Frugal Portland http://frugalportland.com Cheap. Fun. Portland Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:37:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://frugalportland.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-frugal-portland-logo-square1-32x32.png Frugal Portland http://frugalportland.com 32 32 Just Outside of Portland: An Afternoon in Gresham http://frugalportland.com/just-outside-of-portland-an-afternoon-in-gresham/ http://frugalportland.com/just-outside-of-portland-an-afternoon-in-gresham/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:37:12 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7317 The Portland metropolitan area is rich with beautiful neighborhoods: little enclaves and regions that are full of charm and grit and livability. Gresham, a suburb just on the edge of the city, is not often lauded as one of them. Compared with other parts of Portland, Gresham can be overlooked; it feels far away, and...

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Just Outside of Portland: An Afternoon in Gresham

The Portland metropolitan area is rich with beautiful neighborhoods: little enclaves and regions that are full of charm and grit and livability. Gresham, a suburb just on the edge of the city, is not often lauded as one of them. Compared with other parts of Portland, Gresham can be overlooked; it feels far away, and its reputation is of a sprawling town with little personality. However, there are parts of Gresham that are surprising, just waiting to be discovered. It’s an area worth driving 30 minutes east for, at least, to check out for an afternoon.

Why?

El Inca1. Peruvian Food!

Gresham has some of the best (if not THE very best) Peruvian food in the area. El Inka Restaurant, an unassuming little place in the middle of a strip mall, serves authentic ceviche and lomo saltado, as well as mouthwatering rotisserie chicken. The atmosphere is endearing: friendly service, colorful tablecloths, soccer on the television. The prices are also reasonable; because the portion sizes are huge, you can split an appetizer and entree between two people and walk away very full.

 

 

 

Main Street Gresham2. Main Street

Gresham’s Main Street, in the heart of the city’s historic downtown, is bustling with quaint establishments. If Peruvian food’s not your thing, there are fantastic choices on this street for lunch or dinner, among them: a Nicholas Restaurant, one of Portland’s favorite places to eat Lebanese food (although at this location you will rarely have to wait for a table) and The Local Cow, a casual eatery that serves–you guessed it–local, hormone-free burgers (and killer blue cheese fries). Main Street also offers a great latte, at Cafe Delirium–a coffee house with funky furniture and a relaxed atmosphere, as well as places to shop for retro items, such as Foxtrot Vintage–a venue with hip decor and multiple antique vendors.

Foxtrot vintage

3. Springwater Trail

Springwater trailGresham’s 4.8 mile stretch of the Springwater Trail is beautiful (and a great place to work off all of the great food on Main Street!): it leads walkers, runners and bikers around Johnson Creek, through woodlands and past landmark buttes. The paved path is part of the Springwater Corridor, which stretches from Boring all the way to downtown Portland.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Tsuru Island

Tsuru Island

Tsuru Island is a hidden gem in Gresham, a Japanese Garden that was donated to the city 40 years ago.

After years of neglect, in July 2011, a team of volunteers restored the garden back to a place of serenity (Tsuru is the Japanese word for crane, which is a symbol of good fortune and longevity). The garden is now a favorite place to meditate and enjoy unique landscaping.

After a full day of shopping, eating and walking, visitors can cross the lovely footbridge at the entrance of Tsuru Island, then linger at one of the many picnic benches and maybe, just maybe, reconsider past misconceptions of Gresham, Oregon.

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Weekend in Newport: Head to the Oregon Coast on a Whim http://frugalportland.com/weekend-newport-head-oregon-coast-whim/ http://frugalportland.com/weekend-newport-head-oregon-coast-whim/#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 14:17:02 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7470 When you’ve had just about enough of Portland’s busy and ever-expanding metropolitan hustle and bustle, there’s just one place that I would suggest heading to for some much-needed clarity: get in the car and spend a weekend in Newport, Oregon. Nestled tightly against the rugged beaches of Oregon’s central coastline, Newport is a gem that...

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Newport: Head to the Oregon Coast on a Whim

When you’ve had just about enough of Portland’s busy and ever-expanding metropolitan hustle and bustle, there’s just one place that I would suggest heading to for some much-needed clarity: get in the car and spend a weekend in Newport, Oregon.

Nestled tightly against the rugged beaches of Oregon’s central coastline, Newport is a gem that is often left behind by the beachy pulls of the easily accessible Cannon Beach and Seaside. But the extra time on the road (roughly one hour extra) is well worth it. Not only will you find lower prices in Newport which of course qualifies it as a Frugal Portland-worthy destination, but you’ll find the combination of quiet, quaint beach town with a little bit of rough and tough fishing town to go with it. There are handfuls of bars and restaurants that give you night life options or the traditional beach-style restaurants that close their doors early. Whatever floats your boat, you’ll find something in Newport.

Newport has a fairly large year-round population in comparison to its beach town counterparts. The most recent census report identified Newport’s population at just over 10,000 people. Cannon Beach has a permanent residence of roughly 1,700 and Seaside with 6,500. So while you still get the secluded Oregon Coast feel that everyone mentions when talking about Oregon beaches, you’re surrounded by a few more options than other coastal dwellings. With the larger population comes more community supported events, Newport is famous for its Seafood Festival in late February each year and has a bevy of other small festival-like celebrations throughout the year like Whale Watch Week (mid-late March) and in late April the town celebrates with a Seafair Festival that has been going for over half a century. This year’s celebration marks the 60th anniversary beginning on April 28th.

Regardless, even if you stroll into town on a weekend, or possibly weekday, when the town isn’t in festival mode, there is so much to do and see in Newport that a few days will go by like the blink of an eye. What began simply as a fishing town has now blossomed into a fully functioning town with citizens from every walk of life. Oregon State University’s world-renowned Hatfield Marine Science Center is home to OSU’s top-notch graduate programs in Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Zoology and Fisheries & Wildlife Management. The campus has brought some academic flash to Newport and routinely has Newport in the international science spotlight.

Newport is also now home to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s (OMSI) newest campus named Coastal Discovery Center at Camp Gray where the Portland non-profit science education company will house summer camps and year-round exhibits. There are whale watching hotspots throughout Newport and just North, in Depoe Bay. So even if Newport didn’t intend to, it’s become somewhat of a science hotspot… and who doesn’t love to learn about the world around us?

But let’s say you’re not so keen on science and want to know what else Newport has to offer… you’re in luck. Newport has some of the finest Seafood dining on the Oregon Coast. Local Ocean Seafoods, located at the Western end of Yaquina Bay’s tourist pier, is quite possibly the best Seafood restaurant in Oregon. Owned and operated by a Pacific Northwest native, the seafood served at Local Ocean is of the utmost quality and is held to certain sustainability measures. It’s wonderful to know that the Oysters your delicately tasting came from 50-feet away, not 3,000 miles. Aside from Local Ocean, Shark’s is yet another Seafood delight. A ma-and-pa joint on the other end of the pier from Local Ocean, Shark’s Seafood Bar is a traditional taste of Newport life. Fresh seafood prepared perfectly by a wife-husband duo and a small bar that attracts the local Coast Guard residents, Shark’s is another shining example of Newport’s diverse scene.

If you’re looking for more of an easy-going scene Newport has two Rogue Breweries, one along the pier that is more like a bar and grill and an actual brewery just across the Yaquina Bay Bridge. There’s a few other bars around town but Rogue has delicious beer, tasty bar food and some awesome apparel.

So now you’re full of fish and beer… what else should you know about Newport? It’s simple, after you’ve toured the Hatfield Marine Science Center, checked out OMSI’s newest campus, done some driving along the coast in hopes of seeing whales and maybe even done some shopping in Newport’s adorable Nye Beach neighborhood (where beach access is flanked by a cozy bookstore, coffee shops and an Irish pub), there’s only one thing left to do. Head back to your hotel room and enjoy the sounds and sights of the Pacific Ocean just a few steps away.

Photo by Jelson25 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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A lazy Sunday in Northwest Portland http://frugalportland.com/a-lazy-sunday-in-northwest-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/a-lazy-sunday-in-northwest-portland/#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 11:28:17 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7324 Author: Hannah Leone So it’s Sunday. The weekend is half over and you need to do something, anything, to distract yourself for the coming work week, and ideally leave your mind and body refreshed and prepared. Portland is a great city for Sundays. Here are a handful of activities you can do on the cheap...

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Author: Hannah Leone

So it’s Sunday. The weekend is half over and you need to do something, anything, to distract yourself for the coming work week, and ideally leave your mind and body refreshed and prepared. Portland is a great city for Sundays. Here are a handful of activities you can do on the cheap in the inner blocks of the city’s Northwest quadrant.

A Lazy Sunday in Northwest Portland

1. All-Day Happy Hour

All day happy hour - lazy Sunday in Northwest Portland

Make your own breakfast — yes, skip brunch — then take advantage of the city’s many all-day happy hours. Henry’s 12th Street Tavern, Thai Bloom, Pope House Bourbon Lounge, and even Portland City Grill have affordable and tasty all-Sunday food and drink specials. Kells Irish Brew Pub and Bartini also have good Sunday happy hours from 4 p.m. to close.

2. Portland’s Aerial Tram

Take Portland's Aerial Tram! Spend a lazy Sunday in Northwest Portland

This is outside of Northwest Portland, but not by much. Catch a ride on the OHSU aerial tram. Some people take it to work every day; for the rest of us, the tram is simply a fun way to catch some sweet views of downtown and inner east Portland. Round-trip fare, about 4 minutes each way between the lower South Waterfront terminal and higher Marquam Hill terminal, is $4.50.

3. Take a Hike!

Take a Hike! Lazy Sunday in Northwest Portland

If it’s rainy, you’ll find modest tree cover at Forest Park — the MacLeay Park entrance is easily accessible from NW Upshur, a short walk from the shopping and restaurants on NW 23rd Avenue — and at Washington Park, easily accessible via SW Park Place (the park extends to West Burnside) and by public transit. There’s a lot more to see at Washington Park than Portland’s notorious rose garden; the intricate trail system connects with Forest Park’s across West Burnside, the Vietnam Memorial is profound, and the Japanese Garden is worth the $9.50 general admission. Or pick your Forest Park trailhead and trek up to Pittock Mansion, where you’ll find an unbeatable view of bridge city whether or not you pay $10 admission to enter the historic house.

4. Get Your Culture On

Get Your Culture On - Spend a lazy Sunday in Northwest Portland

Pop in an art gallery, or two, or three. You don’t always need to pay $20 admission at the Portland Art Museum to get your fill of eye candy. Fine art galleries are free to peruse, whether or not you’re in the market for a new installation.

My favorite in the quadrant: Blue Sky, on NW 8th Avenue near the Park blocks, was originally founded more than 40 years ago as Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts. The gallery showcases reliably compelling exhibits by local, national and international photographers and regularly hosts thought-provoking talks by the artists. Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m.

Other good bets: J. Pepin Art Gallery, NW 9th and Everett. Sunday hours are noon to 4 p.m.  Gallery 114, NW 11th and Glisan. Sunday hours are noon to 6 p.m.

Or create your own walking art tour using Google Maps.

5. Try Your Hand at Trivia

Try Your Hand at Trivia -- Spend a Lazy Sunday in Northwest Portland

Trivia is free at the bourbon lounge near NW Glisan Street and 23rd Avenue, which also features all-day happy hour on Sundays. Even if you don’t want to play, the all-day happy hour is worth your time: $1 off well drinks, eight select bourbons, beer pints and wine; nine $5 cocktails; and food specials from $4 to $7. The whiskey selection is vast. The sweet potato fries, seasoned with Old Bay and served with chipotle aioli, are the best around.

In trivia, which starts at 9 p.m. but usually a few minutes late, winning teams get a $20 gift card to the lounge, which can be applied that night or stowed away for future use. The three progressive 10-question rounds aren’t blatantly themed, but the last two questions of each round are always extra fun: Mashups, worth double points, combine two questions in which the last word of the first answer is also the first word of the second answer. (The trivia master’s classic example: Infamous N.W.A. member and online dating site? Eazy-E-harmony.) And what could be a better way to prepare for the week ahead than winning at trivia?

In the end, you really can’t beat a Sunday in Portland. Whether you prefer to hang around inside mentally preparing for trivia, day drink through happy hours, or spend the day in the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone on anyone’s budget.

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5 Awesome FREE Things in Portland You’re Probably Missing Out on http://frugalportland.com/5-awesome-free-things-portland-youre-probably-missing/ http://frugalportland.com/5-awesome-free-things-portland-youre-probably-missing/#comments Tue, 05 Apr 2016 14:05:15 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7339 A lot of locals are quick to say that Portland is getting too expensive. They’re not wrong…they’re just not right! With about five minutes of planning, you can find a ton of free activities, outings, and spaces in Portland. So, the next time you’re in town or need a budget treat-yo-self day, check out my...

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A lot of locals are quick to say that Portland is getting too expensive. They’re not wrong…they’re just not right! With about five minutes of planning, you can find a ton of free activities, outings, and spaces in Portland. So, the next time you’re in town or need a budget treat-yo-self day, check out my five favorite free (or nearly free) things to do and see in Portland!

1. The Grotto

By InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA (The Grotto, Portland) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Grotto, Photo by InSapphoWeTrust from Los Angeles, California, USA (The Grotto, Portland) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite being on a lot of Portland must see lists, the Grotto still manages to get less attention from locals than it deserves. The Grotto is a 62-acre green space and catholic shrine located in Northeast Portland, with a cave carved into an 110ft cliff which boasts a sculpture of Michelangelo’s Pietà in the center.While it is, in fact, a religious space, you don’t have to be to enjoy it!. With its greenery, gardens, and views, the grotto is a tiny slice of Portland Paradise.  While most of the grotto is free, you will have to spend $5 if you want to take the elevator ride to the upper gardens and scenic views.

2. Festivals and Markets

Photo by Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday Market Vendor Photo by Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

People who complain about Portland being too expensive are clearly not attending the multitude of free festivals and markets the city offers throughout the year. To start, First and last Thursday can’t be missed! First Thursday occurs on you guessed it, the first Thursday evening of the month, and offers up wine, art galleries, and a stroll through the swanky Pearl District. If that’s not your scene, Last Thursday on Alberta Street is a monthly, more earthy cultural phenomenon of homemade crafts and art, street performers, cheap food, and loads of free lavender and patchouli scents. Even if you don’t buy anything, both are great people watching opportunities. Another people watching activity you have to try at least once is Saturday Market. Happening every Saturday morning March through December, Saturday Market is an open-air market on the waterfront in historic old town Portland.  
If you’re looking for a more laid-back weekend activity, stroll through any of Portland’s city-wide Farmers Markets. Visiting a Portland Farmers Market is a wonderful way to support local business and get out of the house.

3. Free Outdoor Movies

Photo by LWYang from USA (Pioneer Courthouse Square) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Pioneer Courthouse Square, Photo by LWYang from USA (Pioneer Courthouse Square) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Distinctly a summer activity,  you’ll have to wait until at least June to take advantage of this Portland freebie. Showing oldies but goodies, both Flicks on the Bricks & Movies in the Park are totally free outdoor movie showings. Flicks on the Bricks is offered weekly at Pioneer Courthouse Square during the summer. Movies in the Park are offered nightly during the summer at Portland City Parks throughout the city. Both are a great way to spend a warm summer night in the city, without spending a dime.

4. Free Days at Local Favorites

Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

Elephant at the Portland Zoo, Photo by Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re on a budget and are willing to spend two minutes planning, you can visit many of Portland’s destination hot spots for totally free (or cheap!)
Omsi: offers $2 admission on the first Sunday of every month.
Portland Art Museum: offers free admission on the first Thursday of every month.
Portland Zoo: $4 admission on the second Tuesday of every month. Bonus: admission is only $2.5 if you ride the bus or max!
Portland Children’s Museum: offers free admission the first Friday of every month.

5. City Parks

Photo by Another Believer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Tabor Reservoir, Photo by Another Believer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Portland is covered in beautiful and famous parks. You can spend an entire afternoon on Mount Tabor exploring the walking paths, playing tennis or frisbee, reading on a bench, and soaking in the fabulous views offered at the top of this ancient volcano. In the summer, you can even catch free concerts at Mt. Tabor. Another fantastic park is Washington Park in West Portland, boasting the International Rose Test Garden, Hoyt Arboretum,  an archery range, and more. Finally, there is  Forest Park: the largest urban forest in the U.S. It is a forest, in the city. Super cool. Super free. Pressed for time? See the world’s smallest park!

Bonus: The Tram

Photo by Tim Adams (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Portland Aerial Tram, Photo by Tim Adams (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re visiting Portland you really should check out the Portland aerial tram. It offers a fantastic aerial view of Portland, Mt. hood and beyond. While it is technically not free, you can work around the $4 ticket by taking a lovely hike to the top of Marquam Hill and riding the tram down. Trips down are always free!

All of these fantastic Portland to-dos are free or cost less than a grande latte. Whether these make it onto your vacation itinerary, or your yearly bucket list, there is no reason you can’t experience and love Portland for under 5 bucks, so make it your mission to take advantage of what the city has to offer!

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16 Barbershops (and One Salon) To Get Your Hair Done and Your Drink On http://frugalportland.com/16-barbershops-one-salon-get-hair-done-drink/ http://frugalportland.com/16-barbershops-one-salon-get-hair-done-drink/#comments Thu, 24 Mar 2016 12:00:28 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7333 If there’s one thing Portland has, it’s style. If there’s another, it’s bars. Many Portland barbershops now offer both. Take a look at the handy-dandy guide we’ve compiled to find the perfect boozy barbershop for your new ‘do! (Note: prices listed are for standard cuts—many shops also offer buzz cuts and trims for less than...

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16-Barbershops-(and-One-Salon)-To-Get-Your-Hair-Done-and-Your-Drink-On

If there’s one thing Portland has, it’s style. If there’s another, it’s bars. Many Portland barbershops now offer both. Take a look at the handy-dandy guide we’ve compiled to find the perfect boozy barbershop for your new ‘do!

(Note: prices listed are for standard cuts—many shops also offer buzz cuts and trims for less than the standard cut.)

1.    Antonio’s Barbershop

This two-chair setup is tucked into the back of Este’s Men’s Clothing store. Between the clothing racks and the barbershop is Este’s Club Room bar, where you can relax in a massage chair while you sip a complimentary coffee, cocktail, or glass of wine, taking in the scenes on their large screen TV. If none of that suits you, there are also darts. Cuts start at $30.

1633 NW Glisan St

2.    Bishop’s Barbershop

Everybody knows this place. There’s one in every neighborhood, and they all feature loud music, loud hair, and the Champagne of beers—Miller Life. Bishop’s barbershops offer a multitude of cutters willing to go any mile to give you the look you want. Cuts start at $26. Several Locations

3.    Brick & Mortar Barbershop and Grooming Supply

This Buckman beauty features clean new school looks in a bright open space. The walls are tiled in reflective white, the floors aren’t checkerboard, and the antique barber chairs come in mint green, white, and lavender. Complimentary beverages include beer and whiskey. Their basic cut starts at $27.

1429 SE Hawthorne Blvd

4.    Bridgetown Barber Society

This trendy Chinatown men’s boutique looks like a spacious and modern hunter’s cabin, complete with animal skin rugs and wall-mounted antlers (no kale here, folks). Cuts include a complimentary shampooing, and there’s beer and cider on draft, along with the requisite whiskey. Their Simple Haircut starts at $35.

26 NW 5th Ave

5.    Cloak & Dagger Barber Co

This place is a nice mix of old and new school, brightly lit with a sort of industrial gothic design. There’s a coffee table that’s made out of a small piano thing, a full-sized pool table to keep you busy, and a flat screen TV. Wet your whistle with a cup of coffee, a craft brew, or any one of a selection of whiskeys. Cuts start at $29.

3608 N Williams Ave

6.    Dapper Barber Co

This barbershop’s two locations are modern looking and bright, with stained wood and black accents. They serve coffee, whiskey, and an assortment of Widmer beers. Besides the usual age-related discounts, employees of Nike, Intel, and Adidas can look forward to 10% off. Military and law enforcement personal get 20% off. Cuts start at $30. Two locations:

4538 SE Hawthorne Blvd,

5018 NE 22nd Ave

7.    Dillingers Barber Shop

These guys are living in the past—in a good way. This shop features cool matching antique barber chairs, old photos on the walls, and barbers dressed to the nines. They offer beer, a variety of shots, and a flat screen TV to watch while you wait. Cuts start at $26.

2517 NE Alberta St

8.    Elmer’s Barber Shop

An eclectic mix of old and less old, this place looks a little like Santa’s Workshop (but maybe that’s because the pictures on Yelp are from Christmas). Every cut comes with a hot towel neck shave and a complimentary beer, soda, water, and/or popcorn—plus, there’s a flat screen TV. Cuts start at $19.

2411 NE Broadway

9.    HairM Salon

This is where you go when you want to get pampered. Each cutting station in this fully-featured men’s spa sports its own sleek television, so you won’t have to miss Maury Povich for the sake of hygiene. HairM offers Widmer on tap, and wine by the glass. Cuts include shampooing, conditioning, and styling. Their membership system allows you to pay for a year’s worth of cuts in one afternoon. Cuts start at $28 for members, $35 for the rest of us. Two Portland locations:

101 SW Main St,

1015 NW Lovejoy

10. Heritage Barbershop

An old school shop, Heritage features big windows, a bright interior, and a big friendly bench. They offer both 12 oz and 16 oz cans of Old German (Player’s tip: go for the big one!), as well as Coke in glass bottles, and shots of bourbon. Every cut comes with a complimentary hot towel neck shave. Cuts start at $25.

2137-B E Burnside St

11. Manly & Sons Barber Co

These guys are old school all the way, and this place is more stripped down pro-shop than Enchanted Forest (some of these guys came over from Modern Man, and that was kind of the opposite). They serve bourbon and beers, and every cut ends with a straight razor neck shave. Basic cut starts at $27 (Pro tip: Their website currently shows prices for the LA location—P-Town’s prices are better).

4224 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

12. Razorfade Barber Shop and Social Club

With its graffiti and faux brick painted wall art, this place looks like the skate shop of barbershops. All cuts include a hot towel neck shave, and they serve an assortment of Ninkasis and New York Sodas, as well as whiskey and locally roasted Water Avenue coffee. Their basic cut starts at $25.

1418 E Burnside St

13. Refuge Barbershop

This place features mint green walls and vintage barber’s chairs to go with your beer, soda, or juice box. All cuts include a straight razor neck shave, shampoo, and beverage—but you have to say the magic word for those last two; they’re by request only. Cuts start at $25.

3543 NE Broadway St

14. Rooks Traditional Barbershop

Who hasn’t seen that “Walkens Welcome” sign on East Broadway, featuring Christopher Walken stabbing your face with his skeleton stare? Rooks has three locations, and all have that old school look and feel, with checkered floors and big chrome and black vinyl chairs. Cuts come with a hot towel neck shave and an ear and eyebrow trim. Libations include Widmer microbrews, Mexican Cokes, and juice. Cuts start at $27. Three locations:

1109 SW Taylor St,

3580 SE Division St,

2935 NE Broadway

15. Throne Barbershop

Another old school barbershop, Throne features exposed brick walls, dark wood bar (yes, they have a real bar) and workstations, and custom brown leather chairs. Their barbtenders (new word!) pour several kinds of booze, as well as beers, sodas, and coffee. Cuts start at $28.

917 NW 13th Ave

16. Union Barber Co

This little shop is brightly lit, with big street-facing windows, polished wooden floors, and a livingroomy decor. It’s kind of the coffee shop of modern Portland barbershops.  Grab a beer, a whiskey, or a steaming cup of joe, and take a seat by the windows to relax a minute before your big moment. Cuts start at $35.

205 SW 9th Ave

17. Y-Chrome Barbershop

This place looks like a mix of old school and new—it has the classic checkerboard floor and exposed brick walls, but patrons are tucked into a cluster of cubbies in the middle so there’s no peaking at what the other guy’s getting. They offer pool and darts upstairs while you wait, and Widmer beer to drink. Cuts start at $28, or $24 with membership.

609 SW Washington St

Of course, there are other options outside of Portland proper, but if you’re looking for something in the heart of P-Town, these options should serve to tame your mane and wet your whistle. Cheers!

 

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Pet-Friendly Road trip to Ashland and Medford http://frugalportland.com/pet-friendly-road-trip-ashland-medford/ http://frugalportland.com/pet-friendly-road-trip-ashland-medford/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2016 16:47:18 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7424 Several months ago, I met Marga from the Newman Hotel Group at a lunch in downtown Portland. She invited me to come visit after the coldest part of winter was over. “Are your properties dog-friendly?” I asked, expecting the answer to be no. I was surprised by her answer. “All our properties are pet-friendly! Your pooch...

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Several months ago, I met Marga from the Newman Hotel Group at a lunch in downtown Portland. She invited me to come visit after the coldest part of winter was over.

“Are your properties dog-friendly?” I asked, expecting the answer to be no.

I was surprised by her answer. “All our properties are pet-friendly! Your pooch will love Southern Oregon,” she wrote.

Really? At an historic hotel? Okay!

So, on a weekend in March, the three of us piled into the car and headed south for a pet-friendly road trip to southern Oregon.

Ashland is a little under five hours from Portland, which for us, meant we’d stop halfway in Eugene (which feels like “big Olympia” and it makes me want to hang out there for a whole weekend!) for lunch and to get the wiggles out of Stanley.

We also needed a good podcast. Since I don’t listen to many podcasts (which, I know makes me a big weirdo, especially given the success of Stacking Benjamins in the last six months!), we listened to the podcast that brought podcasts to the masses: Serial.

2016-03-13 10.49.58
Who needs music when you can listen to a great story?

We stopped at the hippiest restaurant in Eugene (okay, probably not, but it was really hippie, to the point where they asked if we wanted butter on our waffles, which the only acceptable answer other than “yes” is if you are actually a vegan, which the waffles were before we adulterated them) to refuel.

Stanley went from ridiculously stressed out to remarkably calm after he got to run around a bit.

Proof:

2016-03-10 11.50.31

We arrived in Ashland mid-afternoon on Thursday, and the day was gorgeous. We walked around with sweaters but no coats and got ourselves oriented with the town.

Then we checked into the Ashland Springs Hotel, which I thought would turn us away due to our four-legged friend. But no! Instead, they put us on the pet-friendly floor.

They do charge a $25 room fee if you bring pets, and they give you what I can only call “the most reasonable requests of any hotel for pets” rule sheet that said don’t groom your dog in our rooms, don’t give them baths, and don’t leave them alone too long, which all seemed perfectly reasonable.

Plus, the rooms were gorgeous:

ashland springs hotel

As you can see, Stanley had no trouble making himself at home. We realized quickly that we did not need to bring him a dog bed. He liked having his blanket, but had no need whatsoever for his bed and didn’t set foot in it the three nights we were away. Now that we’re back home, he and the bed are back to being buddies, but that was an unnecessary item in our trunk. Now we know.

We stayed two nights at the Ashland Springs Hotel, which featured things like afternoon tea (which the nice front desk person told this pregnant lady that yes, of course tea means “and cookies”):

ashland-springs-hotel-tea

and a secret garden:

ashland-springs-hotel-secret-garden

Ashland is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which has an awesome history. In 1935, a 26-year-old with big dreams decided to run outdoor theatre in his hometown. He was given a small amount of money from the city, and nobody believed in him. The story I was told says that the townspeople held boxing matches during the day to raise money to help cover the losses from the loan, and by the end of the first weekend (where they did two outdoor plays: Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night) they made enough money in ticket sales to not only pay back the loan, but to cover the losses from the boxing match.

I love stories like these, even if they sound like a little like a children’s book.

We bought tickets for Twelfth Night, coincidentally run in 2016 (it’s one of their more popular plays, so it sees the light of day more often than others) for Friday afternoon.

On Friday morning, after our romp in the dog park, we went to the box office to pick up our tickets.

“Do you want a backstage tour?” the woman behind the will-call desk asked. “It starts in 15 minutes and there are only two other people signed up,” she said.

We were sold. This $20 per-person impulse purchase sounded like a lot of money at the time, but it was worth every penny. An actor, Ted Deasy, who we’d see later that afternoon as Malvolio, took us backstage and told us about OSF, the way their plays are put together, what actually happens backstage, how they sometimes have less than a minute to change costumes, and what the red lights mean.

He talked for two hours, and it felt like 25 minutes. If you get down here, try to get a backstage tour. You’ll learn so much about what the festival means to Ashland, and you’ll see a play through a different lens.

Twelfth Night

We read up a little about Twelfth Night before we saw the play because Shakespeare, unlike modern playwrights, sometimes likes to make things confusing, and I wanted to be able to keep up.

This version was set in 1930s Hollywood, where the duke of Illyria gets translated into “Duke” Orsino, head of Illyria studios. I loved how they translated and updated the set without editing the script at all.

If you come to Ashland, you should see a play.

If you’re “not really into Shakespeare,” I feel you. It’s a bit above my normal level of entertainment, too. I’m glad I went, but if you want to skip the bard, see something else! They run new plays, musicals, all kinds of other things as well. If we had stayed longer (or planned better), we would have seen more.

This year, they’re showing The Wiz, Great Expectations, The River Bride, Roe, and Vietgone for some of their non-Shakespeare shows.

If we had stayed longer (or planned better), we would have seen more.

Around Ashland

On Saturday, we checked out of the Ashland Springs Hotel and decided to wander. Our first stop was, again, a park where we thought Stanley could get his wiggles out.

We were, of course, mistaken.

Lithia Park is this awesome downtown park right behind the theatres, so we went early with the hopes we could wear Stanley out a bit.

We found a completely enclosed tennis court (actually two side-by-side), complete with a stick and an old, flat tennis ball. Perfect!

stanley loves tennis

Or… it was, until we were told that not only is Stanley not allowed in the tennis courts, he’s not allowed in the park at all.

Oh, well. He loved playing fetch so much that we’re actively seeking new friends with big fenced yards, preferably in our neighborhood.

After checkout, we headed to Central Point, Oregon (though it was never made clear what the town was the central point between) to visit a place I’ve been wanting to visit for years: Rogue Creamery.

It was everything I’d hoped for… and more. I didn’t take pictures, because by that point, the weather had turned on us and it was pouring rain. Plus, my mind was on cheese. Can you blame me?

Rogue Creamery wins international awards for their blue cheese, and rightfully so. But I learned while visiting that they make cheddar, too. And cheese curds.

Good golly, I’m getting hungry writing this recap!

Also, according to their website, they have a cheese social. You can sign up for three, six, or nine months of cheese delivery. That’s 1.5 pounds a month for up to nine months:

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 9.03.10 AM

Anyway, I digress. Actually, it appears digress isn’t a strong enough word for what just happened here.

We bought some cheese (Rogue River Blue, Habanero Cheddar, Morimoto Soba Ale Cheddar, and jalapeno cheese curds), a loaf of bread, a jar of jam, and some fancy pop and decided we’d have a picnic lunch.

Since the rain hadn’t let up (and wouldn’t, for days), we took our picnic indoors to the next hotel we stayed in.

Medford

The Newman Hotel Group arranged for us to stay Saturday night in Medford, a town I’d never stopped in, so I was excited to see what they had to offer.

The one thing I knew about Medford was that it was home to Harry and David, the fancy fruit and gift basket place that does a swift business around the holidays.

Turns out, they have a physical store. Which we went into. Which was having a “friends and family discount” weekend where the entire store was 20% off. Where someone asked if we wanted to taste chocolates for a survey they were doing.

So, between the cheese shopping and the store full of things in jars, I was feeling my mom, and it was a wonderful feeling. She would have loved this part of the trip. I’m not sure she would have loved the play, but I know she was smiling at us as we were buying ridiculous things.

Harry and David have this adorable truck outside their store, which helps separate this store from all other grocery store parking lots:

harry and david truck

The Inn at the Commons

We were ready for our picnic, so we checked into the Inn at the Commons. We were early, so the king room wasn’t ready, but they let us have a queen room, and it was huge:

inn at the commons

We decided we’d have one bed for Stanley and one for us, but we ended up sleeping in separate beds (like it’s 1940 or something) and the dog spent the night on a comfy chair, so everyone won.

I loved our indoor picnic, and learned that there is, in fact, an upper limit on how much cheese I can eat in one sitting without feeling sick, and it’s a lot less than I thought it would be.

After lunch, we decided to walk around downtown Medford. The Inn at the Commons looks like a normal roadside hotel, but is within walking distance to the downtown corridor (and also, walking distance to yet another dog park!), so we set off to see what there was to see.

You can’t tell from this picture, but the weather was gross:

downtown medford

It was cold and rainy, and after a few blocks, we realized we’d made a mistake with our picnic. When you’re not hungry, and you don’t love shopping, there isn’t much for you to do in a small town. We didn’t need anything, we didn’t want to stop off at antique stores, and we were chilled.

So, we did what we do when we see a gap in the afternoon: we saw a movie!

When we were wandering around, we wondered where all the people were.

When we walked to the movie theater, we found them.

Clearly, seeing a movie on a gross afternoon is not a novel idea.

After the movie, we debated on where we should go for dinner. Pizza won (pizza usually wins in our house) the coin toss, and we found the other place where everyone in Medford was: Kaleidoscope Pizzeria. We shared a pizza with funny ingredients on it, and left with happy tummies.

The drive back, though, was rough.

Sunday’s weather was even worse than Saturday’s, and we had to travel hundreds of miles home. The first part was white-knuckle treachery: we were headed up Grant’s Pass, so we’re at an incline; the freeway was two lanes and curvy; it was I5, so there were trucks driving faster than they should; and we had our windshield wipers going as fast as they could. Visibility was bad. I was a white knuckle passenger (which is like a backseat driver, only better).

Here was my view:

driving back home

It didn’t let up for about 150 miles.

Overall Notes on the Trip

I loved this trip! It proved that I could take Stanley on weekend vacations, but that if I did, I’d be doing a lot more dog things (which, duh). It was a fun way to see another part of Oregon. It was awesome to work with the Newman Hotel Group (thanks so much!).

But if I were you, I’d tell you to spend Saturday night in Eugene. That breaks up your drive home into completely easy chunks. Plus you get to see Eugene. Ashland and Medford are ten miles from each other, so you woudln’t need to switch things up and move hotels.

I’m excited to see more of Oregon!

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Visit Portland’s International Rose Test Garden http://frugalportland.com/rose-test-garden/ http://frugalportland.com/rose-test-garden/#comments Thu, 10 Mar 2016 11:32:53 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7388 The groundhog has spoken; we’re in for an early spring. Regardless of how reliable you think Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are, we could all use a little more sunshine in our life; especially considering that we live in a city where it rains for ten months out of the year. As we emerge from our winter...

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Visit-Portland's-International-Rose-Test-Garden

The groundhog has spoken; we’re in for an early spring. Regardless of how reliable you think Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are, we could all use a little more sunshine in our life; especially considering that we live in a city where it rains for ten months out of the year. As we emerge from our winter hibernation, shed our infinity scarves, and stare hopefully at a future in the mid to upper 50’s, we are reminded that there are a wealth of incredible things to do in the great outdoors. Our City of Roses has a secret garden of its own nestled in Washington Park in the southwest hills. Just a short drive north of the Oregon Zoo will take you to The International Rose Test Garden. This incredible location, over a century in the making, is home to well over 10,000 roses of over six hundred varieties. It began in 1888 when Georgiana Pittock founded The Portland Rose Society with some of her friends who shared her love of the beautiful flower. The garden was officially recognized as a protected location in 1917. As the war was raging in Europe, our city became a refuge for plant species that were sent from England to be protected from destructive conditions. A simple stroll through the garden will reflect the haven-like atmosphere of this floral oasis located just west of the Vista Ridge Tunnels.

garden

This location’s rich history is rivaled only by its stunning present state. One glance will reveal acres of gorgeous buds among whimsical walkways and artistic features that give our city’s floral symbol the admiration it deserves. You can stroll around the grounds for hours without glancing at the same thing twice. As any observer would soon notice, the plants are individually marked by a placard that gives its name as well as a number. This number not only serves as identification but can be noted and used to purchase roses at the on-site shop. Among the flowers themselves, you will also find rose products and souvenirs to browse.

shrub

Aside from the expanse of roses of every color and variety imaginable, there is also a miniature rose garden. Also, the test garden is home to Portland’s Shakespeare Memorial. Among garden trellises, a beautiful, rustic brick wall, and crimson flora is an engraved portrait in the likeness of the world-renowned poet and playwright as well as an inscription that reads “Of all flowers methinks a rose is best.”

wall

This beautiful tribute to the late, great genius is incredibly at home in the garden, but it wasn’t always there. The monument was formerly located in Southeast Portland but was moved in 1945 to make room for the expansion and construction of the city. The memorial grew along with the garden, eventually including a sundial which stands to this day. If you visit, it is certainly a facet of the area that is very much worth exploring.

pond

One of my favorite times to see the garden is in early spring. If thousands of roses weren’t enough, imagine the fresh smell of rain and the beauty of dew drops on the brand-new buds. You’ll have the best chance of seeing the flowers in full-bloom from the months of April to October but every season brings its unique aesthetic to the garden. From winter frost to the vibrant summer afternoons to the mellow autumn leaves to the rebirth of spring, you honestly can’t go wrong.

flowers

So, are you due for a trip to Washington Park? Methinks yes. Not only is this location just ten minutes from downtown, but it’s also entirely free! The trip won’t cost you a dime, but the experience is priceless. It’s the perfect day out for the rose-lover, a great family-friendly frugal outing for the kids, and an incredibly romantic date idea. Whatever you’re up to, it’s easy to fit this rosy rendezvous into your plans. Get out there! The season of spring activities is in full bloom, and the International Rose Test Garden is the perfect place to kick it off.

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I’ve Always Been Weird… But is Portland? http://frugalportland.com/the-verdict-is-in-portland-is-not-so-weird-after-all/ http://frugalportland.com/the-verdict-is-in-portland-is-not-so-weird-after-all/#comments Thu, 03 Mar 2016 11:51:42 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7327 My whole life, I’ve been called “weird.” In Jr. High School, I was the first and only student with bright green hair. In 1998, people looked at me and my green hair with caution and suspicion. ¨Did your parents let you do that?¨ people always judged. “Obviously,” was my annoyed, rebellious reply. One of my...

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I've-Always-Been-Weird...-But-is-Portland-

My whole life, I’ve been called “weird.” In Jr. High School, I was the first and only student with bright green hair. In 1998, people looked at me and my green hair with caution and suspicion. ¨Did your parents let you do that?¨ people always judged. “Obviously,” was my annoyed, rebellious reply. One of my friends was no longer allowed to hang out with me because her parents thought I looked “weird.” Even though she was smoking pot already and I hadn’t started yet.

Apparently, Oregon’s population, having just reached four million in 2015, is growing rather rapidly. I am one of the 12,000 people, estimated by Portland State University, to move to Portland last year.  I’ve found that locals here, no matter if they are transplants themselves or not, have mixed feelings about this population increase. Why are so many people moving to Portland? Is it a result of the attention drawn to the city and its culture by the hit show, Portlandia? Well, people are always asking me why I moved, and it wasn’t Portlandia! There’s something special about Portland.

Keep Portland Weird

The oh-so-famous slogan of Portland. The phrase started as a push to support local businesses.

Now, “weird” has evolved into so much more. It’s the, do it yourself (DIY) while drinking a craft beer at a local farmer’s market surrounded by unique street art, hipster culture. It’s a highly creative culture that values individuality and expressionism through fostering its local culture and arts, in contrast to suburbia’s cookie cutter shopping areas and housing developments. It’s a culture that values nature and humanity in an aesthetically pleasing fashion.

Did you know? Portland is Well Known in Japan!

That’s right! Before Portland, I lived in Tokyo, Japan for three years. I wanted to move to Portland back then but took a detour via Tokyo. When I first got to Japan and was talking about Portland, people always asked me “Really? Why do you want to move to Portland?” My quick response was, “because I want to wear socks with sandals and not get teased.” Three years later, when I finally decided to leave Japan and move to Portland, things had changed.

This was the new conversation I continuously had:

Me –    “I’m moving to Portland!”

Japanese Friend –   “Poland?”

Me –    “No, Portland.”

Japanese Friend – “Oh, of course. Because Portland is so cool!”

Yes! I no longer needed to justify why I wanted to move to Portland. People just knew.

“So many Japanese guys want to be like cool Portland guys,” a Japanese friend in Tokyo said to me.

What are the odds? The same month I moved to Portland, October 2015, Tokyo had a Portland Festival dedicated to Tokyo-based, Portland-inspired businesses. Many places and new stores and shops that were inspired by Portland’s style or related to another shop in Portland. Portland is a creative city and paradise for food with the spirit of DIY in art and culture.

The main difference between Tokyo and Portland is that Portland is weird all over. Every neighborhood has their own “weird” stuff, and the neighborhoods stretch throughout the city: Hawthorne, Belmont, Alberta Street, the Pearl, etc. In Tokyo, you find only a few neighborhoods, like Koenji and Shimo, that are densely populated with “weird”. Imagine if you took all of Portland’s “weird” and put it along Hawthorne Blvd.

Only one problem for the Japanese hipster, they can’t grow beards.

So, is Portland Weirder than I Expected?

Well, I live right in the heart of Portland on SE 17th and Hawthorne. I think it’s kind of weird that I need to go all the way out to SE 99th Avenue to find a Target; a local business for me because I’m from Minnesota, where Target was born. But, besides that, Portland just feels like home. I came to Portland, so I don’t need to be the outcasted “weird” person anymore because I easily fit in with all the other weirdos here.

Recently, I started making a rug out of old T-shirts. My friend said to me, “Oh, now that you are in Portland, you’re going to do it yourself?” I said, “No…I’m a crafty person. I’ve always made things myself. I moved to Portland because I do things like this myself and now I just fit in.”

So, why are people moving to Portland? Because they value the things Portland is about: individuality and expressionism through local arts and culture. These are the things that our generation likes, things that are becoming more and more popular.

It’s not just Portland.

Other “Weird” cities:

  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Austin, TX
  • Salt Lake City, UH
  • Venice Beach, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

So, sure, Portland is weird. But really not that weird, and definitely not too weird for me. Is it too weird for you?

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Portland: The Highs and Lows… in Elevation! http://frugalportland.com/portland-highs-lows-elevation/ http://frugalportland.com/portland-highs-lows-elevation/#comments Thu, 25 Feb 2016 11:22:54 +0000 http://frugalportland.com?p=7315&preview_id=7315 Here’s a fun day trip: go from the bottom of Portland to the top! If you’re looking for an afternoon of entertainment, queue up the music and hit play! Song 1: “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks Ever been in a real submarine? Our day starts at OMSI. This famous science museum includes a...

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Here’s a fun day trip: go from the bottom of Portland to the top!

If you’re looking for an afternoon of entertainment, queue up the music and hit play!

Song 1: “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks

Ever been in a real submarine?

Our day starts at OMSI. This famous science museum includes a decommissioned US Naval submarine that is permanently stationed in the Willamette River. The USS Blueback Submarine is a nonnuclear fast attack submarine and was featured in the movie, “The Hunt for Red October.”

You can envision life underwater as you tour the submarine! Where did the sailors sleep? How did they steer the sub? How big were the torpedos? The tour answers all of these questions, and you get to look out the periscope!

There is a second tour available that is for the truly technical amongst us. These tours are led by retired Naval personnel, and all kinds of science questions can be answered. You must plan ahead and order these tickets in advance! For more info: www.http://www.omsi.edu/submarine

Feeling hungry? Try lunch at the new cafe, Theory. The cafe uses local ingredients and provides some science education along with excellent food. The theory of Heat Transfer is quite important in the making of a Grilled Cheese sandwich! Offerings include yummy sandwiches like the Bacon and Cheddar and the Oregon Albacore Tuna Melt! The kids menu is reasonably priced with most meals costing $3. Most other items are under $10. There is even a gluten free pizza option!

Song 2: “Dreams” by Van Halen

Photo by

Photo by Tim Adams

The Portland Aerial Tram offers incredible views of Portland. Once in your tram cabin, you will travel 3300 linear feet. At the same time, you will be traveling 500 feet elevation.

How many mountain peaks can you see? How many rivers? How many bridges? It’s fun to make a list. It’s fun to take pictures and send them to your friends that aren’t in Portland!

The lower terminal is located at the corner of SW Moody and Gibbs. This is a major public transportation hub. You can also walk, bike, bus or take the Trimet Max train. It is important to plan your visit during the hospital “off hours.” The tram was not built for the pretty view. It was built to relieve traffic congestion to the main campus of the Oregon Health and Science University.

The tram ride costs $4.50. Tickets are available at the terminal. Once you reach the top, there are several patios and viewing areas. Once you have feasted your eyes, you can travel back down to the lower terminal.

Song 3: “Drink” by They Might be Giants

People drinking beer in a traditional Bavarian beer garden

After you’ve gone deep beneath the surface and climbed up above everything, you’ll probably want to stop in for an adult beverage. So, check out The Groaning Board in the South Waterfront area.

Then, raise your glass to an afternoon well spent.

Portland is a beautiful city! Get out and explore! Hop on over to the OMSI website and book your tickets and go! www.omsi.edu/submarine Advance tickets aren’t required for the fantastic tram ride. Make some memories now!

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Frugal Ways to Give Back: Dollar for Portland http://frugalportland.com/frugal-ways-to-give-back-dollar-for-dollar-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/frugal-ways-to-give-back-dollar-for-dollar-portland/#comments Thu, 18 Feb 2016 11:51:51 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7309 Portland has an impressive array of nonprofits serving a variety of needs in the city. It can be overwhelming to know where to invest time and money when you want to give back; if your resources are limited it’s especially difficult to know where to start. One fairly new non-profit, Dollar for Portland, is looking...

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Jared Walker

Dollar for Portland Founder Jared Walker

Dollar for Portland volunteers

Dollar for Portland volunteers

Portland has an impressive array of nonprofits serving a variety of needs in the city. It can be overwhelming to know where to invest time and money when you want to give back; if your resources are limited it’s especially difficult to know where to start. One fairly new non-profit, Dollar for Portland, is looking to help an underserved group of people while making it easy for members of the community to contribute.

The organization was started in April 2012 by Jared Walker when members of his family were left with a mountain of medical bills. He desperately wanted to help relieve his family of the debt but didn’t know how, so he organized a small fundraiser. After Jared’s efforts had brought in $2,500, he started to think about other members of the Portland community who might be dealing with the same problem. Jared discovered that although Portland does have a lot of wonderful non-profits, none of them are meeting the need of relieving medical debts, and outstanding medical debts can often result in dangerous kind of need–such as homelessness and poverty.

Jared decided to fill this gap, so he gathered a team and registered as a nonprofit. He and his team are asking the people of Portland to give just one dollar a month. They’ve made the process fairly simple for community members looking to participate: after signing up on the website, the organization automatically pulls one dollar a month from participants’ accounts.

100% of the contributions go toward relieving medical debts for families in need. Dollar For Portland identifies these families by partnering with local organizations (such as the Epilepsy Foundation Northwest). One family is featured a month; their story is captured on video and shared on social media, and they receive a check based on contributions (right now that’s around $3,000).

The Disterhoft family, helped by Dollar for Portland in October

The Disterhoft family, helped by Dollar for Portland in October

Although the idea for the organization was birthed in April 2012, Dollar For Portland was officially launched last August–with a large event in Pioneer Square. Since that time, the organization has helped five families; they’ve also partnered with lots of Portland businesses–such as Pip’s Donuts, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream, Barista, and Water Avenue Coffee–to raise money for, and bring awareness to the issue of medical debt.

The good news for frugal readers who want to help: if you’re already over-budget in the giving department, Dollar For Portland is also looking for volunteers–they need people to assist with fundraising gigs and community events. To sign up to either help or contribute money, check out the organization’s website: www.dollarfor.org.

Dollar for Portland launch event in Portland's Pioneer Square

Dollar for Portland launch event in Portland’s Pioneer Square

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