Your Destination Guide to Portland

Destination Guide Portland - Your Destination Guide to Portland, OR

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In SE Portland, the Hawthorne district's beautiful tree-lined streets and crowded sidewalks feature small shops with open doors and a variety of goods. If you would enjoy a stroll down a long street that evokes the essence of Portland, Hawthorne Boulevard (especially 30th – 39th, the focus of this article) is a must. In the shops along this boulevard, you won't find the typical touristy gifts that get lost or thrown away.

For housewares, Gold Door, Greg's, and Sorel's have myriad variety. Gold Door import products from around the world, leaning toward African and Middle Eastern wares. Don't forget to check out its basement room, where the larger furniture pieces are found. The shadowy oak tones are illuminated by glowing reds and oranges that suggest treasures are waiting -- like discovering an unknown part of the house.Less pricey (but perhaps less unique) is Greg's more contemporary merchandise. One of the best finds at Greg's is the extensive selection of stationery that is unique, charming and inexpensive. Greg's has everything from lanterns to signs, from magnets, to clocks; in short, a great assortment of cute little things for the house. For more selections in housewares, Sorel's sells furniture, lamps, house accessories, and attractive yet inexpensive paper lighting. Sorel's is known for its Chinese lantern selection, ranging from small strings to huge paper balls to provide a cozy ambiance. Particularly unique are the paper lanterns in the shape of stars in an array of colors and patterns, including paisley blues with fuchsias, greens and yellows, gold and red, and many other color combinations.

In the way of inexpensive livery, Buffalo Exchange and Red Light are chic consignment stores where the young crowd in Portland brings unwanted clothing to sell and, getting credit to buy more. You can also get cash in return for a lower exchange on your goods. For new wares, Imelda's and Local 35 carry high-end shoes and clothing, respectively. Imelda's also features jewelry by artists including Michael Michaud, who creates realistic looking silver and bronze jewelry from molds of leaves and flowers. Bargain shoppers beware though: neither Imelda's nor Local 35 cater to the budget-shopper.

A pleasant surprise on Hawthorne is the Powell's Bookstore at 36th. While smaller than the main downtown Powell's, it still carries an abundance of books. Annexing the store is the Powell's Books for Home and Garden, carrying books on home gardening, decoration, remodeling, and crafts as well as dishware, art, and gardening supplies. Unlike the downtown location (open daily till 11pm), the Hawthorne location is open until 10:00pm Monday through Thursday, and 11:00pm Saturday and Sunday, closing at 9:00pm Sundays.

Don't miss the versatile Artichoke Music, which is a store, music school, and venue. Called the "hub of a thriving community of folk musicians in the Pacific Northwest," Artichoke is open to anyone interested in music, and offers lessons in 12 instruments, as well as music theory lessons and group classes. The store is open until 6pm and closed on Sundays.

Offered here is merely a taste of the shopping options on Hawthorne Boulevard, so go see for yourself. Bring your best laid-back vibe and except to relax and find truly unique items.

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