Portland is Beautiful

Taking a Walk in Ladd’s Addition

SE Portland

Ladd’s Addition is a rad little neighborhood in southeast Portland located between 12th ave and 20th ave ( west to east) and Hawthorne blvd and Division st (north to south).  From the air it looks like a big X.  There are four rose gardens in each quadrant as well as a little park in the roundabout located in the center of the neighborhood.  All of the streets are lined with beautiful tall American Elm trees.  The homes were mostly developed between 1905 and 1930.  The architectural styles include bungalow, craftsman, American Foursquare, Mission, Tudor, and Colonial Revival.  There is a cool little coffee shop in the middle called Cafe Palio.  Each house has its own really cool and unique landscaping.  A lot of people build little planter boxes in the summer and grow all kinds of stuff in their gardens.  It is a forager’s paradise.  There are all kinds of fruit trees all over the place.  Half the people in the neighborhood have herbs as their bushes.  It is an awesome little calm oasis in between a fairly busy area.  It is the perfect place to take a stroll.

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Shopping NW Portland

I’m Glad I Don’t Care About Fashion

My girlfriend and I were having a lazy Sunday.  We slept in, made a late breakfast, laid around some more, made more food, cleaned a little, then started to get antsy.  We decided we needed to get out of the house for a bit so we drove up to NW 23rd Ave to walk around and look at stuff.  My girlfriend really wanted a denim vest so we stopped in to Levi’s.  I can’t remember the last time I was in a designer store.  There was a stupid vibe in the air.  The last pair of jeans that I bought were Levi’s from a cheaper store for only like 22 bucks or something.  I can’t ever see myself spending more than $45 dollars on a pair of pants.  We left Levi’s and decided to check out World Market.  I love checking out all the packaged food from all over.  I know it is all crap, but sometimes there are some good deals.  Checking out all of the funny little kitchen utensils is also a pretty fun activity.  It is crazy to me all of the stuff people without any knife skills will buy.  We got out of there and walked over to check out Exit.  There weren’t many winter items on display yet so I grabbed a couple of catalogs and we headed back across the street to Urban Outfitters.  It was a good thing I had those catalogs because to me this store sucked!  Although my girlfriend did find the denim vest she wanted in there.  On to my choice of shops.  We stopped in to Williams and Sonoma.  This place is awesome.  They have almost any tool you could want in a kitchen.  Everything was way too fancy though and didn’t look like it was built to last.  At this point we were about all shopped out so we called it a night.  NW 23rd is a pretty cool area but it is mainly for people who spend without thinking.  It is still pretty fun to look around though.

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Not How I Remembered

Nuestra Cocina

2135 SE Division St. Portland, OR 97202

(503) 232-2135

The other night my girlfriend’s parents came into town and took us out to dinner.  I suggested Nuestra Cocina, having had one of the best meals of my life there.  We got there and everything was going great.  The main dining area was a little crowded so we were seated in the mole room at the back of the restaurant, which was perfect because it was a lot less noisy and more private.  We ordered drinks and received some fresh tortillas with a salsa.  It was a cool replacement for bread and butter.  So we are sitting there enjoying our drinks and tortillas when a waitress came in to move some tables together.  I would really recommend putting pieces of felt on the bottom of the table’s and chair’s legs.  The screeching was fucking ridiculous!  And it went on for about 10 minutes.  It was also a tiny room with a tiled floor and wall so it amplified the noise.  Our food came out a little while later.  Everything looked delicious!  There were parts of everyone’s meals that were amazing but there were other parts that lacked refinement.  It felt as if the chefs had the night off and some hack line cook was working that night.  The ingredients in most Mexican dishes are very inexpensive, so for them to charge 17 dollars for a half chicken breast, rice, and a sauce;  it’d better blow my mind  Which, unfortunately, it did not.  Some items were amazing and left me wondering how they were able to make something so simple taste so good.  Overall we had a pretty good experience.  It was definitely not as good as the first time there.  I would suggest going on a night that the owners are working.

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My Favorite place to see a movie

Bagdad Theater

3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214

(503) 467-7521

The Bagdad Theater is awesome!!!  Movies are only 3 bucks.  The place itself is amazing.  Whenever the Mcmenamins  put some effort into their projects they do a really good job.  There are two levels of seating. I usually prefer the balcony.  The domed ceiling is incredible.  The place really makes you feel like you are somewhere else.  The food and drinks  aren’t that impressive but the fact that they bring it to you is.  Along with movies they also have book readings, comedy, lecture, and a bunch of other cool stuff.  Go see something there!

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My Local Movie Spot

Cinemagic

2021 SE Hawthorne Blvd Portland, OR 97214

(503) 231-7919

One of my favorite things about Portland is all the rad little movie theaters.  I have always thought it ridiculous to spend over 5 dollars to see a movie.  And most movies these days don’t make me feel like I need to see them immediately.  So these cheaper theaters that show movies that just stopped being shown in the big theaters are perfect for me.  Because it is so close to my house I love going to Cinemagic on Hawthorne Blvd.  It is a really cool single screen cinema, built in 1915, with tiny 1950’s style bathrooms.  Movies cost right around 5 bucks and the food is not outrageously overpriced.  There is also a 7-eleven right across the street for smuggling in cheaper stuff.  The last movie I saw there was Moonrise Kingdom.  I love Wes Anderson movies.  The casts are always perfect and I love the dark comedy in them.  Right now they are showing The Master starring Jaoquin Pheonix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  This movie doesn’t sound all that awesome to me but I would definitely recommend watching some movie at Cinemagic.

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I Love Latin Cooking

Pambiche

2811 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97232  (503) 233-0511

Pambiche is my idea of a perfect restaurant.  It excites me just looking at the place.  I have a super hard time ordering every time I’m there because everything sounds so amazing.  To start out they have a massive variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.  It is impossible for me to ever tell them that I just want water.  My favorite drink is Limonada de Guarapo.  It is a sugar cane limeade served with a piece of sugarcane that is fun to chew on.  I usually pass on the appetizers knowing that my entree will be more than enough to satisfy.  I have had their croquetas and frituras which are awesome.  It wouldn’t be a bad idea to just order a ton of appetizers.  There are no bad choices on the menu.  I have had the Plato Communista and the Ajiaco.  Both were more than amazing.  The Plato Communista is a contemporary Cuban plate consisting of yucca in garlic mojo sauce, your choice of salad, and your choice of rice and beans.  the Ajiaco is Taino Indian “Pepper pot” stew with pork and a variety of tropical root vegetables.  Both are Delicious.  I love the uniqueness of the restaurant.  There is definitely no place around that compares to it.  The staff is always super friendly and helpful.  There is also an amazing assortment of dessert items.  If you are into happiness I would suggest you eat at Pambiche.

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The Last Coffee Shop On The Coast That I Will Talk About For A While

Waves of Grain Bakery

3116 South Hemlock Street

Cannon Beach, OR 97110     (503) 436-9600

Picture the cutest little shop in the cutest neighborhood of the cutest little Oregon coast town.  That is Waves of Grain Bakery in Cannon Beach.  It is awesome!  The have amazing coffee, amazing bread, amazing pastries, amazing everything!  This place was on one of Rachel Ray’s shows.  Not that it means anything but the place is awesome.  If you are ever in Cannon Beach and you don’t go here,  You’re a dumb ass!  Peace!

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