Thursday, August 20, 2009

how low can you go

perhaps it's due to my fondness for gus van sant movies that i love portland's chinatown or due to the fact that it's one of the first neighborhoods my friends and i visited on our road trip to portland many years ago. whatever it is, i still love portland's seedy chinatown neighborhood. and although it's very small, you are always welcomed by these great arches that lead you to believe it's much more than the few city blocks that make up our little chinatown.

i'll never forget my friends and my snickers when we first saw the infamous hung far low sign on the corner of nw couch and 4th ave. it had graced the neighborhood since the 80s but was removed a few years back when the restaurant hung far low moved out to the true chinatown (as well as many other asian cultures) neighborhood on se 82nd street. oh, portlanders were very disappointed to see it go as it had stood as a sort of bohemian landmark to this side of town. well, i'm excited to say that there is a group of people who have been working to "re-erect" the sign back to its original location (it was being stored in scapoose for the past few years) and there is a block party that will take place in its honor. it's called the old town block party to help resurrect the hung far low sign. it takes place on saturday, september 12th at 3 pm until 10 pm and will be held on nw couch between 4th and 5th avenues. i really hope they are able to bring it back! if it does happen, it will be in its original location that now houses the restaurant ping.

ping is the latest endeavor from the people that brought us pok pok over on se division. i have not yet tried ping but i hope to very soon. it is a welcome addition to the neighborhood that is undergoing a revival. check it out and let me know what you think. it's located at the corner of nw couch and 4th 503.229.7464

i love the outdoor tables at ping made of reclaimed wood.

another chinatown landmark are the restaurants house of louie and the republic cafe, also a stop off on one of my first visits. and while i can't really recommend the food at either establishment (sorry), the neighborhood just wouldn't be the same without them and they make for great photos.

around the corner is the nightclub east. i haven't been here for years but it is very cool inside at night and has managed to make it in the neighborhood for quite some time now. it's at 322 nw everett 503.226.1569

at the end of the block by east is one of my favorite stores great era. it has all of your typical chinatown knick knacks. i come here for paper lanterns and chinese slippers. and the owner is so sweet. i just love to stop in and see what they have periodically. it's on the corner of nw everett and 3rd.

and then right across from great era is the chinese classical garden. if you have never been here, check it out on a rainy day. its so beautiful and how many sights do we have that are more enjoyable in the rain?

hey little guy!

around the corner from the chinese garden you'll find another long time portland establishment darcelle's. you should definitely go and see one of darcelle's shows some time. portland's finest drag queens perform here. and walter is now in his 70s so if you have never seen walter/darcelle perform, there's no better time than the present. he is one of portland's gems.

don't be afraid of what is beyond this door, it's just some of portland's loveliest lovelies.

and another newer neighborhood establishment is the davis st. tavern. it opened in the former 3 lions bakery space at the corner of nw davis and 5th. they have really good food here and a great happy hour. i hope it stays here because it has been a great addition to the neighborhood.

and you knew i couldn't mention chinatown without making my usual film reference. look at this great old movie poster. and the visuals in the movie were just so cool, i want to watch this one again.

isn't faye dunaway just gorgeous? she's my daughter...she's my sister...

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