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.
While Lounge Lizard focuses on furniture, Vintage Pink is more open ended. 16 merchants rent space in the store, selling goods in small "showrooms," like an IKEA rendered in retro, and every area is a little different. Some are a lot different, actually: One regular maintains a grocery store magazine rack filled with old copies of 'Playboy.'
Credit: Christopher Onstott