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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland, November 27 - December 4, 2010

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  We spent ours with friends here in Portland and had a great time celebrating and counting our blessings.  As usual, I ate too much and felt like I was in a food coma throughout most of the day yesterday.  If you would like to get some exercise, you might appreciate the latest Portland Group that was just created on our site: The Portland Walking Group.  Mark promises to add lots of walking events soon, so go join the group and get out there on some great Portland walks!

How many of you braved the crowds and went shopping on Black Friday? I chose to avoid the madness and only left my house at dinner time. If you're lazy like me and prefer shopping online, Cyber Monday is just around the corner.  When filling your holiday shopping list, don't forget to support our local economy by buying local!  We have so many wonderful independent Portland businesses that offer really unique, high quality gifts and merchandise.  Be sure to visit your favorite neighborhood shops to see what gifts you might find.  Some of the most popular shopping areas in town include Downtown around Pioneer Courthouse, the Pearl District, Alberta Arts District, Mississippi Avenue, Alphabet District/NW Nob Hill, Beaumont/Wilshire, Sellwood, Clinton, and Hawthorne Boulevard, just to name a few.  I also always stop in Powell's Bookstore for books and other wonderful gifts each year. 

I have started adding all of the Portland Holiday Events to our Portland Events Calendar, and as you can see there is a TON of stuff going on in Portland starting this week and running all the way into the new year.  It is an annual family tradition to visit holiday classics like Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo.  If you have a Portland Holiday Event to share, feel free to post it on the Portland Events Calendar so I can pick it up and feature it in the weekly blog.  

Above: Polar Bear at the Oregon Zoo by Michael Barton

Also, this season always reminds me that there are many families who may be struggling to make ends meet.   Our local economy is still hurting and there are many people out of work, making it even more important this year to lend a helping hand, if you are in a position to do so.   I will be running features on several local Portland charities who need our help this year during the holidays.  This week, I have posted information on the Oregon Food Bank and the Portland Police Sunshine Division.  Be sure to take a moment and read about these wonderful organizations and consider donating your time or money to help.  


Portland Sunshine Division - Hope for Holidays 

Excerpt from

The holiday efforts of the Portland Police Sunshine Division date back to 1923 and it is a tradition we proudly continue. During the month of November and December we will be collecting canned food at participating grocery stores, local businesses and precincts. On December 14th and 16th from 6 pm to 9 pm Sunshine Division will be packing 4500 boxes of food and on December 19th beginning at 8:00 am will deliver to families in the Portland area to ensure that no one in need goes hungry.

In addition to the Sunshine Division food drive, we are also leading 33 local nonprofits with the HANDS program. It is a central data base for names of families receiving holiday assistance in Multnomah County. It enables all the organizations to ensure that we are able to serve as many families as possible. On Delivery Day the Sunshine Division will be having boxes at our warehouse location (687 N. Thompson) in addition to East Precinct, North Precinct and Traffic Division. Volunteers will have the option to choose where to start from.


Oregon Food Bank - Fill the Bag

Excerpt from

Fill the Bag this holiday season and help Jiffy Lube and Oregon Food Bank raise much-needed food to help our neighbors in need.

It's easy to help.

  • Look for a special grocery bag inside The Oregonian, Sunday, Nov. 14, and in the Statesman-Journal, Wednesday, Nov. 17.

  • Fill the bag - or any bag - with nonperishable food.

  • Drop the bag off at your nearest Jiffy Lube. To thank you, Jiffy Lube will give you a discount card good for a total of $60 off your next four oil changes. In addition, Jiffy Lube will make a generous donation to OFB in support of the food drive.

  • You can also drop off food donations at any U.S. Bank in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Clark, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.

  • Or donate funds online. Simply designate "Fill the Bag" on the online donation form.

Most wanted foods include: canned meats (i.e., tuna, chicken, salmon), canned and boxed meals (i.e., soup, chili, stew, macaroni and cheese), peanut and other nut butters, canned or dried beans and peas (i.e., black, pinto, lentils), pasta, rice, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, 100 percent fruit juice (canned, plastic or boxed), cooking oil, shelf stable milk and other healthy, low-fat, low-sugar products.


Featured Portland Events this Week

Here are the featured Portland events this week!  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, here.  Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.  For more ideas, here is the full list of Portland Holiday Events.

Polar Express at OMNIMAX

November 24, 2010 to November 28, 2010 – OMSI OMNIMAX THE POLAR EXPRESS Mon.-Wed.: 6:00 p.m. Fri.-Sun.: 6:00 p.m. Watch snowflakes float down on Portland's largest screen and feel the train rumble via 12,000 watts of digital surround sound in this ti… Organized by OMSI

A Christmas Story

November 24, 2010 to December 6, 2010 – "Gerding Theater at the Armory" November 21 — December 26 On the Main Stage By Phil Grecian Based on the motion picture written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown & Bob Clark Directed by Rose Riordan “Wacky and wistful, and fresh a… Organized by Portland Center Stage 

Christmas at the Old Church

November 24, 2010 to December 25, 2010 – "The Old Church" Christmas Holiday Concerts and Events at the Old Church run through the month. There are numerous concerts. Visit website for list of events and times:  Organized by The Old Church 

Portland Singing Christmas Tree

November 26, 2010 to December 4, 2010 – "Keller Auditorium" Portland's Singing Christmas Tree Making music and memories since 1962 Guest performers: Timothy Greenidge, Michael Allen Harrison, Georgene Rice, The Jefferson Dancers, Audra Cross, and Ali Mills C… Organized by PCPA 

La Boutique Fantasque

November 26, 2010 to November 28, 2010 – "Newmark Theater" Now in its 8th year, The Portland Ballet’s beloved production of La Boutique Fantasque has become a tradition for families throughout Portland. This year’s presentation of La Boutique Fantasque will… Organized by OBT 

ZooLights 2010, Portland Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo

November 26, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – "Portland Oregon Zoo" See the zoo transformed into a winter wonderland, aglow with a million lights.* More than 200 animated animals swing through trees, jump across lawns, hide in bushes and appear in places where they'… Organized by Oregon Zoo 

Portland Winter Wonderland of Lights

November 26, 2010 to December 25, 2010 – Portland International Raceway Recognized throughout the Pacific Northwest as the "Largest Holiday Light Show West of the Mississippi", the 18th annual Jubitz Winter Wonderland - Powered by Comcast will grab your attention with gl… Organized by Jubitz 

Grotto Christmas Festival of Lights

November 26, 2010 to December 30, 2010 – "The Grotto" 23nd Annual Christmas Festival of Lights November 26, 2010-Thursday, December 30, 2010 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. with gates closing at 10 p.m. Closed Christmas Day $8.00 general admission $4 children ages 3-… Organized by "The Grotto" 

Portland Christmas Bazaar at the Expo Center

November 26, 2010 to December 5, 2010 – "Expo Center" WHAT: The 28th Annual America’s Largest Christmas Bazaar WHO: Individuals, families, and tiny businesses from throughout the Pacific Northwest gather once a year to sell their wares at 1000 booths…  

Cirque de la Symphonie

November 27, 2010 to November 28, 2010 – "Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall" The gravity-defying movements and choreography of these aerialists, acrobats, dancers and jugglers captivated us last season – so we invited them back to present their spectacular Holiday show. A won… Organized by Oregon Symphony 

Cinderella - Tears of Joy Theatre

November 27, 2010 to November 28, 2010 – "Winningstad Theatre" Get in your pumpkin coach and race to the theatre before the clock strikes 12! Stylized puppets and rich costumes dance and swirl in Cinderella, an original musical based on the French classic. Force… Organized by Tears of Joy 

Wreath Making Class

November 27, 2010 at 11am to November 28, 2010 at 3pm – World Forestry Center Wreath Making Class ~ Nov. 27 & 28 Thanksgiving Weekend Sessions: 11am - 1pm & 1pm - 3pm Event Floral will offer a wreath making class Thanksgiving weekend at the World Forestry Center Disco… Organized by Amber Morrison

GIVE Handmade Sale

November 28, 2010 from 11am to 5pm – The Left Bank Annex The GIVE Handmade Sale is a unique gifting experience as well as a fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank (OFB). You can feel good in knowing that 10% of artists’ sales will go to the OFB. Shoppers are… Organized by jen Neitzel, Julz Nally and Michelle Gay 

The Santaland Diaries

November 30, 2010 to January 2, 2011 – Ellyn Bye Studio Nov 30 - Jan 2 Based on the true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display, this cult classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’ truly odd encounters with his fe… Organized by PCS 

OHSU Heart Research and Handmade NW 2010 Holiday Bazaar!

November 30, 2010 at 10am to December 1, 2010 at 6pm – Center for Health & Healing at OHSU's South Waterfront District OHSU Heart Research and Handmade NW 2010 Holiday Bazaar! Tuesday, November 30 and Wednesday December 1, 10 am – 6 pm, Handmade NW brings more than 20 artisans to South Waterfront to support OHSU Hea… Organized by Handmade NW  

Holiday Ale Festival

December 1, 2010 to December 5, 2010 – "Pioneer Courthouse Square" Welcome to the 2010 Holiday Ale Festival! The winter season holds many gifts for beer lovers in the form of big, bold ales designed to fend off the cold chill of a long winter's night. Each year, the… Organized by Pioneer Courthouse Square 

An Evening with The Black Crowes

December 3, 2010 all day – "Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall" An Evening With The Black Crowes Say Goodnight to the Bad Guys Tour Friday, December 3rd $36.75 - $64.00 THE BLACK CROWES take flight like never before with their first-ever double album of all aco… Organized by PCPA 

"Peace" A PLU Christmas Celebration

December 4, 2010 all day – "Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall" Please join Pacific Lutheran University's Choir of the West, the University Chorale and members of the University Symphony Orchestra in what has become one of the region's most inspirational Christma… Organized by PLU 

Holiday Concert with Julianne Johnson

December 4, 2010 all day – "Winningstad Theatre" Come celebrate the season with family and friends as Julianne creates a night of joy and cheer with artists Janice Scorggins, Cloud 9 a capella group, her band, a host of talented young performers an… Organized by PCPA 

The Portland Photo of the Week

And, onto our weekly Portland photo winner: Oregon Zoo by Michael Barton. Not only is this an amazing photograph, but this picture made me laugh so hard, I just had to share it. Michael uploaded a whole series of amazing images of the Oregon Zoo, so be sure to come check them out. Thanks to everyone for uploading photos this week, drop by and visit the photo album for the latest.  

Oregon Zoo by Michael Barton

Oregon Zoo by Michael Barton

Did you know you can upload photos directly to the website from your cell phone?  You can - just visit the photos upload page and make note of the email address listed for sending photos via cell:  put that address in your phone, and then the next time you are out and about in Portland and see something photo worthy, you can share it on the spot!

Our weekly photo contest winner receives a gift certificate to one of our favorite new coffee spots in town, Coava Coffee Roasters.  Locals and coffee aficionados from all over have been saying that Coava is the best coffee roaster in Portland right now.  They were named one of the top ten micro-roasters in America by Imbibe Magazine in the March 2010 issue. Their new cafe is a "tasting room" for their roastery. Learn more about Coava Coffee Roasters.

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! 



Portland Blog, Forum Chatter & More

Below are the discussions posted on the Portland forum and Portland blog this month.  

Want to add your own two cents to the Portland blog?  Please do!  But please remember to keep it real and community focused. Read our terms of use and don't spam the planet with self promoting material or weird stuff as it will just get deleted.  We have a zero spammer policy to keep the site valuable and hassle free for our members.  Thanks!


Happy Thanksgiving 1 Reply

To my friends in Portland Happy Thanksgiving, it may be in the 80's here in FL but I still wish I was there!

Started by David Mitchell in General Portland Discussion

College Student Renting an Apartment 1 Reply

I'm going to be coming out to Portland next summer just for a couple months and am wondering where a fun, place to live would be that I could rent on a month to month basis. I am mostly interested in…

Started by Jenna Peterson in General Portland Discussion

Moving to Portland from So Cal 5 Replies

My Husband and I have been wanting to move to Portland or the surrounding areas for a few years now but have not yet made the leap. We're in our mid 20's and have no children so schools and such are…

Started by Cami Petzinger in General Portland Discussion

Where to Live in Portland 8 Replies

Hi everyone,   My husband and I are moving to Portland in the next year.  We are looking for information on the different neighborhoods and towns in and around Portland.  We are both in our mid 30's…

Started by Andrea Bennett in General Portland Discussion


From the Portland Kitchen

A new recipe was added to the Portland Kitchen group by Robert.  Portland Cassoulet recipe.


  Mt. Tabor Neighborhood -  Portland Real Estate Market Report

By Ross Seligman

Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Real Estate Report

Mt. Tabor is a lovely area of Portland with many nice older homes tucked into quiet neighborhood streets. Climb the hill up Mount Tabor and you'll have some stunning views with beautiful scenery and the Portland skyline off in the distance. To learn more about Mt. Tabor, click here.

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 Mt. Tabor 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 Mt. Tabor, 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 Mt. Tabor neighborhood from 8/09 to 10/10:

In October 2010, there were 12 closed sales, 20 pending sales, and 80 homes on the market in the Mt. Tabor Neighborhood.

One year change from October 2009 to October 2010:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Up 5.3%
Homes sold: Down 14.3%
Homes pending sale: Up 53.8%

Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood has been between $116 and $167/sq. ft. In October 2010, the average price per square foot in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood was $161. 

One year change from October 2009 to October 2010:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:
October 2009: 159
October 2010: 161
Percentage Change:Up 1.2%

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 October 2010, the average time on market for a home in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood was 23 days.

The second thing that this chart is showing you is what percentage of the original listing price the owners actually are getting when the house is sold.  This is a great indication of the pressure on prices.  In October 2010, sellers in Mt. Tabor received, on average, 97% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from October 2009 to October 2010:

Time on Market: Down 60.3%
Sold/List price% difference: Up 2.1%

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 October 2010, the average price of a house on the market in Mt. Tabor was $409,000. The average sale was $371,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Down 5.3%
Average sold price:  Up 4.8%

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 2010 in the Mt. Tabor neighborhood was a buyer's market with 6.7 months of inventory.

By the way, This does NOT mean that it will take 6.7 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average, in October 23 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Mt. Tabor from this point forward, in 6.7 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 listings from the RMLS:


Best Real Estate Deals in Portland this Week

Every week, Ross shares with us a selection of the best real estate deals in Portland.  Here is this week's featured listing in Humboldt.

3. 4518 N KERBY AVE Portland OR 97217 - Humboldt - $399,999

See the listing here:

Take a peek at all the best Portland real estate deals this week.

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

Powell's Bookstore Picks

We love Powells! (and what respectable Portlander doesn't?)

Portland Book Review of the Day

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Powell's Author Interviews

That's it for now

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