Happy Weekend, FoPo!

Dia de las Muertos, Halloween, Samhain. Call it what you want, there seems to be a universal connection between this part of Autumn and the spirit world. Foster continues to celebrate that connection this weekend. Hopefully you all find a way to enjoy it even if it’ll be a little wet.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Earlier this week we mentioned a couple new businesses opening along the corridor: a tattoo shop and used bookstore. The tattoo shop is Rose & Dagger, and they’ll be opening next door to Henry Higgins, possibly as early as Halloween day; Backstory Books is the other store-to-be, and they’ll be opening in the same commercial strip as Tambayan and Heads High Barbershop (roughly at SE 60th). As some may know, Backstory is not new to the neighborhood, as they previously operated in a small space at Carts on Foster. But their new location gives them a proper retail presence on Foster.

The city recently pledged to set aside a large portion of its urban renewal money toward affordable housing. Of that money, it’s estimated that $7.5 million will be available for the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Area, which includes Foster Road. One site that’s been mentioned for future affordable housing is the now-vacant lot on SE 72nd, just west of the Portland Mercado. If that PDC-owned site were to be developed, the city (with last Spring’s opening of the Mercado) will have drastically improved and brought life to an intersection that was once 50% asphalt and devoid of any energy. It would also help address the neighborhood’s waning affordability and make Foster’s trajectory a little less Division-y.

– Speaking of that corner of the neighborhood, the Portland Mercado made Eater PDX’s list of “38 Essential Portland Restaurants.” The ever-changing list of top Portland restaurants rarely dips into these parts, but it looks like the Mercado forced their hand.

– And speaking of food in the neighborhood, Starday Tavern has taken things to the next level. Blazin’ Ribs and Teriyaki will be setting up shop inside the bar to provide food for all of you. And not just on a temporary basis. You’ll soon be able to pair your beer and cocktails (and free hugs from Starday’s owner) with ribs, brisket, chicken, burgers, fish and chips, hush puppies, teriyaki and Thai BBQ. That’s what I’m talkin’ about…

IMG_0563– Here’s your weekend entertainment
Starday Tavern- Smash Bandits, Friday at 9:30; Halloween Dance Party Extravaganza, Saturday at 9pm (in addition to adult games, costumes, drinks and music, Road Runner BBQ will be making appearance to provide food); Jankaraoke, Sunday at 9pm
Hallowed Halls- Spookfest, Friday at 5:30: Free all-ages show featuring Gold Casio, The Lower 48, Bike Thief, Coastlands, Liquidlight, No Aloha, A Collective Subconscious, and Shannon Entropy. And costumes, wear costumes.
Portland Mercado- Dia de los Muertos, all weekend long
FoPo Tavern- Ferociously Funny Friday, Friday (duh)
NWIPA- Halloween Party and Birthday Bash, Saturday at 5pm; Chicken and Guns will be roasting a whole pig for dinner, Xiphoid Process and Motorboat performs at 9pm

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5 Responses to Happy Weekend, FoPo!

  1. Greg says:

    This being my first year in the hood, how many bags of candy do I need to buy?

  2. Matt Styner says:

    Happy Pre-Halloween, Foster folks! Just wanted to let all of you know that tonight’s Ferociously Funny Friday will have a costume contest after the comedy show! There’s a cash prize for the best costume! Come on down and catch the funny! 5902 SE Foster Rd, 9pm!

  3. Go with a couple bags at least. We’ve had years where it’s nonstop trick-or-treaters, some with very few. I imagine the rains will make it slow, but you never know.

  4. Tony Lynott says:

    Folklore and Folklife Material Associated with Hallowe’en
    I was always one to celebrate Halloween since I can remember masquerading as a ghost. I clearly remember holding my father’s hand while trick or treating within my neighborhood at the age of five. And I hold similar memories with my own son. Good memories indeed. Halloween is a fun holiday, mostly for children, but it has roots in ancient religions and folklore, including paganism, ancient Roman religions, early Catholic Christianity and Irish folklore. The history of this long cultural tradition had its beginnings in an ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of the dead. This festival was one of four major yearly festivals established by the European Celtic tribes, namely: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lughnasadh. (Rogers, 2002)
    Some folklorists hold that Halloween originated either from the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or from the festival of the dead known as Parentalia. The more widely held view though, and the festival of most significance was Samhain. This was the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, otherwise known as the “darker half” of the year. It was celebrated from sunset on 31 October to sunset on 1 November, nearly halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. Bonfires were lit, deemed to have protective and cleansing powers as the forces of darkness and decay were abroad. It was a time when ghosts, fairies, and demons could more easily come into our world; noteworthy being the fairies (Aos Sí), who would spill out from their sidh, their abodes. As night overwhelmed day the fé fíada, the magic fog that enshrouded the supernatural peoples was lifted on Samhain, erasing the bounds between the real and otherworld. Offerings of food and drink were left to appease them. It was also the night of the púca (Irish for spirit/ghost), creatures of Irish folklore considered to be bringers of both good and bad fortune. They were also known to sometimes befoul the fruit of humans and were said to be shape changers which could take the appearance of black horses, goats and rabbits. Not a creature to be trifled with. (Rogers, 2002) (Santino, 2014) (Danaher, 1972) (Evans, 1957)

    Over time, Samhain was Christianized with the merger of All Saints day (a special day in honor of all saints) and All Souls day (commemoration for the faithful departed), essentially creating the Halloween we know today. The old beliefs associated with Samhain never died out entirely however. The folklore of the traveling dead and its customs remained compelling and lived on in new forms. Mumming and guising also carried on, involving people going door-to-door in costume, often reciting verses in exchange for food. The evening prior to the day was the time of the most intense activity, both human and supernatural. People continued to celebrate the festival as a time of the wandering dead, but the supernatural beings were now thought to be evil. For a time people continued to appease those spirits by setting out gifts of food and drink, traditions eventually fading away with the passage of time. (Santino, 2014)
    A large body of folklore is associated with Hallowe’en / Halloween. One of my favourites is about Jack O’ Lanterns, a Halloween staple today:
    “Folklore has it that a man known as “Stingy Jack”, who was a swindler and a drunk, asked the devil to have a drink with him. Jack convinced the devil to change himself into a coin so he could pay for the drink, but Jack put the coin in his pocket next to a silver cross, which trapped the devil, preventing him from changing himself back. Jack agreed to free the devil on the condition that the devil would not bother Jack for a year. Next year, Jack tricks the devil into climbing a tree to fetch a piece of fruit. While the devil is up the tree, Jack carves a cross into the trunk, preventing him from climbing back down the tree. In order to get out of the tree, the devil promised Jack not to seek his soul any more. When Jack died, he was not allowed into heaven, because of his drunken and swindling ways, but he was not allowed into hell either, because the devil kept his word. Taking pity on Jack, the devil gave him an ember to light his way in the dark, putting it into a hollowed out turnip for Jack to carry on his lonely, everlasting roaming’s around the Earth. People from Ireland and Scotland would make “Jack O’lanterns” during this season to scare away Stingy Jack and other evil spirits wandering about”. (Ace Folk life – 2014)
    Virtually all present Halloween traditions can be traced to the ancient Celtic day of the dead. Halloween remains a day of many mysterious customs, and each one has a history, or at least a story behind it. The wearing of costumes, the roaming from door to door demanding treats and the affinity with the souls of the dead, along with fairies, witches, and demons can all be traced back to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era. To this day, witches, ghosts, and skeleton figures of the dead are among the favorite disguises. Halloween also retains some features of the original harvest holiday of Samhain, such as the customs of bobbing for apples and carving vegetables, as well as the fruits, nuts, and spiced cider associated with the day.
    So we can conclude that Halloween has a rich, complex history and folklore embedded in Celtic and Christian ritual. Though predominantly a children’s festival today it has come from an ethnic, religious and spiritual celebration to a blend of street festival, fright night and vast commercial enterprise. As noted by Santino (1998), in Northern Ireland, Halloween is such a major celebration that it is often called the Irish Christmas. A day of family reunions, meals, and fun, Halloween brings people of all ages together with rhyming, storytelling, family fireworks, and community bonfires. It is now an unofficial but large scale holiday. And so may it remain as future generations of children venture forth on the eve of Samhain.

  5. Wow….thanks for this rundown! Very thorough and informative. Pretty neat to see the connection between current traditions and historic customs and beliefs.

    And as always, we dig that you plug in religiously from across the pond.

    Slan go foill

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