Alterna-girl shopping in Portland

I have a friend who is more than a little crazy. Actually, that describes many of my friends, so this friend will remain anonymous for the moment.

One time I was shopping with Irina (no longer anonymous) on Mississippi Ave. We might have been at Porch Light. I love Porch Light. Great blend of cool new stuff + cool old stuff = perfection. I picked up some old basket and turned to Irina. This would be great for your bathroom, said I. Who would have imagined how wrong I was?

She looked at it with a disgusted face and replied, Why would I buy some old, nasty thing that has rust on it, and germs, and that has been in somebody’s house when I can go to Crate and Barrel and buy myself some new thing in a package that nobody but me has touched?

By the time she was finished I was glaring at her with a disgusted face. We were disgusted with each other. But we were laughing. How the heck are we friends? Well, differences are cool. I don’t think she’s cool, with all that Crate and Barrel talk, and she doesn’t think my rusty stuff is cool, but that’s OK. Differences are cool. And what’s even better is that we can do what we like, and buy what we like, wear what we like, go out with whomever we want. And then bitch at / to each other about it.

alternagirl 2

Next time you’re looking to please a variety of tastes with a day of shopping – here are some parts of town that will satisfy those who like both the new and the old:

Mississippi – used clothes, new clothes, good food – and the light bulb shop! What more do you need?

Hawthorne – Red Light, baby, plus tons of new stuff for your browsing pleasure. And if you walk toward Por Que No, you’ll find vintage furniture too.

Sellwood – Did this part of town start it all? My fav place for lunch is Jade Teahouse.

Multnomah – Not much in the way of antiques any more, but it ain’t the mall! Start with Marco’s for breakfast and then wander.

Alberta – What a lovely mix of quirky and quirkier, plus Bolllywood Theater for lunch.

Portlander Nancy Ranchel is a self-described accountant, design fan, serial re-modeler, compulsive re-user and blog writer.