Meet Your Neighbor: Matthew Nenninger

As much as we like to highlight our neighborhood businesses and the people who make them run, we also like to shine a light on the residents who make us as rad as we are.  Today we meet Matt—resident, blogger, and self-proclaimed nature geek.

Matthew - profile picKnowing our neighbors makes for a brighter and safer community. Who are you, and what is your connection to the neighborhood (resident, business owner, neighborhood advocate, etc)?
“I grew up in a small town in North Carolina, called Mt. Airy. It was the childhood home of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for his fictional town of Mayberry. I’ve lived in Oregon for all of my adult life, in Portland since 1998, and FoPo for about five and a half years now. My wife, Tracie, and I have duplex on 60th where we live and rent out the other half.
“I enjoy photography, art and the outdoors. I guess you could say I’m sort of a nature geek. I have a blog called “the Nature of Portland”, where I share my observations and explorations of the Portland nature scene.(”

How long have you lived or worked in the neighborhood, and what do you think makes it unique?
“We’ve been in FoPo for 5+ years now, after moving in from Lents. I love it here. Such a great mix of people, TONS of exciting potential, and the neighborhood’s currently rough edges give it a sort of quirky charm that I enjoy.”

What are your favorite neighborhood haunts (for food, shopping, walks, drinking, entertainment, etc)?
“For food it’s Bar Carlo, Foster Burger, Nayar Taqueria, a chili dog at the Beer Cart, or a couple of places that are just outside our triangle – La Bamba and Pho Hung, both on Powell before the Foster cutoff. For drinks I like O’Malley’s and Bar Maven. I’ve been wanting to check out The Lodge on Powell but I haven’t made it in yet. Anybody been there?”

 It’s a fact, our neighborhood is pretty rad. How do we keep it that way…and then some (i.e. enhance our parks, more n’hood events, more businesses, less tweakers, etc)?
“More businesses, for sure. More residential density along Foster (with 1st floor commercial) would really help make the strip more attractive to businesses. Redeveloping some of the large footprint sites like Mt. Scott Fuel would close those pedestrian gaps and help tie it all together. And of course… a decent grocery store closer to the center of the neighborhood. Keeping vacant houses tidy would also be a plus.”

If you had a bajillion dollars (ok, a million) to spend on Foster, what would you do with it?
“Redevelop some of those large footprint sites and the Phoenix Building. Slow the traffic down, put in great bike lanes, add some awesome interactive art and street furniture, lots of trees, and a streetcar line! OK–maybe I did just spend a bajillion.”

If you could pick a theme song for the neighborhood, or choose a celebrity that best exemplifies the character of it, what/who would it be?
“Movin’ On Up – theme song to The Jeffersons. We might not be there yet, but we’ve got that sense of hope, and great things are on the horizon.”

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3 Responses to Meet Your Neighbor: Matthew Nenninger

  1. Cool. My grandfather was from Mt. Airy. What are the odds? Like this series about friends and neighbors.

  2. Yes, this is a good series. Always interested in learning about the neighborhood and all the folks who make it what it is.

    Also very much agree with slowing down traffic, revamping the large footprint sites, and filling in the heart of FoPo and beyond and it looks like some of these things are already happening, so, we got that going for us.

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