Humboldt Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon
Kind baristas, young college students, brightly painted homes and an overall sense of peace are what make up the north Portland neighborhood of Humboldt. With the Cascade Campus of Portland Community College in the center of the neighborhood, there are plenty of places for students to relax, study and have fun in and around the area. It is more affordable than other more developed areas of Portland which makes it an attractive location for young families and student to live. With upcoming nearby areas such as the Historic Mississippi Avenue and North Alberta Street, which are both lively and capture the essence of Portland through good food and atmosphere, locals of Humboldt are satisfied to say the least with their surroundings.
Humboldt is bordered by the Piedmont, Overlook, Boise and King neighborhoods, with Ainsworth to the north, Skidmore on the south boundary, Rodney to the east and Interstate 5 to the west. The boundaries of Humboldt are compact, though not deprived of Portland fun. Home to McMenamins’ Chapel Pub, several coffee shops such as The Albina Press Coffee and a new classy cafe called Tuff Luck, Humboldt has got its own crowd and locals that are pleased with their surroundings. Though they don’t mind taking a quick trip on the MAX to downtown every so often. Working professionals, retired elders, college students trying to figure out life, single 20 somethings and young families all occupy the great looking homes of the neighborhood. There is a very diverse crowd of people in the neighborhood, but they all come together to create the whole of Humboldt.
The neighborhood’s favorite coffee shop
I spent some time in the Albina Press coffee shop, where two very nice baristas were very helpful on information about the neighborhood, the local persona, and what sets their neighborhood apart from other Portland neighborhoods. The Albina Press is located just a couple doors down from Atlas Tattoo, one of Portland’s most well known tattoo shops. The two women working at Albina Press shared with me that while Humboldt is quirky in the sense that people from all walks of life fill the homes and streets, it is also similar to other neighborhoods in the area because it has that consistent small town feel which allows shop owners to know the names of their customers, and shopping locally is a part of daily life. There is a “strong sense of community” that fills the streets and the seats at the coffee shop. Also, knowing where your food is grown is another aspect to the neighborhood that locals enjoy, because of the local markets that sell organic foods grown nearby in the northwest.
Cherry Sprout Produce is one market in the area where locals shop for their produce, getting great deals on locally grown items. New Seasons Market along Killingsworth is another popular destination for locals, where shopping locally and an all around sense of community are wrapped up into one store.
While students from all over Portland come to the neighborhood to attend Portland Community College, local high school students attend Jefferson High School which is located conveniently in the middle of the neighborhood. So not only do college students have the enjoyment of restaurants and cafes nearby, but high school students do as well. Other students in the neighborhood attend Humboldt Elementary School and Ockley Green Middle School.
Photos of Humboldt
The streets of Humboldt are constantly busy with bikers, runners, dog walkers and people staying active. An overall trendy vibe of people that enjoy the activity of nearby neighborhoods and downtown Portland. Though Humboldt is now starting to get more organized with its business and neighborhood associations, “It wasn’t always this way,” says one local business owner named Laura who owns A Better T-Shirt located on North Albina Avenue. “Just in the past six months have we started receiving a newsletter,” she tells me, sounding very pleased with the way things have been going. The shop was ran out of a store on Mississippi Avenue where Laura says thing are, “a lot more organized.” But Humboldt is becoming a lot more developed and organized, she tells me. So as for the neighborhood businesses things have shaped up over the past few years, and it shows. People come in from outside the neighborhood to get a bite out of the restaurants in the neighborhood and to experience Humboldt’s quirky vibe. With this growth the neighborhood has seen a recent influx in the past few years of people who want to live in this north Portland neighborhood. There is a wide range of people in this neighborhood from young, single students to young families, older families and elderly couples.
Homes and Real Estate
In the neighborhood there are plenty of styles of Old Portland homes that vary in funky styles. Styles range from craftsman bungalows to Foursquare and Ranch. In this neighborhood you will find fun and quirky, brightly painted homes with large porches and lush gardens as well as modest, quiet homes with unkempt front yards. There is a wide variety of styles in this neighborhood.