This seems way more likely in our neck of the woods, where Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope fans are a bit more common. And it’s why we’re sharing…not to mention it’s just too good not to. It seems a bit ill-timed, though, as North Williams has long been gentrified. But here in outer Southeast, where you’re just as likely to hear Insane Clown Posse as you are to see your neighbor’s house bought and flipped, I wouldn’t be surprised. And the perceived link between anti-gentrification Juggalos and a recent spate of car break-ins also sounds vaguely familiar (if not totally intriguing). Maybe it hasn’t been the scrap collectors and meth heads plaguing the Foster neighborhoods after all?
Hey, if wreaths, Bing Crosby, and wrapping paper can be shoved down our throat, we should be able to make an early Christmas wish list. And it’s not ours, anyway—it’s yours.
Based on the poll we put out last week in regards to preferred new businesses on Foster, you all shared the following desires:
More food (34%). We didn’t get any more specific than this, but we presume you mean “more food that isn’t burgers and tacos.” While those are good, too, it seems the consensus is that more food options is a priority.
Grocery store (31%). Technically this wasn’t an option, but you voted for it anyway. Yeah, we put it in the poll, but it was with the caveat that it’s a long shot. Maybe not, though. The demand is clearly there and Fred Meyer is depressing and gross. So maybe, just maybe. On a positive note, there have been rumors Green Zebra has scouted Foster, and we have the Portland Mercado (which will also satisfy some of the food need) coming to join the likes of Paldo Market and Portland Fruit Company.
More retail (30%). This one only lagged behind “more food” and a “grocery store” by a few votes. I think we all want Foster to be walkable. The Streetscape Plan will go a long way to that end, but having places to walk to will be nice. We have bars, some food options, a game store, a movie theater, and a shitload of tire shops and dispensaries…but that doesn’t complete the commercial corridor. Again, we didn’t get specific, but it was suggested that a clothing store, bakery and/or specialty food market would be nice. As an aside, let’s not forget that we have a couple newcomers to the retail landscape: Renaissance Guitars and Green Noise Records.
More entertainment (3%). This was a distant fourth, and it really wasn’t close. With bars and music venues, strip clubs, a theater, and Performance Works NW, we’ve sorta cornered the market in nightlife.
Office space (1%). Props to the one person with the conviction to choose office space over the other options. The more people who work and do business on Foster, the better. And while office space would be welcomed, for those currently in the market, don’t forget that we have Shared Space sandwiched between Tango Berratin and the butcher shop on Holgate, as well as the soon-to-be-renovated Wikman Building that will be leasing out office space, too.
I’m sure we’ll add to our Christmas list soon, but I’ll just throw it out there that the Foster Streetscape Plan can’t come soon enough. Hopefully PBOT gets on that…or at least gives us some better nighttime lighting and crossings while we wait.
Well, that was interesting. Three days of intense, cold wind followed by a very underwhelming winter storm that shut the city down despite none of the promised (4-6 inches) snow. Now it’s sunny. And it will be for the next couple days. Enjoy.
Here are your weekend tidbits…
- Not that increased crime rates should be something to take solace in, but the perceived spate of car prowls in the neighborhood is not unique to Foster-Powell or Mt. Scott-Arleta—it’s a city-wide problem. As per the Portland Tribune, car prowls are up 20% in the city as a whole. So while our overall neighborhood crime numbers are down from last year, some of the spikes we’re seeing—rest assured—aren’t purely indicative of where our neighborhood’s at. Still, fight the good fight…it can get better.
- Another chance to support arts and entertainment locally. Performance Works NW is hosting Cabaret Boris & Natasha tonight and tomorrow, with a lineup of dance, theater and music. Seriously, check it out. And for a little more background on PWNW and their founder, Linda Austin, click here.
- Speaking of theater, we’ll throw it out there again…support what we have, lest it go away. Sure, the movies at The Bobwhite aren’t even second-run, but they’re decent (if not hokey) and they’re in the neighborhood. Yes. ON FOSTER. Everyone wants a movie theater, but we have to keep it in business. Ok, enough preaching.
- Kern Park Flower is having its grand re-opening tomorrow. Not only have they been around long enough to see the neighborhood thrive, tailspin for several years, endure a recession, and come out of it with umph, they’ve kept the business in the family for nearly 100 years now. Celebrate their re-opening on Saturday with discounts, giveaways, raffles, and an up-close look at the changing face of Holgate.
- Weekend entertainment and happenings: Performance Works NW-Cabaret Boris and Natasha, Friday and Saturday Bobwhite Theatre-The Room, Friday at 8 and 10 p.m. Bar Carlo- Bar Carlo Dine Out Night and Arleta School fundraiser, Friday, 6 – 10 p.m Torta-landia- Twitch Silverback, Friday; David Kelley, Saturday Gemini Lounge-Amber Harlan Granmo, Saturday Starday Tavern- Spider Mocassin Folk Ensamble and Ben Easher, Friday; The Lovely Lost, Saturday
Ok, sure, you may have to squint a little. You may even have to ask what it all looked like before. I assure you, though, Foster is looking a lot better these days.
Yes, there are vacant building galore. Perhaps, even, there are a few questionable businesses that may or may not occupy the other seemingly-vacant buildings. Some are in disrepair, some should be torn down altogether, some just need a little love. But others—others, I say—are getting sexified; prettied; dolled up, if you will.
And these buildings, even if just one paint coat at a time, are making their mark. And someone should be applauded for the effort.
Let us first look at the Red Castle Empire, with game store on one end and its soon-to-be late night, caffeine and panini fueling station for its gamers (and non-gamers, too) next door. The building’s owner is now knee-deep in a full-on renovation that first stripped the hideous green awning a couple months ago; has since added windows to compliment the original and newly exposed ones on the corner; and is now restoring the original brick that revealed itself after the awning came down. After the building gets its final polishing in the weeks to come, the only thing left will be to fill the vacant corner space.
If you walk a couple blocks east, you’ll stumble across an O’Malley’s that is like its twin version, but with cleaner skin, fancier clothes, and some fresh new kicks. But the clothes, skin, and shoes are really new windows, a paint job and even a raised garden bed on the sidewalk.
Back west, now, Green Noise Records has set up shop in what used to be a commercial space that sagged, slanted, and probably would have fallen over in the current three-day arctic wind blast. Fortunately, someone came along, fixed up the space, and said, “Hey, Green Noise, how about a space to call your own since the landlords on Gladstone jacked up your rent.” And voila: storefront improvement and new business in the hood. Ditto with its neighbors, Nayar Taqueria and Renaissance Guitars. The spaces look improved and real businesses occupy them (sorry, Ma Tona’s didn’t count).
Back to Red Castle, though. Once the renovation of that building is complete, the only thing left will be to find a tenant for the lone, vacant retail space that’s left. Surely it’ll be an easier sell with a spruced up building and thriving businesses neighboring it, and perhaps now (soon) will end the rotating door of in-and-out businesses in that commercial strip. You know, since we’re getting all sexy and stuff.
One side note: it’s worth mentioning, too, that there’s a grassroots effort to improve the visual appeal of some of the less-than-cared-for buildings on Foster, as well. (You know who/where they are.) The Foster Window Project aims to add a little more vibrancy to the corridor, engage some of the absentee property owners, and raise the profile of our commercial strip through a series of art installations. You can find more on that here.
So as the visual appeal of our commercial spaces improve, what should fill them? Surely Foster needs a grocer, but that’s out of our hands and it certainly wouldn’t happen in a small retail space. So aside from grocery store, what would you all like to see on Foster? What would serve the needs of the community, what would be supported and thrive?
This isn’t some bake sale to raise money for the PTA. We’re talking food, drink, music, live entertainment, and good times. Oh, and some local fundraising, too.
Bar Carlo continues its series of community-minded jam sessions this Friday, November 14, with a blend of live music, customary good food and drink specials in an event aimed at raising money for the Arleta PTA.
Ok, you got us—this is a PTA fundraiser. But, come on? Food, drink, and live music. And you can bring the whole family. So parents, this your rare chance to get out on a Friday night. Everyone else, support the cause.
Live music by Sonasi, who perform “a mixture of Latin American music, utilizing folkloric and modern rhythms and instruments from Cuba, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and more.”
* 6-10 p.m., food and drink specials, 50/50 raffle, portion of evening proceeds go to Arleta PTA
Ok, well, not cinema. At least not cinema in the “classically produced, poetically directed, let’s talk movies and snob-out” kinda cinema. I’m talking “catch a flick, eat some popcorn, get a good chuckle, solid entertainment” kinda cinema.
How could you not go to a movie here?
And it’s happening at your local theater. Yeah, your local theater. Don’t forget you have a local theater, y’all.
In general, we’re putting our shameless cheerleading for local businesses on hold for a while until we get paid, so consider this more of a wakeup call: You have a neighborhood theater! If you want it to stick around, you have to support it.
On tap for this week: Wayne’s World (Tuesday), Transformers (also Tuesday), Sci-Fi Double Feature with Last Man on Earth and End of the World (Wednesday), Airplane! (yeah, freaking Airplane!—Thursday), and the gloriously shitty (in a good way) classic, The Room (Friday).