Introducing the Urban Front Porch Lecture Series

By: Charlene Zidell

Living in an urban setting has many wonderful advantages. But it has its drawbacks too--one of which is the challenge in making true connections--it’s hard to get to know someone during a 5 second elevator ride. Perhaps you’ve personally experienced a close-knit community prior to living in the South Waterfront, or maybe you’ve only ever heard of “the good ole days” when neighbors would stop by to chat on one’s front porch…either way, wouldn’t that be a great concept to introduce to our neighborhood? Conversation and connection can transform a zip-code into a true community, an urban village.

For almost a century, the Zidell family has been an integral part of the South Waterfront’s history. As they contemplate bringing the Zidell Yards project from master plan to realization, they’d like to foster this concept of true community and belonging by sponsoring occasions for sharing our stories and furthering connections and relationships.

Please join us for the Urban Front Porch Lecture Series where, each month, we will celebrate and honor the amazing people who are quietly living amongst us. We believe that everyone has a unique story to tell, and there’s no doubt that there is much to learn from someone’s lived experience. If you would be open to sharing your story, we would love to add you to our line-up, please reach out to us for more information.

For our very first session, we’re excited to hear from retired architect, Fred Gans, as he tells his family’s story: “From the nightmare of the Nazi regime, to the promise of the American Dream.” This will be held at 7:30 pm on Monday, June 18th, in the Willamette Hall Conference Room at the Mirabella (3550 SW Bond Ave.)

Our gates are open to all and we hope you’ll join us on our figurative front porch as we work together to build a vibrant and connected South Waterfront community.

Correction: The original blog post noted that the event started at 7:00 p.m. which was incorrect. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Come to The South Waterfront Street Fair on May 31st!

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Come celebrate the start of summer at SWCR’s first annual South Waterfront Street Fair on Thursday May 31st from 4-8 pm!  The Street Fair will take place on SW River Parkway between Gaines Street and Lane Street right outside of our office (in front of The Osprey and behind The Ardea).

The Street Fair will be a chance for the South Waterfront community to come together for an entertaining evening filled with fun, food, drinks, music and raffles.  Rojo the Llama will even be there for your petting pleasure.  That’s right, Sean Z Becker Real Estate was able to book Portland’s most illustrious and beloved therapy llama just for us from 5:00 to 7:00 pm!

  Photo Credit: Nathaniel Young

Photo Credit: Nathaniel Young

There will be tons of delicious food and refreshing drinks from local retailers at the South Waterfront Street Fair. Blue Star Donuts will be handing out samples of their addicting glazed circular wonders, which you can then wash down with Con Leche’s iced cold brew. Cha Cha Cha will be serving up some of their specialties and Pizzicato will be selling $1 mini slices of fresh pizza too!

  Photo Credit: Pizzicato

Photo Credit: Pizzicato

Our community raffle will be a great way to score some sweet treats from local businesses. For instance, Growler Guys is raffling off two 32 oz. and two 64 oz. free growler fills. Meanwhile, Wildwood Vet is generously raffling off a free pet package that includes an exam, a nail trim, a heartworm test, and flea/heartworm preventative.  South Waterfront Dental is also giving away a gift certificate for a comprehensive exam and full mouth digital x-rays (which has a value of $228).

And of course, the Street Fair will have plenty of live entertainment. Local Osprey residents and talented musicians Barb & Rick will be playing a mix of light jazz, a bit of bluegrass, and 60’s/70’s tunes from 4:00 pm. to 5:00 pm. Afterwards from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, Smut City Jelly Roll Society will be have you dancing along to their 20’s & 30’s era swing music. There will also be one special performance (that we are keeping a secret), so you’ll definitely want to stick around for the entire evening!

We look forward to kicking off the start of summer with you at this new community event! 

River’s Edge Hotel Introduces New Rosswood Restaurant

By: Lori Stewart, loridcory@gmail.com

  Photo courtesy of Rosswood

Photo courtesy of Rosswood

Nearby River’s Edge Hotel recently revamped their restaurant formerly known as Aqua Riva. Just last month, the hotel officially opened Rosswood, a restaurant that focuses on modern American cuisine with strong Mediterranean influences.

Rosswood has new menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch that feature creative, unique foods—many of which are friendly for those who are gluten free, vegan or vegetarian.

We personally can’t wait to try their roasted beets topped with hazelnut crumbs and served with honey-whipped yogurt…or their seared smoked salmon with orzo, olives, roasted peppers, and squid ink butter.

  Photo courtesy of Rosswood

Photo courtesy of Rosswood

Rosswood’s drink menu also sounds equally enticing.  Their Citron Presse is made with vodka, ginger liquor, fresh squeezed lemon juice, mint and is topped with prosecco. The Mademoiselle—with gin, grapefruit cordial, bubbles and rosemary—sounds like the perfect thirst quenching drink on a hot summer’s day.

To find out more about Rosswood, or River’s Edge Hotel’s other amenities such as their spa or event space; call 503.802.5800 or stop and see for yourself! The hotel and restauraunt are located at 0455 SW Hamilton Ct, Portland, OR 97239.

  Photo Courtesy of Rosswood

Photo Courtesy of Rosswood

Rosswood's Hours:

Monday-Thursday 7-10 am for breakfast and 11 am-11 pm for lunch and dinner

Friday 7-10 am for breakfast and and 11 am-12 am for lunch and dinner

Saturday 8 am-12 am for brunch

Sunday 8 am-11 pm for brunch

Happy Hour:

Monday-Sunday 3-6:30 pm

Better Naito is Back!

For five glorious months each year, Naito Parkway transforms into a safe multi-use path so that people can stroll, walk, run, jog, cycle, roller-blade, and skateboard along the waterfront.  This two-way track is called Better Naito, a street transformation project that occurs during the months of May to September designed to address the influx of people that Tom McCall Waterfront Park receives during the summer months. According to PBOT, an additional 15,000 more people per day visit the waterfront during the months of April to November. This is probably a result of the constant sunshine, scenic vistas of the Willamette River, and popular festivals like the Waterfront Blues Fest and the Oregon Blues Festival.

In a press release by PBOT, Art Pearce—Group Manager of Policy, Planning and Projects for PBOT— commented that: "The waterfront is the heart and soul of Portland. Whether walking to a festival, taking a bike ride on the esplanade, or going on a lunch-hour run, we want to make sure Portlanders and visitors can enjoy the waterfront in safety and comfort."

 Photo credit:  BikePortland

Photo credit: BikePortland

Better Naito began four years ago as a part of a pilot project created by Better Block PDX and students from Portland State University to address how overcrowded Tom McCall Waterfront Park became during the summer months. In 2017, The Portland City Council decided to make Better Naito into a city program.

Not everyone has been thrilled about this project though. Some car commuters who utilize Naito Parkway on a daily basis think that Better Naito’s closure of one lane of traffic significantly impacts their commute times. However, according to observations and analysis conducted by PBOT, there was a very minimal impact on motor vehicle travel times along Naito Parkway last summer. PBOT reported that at most, commuters only faced an additional 1 minute and 33 seconds more of waiting in traffic than usual.

This slight inconvenience seems minimal especially when compared to how much the Better Naito two-way track is utilized. Last summer, PBOT found that more than 12,000 pedestrians used Better Naito to access the Waterfront Blues Fest and more than 393,000 one-way trips were taken by cyclists on Better Naito over the five-month period that the corridor was open.

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Those numbers will probably increase this year since BIKETOWN has allowed all new and existing users 90 minutes of free time per day during the month of May in honor of Bike Month.  So make sure to take advantage of this sunny weather we’ve been experiencing by cycling for free during the month of May with a BIKETOWN bike along Better Naito’s recently reopened multi-use path!

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Support Student Artists at Sean Z Becker Real Estate's Art Show + Fundraiser

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For several months, the k-5th grade students at The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science have been hard at work creating original Oregon-influenced art pieces. The students have produced a diverse range of impressive works, from ink and watercolor portraits of Portland bridges to Portland pop art pieces, and have even transformed recycled water bottles into native Oregonian forest animals. You can see the incredible artwork that these talented local amateur artists have made at the 2nd Annual Art Show + Fundraiser hosted by Sean Z Becker Real Estate on Friday May 4th from 2 pm to 6 pm.

Melissa Allen—the art teacher at The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science—has recently been teaching the Cottonwood students about Pacific Northwest artists, such as Emily Carr and Ted Harrison, to educate these youngsters about this region’s rich artistic history and to provide them with sources of inspiration for their works. Allen says that: “The art show is a great way for these young artists to take pride in their work and share what they have been doing with the community.” 

If attendees of the art show feel so inclined, they can make donations to benefit the art program at The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science. Guests of this pop-up gallery can also enjoy light refreshments and snacks provided by Sean Z Becker Real Estate.

Don’t miss out on this First Friday art show that will be a wonderful opportunity to engage with your fellow community members while supporting local South Waterfront students!

Check out the Art Show + Fundraiser’s Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1611807862200603/

Sean Z Becker Real Estate is team of dedicated real estate agents specializing in single family homes, condominiums, and urban development in Portland. As a local South Waterfront business, they believe in being conscious citizens of the community both personally and professionally.

To learn more about Sean Z Becker Real Estate check out: www.seanzbecker.com

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Tuesday Trivia to Take Place at City Rotisserie Bar & Grill

Quick trivia buffs, what in the world does M&M’s actually stand for?!

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Before we reveal the answer to this sweet-treat stumper (and now that we have your attention), we first would like to make an important announcement.

Beginning in May, City Rotisserie Bar & Grill, one of the South Waterfront’s favorite local eateries, will host a new monthly tradition of Tuesday Trivia on the first Tuesday of the month!

 From 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at City Rotisserie’s Happy Hour, partake in a pint of $2 Rainier Tall Boys, sip a glass of reasonably priced worldly wine, and/or sample one of their house specialty mini 3 oz cocktails.

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Before you know it, 6 o’clock will roll around and it will be Trivia Time!

The cost to play is $1 (in cash) per person per round. You can choose to play one round or if you truly trust in your trivia talents, you can play ‘em all! The winner and/or the winning team will take the pot at the end of each round.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to socialize with your neighbors, make new friends, and show off your expertise of brain teasers!

And now we shall reveal the much anticipated answer to the M&M’s puzzler…

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Celebrate Earth Day with SWCR at the SOLVE It for Earth Day Cleanup!

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Been meaning to get some satisfying spring cleaning done? Love your Mother Earth? Why not channel all this hygienic and eco-friendly energy into protecting the planet through picking up trash in your local neighborhood?     

Come join us at SWCR to help collect trash from South Waterfront’s riverbanks, parks, and sidewalks for the SOLVE It for Earth Day Spring Cleanup! The event will take place on Saturday April 21 from 10 am – 12 pm at the South Waterfront Community Relations office at 3715 SW River Parkway.

Donating just two hours of your time will make a significant difference, as last year our volunteers were able to remove an impressive total of 1600 pounds of trash from the neighborhood! And to reward you for all of your work, we will have free divinely delicious doughnuts donated by Blue Star Donuts and fresh coffee courtesy of Starbucks Coffee at CLSB.

SOLVE will supply trash bags, safety vests, and latex gloves, so just make sure to bring your hat, gloves, rain gear, or sunscreen as appropriate for the weather. You can register in advance at www.tinyurl.com/2018solvecleanup

We look forward to doing some good for our ‘hood with you! Contact Natasha Tandler at natasha@southwaterfront.com or at 503-972-3289 with any questions.

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Controversial Building Height Proposal Approved in Nearby RiverPlace Neighborhood

 Image credit:  Flickr

Image credit: Flickr

On March 22nd, the Portland City Council approved a proposal to increase the building height limit from 75 feet to 325 feet in the RiverPlace neighborhood.  NBP Capital, the development firm who owns land in the RiverPlace neighborhood, including The Douglas Apartments and the former RiverPlace Athletic Club, asked the council to raise the building height limit.

According to The Oregonian, NBP Capital hopes to develop 2,000 new apartment complexes in the RiverPlace area.  Due to a 2017 city mandate that was created to address the affordable housing crisis in Portland, developers in Portland are required to include rent-restricted housing in new developments constructed in the city. As a consequence, The Portland Tribune reports that approximately 500 of the 2,000 new apartments that NBP Capital plans to construct in the RiverPlace neighborhood “would be affordable to households earning 80 percent of the area's median family income.”

The approval made on March 22nd was a surprise to many who have been following this highly controversial debate, especially after the Portland City Council decided on March 7th to reject a proposal for the construction of the Fremont Apartments, a high-rise apartment complex that was planned to be built in the Pearl District. Many residents in the Pearl District united together through the Pearl Neighborhood Association to protest this proposal, arguing that the high rise apartments would restrict their views of the Fremont Bridge. 

Many residents who live in the RiverPlace neighborhood are similarly not enthusiastic about the newly approved proposal for the increased building height limit at RiverPlace. In fact, The Portland Tribune notes that many residents have recently joined together to create the South Downtown Neighborhood Development Coalition in order to voice their dissent on this issue. The members from this coalition argue that the construction of new high rise apartments would ruin their views of the Willamette River.

SWCR will continue to keep you posted about the latest developments regarding this controversial issue that affects our nearby neighbors at RiverPlace.

Con Leche, a New Coffee Pop-Up, Is Coming to Frank Wine and Flower

  Photo credit:  Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

If you particularly relate to the above statement, then you my caffeine-feen, vino-loving friend are in for quite the treat.

Frank Wine and Flower, located next to Little Big Burger on SW Bond Avenue, announced yesterday that as of Easter Sunday, the wine and flower shop will be taking on a third role as the host of a new coffee pop-up called Con Leche

The owners of Con Leche are Angel and Lucy Medina from Small Time Roasters. According to their website, Small Time Roaster is “the only Mexican-American roaster committed to importing coffee from Mexico year round.” In fact, Angel and Lucy just returned from a trip to Colima, Mexico, where they were able to personally meet the farmers who grow the coffee that they import to use for their roasts.

  Angel and Lucy Medina in Colima, Mexico. Photo credit: Smalltime Roasters' website.

Angel and Lucy Medina in Colima, Mexico. Photo credit: Smalltime Roasters' website.

The couple, residents of RiverPlace for over five years, also owns the adorable new Kiosko coffee stand located at RiverPlace.  Kiosko opened its doors this past July and quickly earned high praise from some of Portland’s harshest coffee critics including Willamette Week and The Oregonian.

  Photo credit: Smalltime Roasters' website

Photo credit: Smalltime Roasters' website

In addition to serving strong and flavorful coffee, Kiosko also offers uniquely infused lattes (past favorites have been sticky rice with a side of mango and maple bacon) and sweet Mexican mochas garnished with cocoa nibs and freeze-dried raspberry powder. The shop also sells three different flavors of ahogados — an espresso drink served with ice cream similar to an Italian affogato — including horchata, chocolate mole, and cajeta (a.k.a. caramel).

  Photo credit: Kiosko Coffee's Facebook

Photo credit: Kiosko Coffee's Facebook

Con Leche will be Kiosko’s second outlet. The pop-up at Frank Wine and Flowers will offer coffee in the mornings while Frank Wine and Flowers will continue to serve their famous worldly wines in the afternoons and evenings.

We at SWCR are very excited to welcome these new neighbors. Spring just got a little bit sweeter for us all in the South Waterfront!

The Growler Guys Turns Three!

It seems like just yesterday that this now beloved watering hole moved into our neighbhorhood. Celebrate The Growler Guys' 3-Year Anniversary in the South Waterfront on Saturday March 24 with a Hawaiian themed party that starts at 11 a.m.!

Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts are certainly encouraged. The first 50 people who arrive will receive prizes but the guys promise that the real fun will pick up at 3 p.m. with live entertainment, surprise beers, raffles, and more! 

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For more information, see The Grower Guys' South Waterfront Facebook page.