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By far the most popular attraction in Hollywood, Oregon is the movie theatre. It was built in 1926, and is one of the most finely decorated entrances of any movie theatre remaining in Oregon. Today is an independent theatre that shows a number of films the big multiplex studios don't show. These films draw some 70,000 visitors a year, according to the theatre's web site.
Alcohol is not served, unlike some of the other independent theatres in Portland.
In the entryway, you will find that there are photographs of the theatre in the "old days" and even the not-so-old days.
Seating is reasonably comfortable cushioned chairs - indeed at the time of its construction, the theatre was lauded in the press as having much better seating than other movie theatres in the area.
Updated Dec 15, 2009
Address: 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland Oregon
Unlike the places that you will find in more rural areas of Oregon and Washington, you will not find an astonishing array of Aztec decorations scattered all over the walls, with a mostly Spanish speaking serving crowd. This is one of the newer restaurants in the Hollywood area (as of this writing) and it tends towards the trendy style and while it is obvious the artwork on the walls is Mexican in influence it is more modern day Mexican artwork.
The view out the windows is pretty much of the busy local streets and nothing more.
The food is pretty good, and there are an assortment of margaritas available, from the house margarita to several flavors available.
The food, while decently good, is pretty much what you would expect from a Mexican restaurant serving a mostly non-Mexican crowd. I'm not saying what they serve is bad, mind you. In fact, quite the opposite. However, just don't expect this restaurant to be what you would find if you ordered food from a place in, say, Woodburn or Canby where both the dominant staff and customer base are Mexican.
There is a small bar toward the back of the restaurant, but it doesn't appear to be often used.
Favorite Dish: I have not eaten here often enough for me to have developed a favorite.
Their "Deluxe Burrito" is $10.95, comes on a plate with beans and rice, and while it isn't huge (you can find plates twice this size in more rural Mexican restaurants in the area) it is about what you would expect this close to downtown Portland.
Their margaritas range from $5.50 to $7.
Written Apr 6, 2013
Address: 4160 NE Sandy Blvd Portland 97212
If you read the online reviews, you will find a host of opinions about this place. The fact of the matter is that it is a small neighborhood establishment that is sort of part of the old Hollywood: a working class establishment that gets people food in a reasonably amount of time, at a reasonable price. It isn't stunningly good but it isn't the type of place that you would take someone to in order to show off Portland's best food. It is an economical place to stop for lunch or dinner if you are on your way to the Hollywood Theatre or passing through town on Interstate 84, and it is also walking distance to the MAX line.
Much of what is here is self service, including fountain drinks and water.
Think of it as a taqueria with Asian food - a simple shop with everything you need to eat and not much else, and at a reasonable price.
Favorite Dish: As an example of what is here and the price, the Sweet and Sour chicken which comes with a small pile of lettuce called "salad" and two heaps of rice is $7.50. It is a simple meal at a simple price.
Written Feb 13, 2013
Address: 4434 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213
Phone: (503) 281-1136
The exterior of My Canh doesn't speak well: it looks like a standard strip mall place. However, inside, on a wall by the bathrooms and therefore hidden from view from the dining room, is a collection of some of the articles written about this restaurant over the years.
A typical lunch example: One can select a fairly nice vegetarian selection from their lunch menu for $4.75. The first thing to arrive at the table are two cups: one with water (standard of course) and one a ceramic Asian tea cup. The tea is hot, and in a steel tea pot that is put at the table as well. The tea is included in the meal - no cost. (Lunch specials are only offered during the lunch hours, starting at 11am, but are a good economical choice if you happen to be around for them.)
The food selections are both Chinese and Vietnamese, and there is quite a veriety, from relatively inexpensive ($4.75 for example above) to somewhat more expensive (more involved dinner packages are closer to $8 in some instances).
(NOTE: some of the web sites mis-identify the name of the restaurant as My-Cahn or My Cahn. This is not how it is listed in the phone book or on their menus.)
This is a family owned establishment, and has been in its current location since the early 1990s, and in many ways in Portland a restaurant's longevity is based on the quality of what it puts on the table.
They used to have a huge collection of positive reviews posted on a bulletin board back by the restrooms. Today, these have been rearranged and fewer of the items from the collection have been posted.
Favorite Dish: Peppered and Salted Beancurd with a cup of steamed rice for $8.50 (on the Dinner menu under "House Favorites")
There is a lot of variety here. Note the menu features hot food and marks them as such. It's better for you to review some of the on-line reviews of various dishes and decide for yourself, based on your own tastes. At least one reviewer considers this to be one of the best Asian restaurants in Portland.
(NOTE: some of the web sites, including the one above, mis-identify the name of the restaurant as My-Cahn. This is not how it is listed in the phone book or on their menus.)
Updated Jun 30, 2010
Address: 1901 NE 39th Avenue, Portland, OR 97212
Phone: (503) 281-0594
This is probably one of the better value restaurants that serves healthy food on NE Fremont. Other places are cheaper but serve bar type near-fast food, and a few other places have a more expensive price per food ratio.
The food is of considerably good quality, and with most things it is possible to select what you want from the menu, and for a certain price select what type of meat you want it made from. Vegetarian / tofu is the cheapest (and quite good) while various other options are available at slightly higher prices.
As with a few other Thai restaurants in Portland, the artwork on the wall is for sale, and there are even a ew tuk-tuk models for sale on the shelves inside.
Favorite Dish: Almost any of the stir-fry or noodle dishes (such as the #61).
Written Jun 19, 2008
Address: 4239 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213
Phone: (503) 282-0456
Hollywood Transit Center is located at NE 42nd and Halsey. This is a significant stop on MAX, and Red (Beaverton -> downtown Portland -> PDX Airport), Blue (Gresham -> downtown Portland -> Hillsboro) and Green (Clackamas -> downtown Portland) line trains all serve this station. The station is also served by bus routes 75 (39th and Lombard) and 77 (Halsey).
Trader Joe's supermarket is just north of the station, and two blocks north is the Hollywood Theatre.
There is a pedestrian walkway that connects the transit center to the Laurelhurst area on the south side of Interstate 84.
The transit center includes an elevator to get between the pedestrian walkway and the MAX station platform, but access between the pedestrian bridge and the bus stops is only by serpentine ramp.
The MAX train station is directly next to Interstate 84, and the traffic noise is deafening here.
Bus stops are arranged in a series of baloon loops. Buses going to different directions pull up to stops on islands in the middle of the transit center, and riders must make their way across the road to the required location.
The MAX train platform has only one entrance to it: the east side. This makes the getting to the station platform somewhat clumsy, and also minimizes the flexibility. It also means that if there is someone on the platform you are wanting to get away from, it is all the more difficult to do as there is only one way off the platform.
Ticket machines are located on the pedestrian walkway, and must be purchased before getting on the platform. A bus transfer is valid on the MAX train.
There are no public toilets here, and the nearest ones are in the Trader Joe's market on the other side of Halsey.
Trains arriving on the platform are blocked by the station staircase and elevator on the east end and by a power supply building on the west end. This means that you have to pay attention to if trains are arriving when you are on the platform, as you can not see them before they get into the station.
Updated Aug 30, 2010
The Hollywood Farmer's Market is one of the smaller neighborhood farmer's markets in Portland, but it is also extremely popular and you will find that people come here from quite a number of different parts of Portland just to get a little bit of their favorite fresh food.
Consequently, in my opinion, you may find that some of the items here are what you might consider a bit overpriced, but that may be because the quality is greater that what you find in certain other markets around town.
The popularity is mostly due to the ease with which one can get to this market: MAX, several bus routes, and interstate 84 are all close by.
Unlike some of the other Portland area farmer's markets, the Hollywood farmer's market runs all the way from May to Thanksgiving - most of the other ones close sometime in October. Except for November, the market is open from 8 am to 1 pm. In November, the market opens at 9.
What to buy: As with any of the farmer's markets, your best bet is on quality food that happens to be in season. Thus, as the season changes, so does what your best bet to buy here is. I highly recommend local berries such as blueberries and raspberries. Strawberries can be good, but how good the berries are depend a lot on what sort of spring we have had in the Willamette Valley.
Sometimes, your best bet might be to just by some of the local handcrafts, such as the locally made soaps, etc.
Even then, it is hard for me to recommend as sometimes some of the vendors are unable to show up, and others take their place.
Check the web site for the market and see what interests you!
By the way, the Farmer's Market web site also features a selection of how to make certain favorite dishes and a few other treats - so you don't necessarily need to come to the Hollywood Farmer's Market in order to appreciate what it has on its web site!
Written Sep 5, 2011
Address: NE Hancock between 44th & 45th Avenues
Unlike the Hollywood in California, Oregon's Hollywood has only a small selection of famous celebrities: one young boy, one girl who is somewhat younger, and a dog named Ribsy, who was so named because when he was found he was mostly ribs and skin. All have lived on Klickitat Street here in the Hollywood district of Portland, Oregon for over 50 years.
All three of these characters are fictitious creations of Beverly Cleary in her long running series of popular children's books. The most famous, of course, is Ramona, who first became famous in the book "Ramona the Pest" as Ramona Quimby was known.
Considering the gusher of water at her feet, the comment seems appropriate: "Only grownups would say boots were for keeping feet dry. Anyone in kindergarten knew that a girl should wear shiny red or white boots on the first rainy days not to keep her feet dry, but to show off. That's what boots were for - showing off wading, splashing, stamping...." - Ramona the Pest, 1968. As quoted from the carved stone by Ramona's bronze feet.
Henry Huggins was first though. He appeared on the scene in 1950.
As the most famous people in Hollywood (Oregon), it seems only appropriate that they should have some sort of tribute to them. After all, don't most cities have some sort of statue or memorial to their most important residents?
And so, Ramona the pest, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy were cast in bronze, and placed in Grant Park in a fountain, where Ramona can splash in the water forever.
Or rather, she can splash in the water during summer months, between 11AM and 8 PM. The city shuts off the fountain the rest of the time.
Which is a little ironic when you think about it: the real Ramona did most of her splashing in the water during the winter months...
Take time to read the stones, which mark the release of the books and also describe the three important characters here represented in bronze.
The statues were dedicated in 1995, after a several year effort by local teachers, librarians, and members of the business community raised funds for their placement and home. Look closely at the ground where they stand, and you will see quotes from the books, titles of the books written that take place in Portland, and a map of the locations where the events in the books take place.
However, do be warned that Hollywood has changed a lot since the first book appeared in 1950, and most of those small businesses featured in the books are gone now, and even the small business district is becoming populated by high rise buildings. The stories told in the books preserve a place that today is rapidly vanishing.
Updated Apr 6, 2013
Grant Park is part of a chunk of property connected to Grant High School. It includes an outdoor swimming pool that is popular in the summer months, a number of large trees, and some open space that is part of the school soccer field.
It is a very popular place in the summer for residents from all over northeast Portland to come here, and sometimes even cook dinner on one of the picnic tables.
This park is also the home of the Beverly Cleary Tribute Fountain, which pays homage to the three most famous people in Hollywood (Oregon): "Ramona the Pest", Henry Huggins, and Ribsy.
Unfortunately, the biggest problem with Grant Park, is that is bordered by busy NE 33rd Avenue on the west side. This isn't too much of a problem, but it can be noisy over there, and also somewhat hazardous for children.
The park is somewhat similar to the nearby Laurelhurst Park (which is located across the freeway in the Laurelhurst community) in that it has big trees and paved walkways. However, it does not have the pond that attracts the bird life that Laurelhurst Park has.
Written Jun 17, 2008