Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Weekend shmeekend. We just do this piece to post a video of our choosing on a weekly basis. And coincidentally, there just usually happens to be some news/entertainment/tidbits to share. It’s one thing that rarely gets old here (at least for us, it doesn’t). Have a good weekend, all.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Pieper Cafe is off the wagon. Well, not that they were ever on the wagon, but beer and wine will soon be a staple if their OLCC application gets approved. That means you get to do everything you’d normally do at your favorite neighborhood coffee shop, but with the added bonus of a beer or glass of wine. Big score for the kid-herders who could use a family-friendly, neighborhood spot where they can have a drink.

– Speaking of coffee shops….maybe Speedboat Coffee is for sale after all. Or maybe it isn’t. But we’re pretty sure it definitely is.

– Performance Works NW (PWNW) has a big show this Saturday, welcoming France-based violinist, Timba Harris, and New York guitarist, Gyan Riley. The show, dubbed Probosci, starts at 8pm and tickets will be sold on a sliding scale ($12-20). For more information, check out PWNW’s website.

– Just to put it on your radar…Nick Haas, for all intents and purposes, can officially be called the new owner of the Bob White Theatre. A changing of the guard will indeed be happening, and big things are in store for the theater. We’ll be sharing more on that next week. Stay tuned…

– Uh, do you ever wonder what exactly happens at the autobody shop (I’d refer to it by name if there was a sign) next to Starday Tavern? You know, the big decrepit building with semis and unlicense-plated cars across the street from Bar Carlo? If anybody has experience with this place, please do share. Inquiring minds want to know.

– Weekend happenings:
Starday Tavern- A Horse Named Glue, Friday; Mr Musu, Saturday
Bar Maven- Steven Kray’s Drop Shop (super heavy funk on the 1’s and 2’s), Saturday night
N.W.I.P.A.- Fat Head’s Head Shrinker DIPA release and meet-the-brewer, Saturday from 6-9 pm.
Performance Works NW- Probosci, Saturday at 8 pm

Have a safe weekend, y’all. Be cool.

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Wait, Speedboat for Sale After All?

Screen shot 2015-02-18 at 9.52.13 PMWe didn’t want to make the same mistake twice. And because we got so much flak for it the first time, we almost didn’t believe it.

But according to RE/MAX Equity Group, Speedboat is back on the market. And by back, we mean, well, maybe they were before—maybe they weren’t—but they definitely are now. (The listing actually says it’s been on the market for 94 days—nearly three months—just about the same time we posted this to correct ourselves the first time. Hmmm?)

In any event, this time we checked. And, indeed, the owner has confirmed the listing.

So, sorry for teasing you all before. But bidding now appears to be open again.

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Coffee, Paninis, and….Beer/Wine!

IMG_0051What can possibly make our neighborhood coffee shop radder?

Beer and wine, that’s what. Surely it’ll make Dingo and Olive more entertaining on Wednesdays. Or at least give the moms and dads out there another place to get a drink with their kids. (Wait, what? Not like that.)

Seriously, though, good move for Pieper Cafe. All I really need in life is coffee, but I’ll gladly take some beer and wine, too.

Oh, cross your fingers the OLCC approves their application.

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The Portland of Yore, Right Here on Foster

The sun’s strong pronouncement last week, with its furor carrying into the weekend, brought out the best in Portland. Sunlit backyards, sidewalk sales, parks, and barroom patios reminded us of all that we love about the City. And if it wasn’t the sun, the Willy Week also reminded us of what exactly we should be loving about Portland—27 things, to be exact.

It isn’t the ’27 things’ they listed that caught our attention, though. Nor would it normally register for us, as the weeklies always have a list about something magically fantastical and self-congratulatory to share about Portland’s place in the world, or, shall we say, center of the world. But it was in the opening paragraphs, just barely getting through the number one reason to love Portland, that something grabbed us; something clicked. And maybe it’s why Foster is to us what we hope it may be to some of you.

Before we go further on that, though…a little background…

IMG_1098While the Portland creep so impressively devours everything in its path, both eastward and south, whole neighborhoods are being gobbled up and digested into neat little packages of condos, Little Big Burgers (or whatever Micah Camden’s newest endeavor may be), and some new incarnation of SE Asian-street-food restaurants. In its wake? Casualties, such as Langano Lounge, Chopsticks II (August closing date), and the slew of food cart pods that temporarily set up shop on soon-to-be-devoloped lots along Division Street. Seemingly overnight, whole neighborhoods have transformed across Portland.

But what was it that caught our attention in last week’s Willamette Week?

It was subtle (so let’s temper the anticipation), but it still resonated. In describing how “Portland is to America what America is to the world,” Matthew Korfhage implies that the city he knew growing up has nearly vanished. Or what he does remember, at least, is slowly becoming a distant memory—except on Foster. And that there is why we’ve rambled on so much, making this more of a love letter (read on, you’ll see) than a blog post.

IMG_4275To quote Korfhage: “That love-in-the-ruins Portland now endures only in memory—and, somehow, also on Sandy and Foster.” And maybe that’s where the love affair starts—though, honestly, cheap housing and a slew of decent bars is really what did the trick. But that’s also what made the now-gobbled-up-and-neatly-packaged neighborhoods of inner-NE, SE, and N Portland so appealing, too, before the aforementioned gobbling; they were affordable, just safe enough, and interesting to a point where fun could be had but not so much that the masses took over.

Now much of that charm is gone (for better or for worse), though fragments apparently still exist. At least to Korfhage…and a handful of others that have found refuge on Foster, seeking out the last remnants of a semi-affordable, semi-working-class with a touch of artsy-DIY-snobbery-punk aesthetic, and close-in neighborhood. Because maybe that’s what Foster is, a vestige, fighting its own aspirations as well as those of others; equal parts urban decay, historical relic, up-and-coming, sun-baked in the summer, dreary in the winter, and stubbornly unique, grimy and “Portland weird” without too much pretense (at least not yet).

So while there is plenty to love about Portland, as the Willy Week points out, there is definitely something to be proud of on Foster. Enjoy it while it you can.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Foggy mornings, stunning sunny afternoons. I’ll take it. Though, I do wonder what becomes of our streams and rivers during the summer when there’s no snowmelt.  Nonetheless, we hope you have a glorious weekend, Foster people. Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day.

Here are our weekend tidbits…

– The marketing team at the Portland Mercado sure knows how to tease us. If the vibrant colors covering their walls weren’t enough to get us excited, the slow, methodical announcement of future tenants/businesses in the space is definitely capturing our interest. We’ve already heard about Kaah Neighborhood Market and BarRio Wine and Bottle Shop. But since those announcements, a new future businesses/vendor has been announced every week. Check out the Mercado’s website to read more about the following businesses that will be setting up shop in the spring: Fiesta Tradicional (party items, such as pinatas), Que Bacano (culinary treats from Columbia), Fruit Box (tropical drinks and snacks), Tierra del Sol (traditional Oaxacan food).

– If you need a guitar, and you want to buy locally, you better hurry. This is Renaissance Guitar’s last weekend on Foster. They’ll be moving to new digs in just a couple days, so get in while you can.

– We found out that Midpoint Food and Drink will soon be offering food on the go through a newly installed sidewalk-facing window. In the same area (along SE 52nd), picnic tables will be added for more outdoor dining options. Cheers to that.

– Jeff “the wine guy” is back at N.W.I.P.A. this Sunday. The discussion and tasting session will cover wines from Spain. Snacks will also be included in the $25 session, with select bottles also for purchase.

– Big event at Foster Row this Saturday, as they celebrate their one-year anniversary, as well as the grand opening of Wolf & Rabbit Emporium. Read more about Foster Row (and the event) here.

– Who’s making their romance on Foster this Valentine’s Day? We want to hear what constitutes romantic on our gritty thoroughfare.

– Want to be the proud owner of an E-Cig shop, strip club, and old time steakhouse doubling as a lounge and sports bar? Here you go.

Weekend entertainment:
Starday Tavern- Blues Battalion, Friday; Los Estupidos, Saturday
Foster Row- For the Love of Making, Valentine’s Day Event, Saturday: music, food, dance, crafting (starting at 6pm)

Enjoy the weekend, all. Be cool, be safe.

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Meet Your Neighbors: Foster Row

It’s been a while since our last “Foster Folk” installment. But it’s something we enjoy, so we thought we’d bring it back. With this feature, we were able to meet the owners of Foster Row, a collective of artists, crafters and makers who’ve combined to transform the former Hubbard’s Drapery building (5300 SE Foster) into a communal art/business space. In the year that the after storefront 2owners, Mark and Jen, have put their vision to reality, they’ve attracted and now house a dozen different businesses, each with their own creative touch. There are leather-makers and letter-pressers, potters and graphic designers—all artists, all makers, all creating Foster Row. This feature helps us get to know them a little more, while also marking their one year anniversary. And to celebrate their one year anniversary, as well as to usher in one of Foster Row’s newest tenants—Wolf and Rabbit Emporium—join them this Saturday for an evening of dance, music, food, art, libations, and an inside look at their creation. ****************************************************************************** Who are you and what does Foster Row offer?
“We are Mark Pendergrass and Jen Erickson. Mark is a contractor who specializes in finish carpentry and furniture. Jen is a textile weaver who specializes in custom fabrics. Foster Row offers charming studios for creative small businesses. We have a communal kitchen and dining area that serves as a space for us to socialize with each other. Before and After StorefrontEveryone in the building has the opportunity to sell their work in the retail storefront and promote their business through our website, www.fosterrow.com.”

How did you settle on Foster and the former drapery building?
“After touring buildings for months, we knew right away when we found this space that it was the one. It didn’t have that “warehouse feel” we were seeing in a lot of the buildings—it felt much more comfortable. It’s a self-contained building with windows all around and lets in a lot of sunlight—perfect for working long hours in the studio. In 2013, we read about the Portland Mercado moving into the neighborhood, as well as the PDC’s plans for revitalizing Foster. We felt that Foster Road has a lot of potential and we wanted to be a part of the positive change in the neighborhood.”

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your first year?
“When we moved in January 2014, we had our work cut out for us. There wasn’t a single space that was ready to be used. We’ve spent the past year putting in a lot of time and labor creating studios that we feel proud of renting to businesses. There were very few interior doors or walls, and everything was covered in carpet- including the bathrooms and some walls. There were eight-foot fluorescent light fixtures throughout the entire building that flickered and buzzed. People would break into our side alley on a regular Before and After Kitchenbusiness, and we quickly found that this was a well-known spot for urination and drug use. There were many challenges along the way and we were lucky to have great tenants that put up with a lot while we were fixing up the spaces.”

As of now, who are the businesses at Foster Row?
Mark Pendergrass www.fosterrow.com Terranova Handwovens www.terranovahandwovens.com Darling Press www.darlingpress.com Wolf & Rabbit Emporium www.wolfandrabbitpdx.com Mingei www.tumblr.com/mingei Branch www.wearebranch.com Cory Medina Kello www.kelloworld.com FOSTER_ROW_VDAY_2COLOR_WEB

What are your neighborhood haunts when you’re not working?
“We are big fans of Nayar Taqueria, Slingshot, Gemini Lounge, Midpoint Cafe, and Speedboat.”

What can we look forward to at Foster Row in 2015 and beyond?
“This summer, we plan to work with the PDC for a storefront improvement grant. In the near future we will be installing bike racks in the front, and possibly adding a mural or two.  We are having an open studio event this Valentine’s Day and would like to continue having events open to the public twice per year.”
Thanks to Mark and Jen for the tour and taking the time to introduce themselves. If you haven’t checked them out yet, it’s worth your while. And don’t forget: big party this Saturday.

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