Happy Weekend, Foster!

It’s Friday in Foster Land.  Hopefully you all have a couple days of rest ahead of you.  Maybe you’ll squeeze in some time for a bite to eat, a drink, and/or some live music.  Easter egg hunting, perhaps?

Here are your weekend tidbits…

- Well, it’s that time of year where our alleyways turn into sludgy, urban obstacle courses for the motor-biking many.  For the last several years, these guys have made Foster-Powell alleys their urban motocross circuit.  Some think it rad; others have planted booby traps to deter them.  Either way, it’s quite the spectacle.  And if history repeats, the Alley Sweeper Urban Enduro will make its way here this Saturday.

- Sometimes bad news turns into good news.  Not long after it was announced that Pulsar Productions lost its lease to operate the Bob White Theatre, the keys were handed over to a new theater manager.  So, no more under-age raves…but the music plays on.  And the newest incarnation of the theater should cater to a more diverse crowd.  First up on the events calendar:  Cascadia Psychedelic Revival 3, “Easter 420 Prankfest.”  All-night show, $15; laser show, multiple bands…breakfast included.

- The Stakeholder Advisory Committee met for the final time this week before the revised Foster Streetscape Plan goes to City Council for (hopeful) adoption.  When it goes  to the Commissioners is still unknown, but we did learn that even if adopted, construction will not start until 2016 at the earliest.  Ugh!

- For all the families in the ‘hood:  Easter Egg Hunt for the little ones (5 and under) on Saturday; Kern Park, 4 pm.  Bring a dozen eggs; picnic afterwards if the sun’s out.

- There’s a nice writeup on Foster Row by the Urban Art Network.  The intro captures the neighborhood pretty well:
     “Southeast Foster is a neighborhood with plenty of variety. In a single block you can find a Thai food market, wellness center, Vietnamese bakery, a few food carts, two nudie establishments and a trendy burger joint. “The neighborhood is going through a transition,” says Jen Erickson. She and partner Mark Pendergrass are now throwing a shared art studio into the mix.”

- Time for a neighborhood-wide piggy bank?  We can crack it open when we have enough to buy the Phoenix Pharmacy.  Or any other vacant building on Foster, for that matter.  Who’s in?

- Weekend music:
Torta- Sidestreet Reny, Friday; Bearwater on Saturday
Starday- Wave Sauce and the Wannabe 52′s (synth-surf music), Friday; Fat Tire Band (classic rock) on Saturday
Gemini Lounge- Finn Doxie (celtic harp/modern), Friday
BobWhite Theatre- Easter 420 Prankfest, Saturday-Sunday



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Phoenix Pharmacy Rebirth Delayed; BobWhite to See Change in Management

Two of the most iconic buildings on Foster, both with equal potential to transform the central core of the corridor, have seen their hopes at a rebirth tempered a bit.

IMG_0842One building—the Phoenix Pharmacy—just saw talks broken off between its owner and Mercy Corps.  After months of negotiating, the two parties were unable to agree to terms on a deal that would have led to Mercy Corps and ROSE CDC acquiring the building for some community benefit.  That’s one less bidder for a property that has had trouble finding suitors willing to pay for the building AND needed renovations.  They were also the most serious bidder to come along in recent history.

Now, days after the thud of that deal was announced, another building is finding similar trouble maintaining its rebirth.

IMG_1029The Bob White Theatre will be without a tenant after recent events have resulted in its lease being terminated with Pulsar Productions.  While it’s a bummer to see doors shut again, it isn’t necessarily bad news.  For one, the space can still be rented out to host events.  Secondly, an opportunity now arises for another group to manage/lease the space.  And with so many complaints about the current venue’s format, maybe that’s a good thing.

And there’s more hope.  The owners have to pay property taxes.  And the potential of these spaces is too much for them to sit underused—or vacant— forever.  Now it’s just a question of the owners’ motivation to make something happen.  With a new streetscape plan (presumably) in the works, and so many positive changes surrounding these spaces, hopefully it’s just a matter of time.


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Neighborhood Cleanup, May 3

N'hood Cleanup, 2014You know you got junk to get rid of.  And you know you always think about getting rid of it.

Now you can make it happen.

The Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Associations are holding their annual Neighborhood Cleanup on May 3rd, from 9 am – 2:30 pm, at Arleta School.

This is also the Neighborhood Association’s largest fundraiser of the year, so for every load you dump, the more money gets raised for NA-organized events such as National Night Out and “Movies in the Park.”

So, more dumps equals more money.  And more money equals cool things.  So get dumpy and watch cool things happen.

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Coming Soon: Flower shop-that-was, Now Flower shop-to-be

IMG_1184With the changing face of Holgate, between SE 68th and SE 65th, I suppose it only makes sense for the famed Kern Park Floral building to get in on the action.

What was once a presumed front business for lord-knows-what, the old and dusty flower shop-that-was is now the new flower shop-to-be.

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 5.46.23 PMIt’s the same flower shop.  Just a spiffied-up version.  And even the “spiffied-up” part is to be determined.  But, hey, they have an “Opening Soon” proclamation in the window.  And said window is currently sealed off with paper, masking the changes to come.

This much we do know: no new permits are listed on Portland Maps, so any changes will (presumably) be IMG_1180minor.  Still, it’s a far cry from the once-vacant and feral lot with a lone, dusty and never open flower shop.

Now it’s several $300,000 homes and a flower shop-to-be.  What is happening?


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Happy Weekend, Foster!

The weekend’s back, and there’s plenty to keep you busy on and around Foster in the coming days.  We’ve got sun, live music, a community garden event and, among other things, your Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association meeting.  Enjoy!

Here are your weekend tidbits…

- First off, how about the drama at the Bob White?  For those that don’t know, two people required medical assistance at consecutive weekend shows.  Both required ambulance transportation.  The cause?  One can only speculate, but it’s enough to concern the building’s owner, who is now re-negotiating the deal in place with current occupants.  One thing to consider: this could happen anywhere, and kids are still going to need a place to dance and catch live music.  With that being said, does there need to be more oversight?  Is the current venue a good fit for the neighborhood?  If not, is it better than an empty space?  Have you had good experiences?  Bad?  Feel free to chime in.

- Secondly, Saturday is a big day for the Foster-Powell Community Garden.  Plants and raffle tickets will be for sale; new signage will be painted (by you?) and installed; coffee and pastries; fellow FoPo’ians.  12-4…see you there.

- Thirdly….tweakers.  They were here before me, and they’ll be here after.  But, geez, how about ‘em?  I’ve heard some stories lately.  Had a few run-ins myself.  Is it just my street, or is Spring just marking a reawakening?

- Speaking of tweakers, you gotta love the cast of characters romping around our neighborhood.

- For fear of sounding too much like a cheer leader, let’s just say Performance Works NorthWest deserves more local hype.  They have yet another show this weekend, and continue to make the Foster-area relevant in the Portland arts scene.  This weekend: Craig Baker & Nóra Hajós perform “SoonGoSee & ComeNowGo,” and Karen Nelson offers “SoloSet.” Check the link above for more info.

- Have you been to MidPoint Food and Drink (formerly Lily Day Cafe) yet?  Let us know how it is.

- The Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association meets this Monday at Bar Carlo, from 6:30 – 8.  Check out the agenda here.

- Two of our own made the Willy Week’s 2014 Bar Guide.  This is not an all-encompassing list, so any mention is good mention…though we’re surprised others didn’t make the cut.  The two that did?  N.W.I.P.A. and Devil’s Point.  Word.  Also, congrats to nearby Lion’s Eye for making the cut, as well as their Lents counterpart, Eagle Eye, that was a runner-up for Bar of the Year.

- Weekend music:
Torta: Becky Bishop, Friday; Ann and the Automatic, Saturday
Gemini Lounge: Chuck Warda/Harry Marry and the Barrys, Friday; Ashby Scaggs/Cee White/Brian Todd, Saturday
Starday Tavern: Rock and Roll with Jim Koonce, Friday; Swingin’ Blues with the Groove Tramps, Saturday
Bar Maven: Steven Kray from KMHD will be spinning Funk on Saturday

Have a safe weekend, all.

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Big To-do Saturday at the Foster-Powell Community Garden

Ok, maybe you don’t like to shovel dirt.  Or maybe you don’t have a green thumb.  We forgive you, then, for not making it to any of the FoPo Community Garden work parties.

But if you could ever be convinced to make your way to the much-transformed lot at SE 62nd, just south of Powell, this Saturday would be the day.  There are three components to Saturday’s event, which is the garden’s only planned fundraiser for the year:

Plant Sale- plants for sale will raise money for the garden and the never-ending effort to keep it growing and meet the full, planned build-out.  To make this sale a success, the garden is also taking plant donations for the event.  If you have any plants to split, pot, and share, bring them to the garden on Friday, or Saturday between 10a – 12p.  Also for sale will be pastries and FoPo ceramic mushroom ornaments.

Raffle- the second portion of the fundraiser, raffle tickets will sell for $1.00 (buy several if you so please).  Grand prize gets dibs on the garden’s first raised bed for all your year’s veggie-growing needs.  This comes with access to all the garden’s tools, water, etc.  Second prize gets you beer…home-brewed locally by one of our own in FoPo.  Third prize is a decorated glass and window frame for garden art.  Check out the garden website for more info.

Mural- after you’ve bought some plants and raffle tickets, then you get to pretty up the place. Garden signage and decorations will come courtesy of (partially) you.  Help paint what will soon become the entryway signage to the garden.

Make it happen, folks.  The garden organizers have put a lot of time and energy into this project, as well as a lot of their own money and resources.  Help ‘em out; help the community out.  The plant, raffle and mural-painting will take place Saturday, April 12, from 12p – 4p.  If you have any plants you can donate for the sale, drop them off any time between 10a – 12p on Saturday, or on the day before (yes, that would be Friday).

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