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Get to Know the Pearl District

The Pearl District’s reputation as Portland’s chic, artistic neighborhood stands out in a city already bursting with cool, fashionable nabes. Its position as hipster central owes a lot to its origins as a former industrial area, with its gritty spaces and concrete cool lending a sheen of urban authenticity, while luring artists and developers alike. In the 1980s — and accelerating through the 2000s — those artists and developers, spurred on by a change in city zoning, created a neighborhood out of empty warehouses and abandoned railway yards, with converted lofts installed in old factories and brand-new condo towers rising alongside art galleries, well-curated boutiques, and cutting-edge restaurants. Powell’s Books, arguably the city’s most famous retailer, was an early arrival here, opening in 1971 and transforming a former car dealership into the world’s largest bookstore and a Portland icon.

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Living in Portland, OR

Portland is a city that’s almost close to perfect, an astonishingly beautiful and lush destination that has an incredibly well-defined sense of self. Portland residents are a welcoming bunch and pride themselves on their community spirit, with each neighborhood serving as its own little local village. Sure, Portland’s fondness for analog culture in a digital world might be frequently satirized, but the vintage clothing–clad, kombucha- and craft-beer-drinking denizens of the Rose City are sitting pretty, knowing that they’ve been ahead of the curve in cool for decades. And though Portland has many (many!) record stores, bookstores, and farmers markets (all with the benefit of no sales tax on any purchase), the area does boast its own well-known tech corridor, the Silicon Forest. Portland also has a strong advertising agency scene, where creatives compete for Nike and Adidas accounts, as both rival shoe companies are headquartered in the region.