Though it’s not far from the center of the city, the feeling of Alberta is undoubtedly removed. It’s about community always, family often. Sure people come from all over the city to check out the bars, shops, and restaurants on this strip, but do the residents of this little enclave ever leave? And if not, what are they hiding from the rest of us? A visit to these low-key Alberta establishments will give you a taste of the affordable, community experiences that this `hood, post-gentrification, has become known for. (Photo: Courtesy of of Community Cycling Center)
Community Cycling Center
1700 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
If you’re not a bike commuter you might not be jonesin? to don rain gear and hop onto a 10-speed just yet. But if you’re bikeless come summertime, you’ll be itching something mad. Good news is you’ve got a good solid four months to build a bike before the Portland sun unleashes its glorious call-to-play. Here, you’ll learn basic maintenance and perhaps pick up a few bike-y friends to go touring around town.
Collage Art Materials and Workroom
1639 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
Collage will make you feel crafty. Even if you don’t know how to make a damn thing. The teeny square shop is artfully crammed with all sorts of supplies for DIY projects. Somehow it avoids feeling cluttered; in fact it’s inspiring. Example projects scattered throughout the store help those of us without the craft gene envision just what the heck you can do with an old bottle cap some glue and a postcard. Who knew?
2407 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
For your friend ‘the vintage vixen,? browsing through racks of gently worn frocks always turns up gems. For you, it’s mostly painful?like walking into a jungle of smelly polyester. Well expect a pleasant shopping experience here thanks to the attractive aqua walls, neat racks and streamlined selection of feminine dresses and bright baubles perfectly displayed. You’ll snatch up that classic 50s sheath in no time.
Every Day Wine
1520 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211
This unpretentious wine bar facilitates separate togetherness. None of this communal I’ll eat whatever you eat, drink whatever you drink. There is no wine list, but you just point and they will open up any of the 400 bottles in stock and pour you a glass. Oh, and you can bring, must bring if you want it, your own food. So let the group disperse to a nearby eatery of their choosing, bring back their grub and all choose their own glass of vino from any bottle on the wall. Isn’t it better to imbibe together?
Zilla Sake House
1806 NE Alberta, Portland, OR 97211
Yes, Portland sake houses got all hyped up for a minute and that got old. But there is nothing trendy about the 2,000-year old Japanese process of brewing rice wine. And that, along with an artsy whimsical atmosphere and flapping fresh sushi, is what Zilla is all about. If the 10-page sake menu is overwhelming, try the Taste of Japan flight, which includes a glass of sake from each region of Japan, all distinct in flavor, style and smell. You will leave feeling warm, fuzzy and highly ed-juh-ma-cated.