Portland’s Northeast neighborhood is massive, yet the most of it is residential and so uninteresting to outsiders. Even some of these residential districts, though, have their own central areas and main streets, which frequently feature neighborhood eateries and businesses – so if you happen to be in one of the Northeast communities, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Northeast is located on the Willamette River’s east bank, and its southern border begins at Burnside. Because the river bends to the northwest just about where Northeast Portland begins, Williams Ave. serves as the district’s western border rather than the river. The Columbia River, which also acts as the dividing line between Oregon and Washington State, forms much of Northeast Portland’s northern and eastern borders.
While Portland is not known for its high levels of diversity, Northeast Portland is one of the city’s more varied areas – at least in comparison. Some of the district’s mini-neighborhoods include traditional, old, mansion-like Portland mansions (all with exorbitant prices), while others have low-income housing. Some portions of the Northeast have major shopping and dining centers, while others have primarily residential areas. You may visit or hear about the following Northeast mini-neighborhoods:
Home to the Lloyd Center shopping mall and cinemas, this is part of the Fareless Square on Portland’s public transportation and so easily accessible from downtown Portland.
This isn’t really a district, per se, so much as it’s a complex of buildings that are home to Portland’s professional basketball team, the Trail Blazers, and some of the other sports teams we have here. The buildings in the Rose Quarter include the Rose Garden Arena (which is where the Blazers play and where you’ll also see major concert tours) and Memorial Coliseum (where the hockey team sometimes plays and where some smaller concerts are held).
There’s quite an arts scene around Alberta, and many artists and musicians live around here as well. Similar to First Thursday, on the last Thursday of each month, the art galleries and studios stay open later into the evening and welcome people in to celebrate art. You can find out more about Last Thursday here. Each September there’s the Alberta Street Fair with live music, arts & crafts, and food – and even a parade.
This area is connected via the MAX Light Rail line and has some nice shops and restaurants, as well as the theatre which gives the district its name. The Hollywood Theatre was built in the 1920s and serves as the neighborhood’s historic center.
Irvington & Alameda
These are principally residential areas and contain some of the oldest homes in Portland.
This is also primarily residential, although there’s a big park bearing the same name as the neighborhood which is popular with people from all over Northeast Portland, and there’s a gilded statue of Joan of Arc at the center of Laurelhurst – just in case you’re a big Joan of Arc fan. You’ll know when you’re entering Laurelhurst because there are big stone columns on either side of the street entrances.