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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland December 8, 2012

Hello, Portlanders!  I just read something that said only 18 shopping days 'till Christmas.  Ugh.  Well, in spite of the fun and/or total hassle of spending all your money on holiday gifts, there is more to this season than rampant commercialism if you choose to set your attitude and heart in the right direction.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" - Martin Luther King Jr.

I don't know what the holiday season means to you, but to me it means taking a pause and reflecting on all the things I am so grateful for, including living in Portland and the amazing lifestyle that this city offers.  I know that many people are not as fortunate as I am to have a job, food on the table, a roof over my head, etc.  So, I want to do something for others this season, and I hope you will hear the call to help, too.  

This is the season of giving, and there are MANY Portland charities and Portland people in need of a little help this holiday season.  You don't have to spend money to help someone in need.  There are many great volunteer opportunities.  Check out and find a list of holiday volunteer opportunities and worthy charities.
You can spend just a few hours helping out a local Portland park, or do something more involved  - it's up to you.

My husband Jonathan and I chose to "adopt" a family in need through the Christmas Family Adoption Foundation. There are many families still available if you would like to help a Portland family by providing a nice holiday meal, necessities, and of course some gifts to make a child smile.

It is also time for the Willamette Week Give Guide, the annual charity event coordinated by WWEEK.  Donate to a huge list of worthy Portland charities.  Learn more about how you can give.
If you are not yet in the holiday spirit, check the Portland Event Calendar listings below, because a huge list of Portland Holiday Events and Portland Holiday Light displays have started to appear on the calendar.  

The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by Rachel Carlson,"Art in Nature".       

Our Portland Photo of the Week winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. This week our winner is treated to Powells Books, the largest indie bookstore in the world! 

Find more photos like this on

Powell's Bookstore Picks

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

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! 


Observe and Report

Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison

Last night I asked friends via Facebook what came to mind whenever they thought of Portland.  This gambit was in aid of two ends:  First, I was interested to see what they would choose that typified their perceptions and experiences of Portland, particularly those living outside the state of Oregon (some of mis amigos e familia live in Texas and New Mexico).  I expected to read broad strokes from them; Portlandia (and “Portlandia”), bicycles, coffee, bridges.  Secondly, it's always fun to trick people into practically writing articles for me.  You might call it lazy.  I call it resource management.

Unfortunately, as of this writing only one of my contacts living outside Portland (Ron in Albuquerque) responded, the rest either ignoring my request or otherwise engaged in their own lives (the selfish snots).  Ron's answer was at once expected and classy.

Ron Garcia  Verdant. Progressive. Wet. Full disclosure, I've never visited your fair burg, so this is from the outside looking in...

“Verdant”! One envisions Ron with a high starched collar and cravat, sipping a nice claret. “Progressive” and “wet” are spot on, of course. As he states, Ron has never visited Portland. I like that he didn't go for the standard tropes (well, except for the “wet” part), and I hope Ron may one day see our city and the green and pleasant woodland in person.

Rachel is a relative newcomer and took a pragmatic approach to the subject.

Rachel Carlson NOT get on one unless you KNOW where you're going....that is all.

Couldn't agree more there. I myself have taken more accidental tours via our bridges than I care to count, and I've been here a helluva lot longer than Rachel. But then I've discussed my directional aphasia here before.

Rachel wasn't done, though.

Rachel Carlson  oh, oh, OH.....MISPRONOUNCED words, acronyms or other.....I WILL continue to say O.M.S.I. ----not OMMMMMSI....unless you prefer me to say....Oregon Museum of Science & Industry....that is all.

Rachel Carlson  my MOST favorite....."hoochie, coochie" street which I now LOVINGLY refer to as SOFA STREET. Why YES, I AM writing a book about this.....true story!!

Rob  ...'SOFA'?

Rachel Carlson  That's right.....SOFA STREET.....make sure you spell my name right.....*WINK*

Boy, do I sympathize there! I can still hear the locals snickering when I, a fresh arrival from elsewhere, asked directions to Too-uh-LAY-tin or Yeah-chats. I would later take some satisfaction when they would mispronounce my middle name (except when they would insist on saying “cretin” often enough that I began to wonder if it was accidental).

(By the way, Rachel Carlson is a great photographer and has graced PortlandNeighborhood.Com with many of her photos. Take time to go look!)

Tamara Sullivan  Food

Gary Paquin  Tats! (I misread this one at first. My eyeglass prescription needs updating.)

Tamara's is very, uh, succinct, but it cannot be argued against. It's not even the quality of food (although it's quite good!), it's the fact that you can find it almost literally strewn through the streets care of our beloved food carts, as well as in our many eateries, from grand restaurants to refrigerator-sized cafés. And more than likely, as Gary would agree, your server will be sporting a 'tat' somewhere on his or her person.

Teresa Yacono Johnson  i like the "take its free" boxes along many sidewalks. the last time i was there i was walking and saw a single item-it was a very large brassiere! sometimes its a piece of furniture that needs a little or a lot of TLC. : )

Teresa is a childhood friend, we were neighbors in Abilene, Texas. Coincidence being the magic mystery that it is, her daughter and grand-children live in Corvallis and she visits them as often as she can. It's very cool that Teresa noticed this particular sidewalk phenomenon. I've always appreciated Portland's recycling and sharing ethic; It's one of those things about my town that's acknowledged far and wide, and I'm very happy about that.

And then there is Angela. Angela is very driven, has more energy than anyone else I know, apparently doesn't do anything without busting the sound barrier, and likes coffee. I wonder if she was still drinking it last night when she weighed in:

Angela Higgins   Moss,  coffee, volcanoes, rain, donuts, no sun, subarus, hipsters, tattoos, streetcars
Angela Higgins   Glisan. Glisten. Couch. Cooch. Aloha. A lo ahhh.
Angela Higgins   "look ma! The mountain's out" on a clear day.
Angela Higgins   Beer
Angela Higgins   PBR.
Angela Higgins   Farmers markets.
Angela Higgins   Patchouli

And this just in:

Angela Higgins Oh. Urban yard chickens. (Get that, Albuquerque? We gots urban chickens too!)

I think perhaps Angela's exuberant spate of stream-of-consciousness personifies Portland best of all.

Thanks to all who participated!

Featured Portland Events this Week

Each week, we feature a handful of member-added events to the blog.  You can always add your own Portland events directly to the Portland events calendar.  Visit 

Anna Fidler

November 7, 2012 at 10am to December 16, 2012 at 5pm – Portland Art Museum Explore the unique vision of artist Anna Fidler through her portraits of early Oregonians. Intricately drawn and brightly colored, these works of art are sure to delight.  Fidler’s creative use of ma Organized by | Type: art, exhibit


November 10, 2012 at 10am to December 24, 2012 at 7pm – Old Salvation Army Building Folksy market of homemade items,  including paintings, food, jewelry, clothing and decorative items, quilts, banners, and much more! Definitely worth a look if searching for unique, one of a kind gif Organized by Laura Woodruff | Type: market, for, unique, handmade, or, home, grown, items

Guatemalan Art Show & Fundraiser

November 12, 2012 at 8am to December 28, 2012 at 10pm – Concordia University's George R. White Library & Learning Center Concordia University invites you to view Guatemalan Art on display in the George R. White Library and Learning Center. Guatemalan art on display comes from a small group of Tz’utujil communities wher Organized by Concordia University | Type: art, show

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Portland Center Stage

November 13, 2012 at 7:30pm to December 23, 2012 at 7:30pm – Gerding Theater at the Armory As the royals Theseus and Hippolyta prepare to marry, four young lovers from their Athenian kingdom flee to the forest in the wake of parental disapproval. But in the woodland, these lovers’ lives ar Organized by Kinsley Suer | Type: theater, performing, arts, play

PosterGarden trekking pole incentive to help support local gardens

November 18, 2012 to January 31, 2013PosterGarden In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, PosterGarden is teaming up with some of its favorite Portland parks and gardens to help them raise funds – and to encourage more people to head out Organized by Julie Landau | Type: fundraiser, for, portland, parks, and, gardens

Sherlock Homes and the Case of the Christmas Carol

November 27, 2012 at 7:30pm to December 23, 2012 at 2pm – Artists Repertory Theatre Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol by John Longenbaugh Nov 27 – Dec 23 Will Sherlock Holmes crack his own case? Our favorite quirky, Scrooge-infused inquisitor and his host of supern Organized by Artists Repertory Theatre | Type: theatre, holiday

"The Santaland Diaries" at Portland Center Stage

November 27, 2012 at 7:30pm to December 30, 2012 at 7:30pm – Gerding Theater at the Armory Starring Darius Pierce as Crumpet 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 enco Organized by Portland Center Stage | Type: performing arts, theater

A Very Joan Crawford Christmas

November 29, 2012 at 7:30pm to December 23, 2012 at 2pm – The Sanctuary @ Sandy Plaza - 1785 NE Sandy Blvd Why take a sleigh ride to Grandma's house, when you can visit Mommy Dearest instead? Kam Sisco breaks out the eyebrow pencil and red lipstick and returns to the stage as Joan Crawford in a special ho Organized by triangle productions! | Type: theatrical, -, stage, show

Alpenrose Dairy-Storybook Lane C

December 7, 2012 at 3pm to December 23, 2012 at 6pm – Alpenrose Dairy Christmas In Dairyville opens once again to welcome the Holiday Season.         Portland, Ore. — Get your family in the holiday spirit with a stroll down Storybook Lane.  Alpenrose Dairy and the Cad Organized by Monica | Type: christmas, in, dairyville-storybook, lane

Private Residents put on Stunning Christmas Display for Years

December 7, 2012 at 6pm to December 31, 2012 at 6pm – 7-11 on Wall Street Two private residents have put on a stunning, all-encompassing Christmas display at their own residence in the NoPo/St. Johns area for some 48-odd years now - on their own dime, each year. This event Organized by Lauren Peterson Chilson | Type: christmas, display


December 7, 2012 at 7pm to January 1, 2013 at 3:30pm – Imago Theatre ZooZoo returns to Imago Theatre from December 7th through January 1st and returning by popular demand “Cats!” Imago brings to life the antics of our everyday household cat in a not so everyday way. D Organized by Imago Theatre | Type: theatre

Hip Happening Holiday Bazaar

December 8, 2012 from 11am to 5pm – Meyer Boys & Girls Club Only 16 days of holiday shopping left! Come to the Hip Happening and find that perfect something that is different and unique! Over 60 talented local NW artisans selling one-of-a-kind handmade wares! Organized by Hip Happening | Type: arts, &, crafts, bazaar

Vancouver Winter Brewfest

December 8, 2012 from 12:30pm to 10pm – Portland to Vancouver and back to Portland BREWVANA will provide roundtrip transportation to the Vancouver Winter Brewfest at Esther Short Park from Widmer Brewing Gasthaus Pub located at 955 North Russell Street beginning at 12:30 p.m. The l Organized by Brewvana - Portland Brewery Tour | Type: brewfest

The Christmas Revels: An Appalachian Christmas Celebration

December 8, 2012 from 1pm to 3:30pm – Scottish Rite Center This December The Christmas Revels invites audiences to enjoy early American and Appalachian music, dance and cultural traditions as we visit the members of a small Appalachian mountain community cel Organized by Debby Garman, Portland Revels | Type: performing, performance, portland, holiday, event

An Evening with Charles Dickens

December 8, 2012 at 4pm to December 9, 2012 at 11am – Hood River Saturday, December 8th Enjoy the twinkling lights of Hood River this holiday season. The day begins when you check in to the Oak Street Hotel in downtown Hood River for High Tea provided by Anzac Tea Organized by The Oak Street Hotel & Columbia Center for the Arts | Type: live, theater

Oregon Symphony: Gospel Christmas

December 8, 2012 from 7:30pm to 10pm – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Charles Floyd, conductor Northwest Community Gospel Choir Now in its fourteenth season, our holiday tradition continues to delight and inspire. Charles Floyd and the Northwest Community Gospel Choir Organized by Oregon Symphony | Type: concert, gospel, holiday

The Strange Tones Crime-A-Billy Christmas!

December 8, 2012 from 8pm to 10pm – The Hollywood Theatre The Strange Tones *Live*with their partners The Volcano VixensA Magical Voyage to Crime-A-Billy Christmas Land Oregon Food Bank Food DriveSuggested donation to Oregon Food Bank - 2 cans of foodThis e Organized by The Hollywood Theatre | Type: music, live, party, holiday, christmas

Oregon Symphony: Gospel Christmas

December 9, 2012 from 4pm to 6pm – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Charles Floyd, conductor Northwest Community Gospel Choir Now in its fourteenth season, our holiday tradition continues to delight and inspire. Charles Floyd and the Northwest Community Gospel Choir Organized by Oregon Symphony | Type: concert, gospel, holiday

EVERYTHING is TERRIBLE! Holiday Special 2012!

December 10, 2012 from 7pm to 10pm – The Hollywood Theatre This holiday season, Everything Is Terrible!, the world famous psychedelic soldiers of found footage, return with another epic masterpiece! Over the last 5 years EIT! has built upon their classic Hol Organized by The Hollywood Theatre | Type: party, film, experimental, art, holiday

Brooklyn Portland Neighborhood Real Estate Report

The Brooklyn neighborhood is located in southeast Portland and is bordered by the Willamette River, Hosford-Abernethy, Creston-Kenilworth, Reed and Sellwood-Moreland neighborhoods.. To learn more, click here.


If you are looking for homes in the Brooklyn 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 Brooklyn neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In October 2012, there were 47 closed sales, 42 pending sales, and 69 homes on the market in the Brooklyn Neighborhood.

One year change from October 2011 to October 2012

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 36.1%

Homes sold: Up 104.3%

Homes pending sale: Up 68%

Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Brooklyn neighborhood has been between $143 and $184/sq. ft. In October 2012, the average price per square foot in the Brooklyn neighborhood was $169.

One year change from October 2011 to October 2012:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Up 6.3%


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 Brooklyn neighborhood was 48 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 Brooklyn received, on average, 97% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from October 2011 to October 2012:

Time on Market: Down 25%

Sold/List price % difference: Up 3.2%%


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 2012, the average price of a house on the market in Brooklyn was $456,000. The average sale was $363,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Up 13.2%

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.  October 2012 in the Brooklyn neighborhood had 1.5 months of inventory. By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 1.5 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in October, 48 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Brooklyn from this point forward, in 1.5 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 Brooklyn 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

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

The Best Deals in Portland This Week: December 3rd - December 10th

1. 2815 NE 17TH AVE Portland, OR 97212



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2.  3418 SW 14TH AVE Portland, OR 97239



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3.  6020 SE 34TH AVE Portland, OR 97202



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4.  6020 NE WILLOW ST Portland, OR 97213



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5.  3433 SE 9TH AVE Portland, OR 97202



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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:


That's it for now

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