North Mississippi Avenue
If you had to choose a single poster child to represent Portland’s do-it-yourself gentrification spirit, it could easily be North Mississippi Avenue between NE Fremont and NE Skidmore Streets (take bus number 44 from downtown).
As recently as 2000, this neighborhood was a collection of mostly vacant turn-of-the-20th-century storefronts that had fallen into disrepair and dereliction. Then Portland’s influx of “young creatives” discovered this historic community hub and found it an inexpensive place to start restaurants, art galleries, bars, brewpubs, coffeehouses, bakeries, and other one-of-a-kind enterprises.
Fast forward to today, and North Mississippi Avenue is a center for creative dining, boutiques, and a hotbed of youthful nightlife. A testament to progressive politics and entrepreneurial instincts, Mississippi Avenue is six blocks of Portland’s renowned neighborhood-oriented lifestyle, with enough nightlife and restaurant choices to justify a trip for travelers staying in not-far-distant downtown.
The Rebuilding Center
Any trip to North Mississippi Avenue should include a stop at The Rebuilding Center, the largest nonprofit used building materials resource in North America. Building salvage of all sorts finds it way to this 64,000-square-foot warehouse and lumberyard. If you’re a homeowner and looking for a cheap sink, a period match for picture molding, or used-once two-by-fours, this labyrinth of old house stuff is fascinating.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel