"Maybe I Shouldn't Tell You This....."
Maybe it's supposed to be a secret.... but just south of "downtown" Milwaukie (okay, c'mon, it's not that bad) and along the east bank of the mighty Willamette, stands the Island Station neighborhood. Like most other parts of the Portland metro area, it has a completely overgrown-green-ramshackle charm with those prototypical wooden-frame Portland-style houses. The particular vibe of Island Station has everything to do with the presence and vibe of the river. And there's really an island, which is a city park and wildlife preserve with a network of trails, where (according to the park rangers) 13-year-old neighborhood boys and girls sneak out to get their freak out.... don't, chillen. Remain chaste. The drawbacks: not as walkable as you'd expect. There's no grocery or restaurants in walking distance. The riverside parks seem like accidental land-leftovers. But you start exploring, you'll find the two secret totem poles, spend some time on the island, hear the moaning trains late at night, you'll get behind the down-at-the-heels rhythm, you'll feel it.