BEST PLACE TO COMPUTE

Backspace

115 NW Fifth Ave •• 503-248-2900
“Kinko’s is our only competition” for hourly computing, says co-owner Eric Robison, who charges $6 an hour—half the price of his corporate rival. Robison and his brother, Kris, opened Backspace in 2003, and it has since become the local mecca for network gamers owing to its 25 gaming computers and “unbelievably fast” Internet connection. A group of up to 25 men, for example, gathers each Tuesday evening to play Call of Duty: “They sit down for two or three hours and just shoot each other,” Robison says. Those less inclined to virtual violence, however, can surf unperturbed on their own laptops in the voluminous space while sipping in the youthful, urban downtown vibe. —EG

BEST PLACE TO SIP AND STROLL

Village Coffee

7781 SW Capitol Hwy •• 503-244-3954
What this tiny café lacks in capacity (there are just four tables and 14 chairs) it makes up for with its location in the heart of Southwest Portland’s charming Multnomah Village. Grab a cup of one of the custom-roasted organic coffees and take a stroll around the village shops, such as Annie Bloom’s Books or Thinker Toys. Or continue down the street to 90-acre Gabriel Park, where unpaved paths through shaded ravines, stretches of lawn, a kids park and off-leash dog areas cater to all varieties of morning perambulations. —EG

 

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Image: Jenna Biggs

BEST PLACE FOR BABIES

Sip & Kranz: A Coffee Lounge

901 NW 10th Ave •• 503-336-1335
During the summer, legions of squirming tots run amok in Jamison Square, but when the weather dictates that fun be had indoors, they, along with their parents, decamp to Sip & Kranz’s Kidz Lounge, a Pearlized play room complete with a flat-screen television, pillows and brightly colored building blocks. Those sans offspring—or those looking for a moment’s peace away from offspring—will be glad that the Kidz Lounge mayhem is fully muted by a glass wall, so that adult conversation can be thoroughly enjoyed scream-free in the café’s comfy barstools or wicker chairs. —EG