This area has long been one of Portland's most desired neighborhoods for many reasons. One obvious reason is that it is very close to downtown, so you can easily take a bus or train downtown, ride your bike, or even walk downtown. It is also convenient to several freeways if you are to commute anywhere. But Northwest is full of nice, well-maintained old houses as well a whole bunch of apartment buildings (some of which have been going condo the last few years) and an eclectic variety of retail businesses along NW 21st and 23rd Avenues. There are lot of trendy shopping spots especially along NW 23rd Avenue, but there is also the low-rent Escape from New York Pizza joint and a few dive bars in the same area. Some fancy restaurants like Cafe Mingo and Papa Hayden adorn both of these heavily-walked streets along with the more working-class (and ubiquitous) McMenamin's pubs. A Trader Joe's grocery store lies between the two busy aves, and Cinema 21, Portland's first-run art house movie theater is on NW21st and Hoyt. The area has both charm and character. Lots of students live in the area, as Portland really has no university district. You'll also find a mixture of middle class and upper-middle class folks living in some of the most expensive homes in the city.
NW Portland has been given the official name the "Alphabet District" even though locals don't use the name. It signifies that the streets in NW run alphabetically, starting with Burnside, Couch, Davis...up to Wilson Street. The area specifically around NW 23rd Ave is technically called Nob Hill but again, few locals use this terminology.
Blue Moon Tavern, NW 21st Ave
Escape from New York Pizza, NW 23rd Ave
NW 21st Avenue and Johnson
NW 23rd Avenue
Pictures are all copyrighted by Andrew Hall and may not be used or copied without permission.