camera surveillance system, personalized customer access codes and individually alarmed unit doors. Also find multiple covered/heated loading areas, freight elevators and a large quantity of flatbed carts; making your moving experience a breeze! 

Just minutes from John’s Landing, Sellwood and Lake Oswego; South Waterfront Heated Storage offers you a convenient location while providing great customer service. Also find moving and packing supplies – Your one stop shopping center!

Visit or call 503.226.7777 to learn more!

Open 7 days a week! Stop in for a cup of coffee and a tour of this cutting edge facility – Great Move-in Specials Available!

Learn how you can receive up to 50% off your 1st 2 Months Rent!


The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by Michael Barton, who is known for posting great photos of our Portland Parks and recreational areas around town. These tranquil images are of North Portland's Smith and Bybee Wetlands.

From  At nearly 2,000 acres, Metro’s Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area is the largest protected wetlands within an American city. This beautiful natural area is one of the region’s best-kept secrets, hiding in a part of Portland surrounded by port terminals, warehouses and other commercial developments. Most visitors to the natural area are surprised to find beaver, river otter, black-tailed deer, osprey, bald eagles and Western painted turtles living only minutes from downtown Portland.

Smith and Bybee Wetlands by Michael Barton on

Smith and Bybee Wetlands by Michael Barton

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. This week our winner is treated to Powells Books, the largest indie bookstore in the world! 

Powells Bookstore Portland Oregon - If you're a book lover and you live in Portland Oregon, then Powells Bookstore is no surprise to you because it is a local favorite. Powell's City of Books is one of the most visited spots in town whether you're visiting Portland and looking for popular places to visit, or whether you've lived in Portland your entire life.  they say 80,000 people browse the shelves of Powells each day.   If you're visiting with a group, you can even arrange a tour.  "From humble storefront beginnings in 1971 on a derelict corner of northwest Portland, Oregon, Powell's Books has grown into one of the world's great bookstores, with seven locations in the Portland metropolitan area, and one of the book world's most successful dot-coms (, serving customers worldwide." (

Smith and Byeebee Wetlands by Michael Barton on

Smith and Bybee Wetlands by Michael Barton

Find more photos like this on

Powell's Bookstore Picks

We love Powells!   Portland Book Review of the Day   Portland eBooks   Powell's Author Interviews

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! 


Oof!  Mind the Speed Bumps!

Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison

You know I like riding my bicycle, right?  We've been over that?  Good, I thought I'd mentioned it a time or two.

Don't get me wrong, I don't live on the machine like some seem to do.  My longest ride flirted with the 30-mile mark, and although I'm in love with the idea of participating in Cycle Oregon and Reach The Beach and STP, my schedule makes it unlikely and I'd have to do some pree-tee serious training miles before any such idea could be deemed any saner than foolhardy.

And yet it's not the craziest idea I've ever heard.

Yeah.  Naked people on bicycles.

I'm aware that this isn't a brand-new concept, but I'm always struck anew by the sheer absurdity.  Please note that I often use the word “absurdity” when describing anything I find daring and cool that I could never on this side of the Veil seriously consider attempting myself.  I'm not condescending. I'm shy and pale and not at all interested in feeling what's it's like to be whacked with a plank between the thighs for a prolonged period, which is how I imagine straddling a bicycle saddle sans proper, or any, attire feels like.

Min McGregor is a friend (and fellow Portland Neighborhood member) and the creative spirit behind Cahoots Photography.  She had the opportunity to observe and preserve some moments of the Naked Bike Ride as it wheeled along Southeast Hawthorne.  Min didn't use a flash (startled, blinded naked people are not happy naked people), so her photos have this old-school “Whoa get THAT!” spontaneous quality that renders a sense of both immediacy and nostalgia.

This event never gives one the idea that people walked out of their bedrooms and just decided not to dress for the day.  Many of the participants look as though they're fleeing a dressing-room fire at Darcelle's.

Call me gutless, I couldn't do this, but the godz bless those who can and do.  I feel lucky to live here, where this sort of event is done just because it can be done, for the joy of it, for the enjoyment of both participants and spectators.

But Hey!  Where were Carrie and Fred?

Please visit, and Min's personal page here at


Featured Portland Events this Week

Each week, we feature a handful of member-added events to the blog.  You can always add your own Portland events directly to the Portland events calendar.  Visit 

"inteREor" at SCRAP's Re:Vision Gallery

May 4, 2012 to June 25, 2012SCRAP "inteREor" is a wonderfully clever collection of furniture and decor made almost entirely out of reused materials by fabREfab and LeDoux. SCRAP's Re:Vision Gallery features artwork made from a minimu Organized by Alyssa Kail | Type: gallery, show

Flavor Street Food Cart Tour

May 4, 2012 at 1pm to December 30, 2012 at 3pm – Mark Spencer Hotel Lobby Library Check out Portland’s amazing street cuisine! Let our Resident Experts take you on a personal tour of the city’s best food carts, tasting trucks, and hidden kitchens, where former four-star chefs and Organized by Gary Corbin | Type: food, cart, tour

APEX: Claudia Fitch

May 5, 2012 at 10am to August 12, 2012 at 5pm – The Portland Art Museum Whimsically reinventing icons from popular culture and art history, Seattle artist Claudia Fitch seeks to expose a connection between the cultural and the personal. Using flocking, plastic foliage, g Organized by Sarah Kinney | Type: art, exhibit

70 Years, 70 Photographs

May 12, 2012 at 10am to September 9, 2012 at 5pm – The Portland Art Museum Photography has figured prominently in the Museum’s exhibitions since the early 1910s; the official acquisition of photographs for the permanent collection began in 1942 with the addition of 86 photo Organized by Portland Art Museum | Type: photography, exhibit

Play Baseball in Portland

May 20, 2012 to August 26, 2012Westmoreland Park Play Baseball in Portland this SummerSemi-Pro, College, & Adult Teams 18 and 33 + DivisionsGames Played in Historic Sckavone Stadium, Walker Stadium and Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer Organized by Duane Wangenheim | Type: 18, and, older, baseball, league, registration

Focus on Nature: Wildcats of the World

May 26, 2012 at 10am to July 22, 2012 at 5pm – World Forestry Center For the first time ever, all 36 species of wildcats from around the world are represented in one exhibit. "Focus on Nature: Wildcats of the World" is a collection of 36 framed prints from oil paintin Organized by Amber Morrison | Type: exhibit


June 10, 2012 at 1pm to August 26, 2012 at 4pm – Alpenrose Dairy Alpenrose Dairy, Oregon's oldest family-owned dairy, once again welcomes the summer season and the opening of Dairyville. This is a Portland tradition that has been enjoyed by many kids and adults al Organized by PR @Bradshaw | Type: family, summer, fun

Free Public Tours of the Gerding Theater at the Armory

June 16, 2012 at 12pm to December 15, 2012 at 12pm – Gerding Theater at the Armory The first and third Saturdays of each month, The Gerding Theater at the Armory hosts FREE  public tours. Get the full story of how the Armory Annex went from an 1891 military drilling site to public Organized by Portland Center Stage | Type: tour, community event

Ainsworth Family Fun Festival & Street Faire

June 23, 2012 from 8am to 3pm – Ainsworth United Church of Christ Join your neighbors for a day of fun for the whole family: BBQ, face painting, bounce house, games for kids and a huge rummage sale! Organized by Ainsworth UCC | Type: family, festival, &, rummage, sale

Saturday Imbibing Tour

June 23, 2012 from 12pm to 4pm – Portland We begin at Coalition, a small 10 barrel brewery in the inner SE where we taste their handcrafted, highly drinkable beers that reflect traditional brewing techniques and NW innovation. Our next spot Organized by Brewvana - Portland Brewery Tour | Type: brewery tour


June 23, 2012 from 6:30pm to 9pm – River Street Studios June 23rd Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre/Northwest will kick off the summer by infusing the River Street Studios with a sneak peak at Duckler's new mobile dance work, Feedback, featuring Carla Mann of R Organized by Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre NW | Type: dance, performance

Portland Events Calendar

Got a Portland event to share!  Just click the+Add button and fill in the details to add your own Portland events to the Portland Events Calendar.  As always, thanks for sharing!

Sunnyside Neighborhood - Portland Real Estate Report

Sunnyside Neighborhood Real Estate Market Report 

 Much like the Hawthorne District, the Sunnyside neighborhood area is a very popular area in southeast Portland. Known to most as"Belmont", Sunnyside has a strong sense of Portland individuality. Sunnyside has many locally owned coffee shops, markets, and distinctive shops and restaurants. Belmont Street is a favorite destination for many locals, whether it's for an afternoon at the Avalon Arcade, a night at the Blue Monk, or a cup of coffee at the neighborhood cafe. This area has a nice mix of urban diversity, with a funky feel, and local color.  To learn more about Sunnyside, click here.

If you are looking for homes in the Sunnyside 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 Sunnyside neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In May 2012, there were 15 closed sales, 23 pending sales, and 29 homes on the market in the Sunnyside Neighborhood.

One year change from May 2011 to May 2012:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 38.3%

Homes sold: Up 36.4%

Homes pending sale: Up 15%


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Sunnyside neighborhood has been between $137 and $168/sq. ft. In May 2012, the average price per square foot in the Sunnyside neighborhood was $157.


One year change from May 2011 to May 2012:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Up 15%

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 May 2012, the average time on market for a home in the Sunnyside neighborhood was 8 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 May 2012, sellers in Sunnyside received, on average, 99% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from May 2011 to May 2012:

Time on Market: Down 63.6%
Sold/List price % difference: Up 3%

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 May 2012, the average price of a house on the market in Sunnyside was $487,000. The average sale was $358,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Up 9.2%
Average sold price:  Down 8.7%

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.  May 2012 in the Sunnyside neighborhood had 1.9 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 1.9  months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in May, 8 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Sunnyside from this point forward, in 1.9 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 Sunnyside 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 Deals in Portland this Week

Each week Ross and Leah share five great Portland real estate deals from their listings.

The Best Deals in Portland This Week:  June 18th - June 25th

1. 2111 SW 21ST AVE Portland, OR 97201 - Portland Heights - $4.9M

Click the image to see the full listing


2.  3354 SE STARK ST Portland, OR 97214 - Sunnyside - $750,000

Click the image to see the full listing

3.  2943 NE 52ND AVE Portland, OR 97213 - Rose City Park - $467,000

Click the image to see the full listing

4.  4809 SE HARRISON ST Portland, OR 97215 - Richmond - $389,000

Click the image to see the full listing

5.  5024 SE RHONE ST Portland, OR 97206 - Creston - $239,900

Click the image to see the full listing


Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland metro area homes for sale and real estate from the RMLS, including neighborhood and school information:

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



That's it for now

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