The young social-media guru Marcus Harvey, who’s also the visionary behind the city’s apparel design and pop-up shop Portland Gear, has rapidly become one of the Rose City’s biggest boosters. It’s not surprising that he’s also a huge fan of the Pearl District. In his own words, here’s a look at some of the prime spots in the neighborhood that Marcus recommends visiting, especially on a pleasant spring day.
Especially in spring, the Pearl District is my favorite place in town to walk, eat, drink, and explore. With beautiful historic buildings sharing walls with innovative new additions to the city skyline, the Pearl is Portland’s quintessential design neighborhood. I like that there are food and drink options on nearly every corner—it’s easy to lose track of time and find myself sitting on the beautiful new 10 barrel rooftop for a few hours.
Start your day by jumping on the streetcar and heading into the heart of the Pearl, along historic 13th Avenue. From here, you’re close to some great spots for coffee, including the comfy Sisters Coffee Company and the outstanding Nossa Familia—coffee in the neighborhood is really a must.
After relaxing with a cup of java, perhaps at a sidewalk table at Sisters Coffee soaking up the spring sun, make your way over to the KEEN Garage and take the shoe track for a spin. Down a couple blocks you’ll find the popular Blick art-supplies store, which is also great for browsing. Portland is totally known for being a “maker” community, and stores like this one are the fuel for the city’s burning creative fire. With art supplies in hand make your way to the Fields Park at the northern end of the neighborhood. There you can people- and dog-watch for hours, as this is one of the only gated dog parks in downtown Portland. As the sun starts to set, enjoy the views of iconic Fremont Bridge in the distance. This is absolutely one of my favorite spots in all of Portland to kick back, relax, and take in the city surroundings.
Once you’re hungry for dinner head back to 13th street and grab a beer and sandwich at River Pig Saloon. Nestled inside an old brick building, this bar has life and character. Blazers and Timbers game often fill all the TV screens, and if you’re lucky you’ll even catch a watch party. If it happens to be a Thursday, you might even find me and my Portland Gear bus parked right in front doing a pop-up shop for all the passersby. The Pearl District is a thriving part of the Portland experience, and on a sunny spring day everyone should take the time to take it in.
A little about Marcus Harvey
My passion is product. Since I was young I’ve been consumed with the process and how things are designed and made. In starting @portland on Instagram, now with more than 209,000 followers, I’ve developed a new social media–based community around the city I love. Using the @portland Instagram page I’ve designed Portland Gear, an apparel brand to show and share my passion for the city.
Utilizing the concept of pop-up shops and my experience in apparel design and branding, I’ve sold more than 9,500 products and shipped to 20 countries and 48 states in the past year. In March of 2016 I opened my first brick-and-mortar location in Southwest Portland next to Providence Park. Graduating in 2008 from Century High School in Hillsboro, and the University of Oregon with a degree in digital arts and business in 2012, Portland is where I call home.