At first glance, the shops lining Portland's Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard conjure up many a Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein sketch from 'Portlandia': Independent, eclectic, and proud of it. The reality, however, is less polarizing. While still emanating PDX's easily lampooned eclecticism, Hawthorne (as the greater neighborhood around the boulevard is called) is inviting and appropriately whimsical – not the elitist hipster breeding ground portrayed in the media. In spots, the neighborhood overflows with unique stores, mostly of the vintage variety. Scouring them all would take days, but these five – plus a historic theater and a can't-miss barbershop – embody the diversity and good taste at the heart of the neighborhood.
House of Vintage
On a whole, Hawthorne's clothing shops are great for women and sub-par for men. House of Vintage bucks that trend. The store, home to some 60 sellers, carries retro items of all kinds, with most dealers specializing in clothes. If you need a fresh vintage t-shirt or jacket, look no further – House of Vintage has them in abundance, most within the $5 to $20 range. If anything, the store's unusual, labyrinth-like structure is worth your time.
Credit: Christopher Onstott