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This Week in Portland Nov 26 - Dec 3, 2011

Happy Thankgiving weekend, Portlanders!  I hope you enjoyed this wet and windy autumn week and were able to find time to reflect on those things that you feel thankful for.  December is nearly upon us, and that means the holiday festivities have begun. I just updated our Portland Holiday Events page to help give you some ideas of fun holiday events in Portland this year.  Several of these events are happening this week, so our Portland Top Ten list is focused on holiday ideas.

I am posting the blog early this week, and wanted to mention that for Portland Black Friday deals, I hope you will consider shopping local in order to support our local businesses and Portland economy.  Check out for a nice list of local merchants to shop.  These Portland small business owners deserve our business and most of these shops offer truly unique and special merchandise and gifts that you probably can't find online at a big-box store anyway.

Speaking of small Portland businesses, I came across this very unique Portland business: Trees by Bike.  Have your holiday tree delivered to your door by a Portland bike delivery person.  How cool is that?

What is Trees By Bike?

Trees By Bike is a small business created by Portland folks who are looking to spread some holiday cheer, make a little extra money, and raise some cash for things we care about. All of our trees are locally grown and 10% of your order total is donated to a special charity we pick each year. For 2011 we chose Portland’s The Dougy Center, an incredible organization that provides assistance to grieving children and their families.

The story of Trees By Bike starts on a frigid Portland morning, over one year ago. Full of turkey, cranberry sauce, and various libations, the Yule Dispatcher was prompted with the most curious desire. A desire for a needle-ridden mess that many call a Christmas tree. The Yule Dispatcher remembered the childhood home he grew up in, adorned with cheap mistletoe and dollar store garland. He recalled the coos of joy and laughter in front of a meagerly sized tree, strung with plastic and popcorn. And with a belly full our Yule Dispatcher set his mind to erecting a Christmas tree in the living room of his shared house, much like his parents had done in his childhood home so many years ago. After earning the approval to host a tree from his housemates, the Yule Dispatcher approached his next hurdle, transport. With no car to speak of and serious doubts about the allowance of a 5′ Christmas tree on TriMet, he was left only one option. His bicycle and his trusty Lemolo backpack. It was an interesting ride, with many honks full of holiday cheer, but it was more than just a tree that our Dispatcher achieved. He made a stunning realization, which he then relayed in joyful prose:

“Holiday cheer need no automotive support,
why not is it spread with wheels and legs and just heart?
Internal combustion, need not apply,
for next XMAS we’re riding bikes with trees stacked ridiculously high.”

“For the sake of all goodness, we must do this well.
Mount up on your bikes and deliver like hell:
Now, Riders! Now, Racers! Now, Couriers, and Gophers!
On, Commuters! On, Street kids! On, Hipsters and Bro-dogs!”

“To the valleys and gorges! To the top of the hills!
Now ride away! ride away! Coffee helps, for reals!”

And that’s how Abraham Lincoln saved the world. Oh wait, I mean that’s how Trees By Bike was started.

Order Your Tree

Portland Holiday Charity

Another thing  that got me thinking this week was the news that our local pet food bank, The Pongo Fund, had some roof leaking due to the storms this week, and a large amount of their pet food was ruined.  They could really use our help, so if you have a little extra to spare to make a donation, I am sure they would really appreciate it.  Donate online at

If you are looking for other worthy Portland Charities this holiday season, don't forget WWEEK's Give Guide 2011.

This Week's Top Ten in Portland

Our Portland Top Ten list features ten local places that you might enjoy visiting in Portland each week.  This week we have decided to focus on Portland Holiday Events to help kick off the month of December.  Here are ten Portland holiday events to give you a couple ideas of fun things to do in Portland this week as we kick off the holiday season.

Wreath Making Class at World Forestry Center

November 26, 2011 to November 27, 2011"World Forestry Center" Wreath Making Class ~ Nov. 26 & 27 Hours: 11am - 3pmJoin Event Floral as they help you create a fresh, personalized  evergreen wreath to enjoy the whole holiday season. Bring your ideas and creat Organized by World Forestry Center

North End Holiday Market

November 18, 2011 at 10am to December 24, 2011 at 7pm – St. John's district, Old Salvation Army Building, across the street from Pattie's Home Plate A craft market with unique, handmade art and crafts such as quilts, jewelry, wood carvings, stuffed animals, high-quality prints of original paintings,  and more! Store Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am - 7 pm; Organized by Laura Woodruff | Type: art/craft, market,

Full Circle Gallery

November 25, 2011 at 11am to November 26, 2011 at 6pm – Inner SE Art District Join us for Friday & Saturday, the Holiday Show & Sale at Full Circle from 11am - 6pm.  Eight artists through Saturday offering unique gifts for the holiday.  To be folllowed by our First Fri Organized by Jim Orman | Type: holiday, show

A Midsummer Night's Dream

November 25, 2011 at 2:30pm to November 27, 2011 at 5pm – Lincoln Hall The Portland Ballet (Nancy Davis, artistic director) will perform the world premiere of John Clifford’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production, with original costumes, set, lighting and Felix Mend Organized by The Portland Ballet | Type: ballet, performance

Tannenbaum Madness

November 25, 2011 at 4pm to January 1, 2012 at 4pm – Alberta Main Street Alberta Main Street presents Tannenbaum Madness Tannenbaum Madness is a walking window tour of whimsical, wacky and artistic trees. Over 30 Alberta Street businesses are creating sights not to be mis Organized by Alberta Main Street | Type: holiday, fun

Tree Lighting Ceremony at Pioneer Courthouse Square

November 25, 2011 from 5:30pm to 7pm – "Pioneer Courthouse Square" Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by SmartPark | 5:30pmBe Merry at the Square! On the day after Thanksgiving, Portlanders will gather at the Square to celebrate the official start of the season by lig Organized by Pioneer Square | Type: portland holiday

Zoo Lights at Oregon Zoo

November 25, 2011 to January 1, 2012"Oregon Zoo" Annual holiday lights display at the Oregon Zoo!   Celebrate the holiday season amid the sparkling lights and brilliant hues of ZooLights.* More than a million lights transform the Oregon Zoo into a Organized by Zoo Lights | Type: zoo lights

Community Christmas Tree Lighting

November 29, 2011 from 6pm to 8pm – Concordia University Join the CU campus community and the Concordia neighborhood for the offical kick off to the Christmas season. Organized by Concordia University

Portland Holiday Ale Festival

November 30, 2011 to December 4, 2011"Pioneer Square" Holiday Ale FestivalMore than 40+ breweries will be featured at this year's event, all of which are created specifically to bring warmth and cheer to the holiday season. From Belgians and Barleywines Organized by Holiday Ale Festival | Type: portland holiday

Storybook Lane

December 2, 2011 at 3pm to December 18, 2011 at 6pm – Alpenrose Dairy Winter wonderland fun is back at Alpenrose Dairy as Storybook Lane reopens once again for the first time in six years.  Portland’s family owned and operated dairy is partnering with 4-H of Multnomah Organized by Alpenrose

The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner this week is this fall scene by Earl R. Thomas, snapped in NW Portland on Thurman Street.  Thanks for sharing your Portland photos with us, we always enjoy seeing what people have uploaded each week!

Fall on Thurman Street by Earl R. Thomas
Photo by Earl R. Thomas

Earl will receive a $20 gift certificate to local business, Powells Bookstore.  Each week we select a Portland photo winner, so come upload your images to the Portland photo album.

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 (please read our terms of service first). Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.

Chris Burden: Ghost Ships

November 2, 2011 at 10am to January 22, 2012 at 5pm – Portland Art Museum Ghost Ships is a trio of actual sailboats that have been reconfigured and programmed by the artist to periodically unfurl sails, pivot rudders, and simulate navigation. The sailboats will seem to sai Organized by Portland Art Museum | Type: art, exhibit

Mottainai: The Fabric of Life – Lessons in Frugality from Traditional Japan

November 4, 2011 at 12pm to November 27, 2011 at 4pm – Portland Japanese Garden Art in the Garden Fall 2011 This exhibition of antique Japanese folk textiles from the Meiji period (1868-1912) demonstrates the remarkable ability of the Japanese to not only make do with the very l Organized by Portland Japanese Garden | Type: art, exhibition 

Interior Spaces - Paintings by André Knaebel

November 4, 2011 at 7pm to November 30, 2011 at 8pm – red e café Interior Spaces address the relationship between the figure and the emptiness of the space that surrounds it.  Artist reception - Friday, Nov 4 at 7pm.  Organized by Kristin Kane | Type: art, showing, through, november 

Scavenger Hunt Search Party at the Central Library

November 5, 2011 at 11am to March 3, 2012 at 1pm – Portland Downtown Central Library Turn your Rosetta-stone brain on high and unravel the mysteries hidden in the stacks, on the walls, and places you never imagined existed in a public library. Upon arrival, a highly-trained Run Brai Organized by Gary Corbin | Type: scavenger, hunt 

Full Circle Gallery

November 25, 2011 at 11am to November 26, 2011 at 6pm – Inner SE Art District Join us for Friday & Saturday, the Holiday Show & Sale at Full Circle from 11am - 6pm.  Eight artists through Saturday offering unique gifts for the holiday.  To be folllowed by our First Fri Organized by Jim Orman | Type: holiday, show,

Christopher Titus at Helium

November 25, 2011 at 8pm to November 26, 2011 at 11:30pm – Helium Comedy Club Christopher Titus from his hit television series, "Titus", will be at Helium Comedy Club.Friday, November 25 @ 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM- $20Saturday, November 26 @ 7:30 PM & 10:00 PM- $25Call 888-6 Organized by Helium Comedy Club | Type: comedy, stand-up 

Nick Thune at Helium

November 30, 2011 from 8pm to 10pm – Helium Comedy Club Nick Thune - "The Reunion Tour", one night only, LIVE!Wednesday, November 30 @ 8:00 PM- $15Make your ticket reservations today! 888-643-8669.Purchase your tickets in advance, on our website, https:/ Organized by Helium Comedy Club | Type: comedy, stand-up

Portland's Singing Christmas Tree

December 1, 2011 to December 4, 2011Keller   2011 PERFORMANCE DATES Thursday December 1, 2011 7:30pm Friday December 2, 2011 7:30pm Saturday December 3, 2011 11:30am, 3:30pm, 7:30pm Sunday December 4, 2011 Organized by Portland Singing Christmas Tree

Rhys Darby at Helium

December 1, 2011 at 8pm to December 3, 2011 at 11pm – Helium Comedy Club Rhys Darby from "Flight of the Conchords" Darby is probably best known for playing Murray Hewitt the band manager of Flight of the Conchords in the HBO television series. Call today to make your tic Organized by Helium Comedy Club

Ahhh HA! Extremely Physical Theatre

November 26, 2011 from 7:30pm to 9pm – The Echo Theatre For over one-third of a century, Founder and Artistic Director Robin Lane has led the Do Jump! "actorbats" in creating a unique blend of theatre, dance, aerial work, acrobatics, dynamic visuals and l Organized by o Jump! Extremely Physical Thea | Type: theatre, performance

Soroptimist of Mt. Adams Annual Holiday Extravaganza

November 27, 2011 from 10am to 4pm – Best Western Hood River Inn Soroptimist of Mt. Adams Annual Holiday Shopping Extravaganza! Sunday November 27th 10am to 4pm Best Western Hood River Inn Free Parking and Free admission Donn Bender will have a display of phot Organized by Donna Bender | Type: holiday, bazaar

November 2011 - Portland Real Estate Market Report - Condo Market

If you are looking for condos in Portland Oregon, visit this link where you can search for condos by particular neighborhood: Click Here

On to the report:

Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending in the last 15 months:

In October 2011, there were 99 closed sales, 112 pending sales, and 663 homes on the market in the Condo Market.

One year change from October 2010 to October 2011:

Inventory (how many Condos on the market for sale): Down 33.8%

Condos sold: Up 35.6%

Condos pending sale: no change.


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the condo market has been between $213 and $289/sq. ft. In October 2011, the average price per square foot in the condo market was $237.

One year change from October 2010 to October 2011:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Down 2.9%

Days on Market, Sold/List Price:

This chart is showing us two things. First, how many days on the market that a condo is spending, on average, before being sold. In October 2011, the average time on market for a condo in Portland, Oregon was 111 days.

The second thing that this chart is showing you is what percentage of the listing price the owners actually are getting when the condo is sold.  This is a great indication of the pressure on prices.  In October 2011, condo sellers received, on average, 91% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from October 2010 to October 2011:

Time on Market: Up 2.8%
Sold/List price % difference: Up 2%

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 October 2011, the average price of a condo on the market in Portland was $347,000. The average sale was $260,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Up 2.1%
Average sold price:  Down 11.9%

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.  October 2011 in the condo market had 6.7 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 6.7 months for your condo to sell. That figure was, on average in October, 111 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another condo were to come on the market in Portland from this point forward, in 6.7 months there would not be another condo 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 condo market of all condos 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 Real Estate Deals in Portland - Homes for Sale in Portland

Each week, Ross shares five cool Portland real estate deals, and it is always fun to take a peek at what Portland home deals are available.

The Best Deals in Portland This Week:   November 21st - November 28th


26 SW CURRY ST Portland, OR 97239 - Corbett/Lair Hill - $259,000

See the full listing here

606 NW 11TH AVE Portland, OR 97209 - Pearl District - $1,325,000

View the full list of weekly Portland real estate deals.

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