What if I told you that you could live in Brooklyn without packing up and selling your belongings, changing time zones and jobs and saying goodbye to your friends and family? I’ll bet if I told you that, you would call me crazy. Because you live in Portland, Oregon.
Well, I’m not crazy because right here, in southeast Portland, Oregon, there is the Brooklyn neighborhood.
Comprised almost entirely of single family homes, the mostly residential Brooklyn neighborhood rests along the east side of the Willamette River. Popular amongst college students and young professionals (Reed College lies within its deciduous borders) Brooklyn is a middle-class area scattered within the remaining industrial sites along the river and a large rail yard. The nostalgic, pleasing sound off trains can often be heard, intermingling with the sounds of children playing, dogs barking and music coming from the front porch of your neighbor, strumming on his acoustic guitar, enjoying an astounding Portland springtime afternoon.
After some years of disrepair, the Brooklyn neighborhood has been revitalized and is now considered one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Southeast Portland. This is due in large part to the construction of the Eastbank Esplanade and the Orange line of the ubiquitous MAX light rail system. Transportation, whether by foot, bicycle, public transit or car is a breeze and the skyline of Downtown Portland can be seen from many homes here—along with the ever-present visual comfort of Mt. Hood.
Originally settled in 1851 by Gideon Tibbets. The area grew slowly at first until, in 1868, when Tibbets divided up the land into smaller plots and allowed the Oregon central Railroad to come in. By the end of World War 1, the area was thriving with Western Settlers.
While Brooklyn itself is mostly residential, the neighborhood is home to a number of fine eateries. Including PokPok, Brooklyn House Restaurant and Upside Down. A large Safeway resides in the neighborhood, along with a number of smaller ma and pa shops and a Fred Meyer. Cleveland High School educates the kids of the neighborhood, and has some a terrific variety of after school activities and an accomplished athletic tradition. Several good-sized parks, a library, and places of worship to suit all faiths, including Scientology, Judaism, Christianity, and Unitarianism help to create diversity within the neighborhood.
Brooklyn could effortlessly be all things to all people. It is laid back, and family oriented. From traditional, to modest, to fun and funky, the Brooklyn neighborhood, like the rest of Portland, is full of life and character.
The houses, the landscape, the people, the convenience: The Brooklyn neighborhood has it all. It’s got all the benefits of city living, but with a decidedly laid back and suburban vibe.