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Best Evers: Elly Blue and Meghan Sinnott

Wednesday, February 2, 2011 | 8:26 PM

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Editor’s Note: While we’re in Portland over the next few weeks, we wanted to bring some local flavor to the blog by running Hotpot-style city guides: recommendations on where to eat, where to shop, and thoughts from locals. Below, we sit down with Portland bicycling experts Elly Blue and Meghan Sinnott to discuss their PDX Best Evers.

Elly and Meghan, photographed by Patrick Barber

In addition to rating and reviewing businesses on Hotpot, you can give your 10 favorite businesses a "Best Ever" award. We thought it would be fun to talk to a few prominent Portlanders to see which businesses they're giving their Best Ever awards to and why.

Up next in our series is Elly Blue and Meghan Sinnott. Elly writes professionally about biking for Grist and about biking as a woman in her zine Taking the Lane. Meghan organizes bike events ranging from 20-person Midnight Mystery Rides to 5,000-person World Naked Bike Rides. Together they are creating a website to help tourists discover Portland by bike. will launch in April 2011.

Here are Elly and Meghan’s list of 10 Best Evers and why:

Courier Coffee: Best coffee in town (yes, better than Stumptown). Here’s where you can see the most alarming new bike fashion, catch a bike-themed art show, or enter the track stand competition to win a free coffee drink.

Portland Bicycle Tours: It's downtown. They have bikes to rent. They are connected with a pedicab company. Their staff is friendly, knowledgeable and laid back. They love Portland and offer specialized tours to show you the best sights. Their fleet includes a wide variety of bikes that won't make you look like a tourist.

Movie Madness: Giant movie rental emporium. Rare and hard-to-find movies that are "out of print." Free, fascinating museum of movie memorabilia. Free membership.

A Better Cycle: Worker-owned cooperative bike shop replete with cheap, used bike parts, funky art, honest staff and a friendly, tall-bikey vibe. They're open late, too!

New Seasons: Ten percent of profits go to charity. Lots of bike parking. The cashier will give you stickers if you ask. Locally owned. Good sample days. Wonderful selection of goods. Knowledgeable sommelier.  Clean bathrooms. They tout themselves as the "friendliest store in town," and they just might be!

Clever Cycles: Portland’s largest fleet of cargo bikes and classy European imports. Cycle-chic fashion. Rent a sturdy British folding bike to tool around town, or a Dutch box bike to carry your date to dinner.

Microcosm Publishing: This small store is packed with mainly nonfiction books and zines. Used and deeply discounted new books range from how-to guides to everything to serious political philosophy and history. Pick up an iconic “Put the Fun Between Your Legs” t-shirt. Bike stickers and patches make perfect souvenirs.

Multnomah County Library: Zine library, free talks, free computer use if you get a day pass (and don't have a library card), they'll send anything to other libraries for pick up, you can drop off books at any location, great staff, easy-to-use website, a nice place to dry off on a rainy day, tons of bike parking at all locations.

Powell Butte: Spectacular view of Portland, with signs to tell you what you’re looking at. Old growth forest on the back side—right off of the Springwater Corridor bike trail! Beautiful escape from town.

Laurelhurst Theater: One of Portland's famous theater pubs. See a movie for $3 and enjoy local microbrew and pizza while you're at it. Independently owned. Good selection of classics and second-run movies. In a neat part of town that most visitors don't know about.

What are some of your Hotpot Best Evers? Share in the comments below.

Posted by Vanessa Schneider, Hotpot Team


Anonymous said...

All of NE 28th, from Glisan to Stark:

Pambiche Cuban Restaurant (bike corral in front), Alma Chocolates and Fonda Rosa Mexican (bike corral in front), Tapalaya Cajun/Creole and Navarre (one of the best restaurants in Portland), Crema Cafe and Bakery serving Stumptown and Coava coffee (bike corral in front), Bamboo Sushi and Ken's Artisan Pizza (bike corral in front). Oh, and the Laurelhurst theater, which you mentioned, is right in there too. If you don't feel like pizza in the theater, go to any of the restaurants I just mentioned, within about half a mile of the theater, and then go to the movie. By bike, of course :)