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This Week in Portland June 25 - July 2 2011

Summer is here and this is the first Portland blog of the season!  With summer in Portland comes the peak point of our tourism season and though it may come as a surprise to some, tourism and hospitality is the largest traded economic sector in Oregon. Yes, indeed, Portland and Oregon tourism is responsible for bringing a great deal of money into the state and creates a lot of much needed jobs. About $3.6 billion dollars is spent by tourists on an annual basis in Portland's Multnomah county as well as Washington and Clackamas counties. Who benefits?  Just about everyone. Portland hotels, restaurants and local area transportation are standouts but local retail, museums, galleries, brewers, winemakers, farmers and the fishing industry benefit greatly as well. 

We are always excited to showcase the best of Portland and to give praise to our local Portland businesses. The Weekly Top Ten List found in this blog does just that as well as our weekly Photo of the Week contest where someone gets treated to a cool -and always local- Portland business.

If you are visiting Portland, feel free to ask questions on our online community. We are all here to help.

Happy Summer, Portland!

Cannon Beach by Julie Lynn Kelly  Learn about the Oregon coast



This Week's Top Ten in Portland

1. Working Hands Farm - Working Hands is a small CSA farm that is dedicated to changing the way we eat & experience food. We limit our CSA to 50 shares with the goal of accomplishing two things: conserving & protecting our soils & providing our clientele with the best possible experience. In basic terms, Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production.


In simpler terms, CSA is a way for us to be able to grow healthy food for our community, while ensuring that we can also earn a living wage and maintain healthy soil for generations to come. We aim to work together with our members to grow and distribute high-quality, organic produce full of the vital nutrients and minerals we need to live rich, full lives.

2.  The Portland Light Rail -  Construction of the new rail line steadily moves toward the north on Grand and southbound on MLK. Soon, a whole new world will come alive in the once sleepy lower SE industrial area. Watch for a major boom in this area and soon. Learn more about the Portland light rail.


3. Portland Food Carts - Who wants to eat inside when you can sit outside and bask in the sunny glory of the Portland summer while eating awesome cart food? Not us.


4. Miho Izakaya -  It has been decided: our last meal on earth will be the Sweet Chili Spare Ribs and the ‘Ika’ Calamari Salad. Hellsyes.


5. New Deal Distillery-  One of the hottest young companies in town, New Deal is just our style and the vodka is divine.

Background on this cool 2004 startup: New Deal Distillery provides high quality, craft-distilled spirits, inspired by the DIY spirit of Portland. All of our artisan vodkas are made locally in small batches with Bull Run water and natural and organic ingredients, sourced locally whenever possible. All we wanted, when we started, was to simply put one good bottle of vodka on a store shelf, have one person buy it, and maybe change humanity for the better along the way.

New Deal is just another reason we love Portland.


6.  A Wine Maker for a Day -  Learn about the Oregon wine industry.

7.  We love MercPerks - Spend $10 and get $20 to the scrumptious Peoples' Sandwich of Portland


8.  The 1st Annual Big+Small Brewing Competition - Hosted by F.H Steinbart store, the oldest home brewing store in Portland. Entries due July 16th.


9. Turn it UP! The heat, that is...if you're looking for a nice pool to lounge by this summer, we have the list. This is also the list of all things fitness in Portland, so definitely check it out.


10. The North American Organic Brewers Festival starts this week!  With nearly 3 dozen breweries represented, this promises to be an excellent opportunity to use public transportation in Portland!  See you there...




The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is by entitled Oregon Native by Karylee Harrison. Treasure at Tryon Park, indeed. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous photo!

Oregon Native


Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Karylee will get a $20 gift certificate to local business, Powells Bookstore.

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." (  Learn all about Powells Bookstore.

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! 


coava coffee roasters


Featured Portland Events

Here are the featured Portland events this week focusing on events happening this weekend or those just around the corner! 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 for free (pleased read our terms of service first). Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.

Scandinavian Festival
The 83rd annual Scandinavian Midsummer Festival starts at 11 a.m. June 25 at Oaks Park and *everyone* is invited! Admission is $6 for ages 13 and older, $3 for ages 6-12, free to ages 5 and younger…

North American Organic Brewers Festival
Welcome to the North American Organic Brewers Festival, where we aim to save the planet, one beer at a time! The 7th annual event will take place June 24 - 26, 2011 in Overlook Park in Portland, Ore…

Last Wednesday @ Ground Kontrol
"Last Wednesday" of every month...Ground Kontrol trades a cover charge for a night of FREE video games and pinball tables! Woot! 21+, $5 cover for FREE GAMES ALL NITE! Doors open at 5pm, DJs start…

Biking Tour of Community Gardens
Alberta Co-op Grocery The Alberta Coop's Community Engagement Committee invites all interested community members and garden enthusiasts to our second annual biking tour of community gardens in NE Portland. It's a great op…

One Night With Janis Joplin - Portland Center Stage
Gerding Theater at the Armory Portland Center Stage will host the world premiere of One Night with Janis Joplin, the new musical event celebrating the life of one of rock ‘n roll’s greatest legends, beginning May 24, 2011. One Ni…

Best of Portland Walking Tour
June 11, 2011 at 10am to October 30, 2011 at 12pm –Portland Downtown Hilton Experience Portland the green and eco-friendly way. This award-winning walk clarifies why Portland is regularly recognized as one of the best places to live. You’ll hear about early and modern Port…

Ray K. Metzker: AutoMagic
Portland Art Museum Explore the photographs by Ray K. Metzker in the exhibition Ray K. Metzker: AutoMagic at the Portland Art Museum. The exhibition features more than 50 photographs that explore automobile design as we…

Contemporary Northwest Art Awards Exhibition
Portland Art Museum Come explore the artwork by seven exceptional Northwest artists at the second Contemporary Northwest Art Awards. The exhibition explores the work of Chris Antemann, John Buck, John Grade, Jerry Ivers…

Mount Angel Abbey Festival of Arts and Wine
St. Benedict, OR Food and wine festival featuring 10 wineries, 3 microbreweries, 6 restaurants, live music, art exhibits and sales, open house in Abbey Library, Guesthouse and Museum, oral and silent auction. 1-5 pm.…

Free Movies in the Park starts on June 26 and the full 2011 Movie in the Park Summer Schedule has been published. Also, 4th of July is right around the corner and we have already begun to compile the full list of how best to celebrate the 4th of July in Portland.

Looking for something else? We have a ton of other local Portland events on the calendar. Please feel free to add your own as well.


Dog & feather at the beach - by Karma Pakshi


Visiting Portland - What to See & Do in Portlandia

Visiting Portland Oregon - Welcome to Portland, Oregon, the city famous for coffee, roses, beer, green-living, nationally recognized as one of cycling capitals of the United States, owner of a heart-stopping and simply breathtaking cityscape, fiercely loyal and intensely independent citizens and more-- and more. 

What follows is a mere sample of what to see and do while on your Portland journey:

The Portland Oregon Zoo is popular for both locals and visitors.  And don't miss Zoo Lights Portland Oregon, an annual holiday light show. Nestled right above downtown Portland, the Oregon Zoo is an easy trip via the Max light rail. Delightful old-style trains are a favorite zoo-transport option offering amazing views and relief for your tired feet. The kids (big and small) will be in heaven. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, PHOTO OPPS

Portland Pioneer Courthouse Square - Visiting Portland? Portland's Living Room is a central hub for tons of Downtown Portland events, year round.  Come visit the Portland Pioneer Square and become a part of Portland's history. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, SHOPPING FANATICS, PEOPLE WATCHING, PHOTO OPPS

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 OMSI - Oregon Museum of Science and Industry features a planetarium, laser shows, submarine and the OMNIMAX Dome Theater. OMSI is an excellent choice for family entertainment in Portland. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES

Rose Quarter Sports and Entertainment Want tickets for the Portland Trail Blazers or the Portland Winter Hawks? You can also see some fantastic live music here, and big events as well. Category: SPORTS NUTS, MUSIC FANS, FAMILIES

The largest used and new bookstore in the world, Powell's City of Books has been wowing locals and visitors alike since 1971. This store spans an entire city block, guaranteeing it will take you hours to traverse the nooks and crannies and color coded sections but we know you will love every minute of it! Category: BOOKWORMS, FAMILIES

Portland Spirit - If you're visiting Portland, consider taking a Portland dinner cruise or holiday cruise on a Portland riverboat tour.  The Portland Spirit fleet offers some great entertainment on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Category: ROMANTIC, 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 Jet Boat - Have a blast on an exciting riverboat cruise on the Willamette on a Portland jetboat tour. Category: KID-FRIENDLY, FAMILIES, THRILLS

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

We get asked this question all the time-- what is Portland really like? Good question!  Read more here and learn all about the hipsters, the green movement, the beer, the rain, the coffee and more.


Irvington Coyote by Tim Elmer  Learn about the Irvington neighborhood


University Park Neighborhood Real Estate Report: What's Happening? 

by Ross Seligman

Young, old, singletons and families -old and new- call this neighborhood home. There is a large student population in this neighborhood due to University of Portland.  This is an active, outdoorsy area- you'll nearly always see bikers, runners and dog walkers on Willamette.  To learn more about University Park neighborhood, click here

Are you keeping an eye on University Park 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 University Park 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 the University Park neighborhood, 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 University Park neighborhood from 03/10 to 05/11:

In May 2011, there were 23 closed sales, 34 pending sales, and 152 homes on the market in the University Park Neighborhood.

One year change from May 2010 to May 2011:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 7.9%
Homes sold: Down 32.4%
Homes pending sale: Up 88.9%


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the University Park neighborhood has been between $112 and $143/sq. ft. In May 2011, the average price per square foot in the University Park neighborhood was $114.


One year change from May 2010 to May 2011:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:
May 2010: 133

May 2011: 114

Percentage Change: Down 14.2%

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 2011, the average time on market for a home in the University Park neighborhood was 84 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 2011, sellers in University Park received, on average, 92% of their original listing price.

Change from May 2010 to May 2011:

Time on Market: Up 75%
Sold/List price % difference: Down 5%

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 May  2011, the average price of a house on the market in University Park was $214,000. The average sale was $201,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 7.8%
Average sold price:  Down 9%

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 2011 in the University Park neighborhood was a buyer's market with 6.6 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 6.6 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in May, 84 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in University Park from this point forward, in 6.6 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.

Visit Ross at his website where you can contact him directly and search all Portland Metro Area real estate and homes for sale from the RMLS, including school and neighborhood reports.

Link to original report


Late afternoon tetherball

Late afternoon tetherball by Karylee Harrison


Homes for sale in Portland

366 SE 44TH AVE Portland, OR 97215 - Laurelhurst neighborhood - $525,000

View the full listing here


4037 NE 42ND AVE Portland, OR 97213 - Beaumont Wilshire neighborhood - $319,000

View the full listing here

Most Popular Portland Neighborhoods

The Pearl District, Irvington, Piedmont, Boise, Alberta Arts, Sellwood, Hawthorne, Nob Hill and Belmont

But, given our nearly 100 urban Portland neighborhoods, everyone has a different favorite so please do take some time and read about our Portland Neighborhoods (neighborhood profiles, videos and more!) If you're moving to Portland and want to meet people or ask questions about how to get started, join our very popular Portland blog; a real Portland community chock full of chits, chats and Portland events!  We hope this page has been a helpful moving to Portland guide, but join our Portland community forum and ask any questions you have about Portland--we are happy to help!

Learn more about Moving to Portland and find Visiting Portland complete with dozens of places to see and things to do to suit nearly every interest.


That's It!

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