Powell's 2 store in Portland: Maker heaven


34 Responses to “Powell's 2 store in Portland: Maker heaven”

  1. Michael Rasmussen says:

    Well yeah.  I don’t know why someone would live in California when they could move to Portland. 
    Did you happen to see  Fup?

  2. Stefan Jones says:


    Last I’d heard, the technical bookstore had closed down. It used to be down the street and around the corner from the main store, in a storefront across the street from one of the park blocks. I’m glad to hear it has just moved. To judge from the photos it is about the same size.

    I’ll have to check it out next time I’m downtown. 

  3. nixiebunny says:

    Do they still have the collection of 8 bit iron?

  4. Don Welch says:

    @Stefan: Its actually quite a bit smaller than the old store – quite a bit fewer computer related books which I assume is due to poor sales in that subject area. Not a big fan of the new store…

    • Alan Olsen says:

      Parking around the new store is especially bad.  Look out for the parking areas that are permit only before something like noon. (The section of street just around the corner.) I got bit by a big parking ticket there. Not obvious unless you read ALL the signs. (And the parking meters still take your money even though it is not a valid parking place at that time.)

      The old store was MUCH bigger and had a lot more cool and obscure books.

      • Stefan Jones says:

        I always take MAX downtown for just this reason.

        Hmmm. Well. Come to think of it, I did take the car to Powell’s once, to bring in books to sell.  I found a meter spot in front of the Technical store, and had to hustle to the main store with a cart and two armfuls of books before my time ran out.

      • AceTracer says:

        You really shouldn’t even try to bring a car downtown. I know it’s a pain in the ass, but taking public transit or something if you plan to spend time downtown is best. I live downtown and don’t own a car, because it’d be impractical and crazy expensive to do so.

    • Nathan Montgomery says:

      Not liking it because it’s smaller, liking it because I agree, the old one was better, but I’m guessing that they couldn’t keep supporting it. A shame, that.

  5. shizuka says:

    Gaaar!!! I lived in Portland for several years before moving back East and never once walked into Powells Technical books. Makes me nostalgic for Roccos. Not that Roccos actually makes good pizza or anything.

  6. Zig says:

    Quite new to Portland having moved here about 4 months ago so never saw the old store. So cannot compare. But I do love this new location. Great place to go and just get lost. Amazing what you just happen to find that is cool beyond words.

  7. Donaleen Kohn says:

    The old store was such a cool space.  Great old building.  Sigh….

  8. tyger11 says:

    Powell’s 2 … this time, it’s TECHNICAL!

  9. David Finch says:

    My son heard about Powell’s last summer.  We made a four day road trip down from Vancouver, BC specifically for Powell’s.  He was in hog-heaven – and so was I when I found the tech section. (And I became a convert to Oregon beer in the process.)

  10. David Breece says:

    I loved the old tech store, and I moved away before Powell’s 2. It sounds like I have another reason to make a trip back to the old neighborhood!

  11. tyger11 says:

    Really, they should just rename the city to Powell’s, because Portland is such a boring name. Port…land? Really? Why not just call it Pier…area? Powell’s, on the other hand, THAT is a name you can say with pride!

  12. GeekDad Ken says:

    Holy carp! I see a couple of my books on that shelf! (under the row of Make Mags). I am so proud!

  13. narddogz says:

    So we’ve got a good technical bookstore… not to threadjack here, but are there any good electronics surplus stores for project parts, then?  I liked Wacky Willy’s…  where else could you find bins full of gutted Teddy Ruxpin dolls?  There’s still Surplus Gizmos, but it’s clear out in Beaverton.

    • social_maladroit says:

      Cascade Surplus Electornics has been around for something like 40 years. It’s just open on weekends. I haven’t been there since it moved out to Gresham from Kenton about a year or so ago, but it’s been an interesting place to go for miscellaneous electronic parts.

  14. Neuron says:

    1. I come from out of town on weekends and have never had to park more than 2 blocks from the store. I usually park east of the main store over by Pearl Bakery :) or toward the old technical store.

    2. Those chairs in the picture? I sat in one of them on Saturday.

  15. IronEdithKidd says:

    I’m deeply coveting those Eames chairs.  They bring back fond memories of my hometown library’s Eames chairs.

  16. Michael Rasmussen says:

    Parking in downtown Portland is easy unless your vehicle is over 6′ 8″[1].  Go to one of the Smart Park garages.  For Powell’s that would be 10th and Yamhill.  It’s cheaper than street parking because you never get a ticket and only pay for what you use.  The small walk to destination will do you good.

    [1] If your vehicle is over 6’8″ then you need to be selective about which Smart Park you use.  Or go for the 3 hour unrestricted spots. 

  17. CompSci – Ada to Z-Notation – I got “Z-N”!   :-)

  18. Powell’s… the mecca of bibliophiles.

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