It seems cheesy, yes. But we’re going to do it anyway. At least we’ll be on the record saying what we’d like for Foster.
Here’s our Christmas wish list.
Oh, but wait. There’s background to provide first. Two years ago we posted a three-part wish list. For perspective, here’s what we were yearning for in 2013: a movie theater, as the bones were (are) there at the Bob White; trees, lights and public art to beautify Foster; and a final, third wish that would create and preserve affordable housing, maintain and promote the emerging art scene, and ensure there’s a venue for community activism. That latter wish seemed pretty multi-faceted, but it was basically a wish to avoid full-on gentrification.
A year later, we referenced the Foster Streetscape as something we’d like to see as a reality instead of a far off promise yet to be fulfilled. But that wasn’t our wish—we still contended that PBOT and the City could not fill in as Santa and, rather, they had to deliver the goods. So our wish for 2014 was simple: for property owners on Foster to “shit or get off the pot.” Basically, we were tired of seeing all the vacant, under-used and crappy looking buildings on Foster fall further into disrepair.
And we are still tired of that. And to be honest, we’d rather see some of our historic buildings fixed up and brought back to life than a full onslaught of new condo development (though, we’d take more residential buildings too). So, without straying too far from the theme, and to avoid being too demanding, we’re sticking with 2014’s wish.
Yes, we want Buck to unload the Phoenix Pharmacy. Or fix it up and occupy it. We want the vacant building in between Starday Tavern and O’Malley’s to, um, open as an ice cream parlor or fish-n-chip window. Anything, really. Ditto for the numerous other buildings up and down Foster that seem to be gaining more dust than foot traffic.
After all, without more habitable space along Foster, only so many new businesses can set up shop; only so many galleries and markets and offices can open; only so many dispensaries….oh, wait. You get the point. And we’re not even picky. We’d love to see more shared office space; services for kids and elderly and low-income families; we’ll take more tattoo shops, too.
Just not a glut of vacant and/or dilapidated buildings.
* Last year we posted a survey that allowed readers to chime in on their desires for Foster. In order of most desired, the results were as follows:
More food, 34%; Grocery store, 31%; More retail, 30%; More entertainment, 3%; Office space, 1%. Since that poll was conducted, the Portland Mercado has added a new place to eat and get groceries, and such retail shops like Green Noise Records, Velvet Goldmine, Backstory Books, and I Heart Retro have opened. Given some of those changes, what additions would you now most like to see on Foster?