Oregon City: the other other ‘Couve.

May 30, 2011

Singer Hill Cafe on Urbanspoon
I’m fascinated by the way many (but not all, mind you) Portlanders describe surrounding areas that don’t fit their mold. Vancouver is “Vantucky,” a backward, uncivilized place populated with mostly hicks. Oregon City apparently is the same, only with more “religious freaks.” Lake Oswego is a yuppie paradise. Heck, even Southeast Portland is a “ghetto.” Seriously, anyone who’d call SE Portland a “ghetto” has certainly never seen one.


Lime Tart and Cappuccino.

Lime tart, cappuccino, and some sweet decor.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to my sojourn down to Oregon City. In fact, I really didn’t know where Oregon City was and had gotten well into the day before I decided to find out exactly where I was headed this particular evening. I initially feigned excitement about dropping down to Oregon City for a show at the 505 Tavern, to which my co-workers responded with resounding “meh.” Geez, the reaction was so lukewarm I thought I’d accidentally said “Vancouver.”

Perhaps I’ll enjoy it after all.

Plants on the wall over the stage.

Just in case you thought I was kidding, yes, there really are plants growing out of the wall.

After scoping out a few options, I decided on Singer Hill Cafe as a good place to crash before my show. The  shop seemed to have plenty of loyal patrons. The layout reminded me of a more expansive version of the dearly departed Marcell’s in Vancouver, which was essentially a large house. Singer Hill is a coffee shop with a full menu of sandwiches and salads, pastries, and a mighty fine Lime Tart. When he saw me taking pictures, the owner took me on an impromptu tour, showing off the backyard garden where he hoped to host a few outdoor concerts in the future.

Singer Hill hosts music on Fridays from 6-8pm, and I arrived in time to catch the second half of a fundraiser show by Tiffany Carlson who delighted the a rather cordial crowd of friends and families. I also have to acknowledge the pretty sweet stage that had plants growing out of the wall. That I’ve never seen before. It’s easy to feel at home in Singer Hill Cafe, and that’s a feeling I really have to search for in Portland, which is often hip, but rarely cozy. You know, I gotta admit: Oregon City is an okay place.

Well…if you like Vancouver.


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