One of the main ways that I’m continually reminded of Portland’s uniqueness is when I’m out and about; either headed to the studio or meeting a client. In each of the neighborhoods I encounter on a daily basis, either for work or play, there are residing some of the city’s unique makers and spaces that are guaranteed to inspire creativity or foster creative relationships. I do much of my creative dealings on Portland’s Eastside, due to its more relaxed pace. The Eastside was traditionally the more affordable, residential part of town, but with the exponentially increasing rate of Portland’s expansion, is has become a hub of industry in its own right.
Good Coffee in Buckman is where I love to start things off. They’re an independent group of shops serving the Eastside with a rotating repertoire of coffee and tea offerings. The impeccably minimal interior and walkway-side seating have provided countless beautiful backdrops for meetings with friends and clients.
Local to these Eastside neighborhoods are two open studios of local creatives, which are a great refresher and point of inspiration. The establishments allow space for both appreciation of their own wares, as well as interaction with other patrons and designers who may be visiting.
Laura Hosgard specializes in lifestyle items. Both creatives have influenced me in incredible ways and are always willing to lend an ear to your current experiences and thoughts.
If I’m ever looking to shop for myself or simply get inspired by the latest in men’s lifestyle, I always stop by Machus. They are tirelessly looking to rotate through some of the best names in establishment and independent designers alike. Even if you’re not looking for something new to wear, it’s impossible to leave without witnessing something creative you haven’t seen before.
On the other side of the river, in what is steadily gaining identity as Portland’s “West End” is what may be a familiar sight for many. Although the lobby of the Ace Hotel and its conjoined Stumptown Coffee and Clyde Common have long been a destination of locals and tourists alike, there is a balcony overlooking the entire spread which isn’t advertised at all. It’s tucked away but still in the path of the Ace’s signature natural light, creating an ideal environment to either get work done or host an individual client for brainstorming or review. With so many good cups of coffee and refreshments nearby, it’s hard not to feel good about the Ace as a choice to spend some time.
A wonderful place to retire the day is at Rontoms on East Burnside with a few friends, or even clients! The entire space was the brainchild of both the owner, who collects and restores midcentury furniture, and a local architect who designed the outdoor experience, including an asymmetrical patio roof for rainy days. A perfectly tasteful balance of work and play.