Squirrel Saves Portland, and Foster Gets More Art

Take a gentrifying octopus, sick a people’s-champ-crusading squirrel on its ass, and watch Portland be saved.

Super SquirrelWhat?

Ok, one more time (try and follow):

Portland is overrun with rising rents. Mom-and-pop businesses can’t afford to keep up. One such business, an aquarium store, is forced to close shop. Said business is forced to dump its prized octopus in the Willamette (because, well, where else would you dump an octopus?). The octopus mutates as a result of its toxic environment. Mutant octopus wreaks havoc on the city. The city must be saved (because, well, everyone hates California and Portland is just not your grandfather’s Portland anymore). So saved it is…by a flying squirrel.

See, simple. And to show its simplicity, the kind folks behind the Foster Window Project will be making a 3D replication of this narrative. With your help, of course. And you better help, because 3D replications of squirrels combatting gentrifying octopi is no easy task. (Try it yourself if you disagree.)

These folks first worked their magic on the Phoenix Pharmacy building, and now they’re bringing their talents to the former-future or someday-still-to-be Cafe Red. The window space next to Red Castle will soon play host to the “squirrel eats octopus, thus saves Portland from gentrification” narrative with a 3D adaptation and art installation.

IMG_0024Rad, right? Right.

While the mural on the Phoenix Pharmacy added some flare to the historic but sadly and decidedly decaying building, the next installment of the Foster Window Project aims to go a different direction all together. The next project will involve a similar neighbor-participation-work-party, but will have a much different look and feel. It will definitely bring life to a long-vacant storefront, which will someday expand the Red Castle empire in some capacity. But until that happens, we get art. Vibrant and cooky art. You better love it, because nowhere else in Portland are you going to find a 3D octopus-eating squirrel.

If you want to get involved, which you should, join your friends and neighbors this Friday and Saturday, from 12 – 8, at the future Cafe Red site (6416 SE Foster). Show up for 10 minutes or 2 hours or more…any amount will be appreciated.

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Developable Lot for Sale. Again.

Apparently there were no takers when we posted this over a year ago. But in that time the real estate market has gone nuts; Foster has warmed itself to a new wave of bar-goers; a few more retail shops have opened along the corridor; and nobody can afford anything west of Foster now (or southwest, north, or…dang, diagonal streets). Oh, and that Streetscape thing is actually gonna happen now.

This time around, though, there would be precedent for development in the area. (See proposal for apartments w/rebuild of YMCA.)

So here it is again, 5816 SE Foster, posted at the same price: $330,000 for .2 acres of developable land sandwiched between Slingshot and FoPo Tavern—or between ‘Use It Again’ thrift store and ‘Recovering the Northwest Custom Upholstery’ if we’re underselling the property. Screen shot 2015-08-11 at 7.52.17 PMWe’ll go with the good, though, for you’d also be near-neighbors with Salon Mojo, and a stone’s throw from Nayar Taqueria, Green Noise Records, Meticon Bikes, and Velvet Goldmine.

So what do you get for $330,000? Speculation mostly. But you can also build 45-feet high of whatever your heart desires. If you’re a betting person, that would probably be apartments. But it can be commercial, too. Or both. Or you can just sit on the vacant plot and wait another year for someone else to pay you more than you paid. But that’s what bad people do. We’d prefer you do something fun with the land.

* Listing info via Ianos Realty and Oodle Marketplace

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Well, we’re almost at August’s mid-point. And on a cloudy (rainy?) day, what better reminder that the sun and heat are indeed temporary in Portland. There’s still summer left, though, and we have plenty of opportunity to break our now-record-tying 24 days of 90-plus degrees in 2015. Enjoy the weekend, all.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– So this week we learned that the 97206 is still selling like hot cakes AND the Foster Streetscape Plan is actually a thing. Do these things combined, for better or for worse, mark the beginning of the end for the Foster area as we know it? We shall see.

– Speaking of the “beginning of the end,” I guess this “I, Anonymous” writer has strong views on the direction the neighborhood is going (from the Merc):
    “Take Downtown. Have all of Belmont, Hawthorne, Stark, and Division but leave my beloved FOPO alone. For years it has been my safe haven from yuppie hipster dicks with their purebred dogs and fucking babies. There used to be exciting hoards of junkies and homeless people walking down the middle of my street at all hours of the day, providing endless amounts of entertainment as I sat smoking on my porch. What started as a slow trickle turned into a tsunami of Lululemon, $1,000 strollers, and new station wagons. They saunter by my house judging me for sitting out in my pajamas and tsk-tsking my unruly lawn. A stampede of people in boat shoes glued to their smartphones as they trek to the Portland Mercado. Where are the hobos, vagrants, and drunks? Come back to me! I’m bored!—Anonymous”

– And while we’re getting mentions in the weeklies, you can read the Willy Week’s review of recently opened Rose VL Deli at 65th and Powell: here.

– Just a reminder: Performance Works NW is celebrating 15 years of rockin the alternative and experimental dance and performing arts scene. Right here in your very own neighborhood. Celebrate with them Saturday, August 15, with various performances, beer, tamales, pinball, and raffles. Seriously, do it. Fun runs from 7 – 11 pm at 4625 SE 67th Ave (between Foster and Holgate).

– Green Noise Records made the list of “21 Record Stores You Need To Visit Before You Die,” published by LovinTrends.com. They join a list that includes Amoeba, Rasputin, and a host of other stores across the country and beyond. Well done, gang!

– It’s kickball time again, with a dash of neighborhood pride and gamesmanship. The FoPo Pirates are taking on Lents in a rematch of last year’s game. Hopefully Lents gets a little more representation, as last year they borrowed a few FoPo’ians in order to field a full team. (We won, by the way.) This year’s game is on August 22nd at Kern Park. Game starts at 4pm.

– Back to this weekend. Devil’s Point is hosting its Ninth Annual Bikini Car and Dog Wash benefit for Family Dogs New Life (no-kill) Shelter. From 2 – 7 pm, Sunday, get your car or dog washed with live music and food from Carts on Foster…oh, and dancers from Devil’s Point.

– Music at Starday this weekend:
Friday- Super Chill Friday Night with Holly Puckett, Strings of Starday, and the Amber Harlan Granmo Trio; starts at 6:30
Saturday- Aspirin Feast; starts at 9:00

Have a good weekend, all. Be cool, be safe.

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97206 Still Hot. Why’s Everyone Selling?

According to the Portland Business Journal, 97206 is the hottest zip code in Portland. Or at least of those that count, because Beaverton/Aloha and Forest Heights/Bethany don’t. (They’d be numbers one and two for most homes sold in the second quarter of 2015.) Coming in at number three is the nine seven-two-oh-six, which, again, pretty much puts us atop the list. (Sorry Aloha and Bethany, wherever you are.)

Mason Walker, Portland Business Journal

Mason Walker, Portland Business Journal

The only question is: why is everyone selling? Ok, we know you all see dollar signs, but what’s better than living off of Foster? Suckers….

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When The Neighborhood Coffee Shop Goes from Rad to Super Rad

Just sayin….

#PieperGetsBoozy #BoozeForParents

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Foster Streetscape Officially In Design Engineering

Sure, there were meetings. Lots of them. There was the approval by an advisory committee. And then there was adoption by City Council.

Then silence.Foster Road Banner:Streetscape

It was almost like a big tease. A far-off dream initiated, but not quite realized; woken up too soon and memories fading as the days went on. That’s what the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Plan has been over the last year: a plan with hope, but no actual movement after its inception. And that’s what it was 12 years prior when a previous plan was adopted by the City, only to be brought back to the drawing table more than a decade later before ever getting funded.

But alas, that far off-dream is creeping back into memory. And while we doze off again, we can start dreaming of the day when crossing Foster is not a life-or-death proposition; when biking to the Lents International Farmers Market, the Portland Mercado or Carts on Foster is the norm, not a risky endeavor; when our commercial district does more to keep people around than speeding through it.

That day is…well, we don’t know. But according to PBOT it should be sometime next Fall. Kind of. As of now, the Foster Transportation and Streetscape Plan is officially in the design engineering phase. And based on their timeline, that puts construction in late Fall of 2016. So that safe walking, driving and biking stuff? Let’s call it 2017.

PBOT - Foster Transportation and Streetscape Plan Schedule

PBOT – Foster Transportation and Streetscape Plan Schedule

We’ll take it.

While the plans for Foster won’t please everyone, there are certainly elements of it that should be welcomed by all. Trees, for example. (Who hates trees?) More lighting and visible crosswalks? Yeah, you gotta like that. Public art along the corridor, and wider sidewalks where they narrow to an absurdly small width east of 82nd? Yep, that too.

We won’t touch the whole cars -vs- pedestrians -vs- bikers debate (you all can do that in the comments section), but surely there are some things to get excited about. And we hope you do. We are.

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