Libation Vacation – Plan your next trip around your favorite spirit, wine or beer

Drinks are a natural part of life on vacation. But what if the vacation was … all about the drinks? We cooked up three perfect libation vacations—wine in the Willamette Valley, beer in and around Bend, and booze in the big city. written by Amira Makansi and Sheila G. Miller What are you looking for in a wine tasting experience? Clearly, great wine tops the list. But there are other factors, too. What about quality of service? Sweeping vistas? Ambience? And that ever-elusive je ne sais quoi?   Wine in the Willamette Valley In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, unique wineries and diverse identities abound—to such an extent it can be difficult to narrow down your tasting list. But on a weekend getaway when time is limited, choosing your top destinations is paramount. Here are five diverse establishments worth a visit on your next escape to the Willamette Valley. If you’re coming…

Trip Planner: An International Feast in SW Portland

International Feast: Finding foodie treasures in the southwest suburbs written by Sheila G. Miller | photography by Carly Diaz In some cities, the word “suburbs” evokes images of Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel and The Olive Garden. Then there are the suburbs of Portland. That’s right—the city known for being so foodie-friendly has plenty of neighbors making names for themselves, as well. You can travel the world in the southwest suburbs of Portland. Hit up Thailand, Korea and El Salvador in Beaverton. Visit Japan, Mexico and Vietnam in Hillsboro. From Aloha to Tigard to Forest Grove, there’s no shortage of delicious international restaurants waiting—so we made a weekend of it. Day 1 BANH MI • GROCERIES • NOODLES I grew up in Beaverton, though it has certainly morphed into a new place in the years since I graduated high school. But one of the best things about this city has stayed…

Po’Shines is Much More Than a Restaurant Venture

Po’Shines is Nourishing the Community’s Soul written by Adam Sawyer | photography by Claire Thorington Pastor E.D. Mondainé grew up on soul food. The St. Louis native can recall a time in his life when every member of the extended family excelled in one particular dish, taking pride in the way it filled bellies as well as hearts. “It was food created from the soul to feed the soul,” Mondainé said. Mondainé would grow into a man who extended the tradition and meaning of soul food into just about every aspect of his life. He also wears many hats. In addition to being a pastor, he’s an activist, author, musician and now president of the Portland NAACP. Long before taking his current position, Mondainé saw a trend and a need in his adopted home of Portland. “There were a number of community members on public assistance,” he said, “just as…

Lisa Congdon is a Master at Creating Colorful Art

Lisa Congdon creates colorful, inclusive art written by Sheila G. Miller Good things come to those who wait. We had to wait until Portland fine artist Lisa Congdon was in her early 30s to even pick up a paintbrush. But today, her work is all over the place. If it’s melancholy you seek, keep moving— Congdon’s colorful work is full of hand-lettered statements like “You be you. I’ll be me” and “Eyes forward. Heart open.” There’s a bit of whimsy, a slightly youthful vibe and a ton of color. Her clients are diverse, from Martha Stewart Living to Harvard University, and her Etsy shop is thriving Congdon, 50, started out painting as a hobby. After working in education for twenty years and as a project manager for a nonprofit, she decided at age 40 to try to be a full-time, working artist. She’d never attended art school and was completely…

Nordia House of Southwest Portland

Inside the Nordia House of Southwest Portland, a cultural center, showcasing all things Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. written by Cathy Carroll | photography by Carly Diaz Chefs who strive to create the authentic cuisine of faraway places must frequently rely on what they’ve learned from family, travels and research. At Broder Söder, however, chef James Drinkward works in a microcosm inside the Nordia House of Southwest Portland, a cultural center which opened in 2015. Here, he’s merely a Thor’s hammer throw from experts on all things Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. “The people at Nordia House are influential,” said Drinkward, who grew up in Southwest Portland. “I get lots of interesting feedback, such as, ‘My grandma made it this way.’ Scandinavians tend to be pretty direct, so they’ll tell you what they think.” Not your grandfather’s Sons of Norway lodge, Nordia House exemplifies contemporary Nordic design inspired…

A Modest and Chic Portland Home

Modest chic Portland home with texture and bright pops of color written by Melissa Dalton | photos by Built Photo Not all kitchens need the pomp and circumstance of showy stoves and flashy range hoods. Take the one in this custom home in Southeast Portland—it’s all about the subtle details. Sunlight pours through a full-height window which is perfectly aligned to brighten the center aisle on the city’s grayest days. White quartz counters wrap white oak cabinet fronts, revealing a neat shadow gap where the stone and wood meet. Yet behind those cabinet doors are boxes from IKEA’s Sektion line. Such an unfussy approach was deliberate on the homeowners’ part. “They wanted a fairly modest and compact house,” said architect Jeff Stern of In Situ Architecture, who worked with JRA Green Building to complete the home in 2017. “They weren’t looking for anything very formal.” Stern started the design process…

Baseballism Is Creating Baseball For All

Oregon may not have a baseball team (yet), but it has a successful baseball company written by Beau Eastes | photography by Brian Holstein Baseballism has retail shops in baseball hot spots around the country—Cooperstown, New York; Scottsdale, Arizona; Boston; and San Francisco to highlight a few—but its flagship store is in a beautifully renovated warehouse on Northwest 22nd and Quimby in Portland, just seven blocks from the Portland Beavers’ original stadium, Vaughn Street Park. What started out as a youth baseball camp put on by four former University of Oregon club baseball players is now a $10 million a year lifestyle brand built around America’s pastime. That means you can purchase everything from T-shirts adorned with baseball terms like “Southpaw” and “Live Life Like a 3-1 Count” to $85 leather toiletry bags. The company doesn’t have a licensing agreement with Major League Baseball, instead creating products from sayings and slogans…

Two Portland Bathroom Luxury Remodels

Two mid-century Portland bathroom remodels pack a lot of luxury with light tile and charm written by Melissa Dalton A Modern Take on a West Hills Mid-century When a couple bought this rambler in Portland’s West Hills, it still held much of its Mid-century charm, which the new owners loved. Soaring ceilings clad in cedar in the living room? Check. Original kitchen cabinets in excellent shape? Yes, please. Unfortunately, their swooning stopped upon seeing the master bathroom. “ The house was built in 1954, and I don’t think the bathrooms had ever been touched,” said Stewart Horner, principal designer at Penny Black Interiors, who worked with the homeowners on a refresh. “It was pretty much as it had been for fifty-plus years, and it wasn’t pleasant.” First, there was the room’s unappealing Jack-and-Jill layout. A popular treatment during the Mid-century era, it meant the bathroom was shared between the parents’…

Inside the Lives of Portland’s bridge tenders

All along the watchtowers: Inside the lives of Portland’s bridge tenders written by Scott Latta / photography by Shauna Intelisano Even by the dreary standards of Portland winters, 2017 was especially bleak. At one point, five storms slammed Portland in five weeks. The Weather Channel, stating what everyone in the city was thinking, dubbed it “America’s most winter-fatigued city.”When a foot of snow fell in one twenty-four-hour period in January, the nation gawked as hapless Portlanders abandoned their cars along impossibly glassy hills. But the real trouble started two months later, when the sun came out. Federal guidelines maintain that when the Willamette River rises above 12 feet, all Portland bridges must be staffed twenty-four hours a day. Under normal circumstances, it’s not a problem for the county’s eight full-time bridge operators. But as the snow melted in the Cascades—141 percent of its normal depth—it collected in reservoirs within the…