Last Thursdays, on the final Thursday of every month, are the days when the Alberta Arts District's colors are on full display. On summer nights it's a full blown street festival, while in the winter things stay inside. While the neighborhood's name implies more galleries than are actually there, almost all of the local businesses serve double duty, with local artists' works proudly displayed on their walls.
Alberta Arts District is one of the more multicultural areas in Portland, and it mixes high-end establishments with inexpensive Mexican markets, tons of coffee shops, a huge variety of restaurants and inexpensive eats. French, Italian and Thai restaurants accompany several Mexican joints as well as pies and ice cream that are to die for -- and they're all contained in 20 blocks of Alberta Street, with cool galleries and shops along the way. Go for a walk, bring an appetite, drink several fabulous cocktails and/or coffees, and check out some of the best -- and funkiest -- shopping around.
On a recent rainy day, I took a stroll down Alberta Street armed with my camera and snapped photos of some of my favorite locations. Be sure to check out the second half as well: Alberta Arts District in Photos Part II.