The Pearl District of Portland Oregon is a Cinderella story.
Once a portion of downtown Portland, known for it's older warehouses and rail yards, the powers that be decided in the 1990s to start a massive renovation and restoration of the Northwest area once known as the "warehouse district" or "brewery district."
The name "The Pearl" was coined by local art gallery owner, Thomas Augustine. The reason was that he knew that many an artist worked out of the run-down warehouses.
The rough outer oyster was the warehouses while the pearl was the artists themselves. The name stuck and, boy, does it ever live up to it now! Even Kiplinger Magazine reports the Pearl District as one of the Top 5 Places to Retire in the United States.
There are presently over 100 city blocks of fine dining and restaurants (over 50 of eateries in The Pearl, alone!), shopping, art schools, culture and more busting out of the Pearl District in Portland Oregon.
Once thought of as a place where the Yuppy and retired crowd would live, it turns out to be a wonderful place for every member of the family. For example, on a sunny day, you're likely to find young and old alike lounging around in Jamison Square Park. The gorgeous fountain there is a huge draw for the kids. As they play in the water, Mom and Dad, Grandpa and Grandma get the opportunity to relax, chat and enjoy the day.
Do you love to walk your dog? So do tons of people that live around The Pearl District of Portland. Rain, snow or shine, you'll find man's best friend with their owners in tow, enjoying their morning and afternoon walks through the city streets, especially around Jameson Square.
Getting around Portland is as easy as a leisurely walk, pleasant bike ride or you can catch the Portland Streetcar, which runs through the Pearl on 10th and 11th Ave (I love the Streetcar, personally!). You can opt to hop on one of the Tri-Met buses serving those routes. If you must drive, you can do that too. But, really, how unique is that? ;) Parking around the area is more than adequate, so you'll have no problem there.
Luxury condos are found as far and often as the eyes can see. They're everywhere and more are being built all the time. Cobblestones streets run around the areas, through the Portland Farmers Market and beyond.
If you're a theatre buff, you'll be right at home taking in a production at the Gerding Theater at the Armory, located at 128 NW Eleventh Avenue in the Pearl District. Home of Portland Center Stage (PCS), this is a historic and classy venue to enjoy some top-notch theater. You can also attend various classes, workshops and events there, not to mention a great coffee bar to kick back at and work on your laptop (free WiFi! Woot!)
On the outer edge of The Pearl, head over to Powells Books for a mocha and a relaxing time of perusing the largest independent book store in the world. It's all a perfect mix of the new and shiny and older and historic. It simply adds to the already eclectic aura that makes up downtown Portland.
You'll also find a wide variety of events that happen throughout the year in The Pearl District of Portland. It's like it's own little city within a larger city.
If you're looking for a wonderful place to live, work and play, the Pearl District of Portland Oregon is just about as cool as it gets. Cheap? No! Awesome? Oh, yeah!