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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland September 7 - September 14 2013


This Portland blog celebrates all things local Portland: people, places, things. Today we celebrate a new neighbor in my Piedmont neighborhood. Marilyn bought the newly flipped, now beautiful blue house on Mississippi Avenue early this summer. The rental home had been practically falling over for years - an eye sore complete with peeling paint and a lean-to garage - and when it foreclosed last fall, we all breathed a sigh of relief mixed with new anxiety. How long would it remain empty and what would become of it? Who would join our neighborhood?

A few months later, a young PDXer bought home to "flip" it. Not sure what to expect, the neighborhood watched with eager interest and a little fear. Every day after he and the crew left, we'd all sneak over and watch the progress through the windows. Like criminals, we'd tip toe around the house peering into every window-- even lifting each other up for the taller windows. The carpet was ripped out, wood floors refinished, horrible remodels covering up the original 1920's handiwork removed and period details like cove trim were unveiled and restored. Slowly, the "flipper" crew breathed new life into an old home.

When the crew completed, a beautiful little bunglow stood in the place where a sagging heap once was. They chose a crisp navy and cream paint scheme and curiously left the whole front yard dirt. When we inquired as to the strange oversight, we were told there was a new owner and she was a master gardener and she had requested a blank canvas.

Master gardener! I was so excited to meet this new neighbor that I couldn't even stand it. Marilyn was such a suprise to me. She is easily in her late 70's and is incredibly fit and has more energy than a gaggle of 20 somethings. Recently widowed, she and two year old still pup, Wilson, moved from the east coast to start a new life in Portland. Wilson, she explained, was just like the volleyball that saved the life of Tom Hanks in Cast Away. I blinked hard and fell in love with my neighbor.

Marilyn the master gardener is also a bee keeper (complete with the outfit!) and chicken keeper. Her license plate says "Eat more kale!" and she runs Wilson every morning at 7am without fail. She has slowly, with a practiced patience that amazes me, pieced together a gorgeous garden. The plants are all spaced to grow and mature and her garden will be a vision in the years to come.

New life in piedmont

Every time I look across the street, I smile. Marilyn embodies "Portland". She's a role model for all of us.

Enjoy our Portland blog this week and have a great weekend enjoying the true gift of this lovely September weather.





Powell's Bookstore Picks

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

And Sons

by David Gilbert

The Cuckoo's Calling

by J. K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith

J. D. Salinger Boxed Set

by J D Salinger


by John Gardner




The Portland Video of the Week - Caffeination

Learn all about the nationally renowned Portland Coffee scene



The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by Rachel who shares a very intimate view of the St Johns bridge. Learn more about the St Johns neighborhood by the reading the neighborhood profile.

2013 St Johns Bridge at night

Our Portland Photo of the Week wins a $20 gift certificate to the world famous: Powell's Bookstore. 

Enter your 100% original Portland photos and win a $20 treat to a local Portland business of our choice!

Past winners have been treated to: Powells, Coava Coffee, McMenamins, The Screen Door, New Seasons Market, Lompoc and dozens more!

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Coava Coffee

humbly made



A beautiful late summer image: bees in Portland by Fasai


Storm und Drang by Rob Creighton Garrison


It's Thursday evening. The big news of the day (other than the bus ablaze on Sunset Highway) is the coming storm.

Oooooh. Storm. Oooohhh.

                                                Not this Storm.  Freakin' COOL though, huh?

Now I'll admit, earlier this afternoon I looked up and was somewhat startled to find that I could actually see the rain. Usually I have to look at a dark area in the trees or on a building and concentrate on that one spot for a few seconds before I can actually perceive the rain without actually having to go out and stand in it. Even then sometimes I have to tilt my head back and wait for the slight sensation on my actual eyeballs that I've come to recognize as that of a noncommittal sort of precipitation. “Please”, this whisper of condensation seems to say, “may I rest here for a moment before I continue my hour's journey from this point to the ground? I'll be ever so quiet and light in my step.” You've never encountered such a polite meteorological event.

Well, I haven't, anyway. Some of you readers may have traveled to mystical lands and seen other, more astonishing wonders. Who am I to say? But here in the eerie woodsy Valley of the Wily Willamette, we have the ghost rain. It's a gradual gremlin of a rain, one that manifests only after coming indoors, when its ectoplasm appears as damp epaulets on the shoulders of one's garment, there to cool and fade until no evidence remains.

This is why few Portlanders carry umbrellas. Don't need 'em. We have eyebrows.

So forgive me when I sneak a snicker at the weather wags when the term “storm” launches from their lips. I have lived in West Texas, where I've actually observed cold fronts march toward me down the street, and North Texas, where the overcast skies looked as if they concealed the gods' own paparazzi up there. In Albuquerque I drove home in a sand storm so vicious and indiscriminate that a gang of tumbleweeds tried to hijack my car in their attempt to flee. Please, speak not to me of storms.

But yes, for a moment I did forget about Columbus Day, October 12, 1962. That one is brag-worthy, no question. Tossed boats out of the river, clocked wind speeds (depending on who measured, how they measured it, and where) of between 130 and 145 mph. Hats off, that was an Event with a capital “Enormous”. Good on ya, Portland, you may count ONE storm that people actually alive today can remember. Almost fifty-one years ago.

So we kind of fail at storm most of the time. Too bad. I miss a good thunderstorm, with a big, dangerous light show accompanying. I see news of other states in the Union getting their SigMets on and I sigh to myself wistfully. I always get over it, though, when I consider this:

Portland's rain, our brand of it, falls imperceptibly much of the time, but just look at the green fire it conjures. This ghost rain tempts the very Earth into an emerald eruption that never, ever fails to impress me, and it fair makes my heart glad every time I step outdoors.

Storms are transient. Let's hope the rain never is.


Communicate with Rob the Bloggod @



Featured Portland Events



First Thursday Portland

January 3, 2013 at 6pm to December 5, 2013 at 9pm –"Pearl District"First Thursday Portland Gallery Walk in the Pearl Every first Thursday of the Month in the Pearl District at various art galleries. Visit for info 2013 First ThuOrganized by First Thursday | Type: first thursday portland


First Fridays SE Galleries Art Walk

January 4, 2013 at 6pm to December 6, 2013 at 8pm –"Various SE Galleries"Welcome to First Friday! Hosted by Portland's Eastside art galleries and alternative art venues, First Friday provides arts enthusiasts the opportunity to wander from gallery to gallery for artist reOrganized by First Fridays | Type: first fridays


Tabor Farmers Market

January 5, 2013 at 6pm to December 28, 2013 at 7pm – "SE Portland at SE 57 & Division St."Tabor Farmers Market @ Cafe au Play is a Year Round Farmers Market in SE Portland at SE 57 & Division St. The market runs every Saturday from 10am to 2pm. This unique market surrounds Cafe au PlaOrganized by Tabor Farmers Market | Type: farmers market


Last Thursdays on Alberta

January 31, 2013 at 6pm to December 26, 2013 at 7pm – "Alberta Street"Last Thursdays on Alberta Street Gallery and shop art walk. Held every last Thursday of each month.  Last Thursday, the monthly Alberta Arts District festival, is now in its 14th season. Artists, musOrganized by Last Thursdays on Alberta | Type: last thursdays on alberta


Gaston Lachaise: MAN/WOMAN

June 8, 2013 to September 8, 2013 – Portland Art MuseumFeaturing over 50 bronze and marble pieces, French-born sculptor Gaston Lachaise’s exhibition Man/Woman arrives at the Portland Art Museum this June. Critically acclaimed for his portrayal of the humOrganized by Henry Moreno | Type: sculptureexhibition


Photo Contest: Oregon Wild

July 3, 2013 at 6pm to September 20, 2013 at 7pm –submit online: Oregon Wild, 5825 N. Greeley Ave, Portland, OR 97217 Email: Find adventure in the perfect shot. The Oregon Wild Outdoor Photo Contest is back for its ninth yOrganized by Oregon Wild | Type: photographycontest


Sherrie Levine

July 12, 2013 to October 13, 2013 – Portland Art MuseumAppropriating the work of other artists, Pennsylvania native Sherrie Levine reimagines existing art and cultural icons and makes them her own. Featuring the works Untitled (Hat), based off Joseph BeuOrganized by Henry Moreno | Type: exhibition


APEX: Heather Watkins

July 20, 2013 to October 20, 2013 – Portland Art MuseumAs the latest artist featured in our APEX series, Heather Watkins showcases serious Northwest talent. Drawing inspiration from sources like Dadaism, calligraphy, and sumi ink drawings, Ms. Watkins’ eOrganized by Henry Moreno | Type: exhibition


Hands on Hives Series

August 11, 2013 to September 21, 2013 – location varies by class dateLearn-by-doing classes demonstrating bee’s gentle nature / ease of beekeeping  - while we harvest honey and ready bees for winter. from August 11 to September 21, weekends in the afternoon click forOrganized by Brian Lacy | Type: handsonhivesseries



Reed Canyon, Reed College

Another incredible image by Michael Barton



The Best Deals in Portland This Week

By Ross and Leah Seligman


1.  2611 NE THOMPSON ST Portland, OR 97212



Click The Image To See The Full Listing

2. 6816 SE ASH ST Portland, OR 97215



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3.4727 NE 32ND PL Portland, OR 97211



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4.3819 N COMMERCIAL AVE Portland, OR 97227



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5. 731 SE 47TH AVE Portland, OR 97215



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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:

Tags: AlbertaBoiseConcordiaGrant ParkMt. TaborSunnysideportland oregonportland real estateproperties of portlandrmls




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