Frugal Portland http://frugalportland.com Cheap. Fun. Portland Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:40:35 +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 5 Relatively Unknown Craft Breweries in Portland http://frugalportland.com/5-relatively-unknown-craft-breweries-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/5-relatively-unknown-craft-breweries-portland/#comments Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:40:35 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7305 Meteorologists have been predicting an apocalyptically warm winter for Portland for months now to a great part due to the nature of this year’s mammoth El Niño. Thus far I still don’t trust my local weatherman… but who does? Cheers to that. See here’s the remarkable thing about Portland. Even when it’s pouring rain, temperatures...

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relatively-unknown-breweries

Meteorologists have been predicting an apocalyptically warm winter for Portland for months now to a great part due to the nature of this year’s mammoth El Niño. Thus far I still don’t trust my local weatherman… but who does? Cheers to that.

See here’s the remarkable thing about Portland. Even when it’s pouring rain, temperatures are hovering in the lower 40’s, and sunshine isn’t in the ten-day forecast, people in this city are still itching for something fun and affordable to do. So instead of hitting the night clubs and realizing that you’ve emptied your life savings into one night of overpriced cosmopolitans, Portland has a different drinking atmosphere you can enjoy, and that has turned into something of a community here in town.

Portland is included on the world’s best craft brewing cities lists for some time and every year the city seems to support more and more small brewing operation start-ups.

So if you’re looking for a way to beat the cold while still seeing Portland (and supporting small business) here are five of the best new craft breweries in Portland.

1. Baerlic Brewing Co.

2235 SE 11th Ave | Portland, Oregon 97214

Baerlic Brewing Co. is approaching their two year anniversary as an addition to the diverse Portland craft brewing scene, and so far they’ve impressed. The operation remains relatively small and to this point, Baerlic hasn’t attempted to saturate any market other than Portland. But that’s pretty impressive if you think about it. The owners of Baerlic have focused on their product quality rather than how fast they can brand themselves.

They currently have 13 different beers on tap with four of those being year-round taps (Eastside Oatmeal Pilsner, Primeval NW Brown Ale, Noble Oatmeal Stout, Invincible India Pale Ale, Cavalier Classic Cream Ale) and boy are they all good.

2. Culmination Brewing

2117 NE Oregon St. | Portland, Oregon 97232

Sustainable manufacturing in Portland is a critical factor in getting a loyal following. For Culmination Brewing, they’ve embraced sustainable manufacturing of their beer as the image of their company. They have beers on tap most of which carry the Culmination label. Although they currently only distribute in the Portland area, they plan to branch out to Washington shortly.

The blueprint for the operation started being thought about in 2010 but finally culminated in 2015. They have live music, a variety of beer-related events and are committed to supporting Portland’s exploding craft brew scene.

3. Coalition Brewing Co.

2705 SE Ankeny | Portland, Oregon 97214

This small but robust brewery isn’t known for having taken over the craft brewery scene like a few other Portland companies, but it sure does pack a punch. They usually have between seven and ten beers on tap that differ in style from stouts to pale ales.

The coolest part about Coalition Brewing is their pilot program, which allows homebrewers to create their own brews and then sell it at the pub. Pretty awesome…and so Portland.

4. Fat Head’s Brewery

131 NW 13th Ave | Portland, Oregon 97209

I have to admit that I was quite resistive to trying Fat Head’s Brewery when they first arrived on the scene. Their location (Portland’s Pearl District), and image was a bit confusing. It seemed as if Fat Head’s was trying to become something of a chain. (Editor’s note: it looks like a chain because it is a chain. They have locations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.)

But one day after walking around downtown Portland I stumbled upon Fat Head’s in a time of desperate need for a beer…so I tried it. And hot damn was it good.

Fat Head’s is huge, has great bar food and delicious traditional beer. It’s worth the try even though it doesn’t scream “craft.”

5. Columbia River Brewing Co.

1728 NE 40th Ave | Portland, Oregon

In 2010, Columbia River Brewing Co. opened their humble doors to a small operation built on passion. Since their inception, the brewery has slowly built itself a committed following in Portland. Their beer has won numerous awards on different occasions, and the reason is that they focus on a small number of types. With just six beers currently on tap, you can be sure that each keg has been handled with the utmost respect for the process.

Plus… they have a solid happy hour….just can’t beat one of those.

Portland is packed full of fairly new, small craft brewing operations. It seems like every year, at least, a few new ones pop up. When you leave Portland proper and begin to venture into the outer limits of the metro area, the craft beer scene doesn’t thin. So the point is that whether you find any of these options attractive or not, there is a beer out there for you.

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Spend an Afternoon on NE Alberta St http://frugalportland.com/spend-an-afternoon-on-ne-alberta-st/ http://frugalportland.com/spend-an-afternoon-on-ne-alberta-st/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2016 11:28:28 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7289 Everybody’s working for the weekend. It’s a scientific fact. The only problem is that sometimes the lofty dreams of Friday give way to the incessant urge to wear sweatpants, binge watch the latest season of Glee, and eat an entire gallon of ice cream. Before you know it, it’s Sunday evening, and you’re asking yourself...

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Everybody’s working for the weekend. It’s a scientific fact. The only problem is that sometimes the lofty dreams of Friday give way to the incessant urge to wear sweatpants, binge watch the latest season of Glee, and eat an entire gallon of ice cream. Before you know it, it’s Sunday evening, and you’re asking yourself “what have I done with my life for the past forty-eight hours?” We’ve all been there (probably) I know I have. I think we ought to try something different, don’t you? I can only assume you agree with me so I’ll continue with what I was going to say anyway. You’ll find the perfect Saturday that you’re searching for in the heart of Northeast Portland on Alberta street. From dining to art to fantastic desserts, you can mix and match activities and destinations to tailor-make a day that’s just right!

Immediately after arriving at Alberta Street, you are overwhelmed by the eclectic vibe that is uniquely Portland. Any and every surface, walls, trash cans, telephone poles, are fair game for an artistic makeover. It’s a lovely little part of town. Saturdays on Alberta are busy with people from all over. Out-of-towners and their umbrellas, vetted Northwesterners, and college students from the various local campuses all make their way out to explore this neighborhood. No matter how many times you visit, there’s always one more thing to enjoy. So, whether you’re an adept frequenter, or just trying to make the most of a short weekend visit, Alberta is the place to be. Let’s examine our options, shall we?

NE Alberta St Frugal Portland

Brunch

Although it has been known for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it has also been confirmed that after a long work week, everyone wants to sleep in. Considering both of these, brunch is the perfect compromise to keep all of your bases covered. For a good start however late it may be, head over to Pine State Biscuits. Rooted right here in Portland, Pine States’ entire menu is crafted around its namesake. From biscuits and gravy to sandwiches of every variety, they are the perfect place for a no-nonsense approach to deliciousness.

Dress it up: Petite Provence

Petite Provence Frugal Portland

Petite Provence is the perfect place to enjoy a sit-down meal. With cozy table settings and classic lighting and decoration, the atmosphere is rivaled only by the delicious food. My recommendation is the BLT with avocado and a side of potato salad, you can’t go wrong. As you can see in the photo, I was already half way through my meal before it even occurred to me to document the incredible food.

Dress it down: Little Big Burger

Little Big Burger Frugal Portland

You don’t get much more transparent than a menu that’s plastered right on the side of the building. Walk into Little Big Burger and you’ll be met by the nostalgia of something reminiscent of a 50’s style diner, complete with a grill-side counter. Although it might not be the fanciest joint in town, it certainly gets the job done with a simple menu of tasty American eats.

What to do?

Mimosa Studios Frugal PortlandAlthough the whole of Alberta is a masterpiece in its right, there are plenty of crafters and artists to be discovered indoors as well. One of my favorite spots to hit is the Alberta Street Gallery. To be clear, I don’t physically hit the gallery, I’m just trying to be cool with the lingo. Although it might not have much square footage, what it lacks in size it makes up for with a wealth of unique art. There’s no pressure to buy anything, although you might find it hard not to. The gallery is overseen by knowledgeable staff who are friendly as all get out and are happy just to have visitors enjoy the amazing featured art.

Dress it up: Mimosa Studios

Mimosa Studios

For all of those Michelangelo wannabes, Mimosa Studios is the place to be. All you have to do is pick a piece of pottery to paint to your liking. This is an activity that can truly be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Have some fun, get a little messy, and walk home with a masterpiece that you can treasure and gloat about for years to come.

Dress it down: Alberta Park

To get away from the hectic pulse of the city, check out Alberta Park. Who doesn’t like some wide open space? I know what you’re thinking, “what if it rains?”. That’s a ridiculous question, winter is upon us, it will rain, and we will survive. If we only went out on clear days, we would never get anything done. So slip on those rain boots and make sure you wear one of those dorky rain ponchos. Trust me, it’s a good look for you.

Dessert

Salt and Straw

It’s time to make that crucial decision: am I going to eat dessert and suffer the consequences? I’ll answer that question with a question, have you ever tried cinnamon snickerdoodle ice cream? Salt and Straw specializes in gourmet ice cream flavors that are unique and, in some ways, absurd. Is it even legal to put pear and blue cheese together in an ice cream? What about Oregon black truffle? Honey and black pepper? The list gets more scandalous by the minute. Despite the shocking nature of the offerings, the free samples, and the diverse flavors that shouldn’t taste as amazing as they do keep us all coming back for more.

Dress it up: Petite Provence

Petite Provence for dessert

Get your pinky fingers ready for the classiest boulangerie in town: Petite Provence! Yes, I already used this spot for a brunch recommendation, but it’s worth a second shout out. It’s the perfect place to treat yourself to a steaming cup of tea and a pastry that will satisfy your sweet tooth. From eclairs to croissants, to a delicious variety of sipping chocolates, you will walk away feeling two times happier and two pounds heavier.

Dress it down: Tonalli’s Donuts and Cream

Tonallis

For a sweet fix, Tonalli’s has you covered. If their awesome selection of donuts, including bacon maple bars, wasn’t enough, their milkshakes and ice cream are sure to hit the spot.

Of course, there is not room enough in a single article to cover all of the great things about Alberta Street. With so much to experience, it’s no wonder that this gem-of-a-location has become a local hotspot for such a diverse array of people from far and wide. So what are you waiting for? Just think about how much you’ll have to talk about when Monday rolls around.

Alberta St Portland

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6 Awesome Things to Do in Portland on a Budget http://frugalportland.com/6-awesome-things-to-do-in-portland-on-a-budget/ http://frugalportland.com/6-awesome-things-to-do-in-portland-on-a-budget/#comments Thu, 28 Jan 2016 12:44:29 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7272 When visiting the best food city in America, you have to save your scratch for indulging in tasty bites! So, what’s a budget-minded visitor to do for a good time? Follow those in the know! This insider’s guide to what Portlander’s do for a good time will give you a few year-round options to fill...

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When visiting the best food city in America, you have to save your scratch for indulging in tasty bites! So, what’s a budget-minded visitor to do for a good time? Follow those in the know! This insider’s guide to what Portlander’s do for a good time will give you a few year-round options to fill the time between meals.

1. The Swifts

Every fall, about an hour before sunset, Portlandians plop their butts in the grass of Chapman Elementary School, or nearby Wallace Park, to watch the fall migration of Vaux’s Swifts swirl overhead then pour into the school’s chimney, like a genie back into the bottle. On any given September night, you may be surrounded by thousands of locals, with thousands more visitors soaring above you. Things to bring: a four-pack of tall beer cans from Portland’s Hopworks Urban Brewery, sandwiches from Ken’s Artisan Bakery, just down the street, and a towel or Pendleton-made blanket to sit on.

2. PDX Adult Soap Box Derby

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Photo by lamoix

Portland’s Mt. Tabor is plenty cool on its own: a dormant volcano dotted with reservoirs, this hill (it’s more hill than mountain) is crisscrossed with hiking trails and paved roads. But on a very special day in August (it changes, but it’s the 20th in 2016), one of these roads is off limits. Ever wondered what a giant steampunk R2-D2 might look like, barreling down the road, with crazy-haired a human being inside? How about a miniature Scooby-Doo Mystery Mobile? And what if they were actually racing? Well, you’re likely to see this and more at the PDX Adult Soap Box Derby! Plus, local vendors will be hawking gourmet ciders and beers, and, if you’re lucky, there’ll be hot dogs, too. The vendors and racecars change every year, but this event is always free—and it’s always awesome!

3. The Big Float

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Photo by StuSeeger

This thing costs ten bones, but it’s an excellent way to beat the July heat. And it’s for a good cause—encouraging preservation of Portland’s main waterway. Portlanders and their friends hit the waves in anything that floats, drifting under a couple of impressive bridges on innertubes, paddleboats, kayaks, and rafts. Drifters beach themselves at Tom McCall Park for the next phase of the ride: live music and Portland’s famous food carts. If you don’t feel like paying the dues and signing the waiver, there is plenty of space to watch from the sidelines. Then head over to the park to join in the revelry!

4. The Portland Aerial Tram

Portland’s Aerial Tram connects the waterfront, and Portland’s new Tilikum commuter bridge, to “The Hill”—the home of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital. It costs $4.50 each to ride up, and the views it provides are unbeatable. You will see Portland in an entirely different way, and it will be breathtaking. But here’s a super insider tip: It’s only $4.50 to ride up. If you’re short on funds, or just want to be frugal, get someone to drive you to the top, or take the bus, then ride down for free. (And, if you get at all queasy in tight, rocking spaces, hold onto your lunch when the tram shifts angles at the support tower towards the bottom—it’s a jarringly good time!)

5. Peacock Lane

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Every December, this tiny Avenue ramps up for the holidays in a big way. Every resident on this strip, between Stark and Belmont, goes all out, decorating their houses, lawns, and fences in a tapestry of lights and Christmas decorations. Every. Single. House. It’s mesmerizing. It’s also a bit of a traffic jam—fortunately, the police usually show up to provide assistance with traffic control. And there are plenty of sign to tell you where to go and how to get out. When you’re done, cruise a few blocks east on Belmont or Stark. Go equal distances down either street and you’ll come to a couple of Portland’s favorite watering holes. The Horse Brass, on Belmont, is an Irish pub featuring all of the traditional food and drink, plus taps reserved for the Northwest’s over-hopped contributions to beer. On Stark, you’ll find the Belmont Station (it used to be on Belmont), which exclusively offers over-hopped Northwest ales—on 20-plus taps. No food at this one, but there’s a food cart out back, and you can peruse the attached bottle shop as you sip your libation.

6. Zoobomb

Photo by Sam Beebe

Photo by Sam Beebe

This event takes place every Sunday, all year round, though we recommend the dryer, warmer months—but snow days are good, too! Like the soapbox derby, this event features eccentric Portlanders racing down steep hills. But, unlike the Derby, they reach breakneck speeds. And often on tiny kids’ bikes (check out the People’s Bike Library of Portland—the big pile of bikes on West Burnside—for an idea of what these things look like in the daylight). Riders start gathering at the bike pile around 8:30, then get going around 11, usually making two or three runs, so join them for a ride up the MAX, find a safe vantage point, and get ready for the action!

Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of things to do in PDX—it’s only a taste! Stay tuned for more fun ideas from Frugal Portland!

 

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9 Famous Writers from Portland http://frugalportland.com/9-famous-writers-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/9-famous-writers-portland/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2016 11:19:12 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7266 I was asked to submit my first article about Famous (and Not-so-Famous) Writers from Portland. At first, I figured this will be a piece of cake. Then I realized after just a little digging that there are over 200 local authors living and not living from the local Portland area. So have narrowed it down...

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9-Famous-Writers-from-Portland

I was asked to submit my first article about Famous (and Not-so-Famous) Writers from Portland. At first, I figured this will be a piece of cake. Then I realized after just a little digging that there are over 200 local authors living and not living from the local Portland area. So have narrowed it down to nine writers I feel worth mentioning.

1. Matt Groening

Let’s begin with Matt Groening. Born here in Portland, Mr. Groening is best known as the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, what many people are unaware of, is that he also formed Bongo Comics in 1994 named after the character Bongo from Life in Hell. It was a collaboration with Steve Vance, Cindy Vance, and Bill Morrison. Check out his published work: http://lifeinhellarchives.tumblr.com

2. William Edgar Stafford

Next we have William Edgar Stafford was a famous American poet and the father of local poet and essayist Kim Stafford. Although he wasn’t a published author until he was 46 years old his first collection of poems published was “Traveling Through the Dark“, which won the 1963 National Book Award for Poetry. He passed away in Lake Oswego in 1993. Learn more about this great award winning poet: http://www.williamstafford.org/

3. James Beard

Another Portland-born writer was James Andrew Beard. He was an American cookbook author and a syndicated columnist. Beard was an advocate of American cuisine who taught generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. His legacy lives on in over twenty books, and other writings. His foundation’s annual James Beard Awards upcoming authors in many culinary genres. To learn more and check out his work: http://www.jamesbeard.org/

4. Bill Cameron

Our next hero from the Portland area, Bill Cameron, writes the Portland-based adventures of gritty ex-cop Skin Kadash. It’s a chronological mystery series that include County Line, Lost Dog, and others. Look for his next release coming later this year “Property of the State” and, for in-depth info on all his books, check here: http://www.bill-cameron.com/fiction/novels/

5. Max Handelman

For you fantasy sports fans we have Max Handelman, born and raised in Portland, is an author, film producer, and blogger. He co-wrote the book with Erik Barmack,
Why Fantasy Football Matters: (And Our Lives Do Not). Handelman became a director at News Corporation, where he helped to launch Fox Sports’ fantasy football division. He is an avid fan of fantasy football and other fantasy sports. Oh, and did I mention he’s married to film star Elizabeth Banks, wow! Follow his tweets: https://twitter.com/maxhandelman

6. Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary was born April 12, 1916, in McMinnville, and grew up in Portland. She’s an American writer of children’s books. She is considered one of America’s most successful writers of children’s literature, selling over 91 million copies of her books worldwide. Her lifelong contributions to American literature, Cleary has received the National Medal of Arts, recognition as a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. Learn more about her and peruse her books: http://www.beverlycleary.com/

7. Gary Braasch

Next we have Gary Braasch, who lives in Portland, has been an environmental photojournalist for over 40 years. He’s been published by New York Times Magazine, Time, LIFE, and many more. Braasch has also won many awards for his works including Ansel Adams Award from the Sierra Club and the Outstanding Nature Photographer citation from the North American Nature Photography Association. Braasch is probably best known for Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. He also co-wrote a companion children’s book, Secrets of the Old Growth Forest, with David Kelly, another fellow Portlandian.
Check his body of work at http://braaschphotography.com/

8. Molly Gloss

Molly Gloss is a fourth-generation Oregonian whose novel The Jump-Off Creek was a winner of the Oregon Book Award, PEN/Faulkner finalist. It’s a story of a single woman and her trials and tribulations of homesteading in the backcountry of Oregon in 1895. William Kittredge called it “a truly beautiful piece of American storytelling.” Molly Gloss still resides in Portland. Check out her website and learn more about her: http://mollygloss.com/

9. Carrie Brownstein

Carrie Brownstein is an American musician, writer, and actress. Her published works include Portlandia: A Guide for Visitors, The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local, and her memoir published just last year, Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl.

Carrie is well known in these parts as co-star with Fred Armisen in the Peabody Award-winning satirical comedy TV series Portlandia. The show will begin airing season 6 on January 21st. For more on Carrie Brownstein check out her website http://www.carriebrownstein.com/

Did you know these authors were from Portland? Did we miss any?

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5 Cheap and Awesome Ways to Catch Live Music in Portland http://frugalportland.com/5-cheap-and-awesome-ways-to-catch-live-music-in-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/5-cheap-and-awesome-ways-to-catch-live-music-in-portland/#comments Thu, 14 Jan 2016 12:51:10 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7234   Portland is celebrated for its vibrant music scene. Although this city does not always get the headliners that stop by our west coast neighbors like San Francisco and Seattle, Portlanders go all out for bands that do stop by our intimate venues. If you are new to the city, you soon may realize that...

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live-music-in-portland

Portland is celebrated for its vibrant music scene. Although this city does not always get the headliners that stop by our west coast neighbors like San Francisco and Seattle, Portlanders go all out for bands that do stop by our intimate venues. If you are new to the city, you soon may realize that you can quickly fill your social calendar with concerts on the daily, considering the plethora of music venues. However, concert ticket prices add up quickly, so you may feel like you cannot see as much live music as you would like. Do not fret because we’ve compiled a list of 5 cheap alternative ways to see live bands play around town without hurting your wallet! Sure you may not be able to go to the Crystal Ballroom multiple times a week, but that does not mean you cannot see some awesome live music in Portland! And who knows, maybe the band playing a $5 show will become “the next” Decemberists.

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Local legend And And And playing a set at Mississippi Studios

 

1. Mississippi Studios

Mississippi Studios is in a building that used to be a Baptist Church. The floor covered with Persian rugs and the balcony above the bar help create an intimate and comfortable space to watch local and national bands play shows. Concerts rarely cost over $10, and the crowds are typically energetic Portlanders that range from the early 20s to mid-30s (note that shows are usually 21+). The proximity to BarBar (excellent cocktails and Cajun fries) makes this an ideal place to grab a bite to eat before a show. You may not always recognize the names of all the bands stopping at this venue, but it’s rare that you will not have a great time catching a show at Mississippi Studios.

2. The Know

Everyone should have “go to a punk bar” on their bucket lists. Even if punk is not necessarily your “thing”, a night at The Know will push you out of your comfort zone in just the right way. They have live music every night that is either free or $5. It’s typically very head-bangy, so if you have an inkling for punk or metal, you will be in heaven. If you are not super into punk or metal, you can still have an entertaining night at this bar. They sell $1 white castle burgers and have a quarter pin ball machine, so if the music doesn’t end up being your thing you have that to fall back on!

3. LaurelThirst Public House

The Yelp! reviews call Laurelthirst “everything a neighborhood bar should be”, and it is true. The warm setting and good beer are enough to make this place a worthwhile visit, but the live music takes it to the next level. Typically they host bluegrass bands, and the shows are usually free or at the most cost $7-$10. This is a great place to go if you are looking to enjoy a relaxing evening while listening to talented local musicians!

4. Kells Irish Pub

If you are an American that romanticizes Irish-everything, Kells is the place for you! Whether you studied abroad in Ireland, have Irish ancestors, or simply love Guinness beer you will be happy at this bar. They usually have live Celtic music every night starting around 9 pm. If you go on a weekday the cover charge should be non-existent or at least pretty reasonable, but on busy nights they can ask you to pay upwards of $20 at the door. Your best bet to stay on the cheaper side of things is to hit up Kells for live shows Monday through Thursday or get there early on a weekend night!

5. Holocene

Although Holocene frequently features electronic artists, which some may argue as not being “live music,” they have incredibly fun dance parties that feature local Portland pop and electronic groups. The vibe at this venue is always energetic and upbeat. Most shows will cost you $15 at the most, and they do not disappoint. Drinks are not the cheapest here, so if you are looking to get drunk without spending a fortune, you may want to pregame the show or plan on sticking to PBR for the night, which they sell for $3 a tallboy.

Enjoying a night of live music does not need to be something you cut from your activities when you are trying to save money. You may not be able to see Beyoncé in the first row, but luckily Portland has so many venues and bars that feature live music, you can get your concert fix on a budget. Try going to a band you have never heard of for a spontaneous date night, or catch an up and coming group at Mississippi Studios that will probably be charging $30 plus for tickets in a year.

In Portland, the live music possibilities are endless.

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Top 10 Most Adventurous Dishes in Portland http://frugalportland.com/ten-adventurous-portland-dishes-for-you-to-try/ http://frugalportland.com/ten-adventurous-portland-dishes-for-you-to-try/#comments Fri, 08 Jan 2016 12:33:16 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7204 Are you a picky eater? Then I have a fun (and delicious) New Year’s resolution for you: expand your eating horizons by trying new foods you’ve never had before. You may be surprised at what deliciousness is in store for you if you order something other than the chicken. Here are ten dishes– in ascending...

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Are you a picky eater? Then I have a fun (and delicious) New Year’s resolution for you: expand your eating horizons by trying new foods you’ve never had before. You may be surprised at what deliciousness is in store for you if you order something other than the chicken. Here are ten dishes– in ascending order of craziness– that you can try at Portland-area restaurants that will blow your mind at how delicious they are, despite how weird some of them might sound! I’m a reformed picky eater myself, so believe me when I tell you these are the most adventurous dishes in Portland!

1. Peanut Butter Pickle Bacon Burger at Killer Burger

Image by

Picture by Francis Storr

Killer Burger is a Portland chainlet that serves up some of the best burgers in town. But the one that raises the most eyebrows is their Peanut Butter Pickle Bacon Burger, or as Kathleen likes to call it “the pregnant lady burger.” Peanut butter? And pickles? With bacon? It’s gotta be yucky! WRONG! What Killer Burger’s signature creation does is open your mouth up to new possibilities of flavor combinations.  What I love about this burger is it totally sounds like a stunt burger, like something Salt and Straw would create as a crazy ice cream flavor just to get people talking. The big twist: it totally works! Even if you think you don’t like pickles, or can’t get your head around the idea of peanut butter on a burger, do yourself a favor and try this.

2. Breakfast Board at Tasty N Sons

Picture by

Picture by Edsel Little

Brunch in Portland is an Olympic Sport. It’s not uncommon to wait 90 minutes or more for a table at the most popular spots. That includes brunch spot superstar Tasty N Sons, which has the kind of food that people talk about for weeks. Their steak and eggs platter is out of control (I mean it’s steak and eggs, right? How good can it possibly be? Well… just order it). Anyway, they have plenty of adventurous-sounding options, but for the especially squeamish, I implore you to order the Breakfast Board so you can try some the best chicken liver mousse in town.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Ewww! Gross!” That’s because you’ve never tried chicken liver mousse. If you had, you’d be salivating at the thought of the rich, delicious spread.  Trust me and try this stuff. If you don’t immediately think to yourself, “Holy cow, this is one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted! Why didn’t anybody tell me?!? What else have I been missing?” then you don’t have tastebuds!

3. Chicken and rice with chicken livers and skins at Nong’s Khao Man Gai

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Photo by Arnold Gatilao

Chicken liver mousse is an easy one, honestly. It’s such a slam dunk of deliciousness; everybody likes it. But now that you’ve sampled chicken liver in its most crowd-pleasing form, it’s time to step up to the ropes course.

If people have time for only one meal in Portland, I tell them to eat the chicken and rice at Nong’s Khao Man Gai. This is a dish so utterly delicious, Kathleen and I had it served at our wedding. But to adorn it with a bit of adventure, you’ll need to add a few extras, namely the optional chicken skins and livers. You have to show up early to get skins (they almost always sell out within an hour of opening), but it’s totally worth it. The livers here are cooked and chopped up, but not adorned in any other way. The key here is not to just eat the livers like a side, but mix them in with the chicken and rice to get an interesting flavor balance. If you get a bit of chicken + rice + skin + liver, then you have opened yourself up to a whole new flavor experience. Get there early and try it!

4. Fried Kale at Smallwares

Photo by

Photo by Pat Castaldo

I know, I know, enough with the kale. You hate kale. Well, that’s because you’ve never had it tempura battered and fried and doused with bacon and a delicious fish sauce dressing like they serve at Smallwares. One of the best-kept secrets in Portland dining, Smallwares has great small plates of “inauthentic Asian cuisine.” It’s one of my favorite places to go with a small group of people.

5. Boar Collar at Pok Pok

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Photo by Krista

I love Pok Pok. They serve what may be my favorite dish in all of Portland with their chicken khao soi, a curry soup flavor bomb. And who doesn’t love their fish sauce wings? We’re talking some of the best wings you’ve had anywhere, period. But for those stepping out of their culinary comfort zone, might I interest you in the boar collar with chilled mustard greens? Sounds scary, but boar is just a more flavorful cousin to pork. Pro-tip: you can get the boar collar at the flagship Pok Pok in Southeast Portland, but if you don’t feel like waiting a zillion hours, head up to Northeast Portland where you can order it at Pok Pok Noi.

6. Crabflake Soup at Ha VL

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Photo by Ron Dollete

Speaking of getting there early, Ha VL serves up the most coveted soups in all of Portland. While their official hours are listed as 8am-4pm, if you get there any later than 11:30 in the morning, you can kiss your shot at their amazing soups goodbye because they’ll be sold out. Ha VL serves two rotating kinds of soup Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays). While they have some soups that sound really out there (Thursday you can get Snail Noodle Soup, which is their most popular soup), stop by on Monday for their seafood soup duo anchored by their delicious Crabflake soup. A rich pork broth with crab, shrimp, eggs, pork, and mmmm….

7. Short Rib Tartare at Lincoln

Photo by

Photo by Mark Mitchell

I find it interesting that nobody bats an eye at eating sushi, but eat raw beef, and they’ll call you a crazy person. Well, I’m here to tell you that tartare done right is De. Lish. Us.

Lincoln in North Portland is one of Portland’s hidden dining gems. Italian by way of Portland, this place will surprise you with its playful, adventurous plates. They do have plenty of accessible things to chose from, but those looking for new experiences should take a chance on the short rib tartare or maybe even the grilled octopus!

8. Charred Octopus at Aviary

Photo by John Valls

Photo by John Valls

Speaking of octopus, now we’re getting into the real culinary adventures. While I’ll admit that at bad sushi joints, the octopus can taste like a rubber ball on rice, the culinary wizards at Aviary have found the sweet spot for our eight-tentacled friend by charring on the grill. It’s chewy, but not rubbery; I promise it doesn’t taste like a tennis ball. Oh, and did I mention the irresistible molten ricotta pudding and red curry jus?

9. Asado Argentino at Ox

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Photo by PABLO GONZALEZ

One of the most respected restaurants in town, Ox boasts delicious grilled Argentine steaks and an array of amazing side dishes. If you’re there with an adventurous partner, go for the Asado Argentino platter for two. It has a few steakhouse favorites (the short rib is out of sight), but they also serve up a blood sausage and the piece de resistance, sweetbreads. Feared by picky eaters everywhere, sweetbreads (the pancreas and thymus glands of the calf) are the kind of food that people wrinkle their nose and twist their mouths at. “How can you eat that?! Yuck!” But if you take a teeny tiny bite of Ox’s sweetbreads off of this platter, I promise you’ll devour the rest of them and then seek them out in the future. They are out of this world delicious. Just be prepared to wait a long time for a table. They don’t take reservations, so expect a wait in the 90-minute range.

10. Ruskie Zakuski Experience at Kachka

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Photo by Alex Ex

I’m not going to lie, to the picky eater, reading the menu at Kachka is just about the least appetizing thing you can do. But when it comes to expanding your culinary horizons, there’s not a more delicious way to do it than at this Russian restaurant in Inner Southeast Portland. If your taste buds are sheltered from adventure, nothing here is going to sound good to you. It’s going to take an incredible leap of faith on your part. Luckily, Kachka has a solution for you: the Ruskie Zakuski Experience. For $25 per person, they will just start bringing you all sorts of crazy Russian drinking food. It’s pickled and salty and delicious, and it goes perfectly with vodka!

You may not like everything you try, but now that you’ve put your tastebuds at risk, I bet you’ve found a few things you liked that you never thought you would, right? And maybe it pushes you to try a few new things in the future. If you have a chance to try any of these, let us know what you thought.

Do you know of any other crazy-sounding delicious dishes we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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Resolve to Save Half Your Income in 2016 http://frugalportland.com/resolve-to-save-half-your-income-in-2016/ http://frugalportland.com/resolve-to-save-half-your-income-in-2016/#comments Fri, 01 Jan 2016 08:56:46 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7192 Do you set resolutions/intentions/goals? Or is January 1st “just another day” for you? I can go either way. On the one hand, I love setting goals. The more ambitious, the better. I like saying that I’ll accomplish something big by the end of 12 months, then setting goal posts and checking in… and doing it....

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Do you set resolutions/intentions/goals? Or is January 1st “just another day” for you?

I can go either way. On the one hand, I love setting goals. The more ambitious, the better. I like saying that I’ll accomplish something big by the end of 12 months, then setting goal posts and checking in… and doing it.

On the other? I am human, and get discouraged easily. I resolved to do a pull-up two years in a row, and I still can’t do one. One year, I said I’d run 365 miles, and by the end of January had only run six, so I gave up on that one too.

Sometimes, my goals are so ridiculous that I create loopholes. “Don’t eat out” turns into “…unless someone else is paying” and that makes me a person who resolved to be that friend. No.

But I do set financial goals, and I think you should, too. Max out your IRA. Contribute at least as much as your employer will match to your 401(K). Pay off those credit cards once and for all. Need more ideas? Here’s a post from last year: 30 Personal Finance Resolutions for 2015.

Resolve to Save Half Your Income

I have been saving half my income for the last three years, and it has made all the difference in the world. It has become the cornerstone of my financial philosophy.

Here are some of the most popular posts about saving half your income:

rp_F-R-E-S-H-e1414415523826.png     rp_Why-Save-Half-e1415115072581.png     why putting 50 of your income toward debt is better than saving     how-ronnie-is-saving-100K-in-three-years

Read the whole collection of articles here: Save 50%

Why Save Half Your Income?

You should aim to save half your income for a number of reasons:

  1. It sounds hard (it is hard, but doable)
  2. Saving half your income gives you a lot more options (you could work less, travel more, retire early)
  3. Attempting to save half your income and not quite getting there is the best kind of failing. I mean, who’s going to kick themselves for only saving 45%? Not me!
  4. Saving half your income means you don’t have to worry about our fickle friend, willpower

Need a Little Help?

One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been spreading the good word (okay, proselytizing) about saving half your income is that people have different versions of one response: “I wish I could do that/That’s not in the cards for me/Must be nice to make enough money to save that much.”

Which I always thought were flimsy excuses, until I did a bit more digging.

It turns out, people want help figuring out what counts as savings and how they can find enough room in their budgets to save half.

So, with Joe, I created a five-module course.

It’s one I’m really excited about, and one that can change your life (in all seriousness).

It’s Save 50, and it launches today. Registration closes January 29th, so make this a resolution you can keep.

There are 14 lessons in those five modules, each designed to help you take things a step further.

We worked with Tiller to come up with a KICK ASS spreadsheet that pulls information from your bank and helps you figure out how close you are to the 50% mark.

The cost for the course is $129, and it’s worth a lot more. Especially if you do the work and open your mind to the possibilites of adjusting your life so you can save more money.

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48 Hours in Redding, California http://frugalportland.com/48-hours-in-redding-california/ http://frugalportland.com/48-hours-in-redding-california/#comments Mon, 28 Dec 2015 15:23:47 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7171 The only thing I knew about Redding, California before visiting is that it’s the halfway point between Olympia, Washington (where I grew up) and Disneyland. Friends who’d made the long drive always stopped in Redding to spend the night. That’s all I knew. So, when VisitRedding.com reached out to me and asked if I wanted to...

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The only thing I knew about Redding, California before visiting is that it’s the halfway point between Olympia, Washington (where I grew up) and Disneyland. Friends who’d made the long drive always stopped in Redding to spend the night.

That’s all I knew.

So, when VisitRedding.com reached out to me and asked if I wanted to come down and write about a frugal weekend getaway, I said sure! They initially wanted me to come visit in September, but for one reason or another that never worked out, so I went down in December. I brought Brent along so he could get a change of pace and so I’d have a travel buddy, and last Thursday, we flew down.

Getting There

Redding Airport

Most people who stop in Redding go by car. The city is right off I-5, and is the home of the furthest north In-N-Out Burger in California. But since we were going for just a weekend, we flew. We ran into our first snag at the airport. It seemed our flight to San Francisco was in jeopardy of not taking off. Something to do with the weather conditions in San Francisco, I guess. It worked out, though, and we were able to make our connection, which was good, because there wasn’t another flight from San Francisco to Redding for seven more hours. The San Francisco airport is fancy, but not somewhere I’d want to spend that much time.

There’s talk of opening up more flights from Redding, according to my contact at Visit Redding. Flights are coming to Los Angeles next year, and maybe Portland, or maybe Klamath Falls… they haven’t decided for sure. Their airport is the cutest airport I’ve ever been to, though, so if you do fly there, you’re in for an adorable treat.

We were given an itinerary, but it was late afternoon when we landed, and dark by the time we got to our hotel, so we saved our sightseeing for the following day, and went to a local brewpub (how Portland of us) for dinner. Woody’s has excellent food, and Brent enjoyed a sampler of their beer. The atmosphere was fun — date nights for some people, family dinners for others — and we felt happy and relaxed by the time we went back to the hotel.

Day 1: Parks and Recreation12301319_1489870984677132_764049984_n (1)

After an awesome breakfast with Kallie from Visit Redding, we ventured a few miles out of town to Whiskeytown Lake, a National Park. We got parking passes at the visitor center and realized that not very many people venture out to the lake when it’s 40 degrees outside. Evidently, it’s a great place to swim in the summer, but we’ll have to take their word for that! We were bundled up. We asked at the visitor center what they recommended we do, and they told us to drive to a quick and easy hike (more of a walk, really) to a waterfall:

waterfall

It wasn’t what you’d call a strenuous hike, but it was beautiful, and had it been even ten degrees warmer, we could have stood and stared at the falls for a long time.

But, we learned from the tour guides that we were in former gold rush country, and there was more to be seen. They highlighted the route we needed to take, and it was on the way back from the waterfall. If you want to do the same thing, go stop in and talk to people at the visitor center. They have better information than I do.

I should note that I am complete dork for 19th century American history, especially the romance of the west. Moving west with your family? Selling all your stuff and trying to strike it rich in the gold rush?

I’m in.

So we wandered around, and stared into this long-closed mine shaft:

el dorado mine

After we walked around, feeling oddly like we were trespassing, since we were the only ones out there on a chilly Thursday in December, we stopped at one more town, and learned a lot about the gold rush in these here parts.

This is the town of Shasta:

shasta

Or rather, the ruins of Shasta (and yes, even though these are 19th, and not 9th, century ruins they are still ruins, okay?). We learned from these signs that Brent is covering, as well as from the museum across the street that is well worth the $3 entrance fee, that they found gold in mines near Shasta in the early 1850s, and it was immediately built up. It was an important stop for mule trains and stagecoaches and all kinds of other “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman” things.

But then (cue ominous music), the railroad came.

To Redding.

Not Shasta.

Today, it seems ridiculous that a distance like six miles would be enough to kill a town, but it did, and swiftly. Shopkeepers saw a bigger opportunity where the railroad came, and they left. Also the gold ran out. So we got to hang out in this neat ghost town that was extra spooky because of the cloudy weather.

After being in the cold, we went to see a movie, which is not a particularly touristy thing to do, but it was fun.

Day 2: River Trail, a Bridge, and Birds

The next morning we woke up and went down to the river trail, an awesome path along the Sacramento River that extends for a lot more miles than we went on.

12317509_936806639744977_1172762056_n (1)

It’s great for biking, running, and just plain walking the dog. We walked for a little more than an hour, and made a loop. There was an inlet along the river where a sign said an otter lived, but he must have been out doing his Christmas shopping, because we waited for a bit, and we never saw him.

We did see a view like this, though:

sacramento river

Which, let’s be honest, is less exciting than an otter, but stunning nonetheless.

After we’d worked up an appetite, we went to (where else?) In-N-Out:

innout

Double-double animal style (protein style for me, too, thinking about making room in my tummy for all those fries!) and fries well done. It’s a good thing this chain isn’t in Portland. Because it’s delicious.

After lunch, we still had a few hours before our afternoon flight was supposed to leave, so we went to the Turtle Bay Exploration Park. Actually, there were a couple things to see over there. One was, according to Kallie, a controversial pedestrian bridge: the Sundial Bridge.

Controversial because it was more expensive than any other pedestrian bridge, but it was also more awesome. A bridge that’s a sundial? Who cares if it’s only accurate for a few hours during the summer solstice? This was something to see!

sundial bridge

The pictures don’t really do it justice — this bridge is awesome! You walk over glass (which somehow isn’t slippery even when it’s raining) to the other side, where there are more outside things to do. There’s an arboretum, I think? I didn’t stick around long enough to find out, because the rain had picked up momentum by then.

Back to the Turtle Bay Exploration Center. There was an exhibit on the bridge, which Brent read every word of, and more about the gold rush era, where you could find me. There was an aquarium with an exhibit on salmon, which is another of my favorite topics (in all seriousness, I blame my dad for educating me on the life cycle of a salmon at an early age). There was even an exhibit on animation, where you could put yourself on the Simpsons couch.

We’re far too sophisticated for that, so we skipped it.

Just kidding, here’s Brent:

simpsons

The exploration park is big — and not just a fun hands-on museum indoors. We went outside, where we found a house full of parrots. Bring one-dollar bills to this, so you can feed these creatures!

parrots

Word to the wise: even if you wimp out and decide not to spend a dollar on a cup of what looks like a green Odwalla juice but is apparently nectar, there’s a decent chance that if you are standing close enough to your husband who is braver than you a bird might end up landing on your head and… um. Relieving itself of said nectar.

Not saying that happened to me, but I’m also not saying it didn’t.

All in all, Redding was a fun town to get to know, and if the weather had been better, we would have done more things outside. So, if your travels take you through Redding, maybe take some time and stretch your legs in one of the fun places to spend time in this town.

You might surprise yourself.

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The 12 Days of Portland Christmas http://frugalportland.com/12-days-of-portland-christmas/ http://frugalportland.com/12-days-of-portland-christmas/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2015 17:03:19 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7147 Oh, the weather outside is…frightful… have you been outside this week? Torrential downpours have clogged up Portland’s infrastructure, but it hasn’t dampened people’s holiday spirit. Hanukkah just ended, and Christmas is just weeks away. And there might not be a better city to celebrate the season. Lights galore and festivities run wild in Portland during...

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Oh, the weather outside is…frightful… have you been outside this week?

Torrential downpours have clogged up Portland’s infrastructure, but it hasn’t dampened people’s holiday spirit. Hanukkah just ended, and Christmas is just weeks away. And there might not be a better city to celebrate the season. Lights galore and festivities run wild in Portland during the holidays and, of course, more than ever Portland has become a destination to see. With that in mind, why not have a Portland-infused Christmas this year?

Here’s my spin on the 12 Days of Portland Christmas:

1. The Oldest Sports Show in Town: Portland Winterhawks Ticketswinterhawks-12-days-of-portland-christmas

For 101 years there has been ice hockey in Portland at some level. Although it might not always be the most publicized sport in town, it probably should be. In 1914, the Portland Rosebuds came to town. They ended up being the first ever American based hockey franchise to compete in the Stanley Cup Final. They would also become the first American team to win a championship when they won the PCHA in 1916.

Fast forward 101 years and there is still hockey in town. Although it’s no longer professional make no mistake the Portland Winterhawks are serious players. The team boasts players ranging from 16-21 years old who have NHL aspirations.

There is currently a Groupon available for Winterhawks home games falling between the dates of December 27th, 2015 and January 9th, 2016. You’ll be rewarded with a discounted ticket and food options for $20.

2. Hipster Portland Prints from Tender Loving Empire

Tender_Loving_Empire_logo

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

To not indulge in the Portland hipster craze for at least one of your gifts this year would be sacrilegious (right?). At Tender Loving Empire – a local record company and local goods dealer – they have some pretty awesome options. One of my favorites this year is the “We Fell In Love Tree Rings” print where an artist uses the anatomy of a slab of wood to describe the evolution of Portland’s creation.

The best part about it? The gift is under $25 (it’s $20 or more if you’re feeling generous about supporting a local business with a ‘choose your price’ feature).

3. Pick Up Some Vinyl at Portland’s Music Millennium

frugal-portland-12-days-of-christmas

Okay so maybe we have more than one hip gift on this list but hey…it is Portland after all. You’d think Portland would be peppered with excellent record stores since we are becoming known for our thriving independent music scene but the reality is we aren’t. However, one record store that has survived is East Burnside’s Music Millennium. There you can find a magnificent collection of vinyl records both new and used along with tens of thousands of CD titles. Not to mention, Music Millennium has some pretty incredible tchotchke-style gifts.

4. Get Local: Memberships to OMSI, The Oregon Zoo or The Portland Art Museum

1024px-OMSI_entrance_sign_at_night,_Portland,_OR

Maybe you don’t frequent these places enough to justify a membership. Or maybe you just don’t go because it’s expensive to pay full price every time. Well, fear no more there are plenty of money-saving membership options. At OMSI, there are options as simple as OMSI for 2 – which gives one named adult and a guest – access to the museum and discounts all around or there are family options where up to 13 people are included in your admission cost… yes, every time you go. The Oregon Zoo offers similar options while the Portland Art Museum has a bit simpler memberships, but the point is this; if you’re enamored with science, animals or art, these gifts will go a long way towards saving you money.

5. Everyone Needs Some Brew Time

brew pub

It wouldn’t be a Portland Christmas without beer. So without further ado welcome to Portland U-Brew and Pub. Located in Sellwood (just southeast of Portland over the Ross Island or Sellwood bridges) is Portland U-Brew. The pub offers classes, supplies and recipes to follow. On top of that if your beer just comes out plain flat they do have a pub where you can order a beer to make your beer problems disappear.

6. Get Down On the Portland Spirit For Some 80’s Cruising

1024px-Burnside_Bridge_(north_side)_with_Portland_Spirit_passing_under

The Portland Spirit is one of Portland’s must-do activities. There are candlelight dinner cruises and daytime booze cruises alike. But the best of all, especially as a Portland x-mas gift? The 80’s dance cruise that is featured every Saturday night from 11pm-1am. For just $20 per person, you can find yourself at the disco on the Willamette River.

7. Subscribe to the Oregonian

Morning_oregonian

Even though the paper’s quality has dropped in recent years and it’s gone from being a daily publication to having a print edition only four days a week, there is still a desire for the News and the Oregonian is our local source. The paper is currently running specials for the holiday season: 16 weeks of Sunday and Wednesday print service in addition to unlimited digital access for just $2.99 a week. There’s just nothing like feeling a paper in your hand with warm coffee on a winter morning.

8. Brave the Saturday Market

saturday-market

Despite the cold and dreary weather this time of year, there isn’t a better time to hit Portland’s Saturday Market. We could sit here and list thousands of amazingly useful and hilariously worth it gift ideas that have been featured at the market over the years but instead here’s our suggestion: grab a handful of cash (nothing out of the ordinary) and head down to the market. See something that cousin Joe might like? Grab it – it’s bound to at least make him laugh meanwhile you’re not spending an arm and a leg at J Crew.

9. Hey Man Just Get Him a Pot Growing Starter Kit For Sure

pot-growing-kit

Now that weed is legalized here in Oregon it’s totally legal (at least according to state laws) to grow some pot in your backyard (or inside). This gift isn’t cheap as it can run upwards of $1,000 including the full indoor setup required but if you’re a connoisseur of pot this is the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving and…wait what were we saying?

There are tons of marijuana shops that have opened their doors in the last few months, but this Oregonlive article from July should give you an idea of how to start and where to look

10. Probably Don’t Get a Tattoo in Your Face but Here’s a Gift Card

tattoo-for-christmas

Portland has become one of the most densely populated tattoo scenes in the country so it’s hard to say where you should be putting your money. However with that many options comes the mathematical result that there are bound to be a handful of awesome shops with great artists.

Unfortunately most shops probably have a $100 minimum on gift cards so be ready to be pulling out at least a hundred bucks on this gift purchase.

11. Was This Coffee Brewed Here in Portland?

stumptown

Now that Stumptown Coffee Roasters have expanded their operation beyond Portland some people believe they no longer stand as an icon of Portland. I beg to differ. Stumptown stimulated an entire micro-regional-economy when it set off Portland’s desire to create small, independently owned and operated coffee houses. Now that my sob story is done we can focus on Stumptown.

For a uniquely and authentically Portland gift, try taking your giftee to the Brew Better Coffee tour at Stumptown’s headquarters on the inner eastside of Portland. Tickets are $15 per person and include treats like a free ½ pound bag of coffee and some tasting.

12. Craft the Night… or Day Away

craft

Choose any one of the Portland-area community colleges and pick up a non-degree course catalog. There are some pretty awesome options. Food + Romance = Seduction, Zombie Apocalypse Survival Workshop, Beer Appreciation… etc. Prices range pretty significantly, but some classes are as cheap as $29 per person.

So, there you have it — if I were the type of person to give a gift a day for 12 days, and I wanted to give Portland experiences, this is how I’d do it.

What would you do differently?

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Where to Buy Cheap Books in Portland http://frugalportland.com/where-to-buy-cheap-books-in-portland/ http://frugalportland.com/where-to-buy-cheap-books-in-portland/#comments Thu, 10 Dec 2015 11:12:56 +0000 http://frugalportland.com/?p=7136 Gloomy doesn’t begin to describe the feel in Portland, especially in the late fall and winter. The city of roses averages 222 days of cloud cover each year. So what better city than Portland to have upwards of 15 independent bookstores? None. As Portland continues to grow into an actual metropolitan area small independent operations...

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local-portland-book-stores

Gloomy doesn’t begin to describe the feel in Portland, especially in the late fall and winter. The city of roses averages 222 days of cloud cover each year. So what better city than Portland to have upwards of 15 independent bookstores?

None.

As Portland continues to grow into an actual metropolitan area small independent operations – especially for print books – are peering into a foggier future than ever. But little do most shoppers know prices at most of these independent bookstores are dirt cheap. Unless you’re looking for the newest and freshest titles independent bookstores can be a frugally pleasing experience for any shopper out there. With the holiday season in full swing now is the time to utilize this city’s small bookstores.

Here are my favorite places to buy cheap books in Portland:

General Bookstores

There is an abundance of options that qualify as general bookstores carrying multiple genres of text. In Southeast Portland especially, shoppers can find themselves in the vicinity of a handful of traditional stores that carry a broad selection of titles:

Wallace Books (SE 17th Avenue – Sellwood)

In this small, quaint, and cozy shop that resides in an old house, books are stacked from floor to ceiling – often in an amazingly disorganized but accessible manner – and the employees are always happy to have you. During the summer months, Wallace Books even has a ‘free’ table out front that includes titles varying from ‘what did I just read?’ to ‘didn’t that just come out?’

Not only does Wallace Books cram an impressive amount of product into their tiny shop but they offer both new and used copies of titles, and the prices are always pleasing to the wallet.

Bingo Used Books (SE Powell Boulevard)

As you’re driving down Powell, you might notice the abundance of…well… strip clubs. Now if you’ve heard anything about Portland that is nothing to be surprised of (I mean we even have a vegan strip club for Pete’s sake). But if you look carefully between the ‘adult’ entertainment venues, you’ll find Bingo Used Books, where you can buy a different kind of adult entertainment that might have a bit more value than its neighborly competitors.

Bingo has over 100,000 items in the store (including some CDs, vinyl, and DVDs) and advertises having 10,000 or more that cost less than $1. In addition to the in-store inventory, Bingo claims to have 100,000 more titles online.

Don’t be fooled by their website, though, you’ll get a better price for anything you buy from them by walking into the store. They say so themselves.

Longfellows Books (SE Division St.)

Since 1981 Longfellows has been providing Southeast Portland with a reliable, comfortable and family owned bookstore. The store carries a variety of books ranging from new titles to rare literary first editions.

The store has been in the same location since 1991 and is run by a father/son duo of Jon and Nile Hagan. In addition to their vast collection of book titles the store has always carried an extensive list of magazines ranging from Architectural Digest to Rolling Stone.

Another neighborhood that features a bevy of independent sellers is Northeast Portland. In that part of town, you’re likely to find a mixture of general interest and special interest stores. Regarding booksellers that feature many genres here are the best:

Another Read Through (N. Mississippi Avenue – North Portland)

Owned by a mid-2000’s Portland transplant, Another Read Through is the epitome of the new Portland. Placed quietly in a hip North Portland neighborhood, Another Read Through features titles from bestselling authors to local novelists alike. There are often book readings or launches at the store. Much like most of the Portland independent booksellers, Another Read Through is proud to offer significantly reduced priced secondhand titles.

Broadway Books (NE Broadway St. – Lloyd)

Although Broadway Books sells primarily new titles, they do have a collection of secondhand and on-sale books. The store has been in operation since 1992 and makes sure to differentiate themselves on their website from a New York City company of the same name.

They are proud to be an independent Portland bookseller.

Some other stores promote secondhand and reasonably priced new titles in Portland. If you’re looking to survey the entire Portland independent bookselling scene, you can’t miss the following (one of them there’s no way you’d miss anyhow):

New Renaissance Books (NW 23rd Avenue – Alphabet District)

Slipped cunningly into a Northwest Portland home is New Renaissance Books – a store that just whispers you into relaxation. Featuring mainly spiritual titles (and by that I mean Buddhist, relaxation and astrological), the store also has a very cool collection of homeware.

Annie Bloom’s Books (SW Capitol Highway – Multnomah Village)

In 1978, Annie Bloom’s Books opened in Multnomah Village. They’re still going strong. There are no used titles in this store, but they do offer an impressive array of new titles. Instead of super low secondhand prices, Annie’s is proud to offer a robust selection of sale books at all times.

Reading Frenzy (N. Mississippi Avenue – North Portland)

Reading Frenzy is so Portland. Located in the heart of Portland’s gentrification hub of Mississippi Avenue. Reading Frenzy is a small press that also sells books and art in their storefront.

Powell’s City of Books (W. Burnside – Downtown)

The king of all gods. The ruler of them all… Powell’s City of Books is a mammoth store (taking up an entire city block). Although Powell’s has expanded to other locations in Portland, it remains an independent bookseller and has a more than an extensive collection of used and new titles from all genres.

Special Interest Bookstores

Back to Northeast Portland…of course. In this part of town those of us who are looking for a children’s specific bookstore, or possibly a feminist bookstore, have options.

A Children’s Place (NE Fremont St.)

Portland’s oldest independent children’s bookstore has been going strong since 1974. With a small and enthusiastic staff and plenty of events A Children’s Place is an exemplary operation to support, not to mention they are savvy price makers!

Green Bean Books (NE Alberta St.)

In the same neck of the woods is Green Bean Books, another children’s oriented, independent seller. The store offers a traditional cozy reading atmosphere and has new and used titles all of which are reasonably priced. They have a small staff, so everyone knows what they’re doing.

In Other Words (NE Killingsworth St.)

For anybody that has watched Portlandia, the bookstore is real. I repeat… the bookstore is real. On Killingsworth is one of alternative cultures most comical but socially celebrated bookstores around. In Other Words carries titles only about the feminist belief. So if that’s what you’re looking for you’ve got a haven of books to choose from.

The bottom line is that Portland is stacked with independent bookseller options and even though purchasing books online might save you time it’s often the case that buying in one of these stores will save you a significant amount of dough.

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