There are many, many things to love about Irvington and the inner Northeast Portland neighborhoods—the architecture, the trees, the farmers markets, the easy public transportation—but my favorite thing is that you can take Broadway to Hollywood. How much more Fabulous can a neighborhood be?!?
Before we get to Hollywood and the other NE Portland ‘hoods, let’s start in grand old Irvington. Everyone loves Irvington. It is historic, has incredible homes, and is filled with trees, trees, and more trees. Founded in the late 1800s Irvington was one of the first upper middle class neighborhoods in Portland, thanks to the burgeoning trolley car system that cost only a nickel.
Walking around Irvington today, you will see many homes with signs marking them as “Century Homes,” meaning they have been in the neighborhood for 100 years. And, a few select abodes have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Thanks to the diverse collection of well-maintained arts-and-crafts, craftsman and colonial revival homes, the entire Irvington district is now included in the National Register. Want a peek inside? Each May, you can get an inside look at some of the homes if you come for a stroll through the Irvington Home Tour.
But it is not just the homes and impressive tree-lined streets….there is a lot to love in Irvington. The Irvington Club has been around since 1898, providing tennis courts and more to local residents. Irving Park, which used to be a racetrack, offers fields and courts for nearly every sport and an off-leash dog run. And, there are popular eateries like Cadillac Café and the acclaimed Frank’s Noodle House.
Irvington even has a gay bar for goodness sake! Joq’s has been a neighborhood fixture for years, a friendly drop-in joint like Cheers. What? It isn’t in Irvington you say? Okay, being on the southside of Broadway means it is technically in Sullivan’s Gulch. Named for one of Portland’s founders, The Gulch is a cute and affordable neighborhood nestled between Irvington and Highway 84. Sullivan’s Gulch is also home to the Portland Chapter of the LGBT-positive Metropolitan Community Church.
The Hollywood District is the next big stop to the east of Irvington. On Saturday’s, you can wander from the bountiful Farmer’s Market to the lovely Hollywood Library, one of the busiest branch libraries in the entire country (plus, it includes a tribute to local author Beverly Cleary). Catch an indie flick at the vintage Hollywood Theatre after picking up some graphic novels at the flagship Things from Another World comic book store (cute nerd alert!).
Looking for fabulous Irvington style homes, but with million dollar views? Then head up the ridge to the Alameda and Beaumont neighborhoods. Some stunning homes dot the neighborhood, especially those built by the late architect Kenneth Berkmeier. And, you will find many wonderful restaurants and boutiques all along Fremont Street, like Ristretto Roasters artisanal coffee, Beaumont Market for groceries, Alameda Brewhouse, and the popular Foot Traffic running shoe store. (FYI…Christmas on Fremont Street is not to be missed!).
Come stroll through Irvington and the surrounding ‘hoods someday soon and see how truly Fabulous Inner Northeast Portland is.