A treasure trove of vintage rings, the hippest denim,heels handcrafted in Belgium… where to stock up on style
The waist-high display cases lining this two-story boutique on bustling NW 23rd Avenue are outfitted with little white notes that read in small black print: “Please do not lean on the glass.” How cruel. It’s not our fault that owner Paula Bixel’s eye-popping assembly of antique diamond rings, sparkling brooches, silver pendants, and ruby-encrusted gold hoop earrings lures us in so close that we’re practically smashing our faces against the glass. Near a display of Georgian- and Victorian-era rings bedecked with golf-ball-size rocks, another note warns that they are “not for everyday wear.” Upstairs, even men get to ogle at macho rings fashioned out of 1920s quarters. Indeed, Gilt brims with possibilities. Just remember, leaning isn’t one of them.
OUTDOOR GEAR SHOP
Specializing in technical climbing equipment, backcountry skiing gear, and anything else that might come in handy for surviving a forced bivouac on a Cascade peak, this 9,000-square-foot wonderland of Gore-Tex and fleece, known as “OMC,” has been the preferred choice for mountaineering types since 1971. With everything from Black Diamond climbing harnesses to a bomb-proof Nemo Moki four-season tent to a killer sales rack (An Arc’teryx ski jacket for $249? No way!), it’s not hard to see why. Even if you don’t know a piton from a pickax, the clerks here are so full-on amped about backpacking, skiing, and climbing that they’re always willing to take time to engage customers on any topic—like which is the best down sleeping bag on sale, or how to squeeze another season out of your aging telemark boots—all without any I-play-harder-than-you attitude.
Doug Fir Lounge
Have you ever wondered what to do with those stray letter tiles that somehow got separated from your old Scrabble board? We haven’t, either. And that’s the difference between us and the dozens of artists who gather in the basement concert space of the Doug Fir Lounge one Sunday a month to hawk their DIY wares, like Scrabble tiles repurposed as cuff links. The usual bazaar fare is accounted for—jewelry, greeting cards, candles—but objects here possess that quintessential Portland quirk without devolving into tired, Saturday Market hippie-trinket territory. From baby onesies emblazoned with art-nerd illustrations of robots to clever lampshades made from photo slides, Crafty Wonderland is your grandma’s church fundraiser reimagined by your local hipster sewing circle.