*This post comes to us from one of our favorite Portlanders, Suzy of sulu-design. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us your preferred LB 2012 route! All photos provided by Suzy.*
I’ve got a threefold mission for my day of Little Boxes: Find a few perfect holiday gifts for loved ones, treat myself to something lovely, and check out a few new-to-me shops in areas that I know but don’t necessarily frequent. Living in NW Portland, I make my way to the wonderful shops in NW, the Pearl, and Downtown/West End pretty regularly. I’m taking my Little Boxes route to the East Side.
Breakfast: J&M Cafe. I’m going to need serious sustenance for my day’s mission, and J&M’s breakfast burrito will provide just that. Consistently great food, friendly service, and a comfy atmosphere in an old, light-filled brick building make J&M one of my favorite spots in the city. And it’s the perfect starting point for a morning of shopping on East Burnside.
First LB Stop: Machus. I can definitely find some thing my husband will love here – a gorgeous leather wallet, a pair of amazing jeans, a great sweater or coat. Modern and edgy meets classic at this shop, making the pieces cool yet wearable. Right up my guy’s alley. And there’s always a women’s rack, in case I need a diversion.
Second LB Stop: Check out newly opened Victory. Start a Christmas wish list.
Third LB Stop: Lille. Time to treat myself to something lovely… because everything in this shop is just that. Might find something special for a close friend, too.
Lunch: Bunk Bar. Refuel with a beer and a sandwich (yes, I need to eat again already – shopping takes a lot of energy). Roasted pork loin with Brussels sprouts on a chewy roll? Please and thank you. Head next door for some caffeine at Water Avenue Coffee. Full belly? Check. Time to head down Belmont.
Fourth LB Stop: Palace. One of my favorite Portland shops, Palace will have something for my brother and sister, for my husband, for my friends, for the gift exchange at work… and for myself. I love the mix of vintage and new clothing here. Palace also stocks gorgeous jewelry, unique fragrances and body care products, a crate of good vinyl, and a cute little selection of housewares. I could live in this shop.
And there are several other Little Boxes gems to check out nearby. I, however, am heading to Montavilla…
Fifth LB Stop: Branch and Birdie. Here I can find sweet little clothes and toys for my niece and nephews, a sweater or jacket that my sister will love, a little treasure for my boss, and housewares that will impress my in-laws. This shop has it all.
Sixth LB Stop: Union Rose. Everything in this little boutique is made in Portland, including (full disclosure here) sulu-design jewelry designed by yours truly. I’ll find some pretty accessories for my mom here. And if I haven’t already found enough for myself, I might pick up a locally made skirt or dress for a holiday party.
Seventh LB Stop: Maven Collective. I haven’t been able to make it in to this new shop yet. Peeking in the window, I’ve seen cool vintage finds that my dad would appreciate. My husband would dig the old leather bags I saw hanging on the wall. And there are lots of neat little potted planters that would make great hostess gifts or treats for my neighbors.
Dinner: Country Cat. Serious comfort food.
Then it’s home to burn some Balsam Fir incense that I picked up at Palace (our place is going to smell like a Christmas tree even if there’s not one in the apartment yet), turn on some music, and start wrapping.