Besides being a great friend of (and to) Rejuvenation, Joanne Palmisano is an author, stylist, and designer. She has her own blog and is in the process of writing her second book, Salvage Secrets, Reclaimed Design and Decor. After visiting us in Portland recently, Joanne gave us a rundown of some of her favorite things about our fair city.
1. Food carts. Food is always on my mind, and I think your food scene is amazing. While I was in Portland, I squeezed in meals from the Lardo cart, a bento cart in Sellwood, and an omelet cart on Mississippi. Fast, yummy food made from fresh ingredients that you get from the back of a truck or a small shed?!? Count your blessings!
2. Stair systems. I wish someone would create a map of all the amazing stair systems you have throughout the city. I love using them as a form of exercise. Depending on the day and the number of stairs, I could really get in a good workout.
3. Flowers. May is the most amazing month in Portland. I don’t know what you all do to your flowers, but I have never, ever, ever seen flowers so bright and in colors I didn’t even know existed! It was hard to go to work when all I wanted to do was walk through your neighborhoods and ooh and ahh over your flowers!
4. Shopping. Rejuvenation is just one example of mixed stores, where you can find new things, old things, and even a coffee shop. I love this type of retail space. I can bring my cart around, pick out things I love, and then when I need a little break, sit down and relax for a minute. These home-like stores are sorely missed in my town (hint hint, nudge nudge…)
5. Creative and unique homeowners and individuals. I love that you can be who you are in Portland. Your home, your clothes, your style. I love it! This tin man is in a homeowner’s backyard that we photographed for the second Salvage Secrets book. I loved him and the cleverness that comes along with him. Stay you, Portland!
6. Second-hand shops. Portland must have the most vintage shops, retro shops, thrift stores, flea markets, and antique stores on the planet. Really, I have never seen such a concentration of second-hand places in my life. It is nirvana for me… Actually, it can become a bit of a problem, but I swear I have it under control (mostly).
7. No bugs (or at least, very few). Where I live, if you’re outside after the sun goes down, you ‘re likely to lose about a quart of blood to mosquitoes. The fact that you Portlanders can open your windows—without screens—and sit outside and drink wine and play a game after dusk is amazing.
8. Good coffee. It’s on every corner. And I mean, literally, every corner. And how you all make the designs in the milk on the top is really an art. If there was an Olympic event for froth designs, you guys would win a gold medal!
9. Por Qué No. I have a bit of an obsession with this little Mexican taqueria on Mississippi.
10. Music. Every kind, every sound—bands, musicians, and groups abound. My daughter even came to Portland to go to a rock’n'roll camp. This band, Kansawyer, played in a small bar on Hawthorne. It was a lot of fun to hang out, drink good beer (another point for Portland), and listen.
Lucky you, Portland!