Meet Your Neighbor: Ben Firestone, from SMART Collective

Every once and a while a new business pops up on Foster.  And sometimes we get excited about that business.  SMART Collective skate shop is one of those.  And today we get to introduce its owner, Ben Firestone.

SMART CollectiveKnowing 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)?
“My name is Ben Firestone. I am a homeowner and a business owner in the Foster Powell neighborhood. I moved to Portland 10 years ago from Chicago, Illinois. I own and operate S.M.A.R.T COLLECTIVE, an interactive skateboard shop that focuses heavily on skateboarding, music, and art.”

How long have you lived or worked in the neighborhood, and what do you think makes it unique?
“When I first moved to Portland in 2003, I lived at 52nd and Boise. I moved around a bunch and then purchased a home on 65th ave about a year and a half ago. I think the neighborhood is unique because of the diversity of our community. We have all types of people. Families that have been here for generations, new young families, musicians, artists, service industry folks and total train wrecks;).”

What are your favorite neighborhood haunts (for food, shopping, walks, drinking, entertainment, etc)?
“Pieper Cafe, Bar Carlo, Diane’s, Plaid Pantry, I’ve Been Framed art store, skateboarding at Arleta School, Kern Park, and NWIPA.”

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)?
“Small Business. We need to keep listening to what people want. There are enough bars now. Enough good bars is questionable. More food , a record store, an awesome grocery store, skatepark, a cement half pipe in the park at Holgate and Foster;). The Bob White to start hosting shows more often!”

Gary BuseyIf you had a bajillion dollars (ok, a million) to spend on Foster, what would you do with it?
“Really focus on improving the main drag between 65th and & 70th. Give it that old town feel. Make it a destination neighborhood instead of an accidental neighborhood.”

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?
“Gary Busey.  Round and Round, by RATT”


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3 Responses to Meet Your Neighbor: Ben Firestone, from SMART Collective

  1. LLG says:

    So where exactly is this shop? There is no address posted:)

  2. Pingback: We Heart S.M.A.R.T. Collective | Foster-Powell. A neighborhood blog.

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