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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland December 1 - December 8 2012


Welcome to December (!) and another edition of our all local Portland blog! Holy cats. Christmas is five seconds away and who the hell heck is ready? Certainly not me! I was chatting with a friendly barista a few days ago. A super sweet, high energy gal who recently moved here from The Great Concrete Inferno (Los Angeles). She said something funny and sad all at once.


"I heard my boss is gonna get a tree for the coffee shop!" Not sad! Totally awesome...


"We are gonna go to a TREE FARM and cut one down! I thought this stuff only existed like, on the TV!!" @#$#@? SAD!!


Weird. We come from a few camps here: assuming you celebrate the holiday at all, that is.  1) Real tree freaks. Options= tree lot, tree farm and Ranger Rick style out in Tillamook State Forest chain sawing away (vroooom!). Get. Er. Done (but don't get caught!).  Or 2) The Get A Fake One at Lowes or Fred Meyer or the One From the Basement From Who Knows When. You might be a) thrifty 2) busy or 3) a tree hugger who will not take the life of a sweet innocent tree. We get ya.




We are huge fans of the tree farms. We went to one last year that was perfectly adorable and perfectly perfect in every way that matters. Wheeler Tree Farm in Oregon City is located just outside of Portland down around Oregon City, a quaint little town about 30 minutes outside of Portland. Wheeler has a wonderful mature tree farm with a cozy little cottage with a huge pot-bellied stove, a handful of giant sleeping St Bernard's (!!) and all the knick-knacks your heart could want for plus all the cider your cold little hands could beg for-- oh...and mistletoe for days. What a romantic place. Did I mention the nativity scene? The donkey? The sheep? The neighboring farm with the moo'ing cows? What a truly perfect family place!




Wheeler Tree Farm

19566 Central Point Rd
Oregon City, Oregon 97045



The Portland Video of the Week

A documentary: Is Portland Oregon Weird?



Powell's Bookstore Picks

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



The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by outdoor explorer, Michael Barton. This Rough-Skinned Newt is a cutie and appears to be happily mugging for the camera.

Rough-skinned Newt, Tualatin Hills Nature Park


Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. This week, the local Portland business we are recognizing is Coava Coffee Roasters.

About Coava Coffee Roasters:  Coava is a family of hardworking people who are passionate about excellent coffee. We source, roast and brew the best single origin coffees in the world. What began as a dream has evolved into a roastery unlike any other.

Coava began in a garage in North Portland, where Matt Higgins roasted coffees with total precision. Because Matt had worked in the industry for a decade, he knew Coava couldn’t roast exceptional coffee without sourcing from the best farmers in the world. Today we are proud to feature single origin coffees from meticulous, hard-working farmers who take risks to work exclusively with us.

Our name, Coava, was inspired by Englishman William Biddulph, who traveled to Turkey in the 1600s and discovered that “coava” was a term for unroasted coffee, a word previously unknown in the Western world. Raw coffee is at the heart of what we do. We strive to create beautiful roast profiles based on the inherent qualities of each unroasted coffee. That’s why we only roast single origins, focusing on quality, intensity and balance in the cup.

As a result, Coava is known for roasting some of the highest scoring coffees in the world, a craft we humbly practice in our roastery in Portland, Oregon. 


humbly made

Audubon Society of Portland (Pittock Sanctuary)

A trip to the Portland Audubon Society by Michael Barton


Featured Portland Events this Week

Here's a fresh pick of some awesome Portland events for you and yours to enjoy!  You can add your own PDX events, too!


Do it!  Go ahead and add your Portland or Portland area events to the Portland events calendar! It is free to add your events and if we like it, we will feature it and include it in this weekly Portland blog.

New around here and want to mingle on the Portland blog?  By all means!  But please remember to keep it real and community focused. Read our terms of use and don't you think for a second about spamming us with self-promoting material or weird stuff as it will just get deleted and you might get banned.  We have a zero spammer policy to keep the site valuable and hassle free for our members.  Thanks!


Going Down in Hipstery

by Rob Creighton Garrison

I was talking to the missus the other day about nostalgia stuff, probably inspired by some television show we were watching, or an ad during a commercial break; these days the thing that gets under her skin the most is when I ask her not to fast-forward through a commercial because I want to see what the ad is about, and pointing out that the actor/spokesperson in the ad is also in this other ad only she was wearing glasses in the other one and she might not have recognized her.  Yes, okay, I realize this would likely annoy many people, but look, I'm starting to feel my age just a little and I want to cherish any and all things I can recall with clarity (although at this point I'm somewhat fearful that in my dotage all I'll retain is Cheerios or Cialis ads and Led Zeppelin songs, not much of an arsenal with which to charm the nurses).


The subject was blue jean jackets.  A character in some show was wearing one, and I began to wax nostalgic about the one I wore through my high school years, the one I was never without, the jacket I would wear even during the West Texas summers, the garment I would remember to prop against the wall next to the hamper only when my mother would show me all of her teeth as she insisted I give it to her to wash.


“You just don't see them anymore”, I lamented, although this isn't technically true because the other day I saw a biker dude grumf-umf-umfing down the street wearing most of one (the sleeves had been cut off).


“Well, we saw a couple of young people wearing jean jackets at Village Merchants last week, remember?”  Suddenly I did remember: skinny young people, she wearing a Where's Waldo-style striped shirt under hers and he a plain white dress shirt under his, both wearing those cloth caps that weirdly evoke Pete Seger and Soul Train at the same time.


                                               Dan'l Boone kilt a bar 'n made these here hats.


Hipsters.  Godz love 'em.  The vintage-loving, fixed-gear-straddling crusaders of clashing fabrics in search of the ironic in all things, the poster children of Portland, as iconic as micro-brews (which they don't drink, oddly) and strip clubs (which they would TOTALLY do as, like, a side job, for fun, as long as they could wear some striped knee-highs and teddy-bear earrings).  Of course they don't identify themselves as hipsters; most would curl their lips with disdain had you the temerity to ask.  Hipsters don't like labels, and good for them.


                                                                   Respect the 'stache!


You think I make fun? No, I do not make fun.  Well, I DO make fun of the ones who wear their hipsterism like a badge, because those are fake hipsters.  Those all but wear signs that say NOTICE MY HIPSTERNESS!!! with the three exclamation points.  Tacky.  A true hipster A), doesn't like the term 'hipster', and B), would rather not identify with someone who would call themselves such.  All of this appears to indicate that hipsters are happy accidents, like they fell into their grandparents' closets and stumbled back out eclectically fabulous and clutching Gramp's stash of Olympia.


Know what it really means?  It means that you cannot be a hipster if you're trying to be a hipster.  It also means that if you aren't trying, you may already be one.  This is deep stuff up in here.


                                                                       This?  NO.


Alas, I can't be a hipster even if I didn't try.


For one thing, although I love nearly all things bike-related, I have to be honest here, fixed-gear terrifies me.  My personal center of gravity hovers somewhere around my bottom lip, plus true fixed-gear riders become one with the machine in part because most don't weigh much more than the bike itself.  I would be a careening circus bear out there just long enough to find my final resting place pasted all over a light pole or a grille.  I also wear a helmet.  FAIL.


Another thing is that button-down shirts thwart me for some reason.  Cowboy shirt snaps don't seem to make it any easier, either.  I think I'm just too asymmetrical.  The entire fashion thing escapes me, actually.  Even dressing in the dark, or with my eyes shut and trying to feel my way to hipster chic via the Jedi Way, only led to my wife insisting that my clothes be kept in another room so that I'm forced to turn lights on in the morning.


                                                           Those dingoes ate my baby!


I can't be a hipster.  I just have to wait until Rumpled Old Guy comes into fashion again.  That was a thing, right?  My wife suggests no.



Read the original post by The Talented Mister Rob here:





The Richmond Neighborhood Real Estate Market Report

By Ross and Leah Seligman


The Richmond neighborhood is located in southeast Portland and is bordered by the Hosford-Abernethy, Sunnyside, Mt. Tabor, South Tabor and Creston-Kenilworth neighborhoods. The Richmond area also falls within the Portland neighborhood popularly referred to as the "Hawthorne District". To learn more, click here.


If you are looking for homes in the Richmond neighborhood, visit this link where you can search for homes by particular neighborhood: Click Here


On to the report: Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending for the Richmond neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In October 2012, there were 13 closed sales, 16 pending sales, and 29 homes on the market in the Richmond Neighborhood.

One year change from October 2011 to October 2012

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 12.1%

Homes sold: Down 7.1%

Homes pending sale: 0%


Chart for average price per square footage:















In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Richmond neighborhood has been between $140 and $184/sq. ft. In October 2012, the average price per square foot in the Richmond neighborhood was $180.

One year change from October 2011 to October 2012:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Up 16.5%


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 October 2012, the average time on market for a home in the Richmond neighborhood was 23 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 October 2012, sellers in Richmond received, on average, 100% of their original listing price.


More stats for you:

Change from October 2011 to October 2012:

Time on Market: Down 58.2%

Sold/List price % difference: Up 5.3%%


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 2012, the average price of a house on the market in Richmond was $509,000. The average sale was $440,000.


More stats over one year:

Average active price: Up 8.3%

Average sold price:  Up 22.6%


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 2012 in the Richmond neighborhood had 2.2 months of inventory. By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 2.2 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 Richmond from this point forward, in 2.2 months there would not be another home 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 Richmond 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


Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland Metro Area homes for sale from the RMLS in Portland, OR, including school and neighborhood reports:



Ross & Leah's Weekly Review of "Best Deals in Portland"

1345 NE EUCLID AVE Portland, OR 97213



Click image to see full listing


3809 NE COUCH ST Portland, OR 97232



Click image to see full listing


2721 NE 37TH AVE Portland, OR 97212



Click image to see full listing



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:


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


Audubon Society of Portland (Pittock Sanctuary)

A trip to the Portland Audubon Society by Michael Barton


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