I went to Portland to photograph a wedding in the woods of Oregon City. It was a beautiful wedding with beautiful, beautiful people. I cannot wait to share the couple’s story and some images from the day. Until then, some images from my last day in Portland…
On Sunday, our last full day, I ventured to Lowell and Beam & Anchor, two wonderfully curated shops in Portland that I heard about from Laura Dart’s blog (read Laura’s post on Lowell here and her post on Beam & Anchor here). Images 3-6 above were taken inside Lowell. Maya and her boyfriend opened Lowell this year. It’s full of textiles from their travels and jewelry made by local artists. Just a few blocks away from Lowell is Beam & Anchor–a hotbed of beautiful leather goods, refinished vintage home furnishings, pocketknives and other little delights. I took no pictures inside; I was too busy wanting literally everything in the store.
It’s taking a lot of willpower not to trade alliances–California for Oregon, if for nothing else the cool July weather that graced our presence during our four days in Portland. There are other ways too that Oregon wooed me, like how it felt like I just fit there. Portland was so lush, green and cozy. All of the paper towel dispensers reminded us that paper comes from trees and trees take time to replace. The trees! There are actually trees there, huge ones that you remind you that you’re small. I saw a lot of fellow VW Passat wagons (“brethren”, as a friend would say). Portland is a lot of white people being weird, but not weird like people in Los Angeles are weird. The overwraught pretension of Los Angeles seemed to be lost on folks in Portland. All the shop owners in Portland were friendly, welcoming, warm. And I was delighted to oblige their conversation. I often get blank stares in Los Angeles when I try to strike up conversations, like people are too busy maintaining their “brand” to be human for a second. Portland was just so easy.
I managed to make my way around the city in just 4 days. Here are some other places I visited:
-Rerun (707 NE Fremont. A delightful little thrift store. Decent clothes, awesome furniture. I was pretty upset to find the area rug I’ve been looking for 1,000 miles from LA. Too big to check, too expensive to mail. Sad.)
-Grand Central Bakery (NE Fremont at 44th Ave. I stopped here for coffee and a pastry before Rerun. At the suggestion of the barista, I tried a “Simit”, a Turkish sesame roll. Yum.)
-Rad Summer (SE 28th and Burnside. Awesome secondhand finds.)
-Pizzicato (2811 East Burnside–My hunger led us to this place after stopping at Rad Summer. I ate a slice topped with balsamic, heirloom tomatoes and basil and oh my god. Go there. There are lots of locations around Portland. And one in San Diego!)
-the Goodwill Outlet (This place was seriously crazy. Totally a mess but worth the digging because they charge you by your items’ weight. I bought a vintage Levi’s denim shirt, LL Bean shorts and a cute sailboat dish towel for only $2.50!)
-Voodoo Too (1501 Northeast Davis Street. The line at the original Voodoo location downtown apparently usually wraps the building. The line at Voodoo too, the Kerns neighborhood location, was much shorter.)
-Powell’s downtown, of course. (1005 W Burnside)
-Buffalo Exchange downtown. (1036 W Burnside. Not because it’s local, but because I’m a sucker for Buffalo.)
Also, this was the first time I rented camera gear from Borrowlenses.com and I can’t say enough great things. (Also, the 85mm 1.2 L lens. Holy crap.) I typically rent from Samy’s Camera in Pasadena. But I heard about Borrowlenses about Nate and Jaclyn Kaiser’s blog and thought I’d give it a shot. Their prices are much lower than Samy’s and it’s really convenient. You can chose whether your order is mailed to you or picked up at one of a few partnership locations in the US. Action Fast Photo in Barbur, Portland is a pick up location so I placed my order in advance and picked it up there when I arrived in Portland. The staff at both Borrowlenses and Fast Action were awesome–even when I added to my order at the last minute. Best part? I didn’t have to travel with a bunch of gear.
Love you, Portland. Be back soon. And next time, I’ll come this way.
ps. This is my 500th post!