Portland Monthly: The One-Page Edition | May 2014
We distilled a magazine's worth of stories onto a single page. See the condensed awesomeness!
A graphic designer is creating nifty logos for the city’s parks. Jeffery Frankenhauser, a Portland native, paid tribute to parks with 37 logos (so far) that capture the history and aesthetics of our greatest greenspaces.
Restaurateur Micah Camden (Little Big Burger, Blue Star Donuts, boxer ramen) on local food mini-empires.
How do you decide where to expand? Portland is a collection of boroughs, like New York. There are streets that have a pulse to them. I’m on Division, I’m on NW 23rd, I’m in South Waterfront. Alberta is the last of those streets that warrants something like that. Little Big Burger will be the most affordable food option on Alberta. I mean, a cheese quesadilla is gonna cost you five bucks from one of those Mexican places. Blue Star Donuts is going insane. I’ve got a second location going up on Hawthorne. Until now, there were no doughnuts on the most touristed street in Portland. That makes no sense to me. We’ve got a prime location, and an awesome product.
How do you make a second location succeed? Take out the variables. Little Big Burger’s fans know they’re getting a medium to medium-rare burger. You get people who are offended, but when you’re advertising to a large audience, you deal with a much bigger array of problems.
One guy invented this cool 3-D camera rig in his garage. “I didn’t have access to 3-D equipment, so I had to build it.” This leap of logic five years ago led Jesse Blanchard to create the Robert Rig, which allows almost any camera to film in 3-D. Awards and acclaim followed.
A tiny newsstand is magazine heaven. After 13 years at Powell’s, Karin Dibling honors magazines at the City Reader, opened last fall on SE Division. Just eight feet across, the clean-cut wooden stand features indie and literary titles like Delayed Gratification and Brick.
Three big ideas for Portland’s future:
1. Winter could get much, much brighter. The Willamette Light Brigade, the group that lights up the Morrison and Burnside Bridges, wants to illuminate February. The vision: a citywide artificial light festival involving dramatic, short-term installations, with inspirations from Santa Monica, Amsterdam, and Glasgow. “In other cities, these festivals are wildly successful,” says the Light Brigade’s Jeff Schnabel, a PSU architecture prof who plans to devote his sabbatical to the program. “It will expand the discourse about how we want the city to look at night,” Schnabel says.
2. You may be able to buy your neighborhood. Gentrification’s timeless story: property owners win, renters lose. Mercy Corps Northwest’s John Haines wants a rewrite, via the first-known “Community Investment Trust.” A neighborhood’s residents could invest as little as $10 in a new real estate project nearby—say, a restaurant or a store. “When they eat or shop there,” Haines says, “they’d help their own investment.” As neighborhood commerce grows, so does equity, which investors can start withdrawing in as little as one year. Haines plans to start with a building on SE Foster Road.
3. A green loop could redefine thecentral city. A proposed 10-mile bike/pedestrian path through central Portland doesn’t have a name, but inspirations include Indianapolis’s Cultural Trail and New York’s High Line. The path would snake along the North and South Park Blocks, across the new transit/pedestrian bridge, through the Central Eastside, and over the Broadway Bridge. For a potentially city-redefining project, Portland’s planning director thinks it will be cheap. “The right-of-way is mostly there,” Susan Anderson says. “We need signage and maybe a little infrastructure.”