Foster-Powell, the triangle-shaped neighborhood tucked between Southeast Powell Boulevard and Southeast Foster Road, combines the best of new and old Portland: delicious dining options, a strong community feel and that Keep Portland Weird quirkiness. Foster-Powell has added more retail shops and restaurants along Foster Road in the last eight years, including the popular Portland Mercado, but has not completely gentrified. A perfect example? On some years in April, the Rose Festival’s 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade marches on the same day that scores of motorcycles rev through the neighborhood’s alleys in the annual Alley Sweeper ride.
What Neighbors Say
Chelsea and Blake Doré have lived in Foster-Powell for almost 16 years. They have two children ages 14 and 11, and love their neighborhood so much that the family had an addition built onto their house instead of looking for a larger home outside of FoPo. “We wanted a bigger home, but felt rooted in and happy with the community,” says Chelsea. “My husband’s business is here, we’ve made many good friends here, and [we] didn’t want to move our kids to different schools.”
The Dorés would definitely recommend the neighborhood to friends. “We really love our neighbors and the community we live in,” says Chelsea. “It’s been really rewarding to see all of the energy and improvements put into the business area along Foster. There are so many great things to do within walking distance. We’ve been here a long time and have seen many changes in the neighborhood, and the overall effect has been positive.” Chelsea does acknowledge a con of the neighborhood: “I hate it that our city’s inability to provide real resources for our houseless crisis is on full display in our neighborhood. I don’t feel unsafe, but it does have an impact.”
Essex Park is a year-round destination for FoPo families. In summer, kids cool off in the splash pad, and in spring and fall, Little League teams play on the baseball diamond. Farther west, Kern Park offers a play structure perfectly suited to toddlers, while their older siblings can shoot hoops on the basketball court. And in October, a kids’ Halloween Parade marches down Center Street between those two parks. For indoor fun, Hammer and Jacks toy store boasts a rainbow-covered indoor play space: The Happy Place (pictured above). It also offers weekly music shows from Olive & Dingo and other kids’ performers in the Rec Room. Also consider Red Castle Games, a spot for board-game-loving kids and families. And neighbors are anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Holgate Library. Scheduled to open in summer of 2024, the new two-story building will be triple the size of the old library, making it one of the largest libraries in Multnomah County. The interior will boast a large play and learning space for children and families; a teen room with space for technology, homework and creative expression; and updated technology and internet.
Dining options keep expanding in this southeast neighborhood. Family favorites include breakfast joint Midpoint Food & Drink, Siri Thai, Atlas Pizza, Pieper Café, and Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels. And news of the opening of St. Francis Ice Cream had residents on the business association’s Facebook page downright giddy. It’s from the same owners of neighborhood hang Thunderbird bar (pictured left), which slings mouthwatering burgers (both beef and vegan) and welcomes kids until 8 pm.
$425,000: Median home price
$1,650: Average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment