Monday, April 14, 2014

N is for neighborhoods and Nike (Portlandia from A to Z)

Our first house--I miss our porch!

Portland has 95 separate, distinct neighborhoods, each with its own volunteer neighborhood association and distinct culture and feel. Our first house was a 1910 bungalow in the Richmond neighborhood, described as:
Urban, artsy, down-home, community minded, green and eco-conscious. Anti-car, some even anti-establishment. This is a neighborhood of families and young urbanites. 
We lived close to the Hawthorne neighborhood...we loved to walk to Hawthorne to the McMenamin's Bagdad Theater Pub or Powell's on Hawthorne

We moved from the east side to southwest in 1999, when our oldest son was three. We wanted a house with more yard, and the great schools in the area didn't hurt either. This is how our current neighborhood is described:
Laid back with a more residential and relaxed feel than more urban neighborhoods.  Located relatively close in, with a variety of home styles, this is a neighborhood that will appeal to families and others who prefer a less urban and more rural feeling neighborhood.  The Multnomah Village area is a popular neighborhood gathering place, with locally owned restaurants, bars, and shops, giving this area a strong sense of community and central gathering place.
Multnomah Village in the 1920s...
We often miss the east side, with its older homes, sidewalks, porches, and easy access to everything. But we also like living on the west side--it's a great place to raise kids and has a lot of parks and community centers. It's also nice to have a garage and driveway!


Nike is not actually headquartered in Portland, but in suburban Beaverton, where I grew up. It's one of only two Fortune 500 companies based in Oregon, and one of the world's largest athletic shoe and apparel companies.

Style of my first pair of Nikes--all the rage in the 1970s!
Although the company was founded in January 1964, it officially became Nike in 1971. I grew up wearing Nike shoes before they became known around the world. Every Oregonian knows who Phil Knight is (one of Nike's founders).

I know several people who work at Nike--it's as ubiquitous as Intel in the Portland area. (Nike employs 8,000 people in Oregon, while Intel employs 17,000 here but is based in Santa Clara, California.) They always have a huge showing in the Portland Pride Parade and even have a shoe and clothing line that supports gay pride.

I also had a pair that looked a bit like this...
Read my other A to Z posts here, and stay tuned for tomorrow: Oaks Park and organic food.


  1. I just discovered your blog through the A to Z challenge and am excited to do more exploring! My best friend lives just outside Portland and it's one of my favorite cities. I lived there during ages 9 and 10, and think it's a wonderful place! This is a delightful and informative post and I'm looking forward to reading more of your earlier ones! -Katie @ Spirit of Children's Literature

    1. Fun! Thanks for stopping by, Katie!

  2. we have a Portland here in Australia probably named after your Portland during gold rush times. A friend I had in my teens told everyone she was born in Your Portland because we didn't know about our local version then. She wanted to seem exotic and foreign. It looks like a lovely place though very much bigger than the one here.

    1. That is cool!! I will have to look into Portland, Australia--my brother-in-law and sister-in-law live in Sydney.