Monday, February 15, 2010

Cruisin' Cafes: Portland, OR

It’s really quite simple dolls…I blame the music. Declared as the “indie rock mecca” by Slate magazine back in 2007; Portland, Oregon has earned the reputation of harboring one of the most incredible music scenes in the country. Therefore, as an individual who holds fast to the notion that “every moment in life deserves a soundtrack” I see it of the utmost importance to take a detour through Downtown Portland on one’s quest for caffeinated complacency.

Unlike so many locales boasting promising harmonious talent; Portland is one of the very few that nurtures an aesthetic which balances perfectly between grungy and glittering. A sense of atmosphere that allows one to cast aside their cares, mellow out, and fully and completely embrace their inner Penny Lane – shaking out their hair, trailing their fingers along the unseen air as they drive alongside the Willamette River, and candidly soaking up the creative culture. I hope you’re wearing your American Apparel Wool Floppy Hat darlings, for our road trip is just beginning!

Three Friends Coffee House Don’t fib my loves; we’ve all encountered him. You know exactly the one that I’m talking about. The kid whose house everyone would congregate at after school on Friday afternoons for the sheer fact that his mother provided the best snacks (and kept them coming!), coupled with the verifiable truth that he was always in possession of the latest toy that our parents refused to buy specifically for us. Three Friends Coffee House is the foodie-loving adult counterpart of that very person; sans the presence of an overbearing parent, to be sure.

From the moment you swing the front door open be prepared to meet your second family, for Three Friends Coffee House, with its basement-like interior, is destined to become your home away from home. A tiny stage sits snuggly beside a bar along the window, creating the perfect platform for the occasional jazz band to set-up and lull you into a caffeine-laced trance; while plush couches (a prime place for the techie looking to settle in and blog for awhile) sit atop roughhewn wood floors which add a sprinkling of rustic refinement to the atmosphere. It is the charming little picnic tables sitting out front, however, that offer the absolute best seating – and an ideal place for people-watching along 12th Avenue. Don’t miss the White Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Latte…it is heaven on earth! 201 SE 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97214.

Crowsenberg’s Half & Half Like its title would lead one to believe, Half & Half is an unconventional location that bridges the gap between cute and hipster, without ever going too far in either direction. Situated downtown, just a stone’s throw away from Powell’s Books, Jackpot Records, and Reading Frenzy – some of my very favorite Portland haunts – Half & Half makes for the perfect place to pop into whenever you feel the desire to tap into your creative side; or simply to indulge in a warm cup of pure bliss.

The quintessential Portland coffee shop, Half & Half retains a DIY-inspired design courtesy of the rotating art and wide array of tattered flyers announcing various events taking place around town adorning the walls; an indie blueprint made even more prominent by the haphazard jumble of various knickknacks for sale – such as buttons to commemorate your visit, which, oddly enough, you will find yourself incapable of resisting – sitting along the countertop. Yet it is the sunshiny, yellow ceramic mugs that your drink du jour arrives in that will put a spring in your step regardless of how gloomy the weather outside is! Come for the Espresso, stay for the Fluffernutter Sandwiches, Deviled Eggs, and Homemade Cookies. 923 SW Oak St., Portland, OR 97205.

Which of these Portland cafes would you like to cruise?

Fashionably yours!

Thanks to We ♥ It and Tumblr for the pictures.

Don't forget to enter the Get Your Flirt On Giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Debra Goldstein and Olivia Baniuszewicz’s Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way to His Heart.

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