Yesterday morning was gray. And rainy. And cold. But staying inside is super hard for me and since my vitamin D discovery several years ago, the winter weather doesn’t bother me as much (vitamin shout-out to all women of the northwest, pop the highest IU you are comfortable with – go 5,000-10,000 daily and I pinkie promise you will notice a difference in a couple of weeks – I started taking 10,000 IU every day years ago and haven’t looked back since).
So after the clothing/shoes/socks dance Seb and I do every morning, we convinced baby daddy to bike with us into the Hollywood District. I’d read on pdxkidscalendar.com that the new kids shop Small Fry was having a singalong from 10-11am, which gave us just enough time to pop into my favorite café, Nectar Coffee Bar, for bagel sandwiches and coffee. Natasha, the owner, is the cutest ever and since she took over the café space a couple of years ago, I’ve major fan girled over her. Her menu is entirely vegetarian/vegan, her coffee is yummy and her fresh juices and smoothies are super refreshing. Load up on anything and leave feeling like you did something healthy for your insides. I also love that I don’t have to think about what I’m ordering because everything is kid-approved and sharable.
I love the Hollywood district because it exudes that true old school Portland vibe that I only feel when I’m in that neighborhood or in parts of North Portland. A huge chunk of the buildings are all still owned by one family who have fought against the rapid investor growth happening everywhere else in the city. Plus it’s super walkable and now that there’s a giant Whole Foods, New Seasons and Trader Joes all within blocks of each other, it makes for the best grocery game in town.
So, bellies full, we went around the corner to Smally Fry, a super clean, modern new and used baby/kid store. The owner greeted every soggy parent and child with a smile and a sticker (and gave away tiny tees!). She was jazzed to introduce the first monthly event by musical duo Micah & Me (https://www.facebook.com/micahandme), two proud stay-at-home dads who play banjo and guitar and sing kid classics. They were joined by their friend Christopher Routly, another full-time father who was super nice and humble (he’s kind of a big deal in the daddy world). [daddydoctrines.com]
After chatting with the fellas and taking some quick pictures of the shop’s cuteness, we walked across the street to the Hollywood Library, a place Seb gets to go every Tuesday afternoon with grandpa and abuelita for Book Babies (https://multcolib.org/events/book-babies), an adorably educational weekly for littles that involves singing, reading and bubbles. I’d gotten an email that after a two-month wait, a copy of The Marshmallow Test was on hold and I wanted to grab it. Living a life with less need for instant gratification? Umm, yes please. I think the book talks about how to achieve that for yourself and how to parent in that vein. Hoping I make the time to get through it before it’s due back. That and All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood are the two books I really want to get into. [NPR Fresh Air interview with All Joy and No Fun author here : http://www.npr.org/2015/01/30/382428335/are-we-having-fun-yet-new-book-explores-the-paradox-of-parenting]
In addition to these spots, there is Velo Cult bike, coffee and beer shop where you can ponder custom-build bicycles for two, Just 4 Kids consignment boutique and the Hollywood Farmer’s Market, which is so fun in warmer weather. Tons of vendors hocking farm-fresh and prepared foods. This type of thing is Portland at its finest. Hollywoodfarmersmarket.org for all the deets!