Blog Stories Down Holiday Memory Lane

Down Holiday Memory Lane

By Jené DeSpain, December 24, 2019

As a child, Saturday Market was a favorite adventure for my two sisters and I. The gorgeous hand made crafts, notable local characters, cobblestone streets, and Skidmore Fountain were enticing features of wonder to us kids. The holidays were a particularly fantastical time at the market, awash with smells of hot chocolate mixed with fresh made pine wreaths, and sounds of carolers singing along the waterfront.

This last weekend, I went to visit for the first time in many years. A friend of a friend, Nicole Mark, was showcasing prints of her breathtaking shots of the Pacific Northwest at her booth, just down under Ankeny Street. We went to bring her some custom frames hand made for her larger prints, hoping to support her and some of the other local artisans during our visit. The sound of the max rolling along the old Portland streetcar tracks, the smell of roasting coffee, the sights of woodworkers carving into tree bark under the light of their booth’s overhead heat lamps brought back a blend of childhood memories. I wandered around, taking in the soft rain pattering on the tents, mindfully stepping out of the way of puddles and holiday shoppers.

There is something deeply soothing about visiting places that held splendor for us as children as an adult, returning to see if they still hold magic. Aspects of Portland valued by my parents, and hence passed onto me, are found within the environment created each season by the vendors of Saturday Market. Community, expression, creativity, local celebration, diversity.

Just as we were leaving, Nicole offered one of her photos to me as a kind gesture, befitting in the spirit of this season of giving. Each one capturing a beautiful glimpse of scenic grandeur we have come to recognize within the nature scape surrounding Portland; a flowing riverbed, a mountaintop sprinkled with snow, a canyon of evergreens. It was challenging to select one from the array, but in the end, I gravitated towards a photo featuring the view I am most familiar with, home.

Home means different things to each of us. Whether you grew up here or are celebrating your first holiday season as a local in Stumptown, I would encourage you to head down to Saturday Market sometime during 2020. Stop by to visit Nicole and ask her to share the story behind any one of her striking images.


Jené DeSpain

Broker Licensed in OR

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