Portland, aka Thrifting Heaven

Wherever you go in Portland,
there’s likely to be a photobooth.

Nathan and I spent a fantastic weekend in Portland, leaving after work on Friday and squinting all the way home on Sunday through the sleet and snow.

I’ll be honest, I was in the mood to get down to some serious second-hand shopping. Our hotel was blocks from both Powell’s and Buffalo Exchange, which are somehow across the street from each other. It’s as if someone said, “well, if Nathan’s spending a bunch of cash on used books, we’ve got to give Morgan a fighting chance at matching his dollars in thrifted clothing purchases!” So after Saturday am brunch at Kenny & Zukes, which made me feel like I was in Brooklyn in a good way, we split up.

I took a quick browse through Powell’s, which never disappoints (I do love books as much as the next guy, just so long as that guy isn’t Nathan). I was a little underwhelmed by the Buff’s offerings, however. I found a cotton Adidas workout sweatshirt and called it good after trying on 15 other disappointing garments, but managed to find two shirts and a great pair of jeans for Nathan.

The rest of the afternoon/evening was all drinking, eating and relaxing, but after brunch on Sunday at Petite Provence in the Alberta district we decided to do some antiquing and stumbled upon the Stars Antique Mall on our way to Sellwood.


It was the best, highest quality thrifting I’ve ever done. Light on clothes, but heavy on amazing furniture, textiles, housewares and books. I would have taken more pictures but I was too busy scouring. Nathan took some great photos of things he’s interested in, such as:

Creepy figurines and marionettes

vintage dice

and, “dolls.”

We ended up leaving with a great 2′ x 3.5′ bookshelf, an old wooden box I’m going to use as a monitor lift at work, and a khaki green wool button-down that I’m sure will make it into a fashion shoot here soon. Prices were so reasonable.

I’m savoring memories of our fun trip now that we’re home, but I’m still a little wistful for the things we never would have been able to fit in our 2-door car. Because I would have loved to have indulged in dining chairs, a 1940s artist desk, the set of coordinated but slightly different Herman Miller chairs… maybe next time we’ll drive down in a big car and with a big budget for furniture and the fuel to haul it back north.


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