Why I love Portland! The Oregon Symphony

Adventurous programming. Inspiring collaborations. Bridging art forms. Connecting lives. Sparking conversation. Every day, and with each exhilarating performance, the Oregon Symphony is moving music forward.

Posted on January 7, 2020 at 1:08 am
Brian Johnson | Posted in Arts and Culture, Symphony, Uncategorized |

Why I love Portland! Portland Rock Gym

Serving the Portland climbing community for over 30 years, Portland Rock Gym offers rock climbing, bouldering, yoga, fitness, and a rock climbing guide service. Now with over 25,000 sq.ft. of climbing terrain including auto-belays, top-ropes, and leading you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied and in shape! Quality instruction and fun events are a staple at the gym, for beginners and experts alike. For youth, PRG offers birthday parties, after school programs, the competition team, and week-long indoor/outdoor camps during school breaks. All these activities will challenge youth with high-rope elements, zip-lines, king swings, and cargo nets! Let our staff lead your group or business in our comprehensive and engaging Team Building Events and Group Belay Events. New in 2015 was the addition of the Wy’east Yoga & Fitness Studio. Instructors maintain the highest level of personal practice, study, and integrity in and out of the studio. They are committed to excellence and are attentive to the developmental needs of the Portland Rock Gym community. Facilities include showers, lockers, Wy’east Yoga Studio, Prasad East cafe, as well as weight and cardio equipment. See you at the top!

Established in 1988.

Founded in 1988, the Portland Rock Gym is one of the first climbing gyms in the world. With bouldering, top-rope, and overhanging lead walls, PRG offers a realistic climbing experience for beginning and experienced climbers alike. The Portland Rock Gym offers a world-class indoor climbing experience. You’ll find over 180 boulder problems throughout the gym up to 100 routes at any given time. The variety of course setters and 2-month rotation guarantee a positive experience. In addition, you’ll find a weight room, cardio machines, yoga & fitness classes in Wy’east Studio, showers and AC to round out your workout.

Meet the Business Owner
Business owner information
Photo of Gary R.
Gary R.

Business Owner

Gary has been climbing throughout the West Coast for almost 40 years. On a trip to England in 1987, he got the idea of building an indoor climbing gym. While there, Rall heard about a community center that had a climbing wall where people kept in shape during the winter months when the weather was bad. He thought of Portland’s rainy weather and decided to build the Portland Rock Gym. It turned out to be the second gym in the country, and the first to use modular holds. His wife, Julie, actually came up with the phrase “rock gym” as they named the business.

Posted on December 31, 2019 at 7:04 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Portland, Sports |

Why I love Portland! International Youth Silent Film Festival

Posted on April 17, 2019 at 5:14 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Arts and Culture | Tagged , ,

Why I love Portland! Living Room Theaters


Visionary. Extraordinary. Earth-friendly.
Living Room® Theaters is a visionary new concept created by longtime filmmakers. We set out to reinvent the way films are viewed and distributed. And to change everything we didn’t like about conventional and art house movie theaters – from the film selection to the lobby ambiance, food, seating and service.

Welcome to the new evolution of cinema – Living Room® Theaters — the sophisticated yet superbly comfortable environment that combines a European style café and lounge with a relaxing place to see wonderful movies. Cinema has come to its senses.

In fact, Living Room® Theaters is cinema for your senses – a feast of sights, sounds, flavors, textures and creativity. See movies the way they’re meant to be viewed. Enjoy exclusive new releases and the most-talked about independent films that critics and audiences love – without waiting months for the movies to reach Portland.

Your group can also reserve a theater for a private party or special event. Or use our technology for meetings, lectures and innovative presentations.

Independent. Award-winning. Unlimited.
Living Room® Theaters is a celebration of great, independent films and filmmakers. We’re deeply committed to the vibrant, growing local film community. We also chose to launch in Portland because of active film lovers like you – Portland has one of the highest per capita film going audiences of any city in the U.S.

Our proprietary digitizing technology enables even first-time directors and producers to distribute their independent films – without the prohibitively high costs of making and shipping traditional celluloid prints. We are able to showcase acclaimed films and independent filmmakers, from local to international, as well as groundbreaking movies that otherwise might be screened only at festivals. We also premiere many films that have not yet had distribution in the U.S.

Our digital technology also expands the functions our theaters can offer. Films, television broadcasts, music, dedicated programs and other materials can easily be programmed and shown in multiple Living Room® Theaters locations.

Earth friendly. Energy conscious. Sustainable.
Launched in December 2006, our Portland, Oregon location is the first all-digital and only-digital theater in the country. This new concept offers significant environmental advantages. By eliminating celluloid prints and traditional distribution, we eliminate the use of chemicals like silver nitrate and reduce non-biodegradable materials and pollution. Digital projection is also more energy-efficient, from transportation to projection.

Environmental. Inspired. Inviting.
Located in the heart of the West End just south of Burnside from Powell’s, across from the new Ace Hotel, Living Room® Theaters is designed to be “a jewel box” on Portland’s cultural and entertainment scene.

We used natural materials and light to transform our funky historic building into a stellar space. A dramatic sculptural cedar wall invites you in via a “curtain” that flows from the exterior to the interior. The stunning fireplace, soaring windows and “make yourself at home” arrangement of tables, chairs and sofas in the lounge invite you to linger and connect.

© 2019 Living Room® Theaters – Security and Privacy Policy

Posted on April 1, 2019 at 4:04 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Arts and Culture, Portland, Restaurants | Tagged , , , , ,

Why I love Portland! St. Johns Neighborhood

St. Johns is located in North Portland and is bordered by Linnton, Cathedral Park, University Park, Portsmouth and Kenton neighborhoods.

View Larger Map

St. Johns Features

St. Johns feels very detached from Portland proper and has a distinct small town feel to it. The post office, coffee shops, breakfast places, restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, and several parks, are all within walking distance for residents who live close to the downtown strip.

St. Johns has a rich and interesting history. An 1843 pioneer settler of Linnton, James John, moved across the river and started St. Johns in about 1865. St. Johns became part of Portland in1915, two years before Linnton joined the growing city. There used to be a lot of streetcars in St Johns and many interesting old houses & buildings still remain.

It’s not possible to discuss St. Johns without singing the praises of the St. Johns bridge. The bridge is stunning and the focal point of many famous photos. It is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge and mistakenly reported as being designed by the same person. The builder of the St Johns bridge was John Steinman who was rumored to be a rival to the builder of the Golden Gate Bridge.

One virtue of the bridge that is often overlooked by much of Portland, is a 12 minute commute to downtown Portland and15-20minutes to Beaverton or Hillsboro. Highway 30, the road connecting the other side of the bridge to downtown Portland suffers very little traffic during the 8-5 or 9-6 commute hours (although, anecdotally, it’s busier during earlier hours 5-7 am and 2:30 – 4:30). Germantown road to Skyline or Cornelius pass dissimilarly light traffic during banker’s hours commute.

Neighborhood Vibe

St. John’s is described by locals as “extremely friendly“, “A town within a city…” “There seems to be quite an underground of artists and fellow travelers in these parts.”  Some parts of St Johns feel new and others gritty and perhaps not so safe, especially at night.


St. Johns Real Estate

St. John’s features all styles of Portland architecture, from ranches and cape cods, to the occasional Victorian home. St. Johns is an older Portland community.

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in this Portland neighborhood, visit our Portland Real Estate Page for more information, or visit our Portland Real Estate Map to search the RMLS for neighborhood homes for sale.


St Johns Community Resources

Zip Code 97203

St. Johns On-line Community

St. John Neighborhood Information

Local Crime Stats


St. Johns Farmers Market

St. Johns Schools:

Elementary school: James John Elementary School

Middle school: George Middle School

High school: Roosevelt High School

Portland Public School Boundaries

Neighborhood Demographics and Census Statistics


Local Google Map

Neighborhood Boundary Map


St. John’s is home to beautiful Cathedral Park. The aptly named park, directly below the bridge is home not only to the “cathedral-like” arches of the bridge piers, but a boat ramp, a dog off-leash area, and a hiking trail. The park itself was created out of what was essentially wasteland under the bridge in the early 70s by St. Johns honorary mayor Howard Galbraith (per Portland Parks and recreation). There is a water pollution control lab that has a charming natural habitat wetland sanctuary where you may spot nutria and red winged blackbirds. The yearly St Johns blues jazz festival is also held in Cathedral Park.

Forest Park has a trailhead on the west side of the St. Johns Bridge. You can walk across the bridge and be right in the forest. Forest Park is the largest old-growth urban forest in the United States. This trail area of the park features the most wildlife–you may spot some deer and other animals foraging quietly in the forest.

The Smith & Bybee Lakes wildlife sanctuary is tucked away in St.. Johns, also. It’s a protected wetland scenic area that is unique and beautiful–and a bird watchers delight! The Portland Parks website indicates that most visitors to the lakes can find beaver, river otter, black-tailed deer, osprey, bald eagles, and one of the largest remaining populations of Western painted turtles in Oregon. The Columbia Slough has boat ramps where people take canoes and rafts for a relaxing ride. There is public art along the restored trail.

Pier Park is another great park that is like a little forest, and sometimes hosts classical music performances.

St. Johns Restaurants & Businesses

Originally settled independently of Portland, St. Johns used to be its own city complete with City Hall.  Now that building houses the police station, and the two towns are one.  Or are they?

Of course legally the two cities are one.  And then there’s that Kum Ba Yah can’t-we-all-just-get-along way, sure.  But walking the streets, it doesn’t take long to get the vibe that, “Toto, we’re not in Portland anymore.”

Somewhere between the architecture that’s frozen at different moments in Main Street Americana and the fiercely, did I mention fiercely, proud neighbors and proprietors, is a sense of community that is different, special, even self-reflective. It’s as if the community pastime consists of pinching oneself at the opportunity to live and work in St. Johns.

Of course, some of the St. Johns’ satisfaction has to do with age. No rocket science here. Plain and simple, history equals roots equals pride. And in St. Johns, you can’t throw a rock and not hit something historic.  Some of the oldest buildings in all of Portland are in St. Johns and some of the oldest businesses. The bike shop clocks in as the very first, established in 1925 and now in its third generation.  The bakery is also in its third generation.  The hardware store was the oldest in the land before hard times, but it’s making a comeback.  You can chomp on pizza at a gas station that goes back to the‘30s, and the soda fountain was flowing in the ‘50s.

Most of the proprietors live nearby, and their sense of community weighs in far stronger than any feelings of competition.  When you talk to shop owners in St. Johns, they can’t wait to recommend several other shops on the block.  They’ll tell you who owns them, how long they’ve been around, and the quality work they’re up to.

Taking their lead, here’s what we found.

Big Kahuna’s Barbeque

Big Kahuna's Barbeque, St. Johns So this place isn’t the oldest in the’ hood, but Gary Herrera, owner and Big Kahuna, does it the old fashioned way.  He smokes and barbeques all his own meat right there on the premises.  This guy with the huge, welcoming smile is so serious about barbeque that he holds classes and even barbeque competitions.  The next one will coincide with the St. Johns parade that is the annual kick off to the Rose Festival season.

Recently Gary’s won best caterer of the year, and the restaurant is listed as one of Portland’s Top100.  He’s the champion of several competitions across the States.  And with dishes like Kalua Pig Plate and Smoked Beef Plate with some Mango Cole Slaw, the Big Kahuna seems to have found the winning recipe for making a place in St.Johns’ history.

8221 N. Lombard Street

Big Kahunas Barbeque and Catering

Portland, OR 97203

Call in Orders:  (503)522-4012

Catering:  (503)310-9480


Pattie’s Homeplate Café & Fountain

Pattie's Homeplate Cafe and Fountain, St. Johns The namesake proprietor grew up in St. Johns and used to spend her typical 1950’s Saturday sitting at the fountain here slurping Orange Julius.  Two doors down, the owner of the fencing center says he’s seen a photograph of Pattie when she was a kid sitting at the tables and chairs outside – the exact same tables and chairs that are there today.

All grown up, Pattie bought the place with her husband, Gene, and expanded the deli into a café.  They serve exactly what you would expect they would in a place that still holds sock hops every first and third Saturday of the month.

Pattie’s Homeplate Café & Fountain

8501 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 289-7285

Signal Station Pizza

Signal Station Pizza, St. Johns The antique gas pumps are still out front.  The service bay door into the garage still rolls up.  And inside, what else?  Pizza!  You can enjoy the warmer months inside the “garage” or at tables set up just outside.  And word on the street is they’ve got good rep.

Serving pizza by the slice or whole pie, Signal Station also makes sandwiches and salads and scoops up Blue Bunny ice cream.

Signal Station Pizza

Hours:  Tues-Thurs 11:30-8:30, Fri-Sat 11:30-9:00, Sun 4:00-8:00

8302 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 286-2257

Blue Moon Camera and Machine

Blue Moon Camera, St. Johns In the market for that latest digital SLR? Or maybe you’re just in the mood to talk mega pixels?  Not in St.. Johns you’re not and certainly not at Blue Moon.  Purists down to their last shutter, each and every Blue Moon staff member is a photographer first, clerk second, and they do traditional film the traditional way.

On the equipment sales’ side of the business, they carry the best vintage: ‘60s, ‘70s, and early‘80s.  And processing Blue Moon style means high quality optical printing that requires hands-on, one negative at a time attention, focusing optical light through each individual frame.

In addition to keeping tradition, Blue Moon has also made one in these parts.  As they see literally every exposure their customers submit, the staff sets aside a few favorites for an annual customer show that has become so popular that this year there’s an encore presentation.

Blue Moon Camera and Machine

8417 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 978-0333


Greg's, St. Johns

The name doesn’t give away much, but a simple title would have its hands full trying to nail down this store’s contents.  Instead of slinging the shopping “E” word – “eclectic” – manager Michael Talley refers to the establishment as an “all inclusive gift shop.”  Cards to fountains, the inventory will soon also boast a nursery with garden supplies and garden art.


8218 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 289-7510


The Man’s Shop

The Man's Shop, St. Johns

“Meet us and be well dressed,” was the slogan started 67 years ago by Ben and Jean Leveton.  Their sons, Bob and Jerry, have run the operation for many years now, and The Man’s Shop remains the place for smart attire, as well as casual, in the neighborhood that made them who they are.

Though the family has always had a St. Johns presence, once upon a time they also owned a second location in Jantzen each.  There they won the “Friendliest Store in the Shopping Center” so many years in a row that the trophy was finally retired with their name on it.  What bearing does that have on their business today?  According to the brothers, they learned what it meant to run a truly friendly shop from St. Johns– and that’s right where they continue to do so.

Suits, shirts, ties, tuxes, and even tee’s and jeans, The Man’s Shop has a tremendous inventory in addition to their share of smiles.

The Man’s Shop

8511 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 286-3514


Tulip Pastry Shop

Tulip Pastry Shop, St. Johns

Making St. Johns smell good since 1950, Tulip Pastry Shop still bakes every last morsel like they did 57 years ago –from scratch.  In the business for so long, Melodie Presler of its third generation can’t smell any of her family’s sweeter concoctions anymore, but it’s worth it for cakes that are legendary, custard – also from scratch – that is a conversation piece, and a Marionberry stuffed cookie that will demand your complete attention.

Tulip Pastry Shop

8322 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 286-3444

Vinyl Resting Place

Vinyl Resting Place, St. Johns

Vintage vinyl + historic St. Johns = no brainer. Owners Toby Tobiason and Pat Smith, Vinyl Magnate and Vinyl Design respectively, specialize in jazz, folk, and blues records but also carry much more.  Simply stated, they “buy and sell interesting records.”

They like the old sound, and they like the old way. Pat likens their store to any mom ‘n pop shop you’d find in the 50s.  And why shouldn’t she? Doing it the vintage way, her commute consists of walking and waving to the neighbors who frequent the shop so often they have their pictures, like family, hung in a collage on the wall.

Vinyl Resting Place

8332 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 247-9573


Weir’s Cyclery

Wier's Cyclery, St. Johns

Before biking was Portland chic.  Heck, practically before God created the seventh day so that the entire city could go biking – there was Weir’s Cyclery. Saddling bipeds on two wheels since 1925, Weir’s is the oldest in the city.  Passed from father to son a couple of times, Weir’s is in its third generation with Steve, who specializes in Specialized and Raleigh, and of course the traditional Red Line for the BMX crowd.

In reality, not a word needs to be written about these folks.  They’ve been thriving for 82 years in the crazy obsessed Portland bike culture.  ‘Nuff said.

Weir’s Cyclery

5036 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 283-3883


Fencing Center – Salle Trois Armes

Salle Trois Armes, St. Johns

A classic sport for a classic neighborhood –it’s a classic fit.  Coach Rocky Beach and Maitre d’Armes, Delmar Calvert, who received his first fencing master’s degree while serving in the French Foreign Legion, offer traditional as well as Olympic-style sport fencing training for both genders, all ages.

The story goes that Coach Beach used to live in St. Johns in its earlier heyday and believed it would be the right spot to which to return to establish his beloved fencing center.  At that time, however, the area had suffered a few setbacks, and his shop lights were the only ones on the street still bright come nighttime.  But Rocky believed if he just kept those bulbs burning, other proprietors would eventually come.  Suffice to say that Kevin Costner and a cornfield have nothing on Rocky Beach and Portland’s St.Johns neighborhood.

Fencing Center– Salle Trois Armes

8517 N. Lombard Street

Portland, OR 97203

(503) 285-2962


St. Johns Theater — Not to be confused with the McMenamin’s Theater and Pub. This awesome old movie house serves pizza and beer, good coffee and general movie snacks all for prices you don’t find in movie theaters. There are theaters up and downstairs but potential patrons should take note that the top theater screen is much smaller and the seating a little awkward. The bottom theater is stunning and every seat is a good seat.

Thanks to our contributing authors to the St. Johns page, local residents Kelly Tadlock and C. Smith.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

Heaven’s Archives & Po’Shettes  
Heaven’s Archives offers antiques and collectibles, glass, rugs and furniture, antique restoration and repair, and redesign services. The business also …

Girasole Wood Fired Café celebrated 1 year in business on January 14th, 2012 
Owned and operated by Emily Andrews (33 yrs old) and Brittany Cavallero (25 yrs old) in the heart of St. Johns, it has quickly become a home for many neighbors. …

Portland’s Oldest Community Newspaper was founded in St Johns in 1904 
St Johns can be proud that Portland’s oldest community newspaper, the St. Johns Review, has had continual publications for almost 109 years, It was founded …

St Johns Review Newspaper 
St. Johns has had their own newspaper for 107 years. It is the oldest community newspaper in Portland. While it accepts advertising to pay for the publication …

Under the St. John’s Bridge 
A great place to be!

St. John’s Parade 
The St. John’s Parade has an official web site now at http://www.stjohnsparade.com Check it out.

Posted on February 11, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Architecture, Arts and Culture, Bars, Hotel/Bed & Breakfast, Portland, Real Estate |

Why I love Portland! Portland Japanese Garden



Photo by Robbie Robinson

Inspired in the late 1950s by growing cultural ties between Oregon and Japan, Mayor Terry Schrunk and members of the Portland community conceived the idea of building a Japanese garden on the site of the old zoo in Washington Park. Their reasons for building a Japanese garden were twofold: providing the citizens of Portland with a garden of great beauty and serenity, while forging a healing connection to Japan on the heels of World War II. At this time in U.S. history, Japanese gardens were founded across the country as a way to build cultural understanding. Needing no translation, an American could experience firsthand Japanese ideals and values, communicated simply through nature.

The site was dedicated in 1961, and Professor Takuma Tono of Tokyo Agricultural University was retained to design the Garden. Professor Tono’s plan included five different garden styles laid out on 5.5 acres. This was quite a departure from gardens in Japan which typically follow one singular style. His intention was to represent different historical developments in Japanese garden architecture and through that communicate Japanese culture to create a cultural exchange.

In 1967, the Garden formally opened to the public for the summer. Admission was $0.50 for adults and $0.25 for students. That year, more than 28,000 people came before the Garden closed for the winter.

Photo by Robbie Robinson

In 1968, the Kashintei Tea House was constructed in Japan, shipped in pieces, and reassembled in the Garden. Other structures were added as the five gardens evolved. The Pavilion Gallery, which sits at the heart of the Flat Garden, was in Professor Tono’s original plan. However, it was not completed until 1980. (Interestingly, it was dedicated on May 18 – the same day that Mount St. Helens erupted.)

It was not until the winter of 1981/1982 that the Portland Japanese Garden was first kept open year round. In 2015, the Garden partnered with world renowned architect Kengo Kuma as it embarked on a new journey, expanding its footprint to accommodate its rapid visitor growth, as well as its ability to immerse visitors in Japanese arts and culture. Opening in April 2017, the Garden’s new Cultural Village features three new structures, each LEED-certified, existing harmoniously with nature and serving as a mere frame from which to view the exquisite beauty of the surrounding landscape.

Throughout the Garden’s history, it has been acclaimed by a number of visiting Japanese dignitaries as one of the most beautiful and authentic Japanese gardens in the world outside of the island nation, as well as one of the foremost Japanese cultural organizations in North America.

Posted on February 3, 2019 at 10:19 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Architecture, Arts and Culture, Portland |

Why I love Portland! The Portland White House

The Bed & Breakfast

About Us

Welcome to Portland’s White House, one of the Rose City’s  most luxurious and elegant historic homes that now houses a high-end bed & breakfast.  Dating back to 1911 when it was originally built for wealthy lumber baron Robert Lytle and his family, the neoclassical mansion is situated in the heart of the exclusive Irvington neighborhood with lots of restaurants, shopping and public transportation within walking distance.

Portland’s White House was recently purchased and renovated by entrepreneurs Frank Groff and David Krause who count many historic landmarks among the properties they have owned and renovated.  Their work has been featured in countless magazines, newspapers including the Los Angeles Times and on HGTV.  The pair tapped leading Portland interior design firm Christopher-David to assist in the selection of furnishings that not only serve to highlight the home’s architectural details but with comfort in mind.

Portland’s White House is centrally located whether you are here on vacation or for business.  Lloyd Center, the Convention Center and Moda Center are mere minutes away and the exciting downtown and Pearl districts are just over the bridge.  The Japanese Gardens, Washington Park with its Rose Garden, Chinatown, Portland Zoo, Mt.Hood, Timberline Lodge where “The Shining” was filmed and plenty of shopping on trendy NW 23 Ave, in downtown or on the Eastside’s North Mississippi and NE Alberta streets.

Those who appreciate top-notch cuisine, fine wines, microbrews, and craft cocktails are in for a real treat as Portland boasts the greatest number of critically acclaimed restaurants, wineries, microbreweries and bars per capita than any other city in the nation.  We also count scores of Food Network stars and James Beard award winners whose creativity has kept the city front and center on the epicurean scene.

Portland’s TriMet public transportation system offers visitors an easy way of enjoying the city.  The MAX light rail train, for instance, takes you directly from the airport to Lloyd Center, about a 15-minute walk to the White House, as well as to various attractions you don’t want to miss.  Uber and Lyft drivers are ubiquitous so you can travel anywhere day and night without a wait.

We welcome you to Portland’s White House and hope your stay in enjoyable.  Please let us know how we can best serve you.





Posted on January 28, 2019 at 11:09 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Arts and Culture, Hotel/Bed & Breakfast | Tagged , , , , ,

Why I love Portland! Simplify with Lisa

Simplify Your Home
Intelligent Interior Design to help you Declutter and Simplify.

Joy and peace of mind are two common side effects of the simplified home. Your interior decor is as unique and as individual as you are and your home should reflect that. We will help you create a decluttered living space that exudes calm and expresses who you are to the world.

We not only work with your decor and interior design, we help you simplify all areas of your home to create a total makeover from the inside out. This includes cupboards, closets, drawers and all other corners of your home. Total transformation is the goal, with you deciding what remains. Lisa guides you to make the best possible design choices with what you already own.

Using individualized consulting and applying well tested interview techniques, Lisa will guide you through the process of simplifying and decluttering your home and creating a functional, organized space that has just exactly enough in it to reflect your unique sensibilities. Your tolerance for visual stimuli will differ from those around you, so the process we employ helps you get to know yourself in a whole new way. The outer space we create will reflect the inner you that is waiting to emerge.

We serve the greater Portland, Oregon metro area including Beaverton, Hillsboro and the rest of Multnomah and Washington Counties. We transform private homes, condominiums, apartments and assisted living spaces. We work with any sized space to help you get to the soul of your home so it becomes your source of solace from the outside world.

You deserve to have your home be a natural expression of who you are, so call Lisa today and get started on creating your warm and cozy place in the world!


Meet Lisa Tutmark – Lifestyle Consultant

‘Simplify with Lisa’ was created in 2018 by Lisa Tutmark. As a lifelong resident of Portland, Oregon, Lisa has worked in professional organizing and interior design for almost 20 years. In this work she has developed a unique skill set that combines her hands-on ability to design and declutter with education and facilitation techniques to assist clients in understanding the underlying causes of disorganization and indecision related to interior design.

Lisa uses a non-judgmental approach to consulting in these areas, stressing that everyone has a unique mindset when it comes to their personal possessions.  She specifically focuses on homeowners who are downsizing, paying particular attention to decision making and thought processes. She works with people going through divorce, growing families who want to scale back and change habits, those who are combining households, and those moving into assisted living.

Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications from Portland State University. She is licensed and insured in the State of Oregon.

Posted on January 23, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Arts and Culture | Tagged , ,

Why I love Portland! Mothers Bistro & Bar

“You Should East So Good!”


Mother’s Bistro & Bar is Chef Lisa Schroeder’s dream come true. Back in 1992, working full-time and raising her daughter, she realized that there was no place to get “Mother Food;” the kind of food she would cook for her family if only she had the time. That’s when she began to work toward opening such a place. After going to The Culinary Institute of America and working in four star restaurants in New York and France, she finally settled in Portland, Oregon, opening the restaurant of her dreams in January, 2000.

Mother’s  has grown over the years  from a small 90-seat restaurant to a Portland institution. Chosen Restaurant of the Year by Portland’s Willamette Week, Best Comfort Food, Best Brunch, and Best Lunch Spot by Citysearch and Portland Monthly, and one of America’s Top Restaurant Bargains by Food and Wine Magazine, Mother’s Bistro & Bar is a destination spot for anyone who comes to downtown Portland.

Featuring authentic cooking from mothers around the world, signature dishes include pot roast, chicken and dumplings, meat loaf and crab cakes, as well as featured dishes from a different mother each month.


As passionate about slow-cooked pot roast and homemade pie as she is about perfectly seared scallops, Lisa Schroeder is a mother, grandmother, chef, restaurateur and author devoted to providing better-than-authentic renditions of traditional home-cooked dishes at one of Portland’s most popular restaurants, Mother’s Bistro & Bar.

In 1992, while juggling a marketing career, catering and raising her daughter, Lisa realized there was no place that served the kind of food she would make if she had the time. She concluded what the world needed was a place which served “Mother Food”—slow-cooked dishes, such as braises and stews, made with love. From that moment on, Lisa was determined to open such a restaurant and spent the next eight years working toward that dream.

Lisa soon gave up her business career and enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America. While there, she was selected as one of the Top Ten Student Chefs in America by Food and Wine Magazine. After graduating with honors in 1995, she continued honing her skills at two four-star restaurants in New York City – Lespinasse and Le Cirque. Her education continued with apprenticeships in Provence, France at Roger Verge’s Moulin des Mougins and at Mark Veyrat’s L’Auberge de L’Eridan in Haute Savoie. In addition to this invaluable training, she toured France, Italy, Spain, Morocco and Switzerland where she gained an understanding of regional cuisine and indigenous products, affirming her belief that some of the best regional meals are not found in restaurants, but in homes, made by mothers.

Searching for a new beginning, Lisa returned to the states and relocated to Portland, Oregon in 1998. She was the Chef at Besaw’s Café for two years while continuing to plan her restaurant-to-be; gathering and testing recipes, refining her menu, and planning her décor when she was away from the stove.

In 2000, Chef Schroeder’s dream came true when she opened Mother’s Bistro & Bar in downtown Portland to rave reviews, receiving the “Restaurant of the Year” award from Willamette Week. Drawing on classic cooking techniques combined with years of experience, her menu offers refined versions of traditional home-cooked dishes. Much more than simply comfort food, this “mother food” is based on made-from scratch, slow-cooked recipes, utilizing the best available ingredients. In addition, Lisa celebrates the cuisine of a different mother each month, lovingly referred to as the “Mother of the Month” (or “M.O.M.”) menu.

In 2002, Mother’s Bistro & Bar was recognized by Food & Wine Magazine as one of America’s Top Restaurant Bargains. With lines literally out the door on weekends, it came as no surprise in 2004 when Mother’s Bistro & Bar was voted Best Brunch by Portland Monthly MagazineWillamette Week and Citysearch.

In 2009, Lisa released her critically-acclaimed cookbook, Mother’s Best, and appeared on the Today Show, QVC and along with many others. She is the recipient of the Portland Business Journal’s Businesswoman of the Year award and IACP Chef/Restaurateur Award of Excellence. Chef Schroeder nurtures her community as well as her guests. She is a member of the Downtown Portland Retail Council, Chef’s Collaborative, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Slow Food, and International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP). Lisa participates in numerous charities and causes including Share Our Strength, The Oregon Food Bank, Basic Rights Oregon, Our House, the Raphael House and Bradley Angle House.





Posted on January 21, 2019 at 4:58 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Restaurants |

Why I love Portland! The Goose Hollow Inn

Goose Hollow Inn is a classic Portland tavern (so don’t call to book a room) opened in 1967 by Bud Clark. The pub is going strong and is still owned and operated by the Clark Family.

Background: Fifty years ago, in May of 1967, when the neighborhood had fewer buildings and less traffic, Bud Clark bought Ann’s Tavern on SW 19th & Jefferson. Ann Fairfax had cultivated a fine tavern, mostly from a loyal clientele of west hills Portlanders. Bud also owned “The Spatenhaus”, a tavern located in a building at the current site of the Ira Keller (“four-court”) Fountain, across from the Civic Auditorium. There, he cultivated an eclectic clientele of PSU students, musicians, business people, and “hippies”. In November of 1967, the city would tear down the building, including the Spatenhaus, so Bud had to figure out where he was going to open his new tavern; thankfully, Ann was ready to retire, and Bud’s timing was just right. Once the Spatenhaus closed, his Spatenhaus customers followed him to his new location in the foothills below Washington Park. When two of the customers at his new pub started a bar fight, Bud wrote his mission statement:  “Enjoy the Goose Hollow Inn, named to rejuvenate the history and stimulate the continuity of one of Portland’s famous geographic areas. We are dedicated to Quality Draft, Fine Food, Pleasant Music, and Stimulating Company. We are also dedicated to extremes of opinion, hoping that a livable marriage will result. if physical violence is your nature, either develop your verbal ability or leave.” Since then, many marriages, relationships, and discussions have been cultivated here.

     Bud’s naming of the tavern as “Goose Hollow Inn” generated a new respect for the area’s history. Dating back to the 1890s, various women raised geese around Tanner Creek, which ran right down what is now known as Jefferson Street (Canyon Road). Apparently, an argument developed over whose geese belonged to whom. The Oregonian newspaper ran an article covering the dispute in which it referred to the area as “Goose Hollow”. But the name was lost during a half century of dramatic development in the area. Bud chose the name “Goose Hollow Inn” for his tavern in the interest of rekindling civic regard for the neighborhood and its history. (And…No, there are no rooms available at the Inn.)

     Bud’s goal was to cultivate a sense of community and belonging. He ran the bar during the 1970s and early 80s; during that time, Budweiser recognized the Goose for selling more Bud per square feet than any other tavern in the US. Bud was mayor of Portland from 1985-1993, during which time, his wife Sigrid ran the bar and built the deck. While the deck affected the square footage and our legendary sales fame with Budweiser, it added a lovely new area to mingle under the rays of the sun and in the shade of the Maple Trees.

In the eight years that Bud was Mayor, beer drinking habits and tastes changed.

Three beers were on tap when Bud was elected Mayor, and the number grew to twelve while Sigrid was at the helm. In 2016, we built a new system of 18 taps, featuring a spectrum of beers from a variety of breweries and cideries.

     Bud Clark is one of the most iconic Portlanders of all time. Aside from owning and operating Goose Hollow Inn, Bud was a neighborhood activist, an early advocate of neighborhood associations, co-founder of the Neighbor newspaper, which became the Northwest Examiner, father of four, model for the poster “Expose Yourself to Art” — and the Mayor of Portland Oregon for two terms, from 1985 through 1992. His colorful style and popular appeal even gained him a spot on the Johnny Carson show in October, 1994. Largely due to Bud’s vision about how to run an “Inn”, we now welcome tens of thousands of people, young and old- and from a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints- through our doors each year. The Goose has always been a place to share a pint or glass of wine with friends and mingle with both old and new acquaintances. There is no video poker to distract your table mates from the discussion, although a single TV is available for those die-hard folks who need to stay informed about scores, games, or political debates. Mostly, we’re about developing our verbal abilities – and promoting the consumption of Reubens.

The Goose is still owned and operated by the Clark family; if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of Bud holding court with old friends at the bar, or tucked away at a table. We continue to thrive thanks to the talents of a free-spirited dedicated and cohesive staff, Goose family, and clientele.

Go to: https://www.goosehollowinn.com/about


Posted on January 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm
Brian Johnson | Posted in Bars, Restaurants | Tagged , , , ,