Portland Picks Website  
  life + style to you: every Friday
October 31st, 2008

You know what’s spooky? Old boyfriends asking to be your friend on Facebook. Oh sure, you’re over them—heck you’ve both moved on, it’s been years! But seeing their names pop up every day—and (horror of horrors) seeing them flirt with their girlfriends on your scroll—is just plain freakshow. Nobody needs a constant reminder of old flames… if you were supposed to see them you’d be friends in real life, not online, right?

And though we love it, something about Facebook is not right anyhow. (Do we really need to know what our pals are thinking/doing/feeling at every minute of their day?) But seeing into the lives of old boyfriends/girlfriends adds a new level of yuck. It’s too much information. We are not cool with it, we won’t “learn to be cool with it,” and we are not ashamed to admit that.

Want to soothe the savage beast within? Forward this issue to 5 friends and CC picks@portlandpicks.com, and you could win a $50 Gift Certificate to Gypsy Chic. Ahhh… shopping is so rewarding!


Portland Picks:


Bird is the Word

We gotta hand it to our parents who endured—with love and patience—a lot of interesting "gifts" from us when we were young. There was the time we brought home the giant pine cone Christmas tree. Oh, and the poorly sanded, plastic, teardrop-shaped key chain. And our personal favorite, the wooden light shaped like a water well (okay, now that one was kind of cool—you pulled the handle and the light came on). Not to mention all the cards, drawings and wilted flowers.

We've come a long way, thank goodness. We no longer try to make gifts ourselves, but we do appreciate those with such a talent. Which is why we love Redbird Studio. Boasting an impressive selection of unique cards and gifts, nearly everything in the shop is handmade by the owners, Paul Evans and Melissa Rau.

In addition to the myriad of wonderful cards and stationery, Redbird Studio carries T-shirts, baby items, wallets, cell-phone holders, hats, and more. We had no trouble finding the perfect gift for Mom. She’ll thank us for not revisiting the crafty route.

Redbird Studio
2927 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211



A Lofty Idea

We love our dog, Newman. Something about him makes our heart beat faster. Lately, though, we’ve been altering our life to accommodate his needs—including our social life—meaning we don’t get out much, because we only go places where he can go, too.

So we were thrilled to discover that Newman and all his pooch friends (40 pounds or less) are welcome at Aloft hotel. Not only is Aloft dog-friendly, but the mere act of stepping through the door made us feel just that much cooler. The lobby itself was more like a cool museum than a hotel lobby, complete with a pool table, trendy backlit bar and chic, modern décor.

Our room was out of a magazine, decorated with our peace of mind in mind—a plasma television, a lush down comforter and one of those cool sinks that looks like a bowl. Our decorating soul was singing! Plus it was the quietest and most comfortable night’s sleep we’ve had in months. So the next time we need to escape the normal hum-drum that is life, we’re heading to Aloft—with Newman, of course!

9920 NE Cascades Parkway
Portland, OR 97220


Eatin’ Good in the ‘Hood

We miss our next-door neighbors. We miss their morning lattés, impromptu happy hours and—most of all—the family-style dinners they’d throw together on a whim. After they moved away, we were in serious need of a friendly local spot to dine and unwind.

Then we discovered Lucca, a new Italian-inspired neighborhood restaurant. We tickled our taste buds with the Tuna Fagioli with shaved fennel & lemon and Antipasti del Giorno, a little of this (salami, prosciutto, roasted pork belly) and a little of that (crostini, young green beans, marinated peppers). We kissed the anti-carb trend goodbye and twirled our forks into house-made Strozzapreti with duck and Tagliatelle with sweet peas. Sometimes we’ll just order a few wood fired pizzas to go—all topped with goodies like spicy sopressata, wood-roasted mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and truffle oil.

We wish we could say all this fabulous food and hospitality has inspired us to start hosting dinners of our own, but who are we kidding? Table for six, please!

3449 NE 24th Ave.
Portland, OR 97212


Reclaim Shopping

We’re tired of hearing the phrase “fat cats” when it refers to Wall Streeters—and not our actual fat cat. Or hearing things end in “…since the Great Depression.” We still have shopping needs, and they still need to be met. Which makes us pleased as punch that we Portlanders have Redux.

Redux is a boutique that gives things a second life. Reclaimed art, like necklaces made from vintage doilies and placemats (super pretty, trust) and awesome marble (yes, marble!) lawn ornaments that make you feel good about being green. Plus everything in there is so dang cute! We love the sterling silver necklaces, the gorgeous and unusual geode rings, the bags both leather and vegan. The store is chockablock with the stuff that we want to get and give this holiday season.

And fear not, inner SE shoppers: Redux is going strong, despite the souring stocks. There will always be a market for pretty things in a cool space. Who needs Wall Street when you have this chic stretch of lower Burnside? Color us revived at Redux.

811 E Burnside St., Suite 110
Portland, OR 97214


Farm to Market

As kids, we were picky eaters. Much to the chagrin of our poor mom, we turned up our noses. Often. We would have rather gone to bed early with empty stomachs than have eaten our vegetables.

Since becoming “adults,” however, we’ve tried to be better about eating veggies, but we only like them cold and organic. (No funny hormones in this body, thank you.) So, it was quite the dream come true to discover the Little Green Grocer, a paradise of organic fruits and veggies in the heart of NW Portland. It’s like a farmer’s market—but indoors—which means we don’t have to brave the elements to get our organic fix of greens.

And besides their bounty of fresh produce, LGG also has a big wall-o-wine, a killer bulk selection, and all the basic food staples we need to eat healthy. To top it off, much of the product is local, keeping us proud to shop our neighborhood market. Thank you, Little Green Grocer, for enabling us to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle!

Little Green Grocer
1101 NW Northrup St.
Portland, OR 97209

  Chick Picks:  

The Best Investment

When you have a handbag fetish as profound as ours, not every handbag will do. We seek hotness, glamour, and small designers—we want to be unique, but also politically and fashionably correct.

So hello, Hello Betty! It’s a locally based online shop that carries handcrafted and made-to-order bags that are T.D.F. Whether you have a "sexy bag/going glamorous places life" (stylish clutches!) or a "giant handbag/fart around town life" (gorgeous totes), you can enter the code PDXPICK and save 20% off your purchase!



Pretty Persuasion

We are suckers for retro-inspired packaging. We’ll buy anything from candy to coasters if it has a vintage look. Which is—truthfully—why we picked up JASON’s Sea Fresh Toothpaste. The box looks straight outta 1973 and we could not love it more.

Until, that is, we actually used the toothpaste. It’s sea-sourced (containing certified organic blue green algae, ferreals) and totally tasty. We might up our tooth-brushing regimen to three or four times a day…



Could This Smell Any Better?

Our memories are often triggered by smell. Whether it’s the aroma of Hungarian Chicken reminding us of Grandma, a faint locker-room smell jolting us back to high school, or a certain T-shirty scent reminiscent of an old boyfriend, we are ruled by the schnoz.

That’s why Treat’s new Pomegranate CoffeeBerry Organic Sweet Cream is extra delish. In addition to the luscious moisture (your skin will eat it up!) the light fragrance is sure to remind us of something superduper good. We just don’t know what yet.



Playing Dress-Up

We don’t have a little girl ourselves, but if we did, there’s no doubt we’d dress her in a sweet handmade A-line skirt from Polka Dot Designs. Locally crafted and perfect for fall in fabrics like corduroy and flannel, we can easily imagine them paired with woolly tights and black Mary Janes.

Whether you’re partial to argyle or apples—or polka dots!—these skirts will even inspire a tomboy to play dress-up. (And there are women's sizes, too, so you can play dress-up yourself!)



Walk the Talk

Here at Portland Picks, we believe in supporting local artists. That usually means buying something for our walls, but this time around, you can show your Portland pride right on your feet.

Longtime fave Amy Ruppel has designed a special-edition pair of Converse for Foot Locker, with the most adorable little owl on the side. Better yet, money from each pair goes to The Global Fund to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Cute and socially conscious!


  Cocktail of the Week:

Zen Green Tea Liqueur’s ZenTini

Truth? We did not expect to like this stuff. Something about the idea of Green Tea liqueur just sounded, well, wrong! But OMG it was so incredibly right. We practically drained a bottle with about eight of our friends, and didn’t stop until we ran out of club soda. It’s so original—we expect to see it soon in high-end Martinis around town. Better yet, mix one yourself at home!

2 parts Zen Green Tea liqueur
2 parts vodka
½ part fresh orange juice

Shake over ice, pour into a chilled Martini glass. Try not to drain the bottle!



Hip Happenings:


Come Out and Play!

Calling all Portland-area families! Join Babytalk magazine at Washington Square Mall for an extraordinary playgroup unlike any other—the world’s biggest playgroup—it’s a day of fun-filled free activities, fabulous giveaways and live entertainment for moms and babies! Enjoy the pre-event StrollerFit class at 8:45, “Kindermusick,” plus a Boppy play area, valet stroller parking and more!

What: Babytalk magazine’s world’s biggest playgroup
When: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 10 am–2 pm
Where: Summit Court, 9585 SW Washington Square Road
Visit: www.WorldsBiggestPlaygroup.com


A Night to Remember

DoveLewis celebrates their 35th birthday with an exciting masquerade gala at the Governor Hotel. The Wet Nose Soiree is their largest annual event, with a hosted reception, entertainment and formal dinner, plus live, silent and “Super Silent” auctions. Also find therapy dogs on hand, in case a night without Puppy is too hard to handle.

What: DoveLewis Wet Nose Soiree
When: Saturday, Nov. 1, 5:30 pm
Where: Governor Hotel, 614 SW 11th Ave.
Tickets: $100 or $150 VIP
Contact: 503.535.3383
Visit: www.dovelewis.org


Trick or Treat Street

Bring your costume-clad kidlets somewhere new this year! Bridgeport transforms their village into a magical “Street of Treats,” sponsored by Radio Disney. With sweet snacks and gifts for the trick-or-treaters, a costume contest (noon to close) at The Find, plus a sale or two for mom and grandma, it’s a fun-filled Halloween for everyone!

What: Street of Treats
When: Friday, Oct. 31, 5–8 pm
Where: Bridgeport Village
Visit: www.bridgeport-village.com


Word Perfect

Wear your words at the IPRC’s 3rd annual Text Ball, one of several fun literary events in the annual Wordstock festival. Enjoy music by the locally loved Portland Cello Project and a “Figure of Speech” theme that includes text-themed food, games, and temp tattoos, plus prizes for best costume, including a $100 grand prize.

What: 3rd Annual Text Ball
When: Saturday, Nov. 8, 7:30 pm (cocktails at 6 pm)
Where: Leftbank Project, 240 N. Broadway
Cost: $10 advance, $12 at the door, $5 students
Visit: www.iprc.org or www.brownpapertickets.com for tickets


Election Night on the Big Screen

Not that we’re super overboard political, but we love a good election party! And this one, held at the swank Ace Hotel, has the perfect recipe: treats from Clyde Common, champagne toast, a balloon drop and 10 flat-screens to make results-viewing easy. Plus, all $15 goes directly to your nonprofit of choice.

What: Election Night at Ace Hotel
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 8 pm
Where: The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th
Tickets: $15
Visit: www.acehotel.com


Pre-holiday/Recession/Election/Moxie Sale!

Moxie is it! Enjoy 20% the entire store—all fall and winter goodies! New Level 99 jeans, hats, scarves, colorful wool coats, sweaters, jewelry, holiday dresses, handbags and more. And come to the first Friday artist reception, “Birds + Trees + Flowers” by Tim Combs/The Reclamation Project, Nov. 7 from 6–9 pm (enjoy 10% off during the reception).

What: Pre-Holiday Sale at Moxie
When: Sunday, Nov. 2–Thursday, Nov. 6
Where: 2400 E. Burnside
Call: 503.296.6943
Visit: www.moxiepdx.com



Need gift ideas for your man, dad, baby bro or cubicle buddy? Check out www.PortlandPicksforMen.com for great ideas! And while you’re at it, sign them up for a free subscription. After all, PPFM is the best gift of all… it keeps on giving!


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