Tag Archives: Foster Avenue Portraits
Men in the know from all parts of Portland will tell you that Ivan Parvankin, of Ivan’s Cut & Style, is the best barber in town. He also has a pretty amazing story.
Born in Gradetz, Bulgaria, Ivan escaped the country in 1951 for what was then Yugoslavia. From there, he made it to a refugee camp in Italy where he was recruited for the U.S. Army. Ivan says of this experience, “I’ve been everywhere, almost. From the Panama Canal to the Philippines.”
Ivan was based in Fort Lewis, Washington, and when he finished his service he decided to move down to Portland. He enrolled in barber college, then apprenticed with a master barber for three years: “In those days, you had to serve as an apprentice. You didn’t just do something. School only gives you the basics, you still have to learn from a master.”
Ivan’s building at 5324 SE Foster has been used as a barber shop since 1938! He took over ownership of the space and opened Ivan’s Cut & Style in 1977. The next time you need a cut or beard trim, I highly recommend you check him out – he most certainly did give my husband (photo #6) the best cut I’ve seen in our fifteen years of being together.
“People love it. It’s a happy kind of store.”
~ Carol Winner, owner, The Decorette Shop
Back to the sweetest shoot ever. Carol Winner opened The Decorette Shop back in 1973. Since then, sweets-makers from all over town journey to this little shop on Foster Avenue, packed to the ceiling with cake, cookie and candy decorating supplies. You name it, you can find it – sprinkles in tons of colors, cake pans in all kinds of sizes and shapes, hundreds of cookie cutters, wedding cake toppers for just about everyone. Carol’s desire to serve such a diverse community – she also has employees who speak Russian and Spanish – is part of what makes this place so special and unique. I’ve been a Decorette Shop customer myself since the 90′s, and it still never fails to inspire and delight!
Here’s a little sneak peek of a shoot I’m finishing up – this one has been, dare I say, super sweet.
Mike is another regular at Slingshot, and I’ve always admired his tattoos and signature denim vest and braids.
I started the Foster Avenue Portrait Project as a way to preserve the stories of businesses along Foster Avenue. Many of these businesses have been open for over three decades, and they act not just as shops, but as places for the community to gather. Here are people of Portland not typically represented by local and national media, but they’re as much a part of our city as any other. Since I’ve lived in this neighborhood for ten years, I definitely consider them part of my Portland. And I figured there was no better place to start than The Gun Room.
The thing about The Gun Room is it’s so rich in interesting people and their stories, I keep going back to listen. So consider this a sneak peek. Here’s Mark, posing with a gun that’s headed off to Ted Nugent. Definitely stay tuned for more!
This shoot I mentioned last week was so much fun, and had been a long time coming. Romeo and I have lived in our neighborhood for ten years, and until Slingshot opened up, there really wasn’t anywhere we could go for some good food and drinks in a decent atmosphere. Honestly, we weren’t asking for much, we just didn’t feel like hanging out at Devil’s Point watching the strippers. But then Slingshot came around and our lives changed. Stiff drinks, delicious food, super comfortable booths, pinball machines and a bar kitty named Whiskey – this place has become our second living room. Thanks to Aron, Emily and all the neighborhood regulars who joined in the shoot – you all are what make this place so great. Cheers!
Here’s a sneak peek of a really fun editorial I’m putting together, my friend Aron slinging drinks at my neighborhood bar. In case you can’t tell, this shoot was a blast – definitely stay tuned for the piece!