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This Week in Portland August 20 - August 27 2011

Welcome to another edition of our weekly Portland blog!  There is just about one month left of our Portland summer but who's counting? Well, even though we are not looking forward to bidding the sun adieu, there are some awesome PDX events that happen only in the end of summer/early autumn and one of them is just around the corner. *Drumroll* Mark your calendars because end-of-summer marks a local event you cannot miss: The Vaux's Swifts at Chapman Elementary.

It's 100% Free and 100% Awesome -  Bring your blanket, binoculars, camera, loved ones and a watchful eye to observe the Vaux's Swifts -in the thousands- as they rush to roost in the chimney of Chapman School. Learn more about this cool Portland happening at the Portland Audubon Society.


This Week's Top Ten in Portland

This week our Portland Top Ten is focused on the best restaurants in Portland, Oregon. In no particular order, they are:

1. Ringside Steakhouse - The Burnside location in the bar area is where we'll steer you...The steak is to-die-for and the bartender is the best friend you've always wanted. Get there early or get there late and enjoy the best happy hour in the city.

2. Paley's Place - The best date place and some of the most creative (expensive) dishes in town.

3. Sweet Basil Thai - This is not a break-the-bank upscale eatery but it is - in our humble opinion - the best Thai food in town.

4. Bombay Cricket Club - A favorite for years and never a disappointment, the ever busy Bombay is the best Indian food you'll find in PDX.

5. Kens Artisan Pizza - It's worth the wait, we guarantee it. The wood fired pizza here is the b-e-s-t pizza in the city by a landslide.

6. Higgins Restaurant - One of the best upscale restaurants in Portland - excellent locally sourced farm-to-plate gourmet foods.

7. The Screen Door - If you love southern food, the Screen Door is your heaven on earth. Huge portions, unbelievably delicious. You'll wait an easy hour but you won't mind. Amazing and authentic New Orleans.

8. Toro Bravo - This is Lorri's favorite restaurant in all of fair Portlandia. What doesn't she like here?

9. Miho Izakaya - This is Angela's (that's me) favorite restaurant -right now- in all of fair Portlandia. On my death bed, I'll call for the Ika Salad, no doubt.

10. Enjoni Cafe - Healthy, fresh, incredible authentic Ethiopian food.

Hey Foodies -- Looking for more Best of Portland ideas?

The best restaurants by neighborhood

Best Portland Indian

Best Portland Thai

Best Portland happy hour

Best Seafood

Best romantic restaurants and places

Best Portland breakfast

Best Portland food carts

Best Portland burger


The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is by Tamra Teymeier who shared this dreamy vision of the Portland Rhododendron Garden. Learn more about this beautiful garden where the squirrels are so tame they will eat out of your hand.

Portland Rhododendron Garden

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing.  Tamra 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.




Free Movies in the Park is in full swing! Check out the 2011 Movie in the Park Summer Schedule and head out for a night in the park with friends and family.

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.


Annual PROPER Festival - 12-4pm AUG 27, Kenton Park


The Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden The Portland Japanese Garden is a popular Portland attraction located on the edge of Downtown Portland in Washington Park. Proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden is a 5.5-acre haven of tranquil beauty nestled in the scenic west hills of Portland, Oregon. 

The Japanese Garden is one of my favorite locations in Portland, and I'm sure I am not alone with that opinion.  The garden is peaceful and beautiful, and is full of gorgeous plants, trees, water features, and other Japanese inspired scenery.  I find the garden changes throughout the seasons in Portland, but always offers something worth seeing.  Throughout the year, the Japanese Garden offers special events and different exhibits, and the Japanese Garden gift shop is a great place to find unique gifts.  The Japanese maple trees offer excellent photo opportunities for amateur and professional photographers.  I personally have used the Portland Japanese garden as a source of inspiration for several oil paintings of the beautiful Japanese maple trees with graceful branches and delicate lace-like leaves.  The garden is an amazing source of inspiration to all who visit, artist or not.  Learn more about the Portland Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

The beautiful Portland Japanese Garden by Fasai


Sellwood Neighborhood Real Estate Report

by Ross Seligman

Sellwood feels much less "hipster" and "chic" than say, Mississippi Ave, Alberta Arts or the Pearl-- but a definite, at ease kind of 'anything goes, all are welcome' type of feeling is present on these streets.  Like most Portland neighborhoods, Sellwood and Moreland neighborhoods feel very self-sustaining.  Local grocery store New Seasons, many local coffee shops plus a few local coffee roasters make this community feel warm and a lot like its own small town.  Walking the streets in Sellwood and Moreland neighborhoods invokes a "back in the good old days" feeling.  This area is family friendly, walkable, and livable with a strong sense of community pride. 

The Moreland neighborhood of Portland is divided into Eastmoreland and Westmoreland.  Splitting hairs?  Not according to the neighbors.  Ask them, and they’ll say that Eastmoreland is the kind of place where other people mow your lawn.  In Westmoreland, they do their own.  Yard work aside, it’s certainly evident that the activity of the area – the hustle, bustle, and commerce – belongs entirely to Westmoreland.  In the size reserved for just one of those well manicured lawns surrounding an Eastmoreland mansion, four businesses could fit in Westmoreland.  Each has their charm.  But as the seat of the neighborhood’s retail trade, Westmoreland’s landscape is far more conducive to a verbal tour.  We'll cover Westmoreland on this neighborhood page as part of the "Sellwood-Moreland" neighborhood, since that is how it is classified by the City of Portland.  To learn more, click here.


Are you keeping an eye on Sellwood 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 Sellwood 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 Sellwood 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 Sellwood neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In July 2011, there were 25 closed sales, 31 pending sales, and 128 homes on the market in the Sellwood Neighborhood.

One year change from July 2010 to July 2011:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 9.2%
Homes sold: Down 13.8%
Homes pending sale: Down 8.8%


Chart for average price per square footage:


In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Sellwood neighborhood has been between $140 and $177/sq. ft. In July 2011, the average price per square foot in the Sellwood neighborhood was $171.


One year change from July 2010 to July 2011:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:
July 2010: 177

July 2011: 171

Percentage Change: Down 3.5%

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 July 2011, the average time on market for a home in the Sellwood 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 July 2011, sellers in Sellwood received, on average, 96% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from July 2010 to July 2011:

Time on Market: Up 48.7%
Sold/List price % difference: Down 1%

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 July  2011, the average price of a house on the market in Sellwood was $382,000. The average sale was $362,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 5.2%
Average sold price:  Down 4.5%

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.  July 2011 in the Sellwood neighborhood had 5.1 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 5.1 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in July, 58 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Sellwood from this point forward, in 5.1 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.

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


Link to the original post

Summer evening in Tryon Creek State Park


Summer evening in Tryon Creek Park by Michael Barton



Homes for sale in Portland


1124 SE 35TH AVE Portland, OR 97214 - Sunnyside Neighborhood - $319,000

See the full listing here


7903 SE HENRY PL Portland, OR 97206 - Mt. Scott/Arleta Neighborhood - $189,900


See 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.

Looking for great food in your neighborhood? Here is our locals guide to the best restaurants in PDX, listed by neighborhood.


That's It!

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