Category Archive for Portland Oregon

The Hippest Places in Portland: new travel video! Food Trucks, art hotels & hipsters.

carmen yuen, la carmina, goth hair

Hip, hip, hooray! My Portland travel video is out on Business Insider, in which I explore the city’s weird and wonderful subcultures. In a lot of ways, it’s my favorite episode so far.

I’m biting my nails to hear what you think… Watch the video above and on BI. Did you laugh at my “fairy dance” and pirate torture scene?

brickbat goth club portland, lovecraft bar

My travel series wouldn’t be possible without these two : Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann, who did all the shooting, editing and production. It’s hard to find people who you can successfully travel, work and Goth-party with!

nightmare before christmas halloween makeup

In our video, we take you inside Portland’s underground subcultures. This includes a live performance of the Nightmare Before Christmas…

goth christmas tree decorations

… complete with a spooky tree, covered with crows and brains.

tim burton halloween display

We also went to the Goth-friendly Lovecraft bar (a tribute to the horror writer) and an underground warehouse party, Steep and Thorny.

1970s vintage white fur coat

I loved Portland’s vintage clothing selection. Been searching for a disco dream-coat like this all my life.

halloween bokeh

Bokeh and ominous reflections, in the window of steampunk boutique Wells & Verne.

sexy steampunk girl art

So many things about Portland are “me” to a T. Such as this steam-girl painting, inspired by Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha.

buddha rainbow mural

Or this rainbow Buddhist mural on the wall of my room, at the Jupiter Hotel.

velvet devil wine

This hipster hotel must have been expecting me. Velvet Devil wine and green apples in the lobby…

art gallery jupiter hotel

… alongside modern art by local painters.

cat chalk drawing

Portland’s culture is all about creativity. My room at the Jupiter Hotel had a chalkboard door, and First Mate Naomi drew a cat on it.

avalon theater sign portland

I’ll leave you with some bonus shots. This is the Avalon Theater, next to our vegan brunch cafe Paradox. I could have walked around PDX all day long, simply shooting photos.

mismatched color tights

Naomi’s mis-matched tights match the autumn foliage.

orange fall leaves

The Pacific Northwest may be grey and rainy, but you get all four seasons and there is nature everywhere.

jolly roger pirate restaurant

Arr! We went to a food truck pit stop, near the Jolly Roger. We sampled Mexican tacos, crepes and pumpkin butter sandwiches.

food truck, jambalaya

My favorite was the jambalaya, cooked fresh from a Creole truck. (New Orleans is on my list of must-visit places…)

anthem brewing, apple cider beer

PDX is proud of its local craft beer breweries. I enjoyed the pear and cherry ciders by Anthem Brewing.

spooky reflection window

Now you know why Portland is now one of my favorite American cities. Intrigued by the quirky indie culture here? Then please take a few minutes to watch our Portland travel video, highlighting the hippest parts of the city. (Keep your ears peeled for the evil laugh!)

How are you liking my travel video series? For more photos and tips, here are all my posts about Portland alt travel.


Blue-Green mermaid hair in Portlandia! Vegan restaurants, Hawthorne hipster shopping, vintage stores.

turquoise hair color, blue dyed hair girl

It’s official, I want to keep my turquoise and blue hair! I’m having fun trying different outfit colors and makeup combinations, to match the new hues.

In this post, I explore the vintage shops, health food cafes, and hipster districts that Portland is known for. Or dare I say… Portlandia?

goth blue hair color, la carmina hairstyle

What La Carmina wore:

Green-blue hair color and style: Stephanie Hoy, stylist at Avant Garde Hair in Yaletown, Vancouver
Flower clips: made for me by Angelica Brigade
Makeup: from Annabelle Cosmetics
Turquoise Victorian dress: Carina e Arlequin, Tokyo Lolita brand from Closet Child
Laser cut boots: Yosuke Japan, similar to these boots
Faux fur eggplant purple scarf: Holt Renfrew Canada

cut-out boots, turquoise hair

I posed for these outfit photos in front of the Bagdad, a pub and movie theater. This Portland district, Hawthorne, is filled with quirky-cute boutiques and cafes.

portland fashion blogger, bagdad theater hawthorne

Images taken by Naomi, who is First Mate of our TV fixing and arranging company, and also designed the Art Nouveau WordPress theme of this blog.

harlow vegan restaurant, portland oregon

The Portland tourism bureau invited us to Harlow for lunch. (3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR). The restaurant specializes in casual but delicious vegan, gluten-free and organic meals.

font initial pumpkin, cool hipster pumpkins

Since it was the day before Halloween, this cut-out H pumpkin stood next to the healthy desserts.

halloween cocktails spooky food

The drink menu changes all the time. At the time, there were haunted concoctions. Instead of blood, the Nosferatu Cocktail is stained red with beet juice.

portland juice bar, health food cafe

The staff wore costumes, and prepared all the juices and meals fresh to order. This is a great place for anyone who is gluten-free, vegan, or has food allergies.

organic local gluten-free, harlow menu, vegetarian restaurant

Harlow is all about conscious local choices, but without the pretension. Food is simply fresh and flavorful, served in an airy space.

trailhead roasters coffee, portland ethical roasters

The coffee is by Trailhead Roasters, a bike-powered organic collective that supports female farmers. My pretty juice is a mix of grapefruit, apple, celery and mint.

quinoa bowl, harlow portland food

At Harlow, vegan and gluten-free choices aren’t an afterthought — they are the stars of the show. The photo above shows how tasty and filling our lunch was. (No meat served here, but you can order eggs and dairy products.)

mermaid colored hair, portland vegan restaurants

Be adventurous! Try the creative house-made specials at Harlow, such as bourbon BBQ tempeh, jalapeno cashew cheese, and hazelnut milk.

paradox vegan brunch, portland vegetarian cafe

Naomi also took us to Paradox Organic Cafe for vegan brunch. The meatless biscuits and gravy are through the roof.

paradox organic cafe, gluten free restasurant

Again, you can order animal products here. But as the wall clippings show, Paradox takes pride in serving ancient grains and organic produce.

Brunch is a big deal in Portland. On the weekend, popular cafes have 1-2 hour long waits for a table. Paradox isn’t overrun by hipsters yet… I hope it stays that way, lest this blog post bring on a “brunch-pocalypse”!

haunt fashion boutique, portland

Vintage shopping is also a major activity. Across the street from the Jupiter Hotel — remember my astronaut costume shoot? — there is a row of concept and secondhand boutiques, including Haunt Studio. (811 E Burnside St #113, Portland, OR)

gothic lolita boots, laser cut out shoes

Nothing beats cut-out Lolita boots, and autumn leaves in the Pacific Northwest. Photography by Naomi Rubin, Melissa Rundle, and me.

courtney love halloween costume

As soon as I entered Bombshell Vintage, I saw a puff of tutu skirts, and Courtney Love (or rather, someone dressed as her) at the counter.

alan cherry vintage coat, hattie's portland secondhand

Hattie’s Vintage Clothing had a magnificently curated selection from past eras. I simply had to get this 1970s disco winter coat, made from white leather and faux fur. It’s by Alan Cherry, a Toronto upscale boutique that closed in the 90s. (More photos to come.)

day of the dead dolls, portland shops

I recommend strolling on Hawthorne, Belmont and Mississippi — a huge variety of kooky shops here, including a Third Eye hippie house, and a craft studio for handmade masks.

day of dead skull, prime lens, narrow depth of field

The Portlandia joke, “Put a bird on it,” rings true. A lot of products were stamped with birds, even this skull jar.

mexican skeleton sculpture

Since it was around Halloween and Day of the Dead, there were spooky skeleton items everywhere.

portland oregon magnets, gift store

Portland is a great place to pick up funny gifts, eco-friendly bags, twee jewelry…

colorful dia de los muertos skull art

… and a Mexican sugar skull or two.

fashion blogger dslr camera lens, 50mm f 1.8

I hope you’re enjoying the photography in these recent posts! Most are taken with my Sony DSLR a700 camera, with a 50mm f/1.8 lens (aka Nifty Fifty). Shallow depth of field FTW.

cafe window photography, hawthorne district portland

What do you think of PDX’s hipster culture? Are you fond of vegan food, vintage shops, and the TV show Portlandia?