The Pearl

Dated: August 17 2015

Views: 1191

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It used be called the “Northwest Industrial Triangle”…not the most appealing name. But an area filled with warehouses, light industry and railroad yards would not be the most appealing place either. But since the mid 1980’s, the area has undergone a big urban renewal. The area was rezoned to mixed use around that time, and the artists arrived. The area now known as The Pearl is home to high rise condos, warehouse to loft conversions, art galleries, shopping, and restaurants.

‘The Pearl’ was coined by art gallery owner Thomas Augustine, who was quoted at a party in 1985 by a freelance writer. He was asked what the name of the area was called. Thomas answered, “It’s called the Northwest Industrial Triangle, but to me it’s the Pearl District. Image titleThink about it. These old, crusty exteriors on the buildings are like the exterior of the oyster shell. But inside it’s amazing: There are literally thousands of people inhabiting them, some illegally . . . not only painters and sculptors, but software-makers, wine distributors, poets and musicians. ”The writer quoted Thomas in a story in Alaska Airlines Magazine and Sunset Magazine used the term Pearl District months later.

Even in the land of high rises and lofts, it’s still Portland, and so there are of course some wonderful outdoor spaces here. On the edge of the Pearl is the North Park Blocks, home to Image titleone of the first playgrounds in Portland. Also in the Pearl is Jamison Square, where you will find masses of frolicking children on any hot Portland day, due to the large fountain that simulates a shallow tidal pool. Water cascades from stone joints into low pools as the fountain continuously recirculates treated water with energy efficient pumps and motors. Tanner Springs Park, a recreated natural area featuring wetlands, a walking trail, and creek, as well as The Fields Park, a neighborhood dog park and green space, are also in the Pearl.

Local artists made the Pearl what it is today, so it is no surprise that The Pearl District is a Image titlehotbed of local art galleries showing the best local and national artists. Besides the art galleries, here you can find the famous Powells City of Books, the worlds largest independently owned bookstore, larger than many city libraries. Shopping in the Pearl runs the gamut from big brand stores such as REI, & Anthropolgy, to local boutique stores. Need a new swimsuit? The vintage- and pinup-inspired swimsuits at Popina are designed locally but have made waves with retro fans all over. A couple great places to find chic women’s clothing are Mabel & Zora, House of Lolo & Monique’s Boutique. The Lizard Lounge has stacks of goods for both men and women, as does Moule.

If you are searching for a good restaurant, you don’t have to wander far in The Pearl. There are literally too many great restaurants to name, but there are a few favorites. AndinaImage titleserves up some amazing Peruvian Tapas with some great gluten free options. Another great Latin American menu is at Oba, where the prime rib is perfection. Check out Irving St Kitchen, order the lamb and stay for their butterscotch pudding. Want a bite of everything? Hit up Park Kitchen with a group of friends and order the tasting menu. If you want a quick bite on the cheaper side you go can’t go wrong at Little Big Burger, Supa! or TILT. And of course Portlanders love their brunch, so get up early and go stand in line at Byways Cafe for blue corn pancakes with pecan butter!

Think you might be the perfect Pearl resident? Check out Lofts, Condos and Homes for sale in the Pearl!

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Shawn Skinner

Your Portland Metro Broker with over 15 years experience Shawn remains continuously updated on market trends, financing and legal reforms, so he can help you make informed decisions. The real estat....

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