{inspired} North Portland

While I live in (and LOVE) the city of Portland, like a lot of larger cities, it is divided into incredibly distinct neighborhoods. Each neighborhood within the city has it's own unique feel, crowd, activities .... it's own culture, if you will. We happen to live in North Portland. NoPo, to the locals. With a small, private, upscale college a quarter-mile from our house one direction, and one of the largest city-planned low-income housing projects a quarter-mile from our house in a different direction, NoPo is an incredibly diverse, quirky and interesting place to live. So, when Kate at Centsational Girl announced her *favorite things in your town*  link party, I thought it'd be a great opportunity to show you around and share with all YOU what I LOVE about my 'hood. Then I realized it would also be perfect for Cat, of Budget Blonde's, *this is {wherever}* party!

Here are my top 10 favorite reasons I love NoPo:

Paul Bunyon Stands Guard.
How can a neighborhood NOT be awesome with this guy standing guard? Measuring in at 31 feet tall, Paul Bunyon was constructed in NoPo in 1959 to commemorate Oregon's centennial. I walk past him every morning on my way to catch the train for work.

Parks Galore!
No really. There are so many awesome parks in NoPo. In fact, there are at least six within a 5 -7 minute bike ride. I have favorites depending on what I want to do: picnic, listen to live music, walk friends dogs and read.

The Sidewalks Tell Stories.
Most namely, the year they were built. It's hard to see in this picture, but on the bottom right, 1912 is etched into the sidewalk. This is completely common in our neighborhood, and it's fun to check the street years on evening walks.

The Gorgeous St. Johns Bridge.
Built in 1931, the bridge spans 2,067 ft. When it was built, it was had the tallest clearance in the nation: 205 ft. It's just one of the ways to enter the neighborhood, but it's the most dramatic, and by far my favorite.

Even the Icons Have Personality.
There are quite a few different bike lane icons in NoPo, and they're all hilarious. And, completely random and quirky. Love. 

Proximity to One of the Nation's Largest Urban Parks.
Stretching for eight miles through Portland, Forest Park is just outside of NoPo, and is full of awesome trails. It was actually planned by Olmstead, the same guy who designed Central Park. We LOVE spending afternoons wandering through here.

Best. Library Ever.
I know. A library isn't unique to my neighborhood. But, I run into someone I know every time I visit and that is something I find unique and awesome. Besides, aren't libraries just great?

Great Independent Cafes.
Yes we have a Starbucks. Obviously. But, there's a large number of small independent cafes that are just adorable. They serve great drinks, are super cozy and let you sit for hours. I love meeting friends and chatting it up in them.

Places to Tie Up Your Horse.
Okay, no one rides a horse here anymore, BUT, you can still find these horse ties on some of the older sidewalks. And, if you're lucky, you'll find a miniature horse tied up to it as well :).

I hope you enjoyed the brief glimpse into my neighborhood! Make sure you head over to Centsational Girl and Budget Blonde to check out what others love about their towns! And, just for kicks, what's one of your favorite things about your town/city/neighborhood?


  1. Hey Jenn!
    I am loving your images in this post. The way you took them or edited really evokes a vintage old world charm! They are beautiful! I've actually started a link party about home towns- It's on it's 3rd round today and will be posted every Wednesday. I started it as a way to remember all the funny/crazy/good things about Grenada while I live here but also to encourage others to look for the good in their own towns. Here is the link if you want to join. This post would be perfect for it! http://www.budgetblonde.com/2011/08/this-is-wherever-wednesday-linky-party_30.html


  2. Fun, fun post! I love all of your photos!

  3. Love all the pics of NoPo. My favorite sidewalk stamp is in NE. Its Glisan spelled incorrectly - Gleesan. I've often wondered the story behind it but haven't looked it up yet.
    Thanks so much for sharing your great photos!

  4. How funny about the horse ties! What a quirky throwback! Love it!

  5. Thank you for documenting this. I love Portland!

  6. Loving the tour of your town! Any place that has a spot to tie up your horse sounds like a great place to live! Found you on Centsational Girl- thanks for sharing!


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