Calling All Buskers

imageFoster-area buskers now have a home.

Or at least a stage.

Saint Frank’s Music has built a community busking stage. Radness shall now ensue.

The Wikman Building has gone through quite the transformation in the last year, as the former (like, way former) Arleta Library has gone from vacant space to recording studio, music venue, guitar shop and, now, place to hone your public music-playing ways.

Gotta dig it, right.

Seems like a perfect complement to the plethora of music and performance venues, record stores and emerging, monthly art walk on Foster….not to mention the growing energy surrounding Laurelwood Park, which has seen new homes, apartments and businesses recently locate nearby.

Make it a thing, folks.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

Well, we’ve hit the middle of July and the weather is still a bit funky. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Kinda like Foster, though. Hopefully you all find a way to get out and about in the ‘hood this weekend.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– Our very own “P. Iggy Smalls” is famous. Many of you have already been acquainted with the “Notorious P.I.G.,” the ever popular farm animal turned pet turned neighborhood icon. She gladly watches over the Center Street bike boulevard (between SE 66th and 65th) and will gladly take treats (provided by old candy dispensers) from passersby. She’s already made her mark in the neighborhood; now she’s gracing the pages of the Willy Week as Portland’s Best Celebrity Pig. Keep doing your thing, P. Iggy!

– Speaking of neighborhood pets finding fame, Starday Tavern’s resident dog, Genghis, also caught the Willy Week’s attention, as they named him Portland’s Best Bar Dog. You go, Genghis!

– Like we mentioned, July is halfway over, which means it’s time to start getting your calendar right so you don’t miss out on summertime happenings. We won’t pretend to know half of what might be going on, but we have a few events for you to get on your radar:
PoP up Fried Korean Wings, July 23 at Bar Maven: guest chef and DJ mixing Korean fried wings and old-school hip hop
IMG_4677Movie in the Park, July 27 at Essex Park: Live music at 6:30; movie starts around 8:30
National Night Out, August 2 at Kern Park: Vendors, live music, and family-friendly fun from 6:30 – 8:30
This Is Portland Not Portlandia, August 13 at O’Malley’s, Da Hui, Starday Tavern, Double Treble (and SMART Collective?): we’ll post more details later, but this event will bring several bands to Foster in a coordinated event between multiple bars/music venues. A music fest, if you will.
Second Saturday Foster Art Walk, August 13 at various galleries and shops on Foster: by our math, August’s Art Walk falls on the same day as the above music event, which means you should just clear the whole evening and camp out on Foster

– In addition to the above, look for celebrations to commemorate Starday’s first year under the Justin-Shannon (and Genghis) ownership; four years in the ‘hood for NWIPA; and more.

– As we mentioned earlier in the week, 72Foster is inching closer to becoming reality. And as such, the neighborhood stands to gain 100+ units of affordable housing in a mixed-use development that will also add 10,000 square feet of commercial space across the street from the Portland Mercado. In addition to the proposed 72Foster development, there are plans to build a four-story, mixed-use development on the former Busy Bee lot just southeast of the intersection of Powell and Foster (where a homeless encampment now sits); a rebuild of the YMCA building at SE 61st and Foster, which will also include the addition of 50+ units of housing; and 30 apartments to an empty lot behind the storefronts at 5816 SE Foster. Foster’s growing up, folks.

– Here are your weekend happenings:
Starday Tavern- PDX: Buzz Holland Band (6 pm) and Amber Harlan Trio (9 pm), Friday; Erik Kallio (6 pm) and LEO ISLO (9 pm), Saturday; Ghengis’ 10th Birthday Bash and Rescue Animal benefit (dogs are welcome), Sunday at 4 pm
SMART Collective- Rod EP Release with Chugger, Glacier Veins, Two Moons and Lee Faulkner, Friday at 5 pm
Double Treble- Cherrybomb 13, 3 to Breathe, the BAR Pilots, and Searching for Sanity, Friday at 7 pm

Be cool, y’all…enjoy the weekend.

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Seen in FoPo

A little voodoo didn’t do no harm…

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72nd and Foster Project, Affordable Housing One Step Closer

Amidst the city’s housing crisis, where rising rents and property values, homelessness, and rapidly changing demographics are the symptoms, Foster Road may soon see some relief on the way.

We’ve mentioned before that the YMCA building (at 6036 SE Foster) is proposed for a rebuild and the addition of close to 60 units of housing on top; 30 units are set to be built on a lot two blocks west (at 5816 SE Foster); and the former Busy Bee lot (at 5045 SE Foster), too, is in line for a mixed-use development that will bring three stories of apartments atop ground-floor commercial space.

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72nd and Foster, future site of 108-unit, mixed-use development

The addition of this many units will significantly add to the supply of rental housing in the neighborhood, which should help calm the local market a little, putting less demand on single family homes that predominate either side of Foster. While views are mixed on what kind of impact increased development in the neighborhood will make, we do know that adding to the supply will only alleviate some of the competition for housing, thus keeping prices somewhat in check. Theoretically, of course.

And on the heels of all the above proposed developments—presumably all market rate housing—there’s another that will add over 100 units of affordable housing to the neighborhood. Dubbed 72Foster, the proposed development at 7120 SE Foster, which now serves as parking for the Portland Mercado, will bring 108 units of affordable housing to the neighborhood, as well as 10,000 square feet of commercial space.

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City of Portland — Bureau of Development Services

We’ve mentioned this project before, but just as with all the other proposals being floated up and down Foster, there has yet to be any shovels hitting ground. That may soon, change, though, as the 72Foster project has recently requested early assistance from the City of Portland, a process that usually marks the beginning phases of development. With demand for affordable housing, and the political will to make it happen with a PDC-owned property, we would not be surprised to see this project move quickly.

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Happy Weekend, Foster People!

This whole climate change thing is a bit funky. After being gone for a couple weeks, and having had multiple 90-degree days on record before summer even started, we didn’t expect to have a gray, rainy weekend in the middle of July. That’s Portland for you, we suppose. In any event, don’t let it keep you from doing your thing this weekend. There’s plenty to get into, and, as always, Foster beckons.

Here are your weekend tidbits…

– We got so caught up in the excitement of pub crawls, art walks, and Bar Carlo’s record store-to-be, that we forgot to mention Pieper Cafe now has extended hours on Fridays. Sure, an extra two hours may seem like a subtle change, but having another spot to go after a long work week is golden. If an evening shot of caffeine isn’t your thing, surely a panini and a glass of wine or beer is.

– So about that record shop at Bar Carlo. Check out what we wrote yesterday. The double-sized restaurant will be splitting in two, basically, with one side of the bar soon to be dedicated to use records.

– If that counts as a new business, we should all mention a couple other new businesses on or near to Foster: Kilroy’s Tattoo and Seva Yoga. Kilroy’s recently opened next to Backstory Books at 6012 SE Foster, and you can acquaint yourself with them tomorrow at Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk, as they’ll be showing the work of Kayla Newell. Seva Yoga is down the road a bit, tucked away behind Portland Fruit and Shimmers at 80th and SE Harold. Check ’em out.

– Ok, so the big happening this weekend is Second Saturday Foster Art Walk and the overlapping “Spirit of Foster Tasting Tour.” The combination of art walk and pub crawl should be well worth your time, and there should be a little something for everyone. The art up and down Foster is quite varied, and the number of places to eat and drink will accommodate both the family and adult-specific. Read here for more info, and definitely make it out Saturday afternoon/evening.

– One more tidbit: another robber visits a Foster bar—this happens every couple months, or so it seems. This time, though, the perp showed up when the bartender happened to be on a potty break (so we presume, as they weren’t behind the bar). After having patrons put their hands in the air, the perp noticed nobody was behind the bar to open the cash register and left in a hurry empty-handed. Hahahaha…

– Here’s your upcoming entertainment:
O’Malley’s- Lovesores, Girl Drink Drunks, and City of Pieces, Saturday at 9 pm
Starday Tavern- Kelsey and the Next Right Thing (6 pm) and DJ Espinoza open format night (9 pm), Friday; Miller & Sasser, Zach Bryson, Saturday at 9 pm
SMART Collective- Gaffa, Pedestrian Death Gang, Fossa Club perform tonight (Friday) at 6:30 (this is an all ages show)
Second Saturday Foster Art Walk- various, from 4 – 8 pm (with Flat Blak, Latchkey Gallery, Kilroy’s Tattoo, Po Boy Art at the Day Theater, Green Noise Records, and more)
Spirit of Foster Tasting Tour- various, 4 – 8 pm (at Starday Tavern, Bar Maven, Carts on Foster, and more)

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Bar Carlo Ups Its Game, Foster to Land Another Record Store

Foster is about to net its third record store. That’s right–three! And we couldn’t be happier.

For a little background, these are Foster’s other record stores:

Green Noise- The defacto home to Dirtnap Records, Green Noise sells records online and in their shop at 5857 SE Foster. They specialize in punk, hardcore and indie metal. They share the same commercial strip as Nayar Taqueria, Velvet Goldmine and Meticon Bikes, and have recently joined ranks with the local art galleries to participate in Foster’s Second Saturday Art Walk.

Variety ShopThe Variety Shop- You’re probably a little less familiar with the Variety Shop. We don’t blame you for not knowing about this spot (though, we will if you don’t acquaint yourself now that you do). You are probably familiar with the funky mix of shops that form entry way onto Foster from Powell, however. Hint: sun glasses, hair & nail stuff, movies, records and art supplies, all which might be displayed on a sidewalk sale at any given time. The Variety Shop anchors the north end of that stretch (at 4932 SE Foster), and it’s a gem. Go in and find out for yourself as you peruse thousands of used records.

So where will the new record shop be?

If you guessed Bar Carlo, you’d be right and either oddly psychic with a knack for imaginative commercial-design or already heard the news.

Take it in for a second.IMG_1071

Ok, yes, Bar Carlo just went from rad to radder. They’ve long since conquered the brunch scene, and now they’re going to add a little flare to the bar, restaurant and neighboring commercial strip.

Here’s what we know:

The western portion of the restaurant (to the left of the bar as you enter) will be trading dining tables and chairs for used records and shelves. The remodel is already happening, and they expect to start slangin’ records within the next few weeks. While Bar Carlo will lose some dining space, they’ll be adding records, more music, and a partnership that should add more retail to the commercial corridor. There will now be a place to dig through crates of used records while you wait for that brunch, too.

With the addition of an in-house record store, Bar Carlo also expects to have more DJs spinning records in the evening hours. Another score.

As for the other record stores, don’t expect competition. Adding another record store should only make Foster more of a haven for the record collector.

* We should add, as of our last visit, I Heart Retro also has a small collection us used records and record players.

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