NE Alberta Street
Once a thriving commercial strip on a streetcar line as well as the heart of Portland’s African-American community, by the late 1980s Alberta Street had become a symbol of neglect, redlining, drug dealing, and gang activity. A decade later, the surrounding neighborhood was among the most rapidly gentrifying in the country, with all the change that that entails.
Nowadays Alberta Street, from NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to NE 33rd Avenue, is known to a new generation as a trendy arts district and a center for drinking and fine dining, perhaps the closest thing you’ll find in Portland to a Latin Quarter of Bohemian artists, cafés, bars, and youthful bonhomie.
Part of the charm of Alberta Street is that it hasn’t been razed and remade; there are still barbershops and body shops, storefront churches and comfortably seedy bars amid all the new construction and renovation. Alberta Street is also home to several art galleries, which play host along with studios and street vendors to thousands of revelers the last Thursday of every month for the Art Walk.
Getting Alberta Street
The best way to get to Alberta Street by public transport is by TriMet bus number 6, which crosses Alberta Street on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, or bus number 8, which crosses Alberta Street on NE 15th Avenue. Once on Alberta Street, take bus number 72, which travels on Alberta between NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and NE 30th Avenue.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel