Category: neighborhood guide

Montavilla

Montavilla is a Portland neighborhood that I’ve been hearing about quite a bit lately! Just on the East side of Mt. Tabor, it is still more affordable than inner Portland.

Fun fact: historically, the name, “Montavilla,” came about in the late 1800s from condensing “Mt. Tabor Villa.”

There are quite a number of restaurants and cafes in Montavilla, including Bui Natural Tofu, Bipartisan Cafe, Tanuki, The Observatory, Hungry Heart Bakery, Monti’s cafe, Wong’s King Chinese Restaurant, The Country Cat, Stark Street Pizza, Macau Chinese Seafood, Karma Cafe, Mojo Crepes, My Brother’s Crawfish, and Fillmore. Watch for posts that go into more depth about some of these!

Parks include Harrison Park, Berrydale Park, Montavilla City Park, and Rosemont Bluff Natural Area. Plus, it’s right next to Mt. Tabor, which is one of the best parks in Portland.

Here are some links if you’d like to learn more.

Berrydale Community Garden

Montavilla Community Center

Montavilla Farmer’s Market

Montavilla Neighborhood Association I recommend reading the history tab.

Montavilla Jazz Festival Look for this to happen in August.

Montavilla demographics provided by the City of Portland.

Koz Development

This month at the Buckman Neighborhood Association meeting there was a presentation by Koz Development. They will be building a new apartment building with 87 micro units near the Imago Dei Community Church at SE 14th and Ash. According to their website, they have a number of additional projects in the works within Portland and beyond.

Their model is to offer apartments that fill a largely untapped niche. Since the units are small, they rent for about 30% less than an average-sized market rate studio in the same area. Utilities and wi-fi are included in the rent. They also come fully furnished with a Murphy bed, two burner stove, and even pots and pans. One of the architects mentioned it was very similar to living in an RV.

So, how small you might wonder? They will be 250 and 350 square feet, expected to rent for $900 – $1500. Some even have 8 square feet of balcony.

This building will not provide any parking for residents, the representatives emphasized that their marketing encourages minimalist, car-less people to move in. They want their tenants to be happy.

Koz Development will provide some percentage of affordable housing units, which people will qualify for through a government program. These will run around $700.

What do you think? Here’s their site to learn more.

 

 

Stella Taco

I just tried a new (to me) taco spot on Division. I enjoyed it, so thought I should spread the word!

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I don’t eat most kinds of meat, so I love that they had three vegetarian options: mushroom mole, fried avocado(!) and black bean. YUM. All three for a total of $8. (They did have lots of meat options too!)

Cute tags, also. (Not scrawled on with sharpy as an afterthought like so many restaurants.) I’d strongly advise picking up some of their salsa, I was happy to have it as an accompaniment.

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East Portland Community Center Indoor Pool

If you are looking for a way to cool off this weekend, try out the East Portland Community Pool. I went last night with my partner and kids — it was such a good time! I had imagined just a regular pool when we headed over, but it is so much more.

There is a silly shark slide that the kids love, plus a giant red slide for bigger kids and adults. (Way faster than I expected.) The little ones can go down on your lap, but make sure to hold them up at the end!

My favorite part was a section with giant jets that created a current and a whirlpool.

We did the two hour Open Play Swim and it was just $18 for all of us.

We loved the non-gender-specific family changing rooms.

Highly recommended!

(Photos are from the official web site.)

Know Thy Food co-op and Azure Standard

I attended an event this morning at Know Thy Food (KTF) co-op in SE Portland. I’d never been to the space before; it was small, cute, and welcoming.

You don’t have to be a member of KTF to enjoy shopping in the physical store space, but joining gives you access to their extensive online catalog. You can make orders ahead of time and pick them up once a week at the store. It takes a little more planning, perhaps, but in return you can shop from your own home and just stop by to pick things up that already gathered for you.

I was there today to learn more about Azure Standard, a food distribution company that has monthly drops at the co-op. They heavily focus on organic and health food. I’ve been curious about this sort of shopping for quite a while. Buying food in bulk from suppliers has cost benefits and more directly supports local economy and farmers.

I signed up to join both the KTF co-op and Azure Standard. I’m excited to start on this new adventure!

Example of product listings inside Azure Standard’s huge catalog:

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Irwin Hodson

I recently had the good fortune to discover a printer called the Irwin Hodson Company. They were originally founded in 1894 (!) as the Ben C. Irwin Company. They’ve moved buildings during that time, but have been at their present location at SE 9th near Powell for over 70 years!

If you ever wondered where to get vintage metal signs produced — look no farther!

Touring the facility made my mind race with all the possibilities. Keep an eye out for an upcoming line of greeting cards and some large format macro photography.

Irwin Hodson also printed all of our posters, postcards, yard signs, and booklets for Tour de Hives.

The most fascinating thing about this place is the old machines they still have in working order, blended with gorgeous modern digital printers on a massive scale. They were kind and allowed me to snap photos! (Click on the below images to see them larger.)

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Devil’s Dill

Devil’s Dill is a scrumptious late night sandwich shop. They even have a gluten free option on New Cascadia baguettes. For me, half a sandwich is enough food for a meal. My two favorites are the number 9: cheddar, blue cheese crumbles, grilled asparagus, tomato jam and number 6: tuna, smoked olives, chow chow, red onion, and lemon aioli. They also have a lovely German potato salad, and huge pickles that they source locally.

They really do mean late night… make sure you know their hours. You can’t get a sandwich before 5, but they deliver for free until 2:30am!

You can find them at 1711 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214.

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Beijing Hot Pot

2768 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR (when you get to this location, please be aware that the building is set back from 82nd, behind a building and past a parking lot.)

Beijing Hot Pot is a great place to go for an amazing eating experience. You order a type of broth and then different ingredients to add to it. Sounds simple enough, but the result is incredibly delicious and hilarious (when you don’t have much skill with the process.)

I recommend the spicy vegetarian broth. There are also neutral veggie and spicy/neutral meat broths available.

Some of my favorite ingredients are the needle mushrooms, bean curd strips, spinach, and homemade noodles. There’s a secret ingredient that is yummy as well: rice cakes. (Not the dry things you buy at the store, but small chewy coins.) We ordered them last night and the woman replied, “ah! you have been here before!” Sometimes they also have veggies that are not listed on the menu; last night we scored baby bok choy.

If you are a meat eater you might enjoy the huge piles of raw meat available… you cook them in the broth yourself.

As a last thought, I would recommend going with people you feel comfortable with. The broth is heated to boiling, but it does take family style sharing to a new level.

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