Division/Clinton: Activities

5 Places to Play in Portland's Division/Clinton Neighborhood

Get arty, take a Scandi steam, or do the Time Warp, again—this hood has plenty of ways to hold your attention.

Edited by Kelly Clarke August 8, 2017

Stress-melting spas, leafy green hideaways, and the world’s longest continuously running weekly movie theater screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Yep, you're in Division-Clinton now.

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Image: Loyly


Need an excuse to ignore the outside world for a few hours? Clean, sleek, and filled with light, this Scandinavian-inspired communal spa melts away stress to pre-Trump levels. Get a massage or a skincare treatment and then collapse in the fragrant cedar sauna and sweat out all your issues. Swimsuit are required during mixed gender hours, but you can hang out au naturel during single-gender visits. $26 nets you two hours of relaxation with a locker towels, shower soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

Piccolo Park

Small is beautiful. A quiet, half-acre pocket of green hidden between Division and Clinton, Piccolo (Italian for “little”) is a perfect spot to devour your haul from the Tidbit food cart pod in peace, let the kids go wild on the respectably large play structure, and ponder public art that features hands sprouting out of the ground.

Clinton Street Theater

Opened in 1915—making it even older than the Hollywood Theatre—this scruffy-edged cinema hosts arthouse films, nonprofit benefit screenings (so you can support immigrants and refugees while watching Wet Hot American Summer), and locally made flicks of varying distinction. Oh, and the world’s longest continuously running weekly showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show. And amateur theater. And occasional lectures about science. In other words, if you dig both East German sci-fi and documentaries about the home funeral movement, this is your spot.

The Drawing Studio

Phil Sylvester opened this indie art school way back in the 1990s, determined to “demystify drawing.” Fast-forward a quarter-century and Portland boasts scores of students who rave about his Yoda-like ability to turn fumble-fingered novices into confident graphite, charcoal, and pen-wielding sketchers and creative, inspired painters. “Just as we all learn to speak, walk, and eat, I believe we are all capable of drawing,” he explains on his website. “As your teacher, my job is to clear away the impediments that keep you from exploiting this natural potential.”


Just a couple of gallerinas at your service today. Last week to see our current exhibition!

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The crisp white walls of this small gallery give an espresso shot of adventurous culture to Division’s eclecticism, with exhibits from a select roster of artists heavy on Portland connections and often straddling the line between abstraction and realism. Meanwhile, Nationale has slowly but surely transformed into a sharply curated small-small-small bookstore, with an exacting selection of titles emphasizing current affairs, social issues, small-run local efforts, and international magazines.

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