One of the biggest changes about moving here from Oregon is that most of the restaurants and retail shops here are nationwide chains. There isn’t a big array of eclectic, artsy, or independent stores around here. The ones that do open usually don’t make it. No one knows why, people around here come from all over the country so maybe they are looking for something familiar.
For me the familiar things are store that are different. I don’t normally find too many stores that I label as “Portlandy” but in the past 4 months I’ve found two!
First- The Dale Street Cafe is the funky upscale restaurant downtown. It’s actually in a old house- that’s the first major requirement of being “Portlandy”. All my favorite Portland spots are in houses. We are going there for my birthday to use up the rest of a gift certificate we have.
Then today I went to Agia Sophia. It’s this cute coffee shop and bookstore in an old church building. I think an Orthodox Church actually runs it because all the book are theologically based and there is Orthodox information everywhere (I’m a good sleuth, I am). It’s even in Old Colorado City which semi-adds to the Portland appeal. They’ve put in a lot of antique lounge type chairs and have tables available as well so I guess it’s a pretty good study spot. Most likely if it was around where I went to college it would’ve been my second home. I may have found something that could pull me away from Starbucks (gasp!). ‘Cause I love me a good “Portland” store!