PDX Picks

{Image via Ork}

I moved to rainy Portland from my beloved City by the Bay several years ago, and remember all too well the trials and tribulations of adjusting to a new town. Where should I eat? Where should I shop? And, most important of all, who’s going to do my hair?

For my local Portlanders (and those of you visiting), consider this your insider’s guide to finding your way through the City of Roses in style, with nary a fleece jacket or tofu platter in sight!

Shopping: I’ve written the book on shopping in Portland (no, really – Zagat’s Portland Shopping Guide? That was me.), so it’s hard to play favorites. But I do have a few that I’d never let a friend leave town without seeing. Remember: when traveling, friends don’t let friends shop chains. Oh, and keep in mind that lovely no sales tax policy in Oregon…great time to stock up on Chanel!

Eats: If there’s anything I love as much as shopping, it’s a good meal. Portland has some of the most amazing food, at prices that will shock anyone from another major metro area. My good friend, Jen, writes an amazing food blog that always has its finger on the pulse. But a few of my (many) tried-and-true favorites:

Services: If you ask me, the hardest part about moving to a new town (apart from, you know, finding a job and making friends) is figuring out all of the locals’ secrets for the best services in town. Allow me to save you 2 years of trial and error:

  • Hair: I’ve recently switched to Marciano at Iolite Salon in the Pearl District (worst website ever). So far, couldn’t be happier.
  • Aesthetician/Facials: Hands down, Ginny at Blooming Moon Wellness Spa is my pick. She’s a savant when it comes to knowing exactly what even the crankiest skin wants, and coaxing it back to health. She also happens to be a doll.
  • Massage: I searched and searched, and when I found Shannon Kaltenbach, I became one of those fanatically loyal evangelist clients who gives her name to everyone I know. I’ve had more expensive massages, but I’ve never had a better one. She’s a miracle worker.
  • Shoes: Dorian’s Shoe Repair downtown is the only man I’ll trust with my extensive collection of ballet flats, handbags and heels that rarely see the light of day.
  • Tailor: Abraham’s on Martin Luther King Blvd is exceptional, and never misses. But honestly, 99% of my tailoring work goes to the talented women at Nordstrom. If you’re at the downtown store, ask for Ing.
  • Drycleaner: If you’re nearby, Abraham also does a great job on drycleaning. On the West Side, Five Star Cleaners is my pick (they offer free pick-up and delivery).
  • Florist: You want Ink & Peat. They do an amazing job, every time, and the staff couldn’t be sweeter.
  • Jewelry Repair: I’m hopelessly devoted to Maloy’s Jewelry Workshop downtown, which can fix anything and charges next to nothing.

Not enough? Check out the Portland, Oregon guide I wrote for design*sponge for the full (albeit slightly outdated) monty!