Portland’s posh Pearl District seems an unlikely stop for a gypsy caravan, but step inside Cargo and you’ll be sure you’ve hit a roving treasure trove. The sprawling 13th Street warehouse space houses “uncommon objects from around the world.”
You’ll be drawn in by the colorful paper lanterns adorning the former tire factory, but the floor-ceiling collection of wonders will keep you exploring its aisles. Imported directly from artisans and trades people the world over, Cargo’s loot ranges from kitsch accouterments to handsome antiques.
From beads, Buddhas, and party poppers to a spectrum of vibrant prayer tassels, Cargo has you covered. If you’re lacking a green thumb, look no further than their room of AstroTurf. Stay entertained with wind-up toys or antique wooden mannequins. Get lost in the aisles of silky folds examining ornate kimono patterns.
The store’s ambiance feels akin to being caught snooping in your eccentric neighbor’s attic. There’s a thrill of examining unfamiliar African instruments, folk art from India, and eclectic Indonesian puppets. An extensive collection of furniture and architectural salvage boasts antique door frames and stately wardrobes priced to match their lineage. Leaf through 1950’s Japanese magazines and speculate about the lives captured in each fading sepia photo stacked in an old suitcase.
After a romp in Cargo’s international imaginarium you may have forgotten that Oregon does not charge sales tax. So whether you manage to escape with just a ceramic crane, Buddhist twine, and straw fan or you’ve made away with metal pharmacy cabinets it feels like a steal.
380 NW 13th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209