The Skidmore Old Town National Historic District, commonly called Old Town/Chinatown, is where Portland was born. The 20-square-block section, bounded by Oak Street to the south and Hoyt Street to the north, includes buildings of varying ages and architectural designs. Before it was renovated, this was skid row. Vestiges of it remain in parts of Chinatown; older buildings are gradually being remodeled, and lately the immediate
area has experienced a small surge in development, but many of the streets around here retain a bit of a seedy look, and at night, some of the bars of Old Town tend toward the rowdy side. Grime is more of a problem than crime, but this is the one part of town where you might want to keep an eye on your surroundings. On the plus side, it is an increasingly fun area for clubbing and bar-going, whatever your persuasion. Portland doesn’t have a gay district per se—the scene permeates just about every neighborhood of this extremely LGBT-welcoming city. But you will find many of Portland’s gay nightspots in Old Town (and a few others close by in downtown’s West End). MAX serves the area with a stop at the Old Town/Chinatown station.