Alberta is not considered a neighborhood name but the main street through the area is Alberta and it is very artsy. Just go there on the last Thursday of the month and you’ll see what I mean when hundreds of people show up to visit the shops, galleries and eateries. People show up in costume and live music fills the air. I went for a ramble last week when a dry, although freezing cold day called me. I came away with 39 photos from my Hasselblad and 4 pinhole images. Too many to share at once? I can’t decide.
The shopping area is trendy. You’ll find old businesses that have been there forever and new ones that have renovated their store fronts. Some have garage door style fronts that on Last Thursday are opened to allow more people to go in and out.
There are many restaurants, bars, donut shops and ice cream stores. I stopped for breakfast at La Petite Provence where lines were long but the food was great. I used my pinhole camera to make photos there(photos posted under Pinhole Eating part II) After nourishment I started my exploration of this funky neighborhood.
One thing you’ll notice right away is a lot of graffiti and street art. I’m not completely sure what makes it one or the other, but, for me, tagging is graffiti and everything else falls into some type of art. You decide. Portland, for a city its size, doesn’t really have a lot of graffiti so at first I was taken aback, but then I started looking for it to find something unique.
I ducked down a couple of side streets and found old worn-out houses next to brand new contemporary styles. Seems anything goes here and I heard the house prices are on a steep increase.
I ducked in to one of my favorite craft shops, Collage, that is full of paper and art products. It’s truly a craft person’s candy store. From DIG, a combination of interior and garden design items, I walked out with a cool lamp with words from London on its shade.(now sits in my library). I ended my day with a cappuccino from Barista. Seems there can’t be enough coffee shops on Alberta, but you won’t find a Starbucks anywhere in site.
I had a great day discovering a new, for me, east side neighborhood in my city. I started visiting different neighborhoods last Spring and have continued with this series. Acting like a tourist in my own city has let me explore new areas and fall in love with Portland all over again. I strongly suggest you do the same where you live.