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January 2, 2006 12:55 - Close-in Portland Travel Ideas

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I'm always telling people that Oregon is truly beautiful throughout the seasons.  For instance, I enjoy the coast in the winter just as much as I enjoy it in the summer.  There are certainly differences, but I've come to appreciate and enjoy them very much.  One of my upcoming weekend trips will be to the Columbia Gorge for that very reason-- the gorge in the winter is incredible.  Depending on your location, you can be in the gorge in as little as two hours.  I can reach the edge of the gorge in about 45 minutes.  Never been?  Allow me to entice you...

  • Set aside in 1986 as the first and only National Scenic Area in the US, the Columbia River Gorge stretches 85 miles along the Columbia River.  This decision protected 292,615 acres of dense forests, lush vegetation and wildlife.
  • Popular (but not annoyingly so) hiking trails lead to one of the largest collections of waterfalls in the nation such as: Horsetail Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Multnomah Falls. Multnomah Falls is an amazing 620 foot drop, making it the country's second tallest year-round waterfall and Oregon's most popular natural attraction.
  • The Columbia Gorge is a hot spot for windsurfers  World-class windsurfers love Hood River for its strong winds and powerful currents. I like to watch ;-)
  • The Historic Columbia River Highway was considered an "architectural feat" when it was constructed in the early part of the 20th century.  The highway is said to be the very first modern road in the Pacific Northwest. The 75-mile road is also said to be the first "scenic highway" constructed in the U.S. There are still two sections open to car travel, the most popular being a 35-mile stretch east of Troutdale that covers some great areas of the gorge.
  • Mount Hood National Forest is home to the impressive Mount Hood. At 11,240 feet, it is the highest mountain in Oregon, and the second most-climbed peak in the world, after Japan's Mt. Fuji.
  • Mount Hood is a world-class ski destination, offering excellent ski areas and proud home of the historic Timberline Lodge, dedicated in 1937 by President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • The Gorge is a popular year-round destination for camping, mountain climbing, hiking, alpine and Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, biking, snowboarding, backpacking and fishing.

Enjoy your day, Portlandia...


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January 3, 2006 07:53 - Portland Performing Arts

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Are you looking for some entertainment ideas? We have just added a list of performing arts venues to our new Arts page. In addition to mainstream events downtown, there are also many Portland theatre venues located throughout our neighborhoods that you may not have even known existed, so be sure to check the list! (If we missed your favorite theatre, send us an email and we will add it right away.) 

We’ve included a description of each theatre with links to the websites where you can get more information on specific events. Several people have written us and asked for an “events calendar”, so we also have a new Arts calendar. If you know of a visual or performing arts event in Portland, you can add the event to the calendar yourself! Just click the +ADD button on the calendar, fill in the details about the event, and then click “Add Event”. Check out the calendar, here. 

Here are a a couple of January events you might want to check out, but be sure to check the calendar for more!

Do Jump! - Do Jump! makes its mark on the dizzying edge of visual spectacle and acrobatic aplomb." - The Oregonian

Portland Center Stage - the Fantasticks (starts Jan 10) - “A starry-eyed boy falls in love with the girl next door. They hunger for excitement and adventure. It's a time to remember.”

Have a great day everyone...

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January 4, 2006 07:33 - Portland...It's tax return season...

Howdy Portland

Howdy Portland,

Pretty soon, the tax returns will start rolling in...It seems that a large number of Portlanders use their tax returns to do home remodeling projects (new bathrooms, kitchens, additions and so forth).  Home remodeling can be a stressful and exciting experience- from finding the right contractor, to selecting the right materials, to approving designs, understanding the permit/inspection process and more.  With that in mind, I thought I would share some must-have information-- all coming straight from the laptop of someone who has truly "been there" and "done that" (given the fact I own a 1927 bungalow which has been undergoing a five-year-facelift).

  • Where to start?  Sit down and really think about the current state of your home and the many projects you want to undertake.  Document and prioritize the projects and note that some of them may have "dependencies". For instance, you don't want to replace that floor base trim now if you plan to replace the floors next summer...
  • Develop your vision: Start looking at trade magazines to get design ideas.  Fine Homebuilding, This Old House, American Bungalow and Architectural Digest are just a few I really like. My personal goal is to remodel my home back to it's original 1920's glory...Wondering what kind of home you have? 
  • Budget:  Understand and be realistic about your budget and always add in that buffer (10-15%), just in case there are unforeseen issues or events.  Be prepared, most general contractors require a sizeable down payment for larger projects.  This typically covers the material costs upfront (so be sure you are ordering what you really want!)
  • Selecting a great contractor:  This is a stressful part, for sure.  Think of yourself as an employer-- because, in a way, you will be!  Do interviews of several general contractors: review their portfolios, ask for letters of recommendation, have them complete a bid (comparison shopping!), look for personality matches or mismatches.  And last but certainly not least, make sure your contractor is licensed, bonded and insured- and always check with the Oregon Construction Contractor's Board for history of complaints and current certification status.  Remember, word of mouth is the absolute best way to find a great and trustworthy general contractor. Oh, and something else I've learned-- cheaper is not always better- sometimes you really do get what you pay for. 

Well, this is just the tip of the iceberg-- check back this week for more...Or even better yet, post and let me know what you would find helpful and I'll make sure to add that to my list!

Have a great Wednesday, all! 




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January 5, 2006 07:47 - Getting fit in Portland!

It’s that time of year, Portland! Time to lose the holiday weight gain, and get in shape for spring. Luckily, Portland has as many fitness activities as you can think of. And we’ve compiled a list on our brand new Portland Fitness Page! Go check it out, and find yourself an activity or two to inspire you to get healthy! Also, this time of year, most health clubs and fitness centers are offering a free limited trial offer, so check the website links for more information. Here is an excerpt from our Fitness page, go check it out!

There are many different indoor and outdoor fitness activities in Portland. Overall, we’re a pretty health conscious city. There must be something about living in a beautiful environment and a great city that is inspiring. Here are some interesting Portland fitness facts:

  • According to Men’s Fitness Magazine, Portland ranks #6 overall in cities for best physical fitness (2005).
  • Portland ranks Gold for cities that are Bicycle Friendly, according to the League of American Bicyclists According to this article on CNN, 10% of Portlanders Bike to Work.
  • The Portland Marathon is “the best organized marathon in America” (from Ultimate Guide to Marathons)

If you would like to know how you stack up, here are some Fitness Calculators from 24-Hour Fitness. If you are looking for fresh ideas on how you can get and stay fit in Portland, we have organized a list of Portland indoor and outdoor activities. Check out a Portland gym, or learn how to unwind and relax with a Portland yoga or Pilates class. If you are more adventurous, we have an entire array of sports activities in our city, from rock climbing to kayaking!  

Get moving Portland, and have a great day!

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January 6, 2006 08:48 - Portland Cold and Flu Season


Arrgh, the cold and flu season is in full swing.  I am battling the sniffles, the headaches, fever, sore throat -- about half a dozen irritants and annoyances.  I was doing some research on battling this seasonal illness and came across some interesting information I thought might be helpful:

To treat or not to treat...Cold symptoms are evidence that the immune system is battling illness. A fever is your body's way of trying to cook (stamp out) a virus in a hotter-than-normal environment. A fever also makes the germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively. So, if you allow the body to suffer a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get better quicker.
The best way to blow your nose...Yes, really! Press your finger over one nostril while you gently blow to clear the other. Blowing the nose in a hard fashion can carry germ-carrying phlegm (ew!) back into the ear passages, causing earache.
The nose wants an escape...Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Hold one nostril closed by applying light pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat 2-3 times, then do the other nostril.
Soothe the throat and the nose and nod off for awhile...Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, hydrate the body, and soothe those inflamed membranes in the nose and throat. Restless? Try the age-old hot toddy remedy or sip some hot herbal tea. Add a teaspoon of honey and an ounce of whiskey or bourbon to the tea.
The spa treatment...A steamy shower moisturizes the nasal passage and allows for a Zen-like retreat. If you're dizzy or sluggish, enjoy a steamy shower. You'll be glad you did!
Love that schnozz...Menthol, eucalyptus and camphor all have mild numbing agents that may help relieve the pain of a raw nose. It'll also help open up the breathing passage...You'll look funny but you'll feel good!
Eat Infection-Fighting Foods...My favorite "sick foods" are hot and spicy Thai stir-fry, sushi with extra ginger and wasabi, miso soup, chicken broth and onion soup...Some textbook "get better foods" are bananas, bell peppers, oranges, blueberries, carrots, chili peppers, cranberries, mustard, horseradish, onion, rice, green and black tea. 

Take care of yourself and avoid 'the plague'!


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January 7, 2006 12:16 - Portland Forum

Today we are announcing yet another new feature on the PortlandNeighborhood.com website!  We now have a Portland Neighborhood Forum!  What is a forum?  A forum is also known as a bulletin board, chat forum, or discussion forum.  Basically, it is your place to talk with the community and share information and opinions about the city of Portland, Oregon.  Maybe you have a question about the best parks in your neighborhood, or perhaps you are looking for a local pool hall, or a new Portland restaurant or bar that you would like to try.  Perhaps you would like to have some discussion with your neighbors about a hot issue.  Or, maybe you want to share some exciting news or information with your neighbors about an upcoming event.  This is your discussion forum, Portland--so what have you got to say?

Please come and check out the new Portland Neighborhood Forum, it's easy to use!  You can either post anonymously, or create a login ID and post with your own unique identity.  Just click the "Portland Chat" button to go to the discussion forum page.  Be sure to read our Forum Rules and Terms of Use for more information.  If you have questions or other feedback, please contact the Editors. So, come share your questions, feedback and ideas with the entire Portland Community...we are looking forward to chatting with you on-line! 

Have a great Saturday, Portland!

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January 8, 2006 02:06 - Looking for a hobby or class in Portland

Winter is a pretty popular season to take up new hobbies or blow the dust off some old ones.  As I've been home all weekend nursing this cold, I've been pretty aware of the fact that I need some "indoor hobbies" that don't involve (egad!) the computer.  So, I spent part of this evening 'shopping' around for some ideas and figured I'd share what I've come up with so far and perhaps get some of your ideas.  I'm a pretty creative type and like working with my hands so you'll definitely find a theme here. 

  • Stained glass classes at Rose Glass Works. I collect stained glass pieces and would certainly have more if they weren't so pricy. 
  • Painting classes at Rokoff Studios. I am incredibly biased (being a former student), but I just can't get enough of Alexander Rokoff and his amazing talent.  I only took one class (last winter), but I learned so much and had such a great time learning to paint and rockin' out to some great tunes. 
  • Metalsmithing classes  I took a class at the Oregon College of Art & Craft a few years ago and always wanted to go back and learn more about metalsmithing.  Its a really fun way of getting your hands dirty and develops a whole other skill set: patience. They also offer classes in ceramics, fibers, photography, wood and more...
  • Crochet classes at Yarn Garden. I can knit, but I would really like to learn how to crochet.  Plus, I just like this place-- a lot!  What a fantastic (and huge!) shop with a cool little cafe area to boot!
  • Creative Welding classes  PCC offers sculpture and other creative welding classes.  I think it would be awesome to learn how to make some cool garden decor...
  • Cooking classes at In Good Taste. Mmmm...winter seafood, braising techniques, soups....Sign me up!!
  • Swing dance classes at The Joint is Jumpin'. Now this sounds like a fun way to shake off some of those holiday pounds! 
  • Jewelry making classes at Picasso Beads. Learn to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, work with metal clay and more in a variety of methods.
  • Pottery classes at Georgie's Craft. I've always wanted to take a pottery (wheel throwing) class.  They also offer tile making, raku, moldmaking, fused glass and more. 

Well, hopefully I can decide on one (I think that's about all I can handle).  It's a toss up between pottery, crochet and stained glass.  But, hmmm...soup sounds good, too.  ;-)

Have a great day, Portland! 

PS:  Have you checked out our new forum yet?  If not, please do!  We're starting to see some life on the forum-- which is awesome! 

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January 9, 2006 07:44 - Portland Streetcar & Eliot Neighborhood News

Hey, Portland!  Did you know we are also on MySpace.com at http://www.myspace.com/portlandneighborhood ?  MySpace is another website where you can add "friends" from the community.  If you are looking for some new Portland friends, come check us out over there and add us to your "friends" list.

Today we have done something brand new with the website--the first Portland community printed newspaper, the "Eliot News" will be published right here on our website on the Eliot neighborhood page.  Check out the Eliot Neighborhood Forum at http://www.portlandneighborhood.com/eliot.html.  This means you can read the whole Eliot News paper on-line once it is published in a few weeks.  Meanwhile, if you live in or near the Eliot neighborhood, be sure to read the excerpt from the Eliot Times, an article by Mike Warwick about new developments in Eliot including plans for several new loft-style residential buildings.  Did you know that the Portland Streetcar is supposed to come over the Broadway Bridge past Lloyd Center and to Hollywood, sometime in 2008?  Click here to read more about the Portland Streetcar on Wikipedia, as well as this interesting article.

Portland neighbors, do you have news or information that you would like to see published to the community on PortlandNeighborhood.com?  Do you have a community newspaper that you would like to share on-line?  Let us know...we will publish it and get the word out to more people in our city--for free.  It's our way of saying "thanks" to Portland and giving a little something back to the neighborhoods.  Have a great Monday, Portland!

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January 10, 2006 08:04 - Portland Concierge and more!

Good morning

Good morning, Drizzle Town,

Was there a hurricane last night?  I woke up this morning to both of my porch chairs and the wreath off my front door scattered across the yard.  Hmmm....When did Portland get so windy? ;-)  I don't know about you, but I've got cabin fever already!  I suppose its just a few more months until we see those late March tulips!

Well, this is has already been an exciting week for PortlandNeighborhood.com!  We've had a ton of new visitors, recieved some great feedback and have added some cool new functionality to the site. 

  • The Portland Forum, which was heavily requested as a community collaboration tool, is already gaining some popularity.  I've seen community questions, band advertising and a few posts bemoaning the lack of professional hockey in Portland.  It's fun to see this part of the site take off!
  • The birth of the Portland Neighborhood Concierge...For several months now, we have been answering emails from locals and non-locals alike on a ton of different topics that share a common thread: all things Portland.  We recently realized that an "online concierge" would be a great resource for all of our viewers. So, do you have a question about Portland, Oregon?  Ask the Portland Neighborhood Concierge We'll do our best to answer your questions and be your information service about this great city.  Give it a try! 
  • You asked for it and we heard you...In as little as a few days, we will be unveiling our new Portland Neighborhood map!  It's gorgeous, well designed, easy to navigate and...clickable!!  I'll save the best news (other super cool map features) for our "ribbon-cutting-blog" -- so make sure to check back!  You're gonna love it!

Well, that's it for today-- have a great Tuesday everyone...



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January 11, 2006 08:07 - Portland Events

What's going on in Portland this week?  Besides making frequent updates to this website, we do like to get out and find some entertainment and relax once in a while!   Whatever you are in the mood for, we always have a variety!  Here are just a few Portland comedy, music, and dance events to check out this week.  Be sure to check the Arts page for more performing arts ideas.
Jerry Seinfeld at The Schnitz, Friday, January 13th (Show may be sold out, so check www.craigslist.com to see if tickets are available)
I love Seinfeld, and I have to say, I still watch his show and own the DVD set because it is still funny!   "Due to popular demand, America’s premier stand-up comedian is hitting the road in a return to his first love - stand-up comedy. Recently hailed as “the master stand-up comic of his generation” and “the best comedian of our time” in a Washington Post article by Tom Shales, Seinfeld has an uncanny ability to joke about the little things in life that relate to audiences everywhere. Seinfeld now sets his sights on performing his material across the country in 2006."  Check out Seinfeld this Friday.  Click for Ticket Information.
Wonder Ballroom, HR of BAD BRAINS with DUBB AGENTS, Friday January 13th 
All Ages 8:00pm show Tickets $10 + service charge available at Ticketmaster and Wonder Ballroom
Oregon Symphony - Beethoven Violin Concerto, Saturday, January 14th - Sunday, January 15th (Tickets - $24.25 - $93.25)
"An enchanting 20th century interpretation of 14th century vocal music plus a colorful, Hungarian folk music-flavored "variations" and one of the most beloved violin concertos of all time. It all adds up to a perfectly delightful program, full of rich harmonies and excitement."
"A performer of almost Mephistophelian intensity...Greco is in command of one of the most exciting, original and eccentric dance vocabularies of anyone in contemporary dance!" -The Times (London). Based in Amsterdam, Emio Greco|PC is a collaborative partnership between Italian-born dancer Emio Greco—one of the most compelling dancers and choreographers in Europe-- and the visionary Dutch theater director Pieter C.Scholten. For Greco and Scholten the curiosity towards the body and its inner motives serve as the starting point for creating dance. Emio Greco|PC seeks to create a performance in which all elements—stage design, sound, lighting—are there to support, provoke and evolve with the body in a state of discovery."

Have a great week, Portland! 

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January 12, 2006 08:23 - Wireless Portland

Ten years ago

Ten years ago, very few people had computers and practically only rich folks had laptops (I could have bought a nice used car in place of a computer purchase then).  Today, its hard to find someone without a computer-- and most of them travel around with laptops or handheld devices not wanting to be tied down.  The times are a-changin' and so are our expectations.  For instance, I was in Butte, Montana a few months ago, just moseying around.  It had been days since I checked my email and I looked desperately for a hotel or coffee house that had wireless.  No dice.  Portland is more definitely more "evolved" on this front-- I was more than relieved to get home. 

Have you heard about the Personal Telco Project?  The mission of this awesome project is to "Promote and build public wireless networks through community support and education".  Public wireless networks....yes!

Want to know more about these public wireless networks?  "We are a volunteer group of Portlanders who believe that 802.11 (wireless networking, or "Wi-Fi") technology is both cool and empowering.  We started out by turning our own houses and apartments into wireless hot spots (also referred to as "nodes"), and then set about building these nodes in public locations such as parks and coffee shops.  Currently we have over 100 active nodes, and we eventually would like to cover the entire city of Portland, Oregon with even more." 

Check the node list to see if your favorite coffee shop or bar is Wi-Fi friendly.  I use that link as a reference guide a lot of the time because I really don't care to sit and sip coffee without my little electronic blankie...;-)

Hats off to Personal Telco for doing a great service for our Portland communities! 


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January 13, 2006 08:23 - Portland's Iorio

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Today we're reviewing new Portland restuarant, Iorio (pronounced Eye-or-e-o), located along Hawthorne right across from the Lucky Lab (912 SW Hawthorne Blvd). I was actually headed to the Lucky Lab when I spotted Iorio across the street and decided to drop in for dinner. Iorio is a Southern Italian restuarant, which means it also has a little Northwest flare!

The restaurant's ambience is warm and comfortable with rich, deep red walls and old fashioned lamps casting soft warm lighting in the dining room. The walls are hung with old portraits and family photos. Service was friendly and welcoming, and the restaurant is brand new on the Portland restuarant scene..open only about a month!

We started with an appetizer of delicious warm bread served with a butternut squash tapenade. Also plated up as an appetizer was a tasty jicama dish that was crisp and light. I tried their baked vegetable lasagna which was thick with cheese and an array of fresh vegetables (a vegetarian's delight). My dining partner tried the Chef's special, which was a delicious tender beef loin with yukon gold potatoes. The wine list was nice, and I enjoyed a crisp glass of Viognier.

Following the meal, Chef Christopher Thompson came out and introduced himself, giving us a gift of springerle cookies, and asked us how we enjoyed the meal. It was delicious! The combination of great location, friendly service, and good food is sure to make this a neighborhood favorite. Give Iorio a try. Click for driving directions and map, here. For reservations call (503) 445-4716.

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January 14, 2006 13:24 - Portland's DoveLewis

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As like most folks that have four-leggers, I am more than familiar with DoveLewis, the 24-hour emergency animal hospital over in the NW 21st/23rd district.  This is an absolutely amazing hospital, with some of the best medical professionals I have ever come into contact with.  This is critical, believe me, because most of the time you are there, its no small matter-- you want the best looking after your loved one.  I've even had one of my dogs hospitalized for a few days and was utterly impressed with the quality of care for both sick Basset and "mommy". 

A Portland original since 1973, DoveLewis is "the only non-profit animal hospital in Portland devoted exclusively to emergency and critical care for animals 24 hours a day, 365 days a year." 

Thanks to community donations, DoveLewis can extend the following services to the community:  

  • We screen and train human-animal teams which visit dozens of facilities, from prisons to schools to hospitals.
  • We help hundreds of people through their grief when they lose a companion animal.
  • We are able to never turn away a stray or wild animal if they come to us injured.
  • We run one of the largest community-based animal blood banks in the U.S. Hundreds of lives are saved each year because of our blood bank. It helps not only patients at DoveLewis, but dogs and cats at other veterinary clinics throughout the Portland metro area

Construction has just begun on a new, two-story 22,000 square foot facility across the street and to the east of the current DoveLewis' hospital.  Click here to read all about the new facility and how you can help outfit Portland with the best emergency care for our beloved pets. 

Have a great Saturday, Portland!



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January 15, 2006 12:22 - Portland Library

I visited the Central branch of the downtown Portland library, yesterday.  It's been a long time since I visited a library and I was surprised at the number of services available for free to the community of Portland.  Learn more about our library system on our brand new Library Guide.  We've included addresses and Tri Met information so you'll find it easy to get to your local branch.  Here is an excerpt from the new library page: 

We are lucky to have so many wonderful libraries scattered throughout the communities in Portland. The Multnomah County Portland Oregon Library system offers free library cards to residents of Multnomah Country (and some other surrounding areas), which gives the cardholder the ability to check out books, videos, CDs and DVDs, audio tapes, magazine and software.  All locations offer convenient 24 hour book drops for returns.  The library offers much more to it's members.  Some additional features of Portland Library membership include:


  • Art Exhibits
  • Author Visits
  • Craft Workshops
  • Disability Accommodations
  • Web Guides
  • Word Processing

You can learn more about the Multnomah Country Library system on their website.  Take advantage of this wonderful community service and learn something new about your world.  Take your children to the library for story time, or get some homework help.  Use the library to browse the web, take a computer class, or do research for a college project.  Start a book discussion group, pick up a bargain used book at the used bookstore, or participate in a Portland 'zine!  There are many great services available, so stop in your local branch of the Portland Library today and get more information on what's available for you!

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January 16, 2006 07:16 - The (Newest) Lompoc in PDX

Not so long ago

Not so long ago, I told you all that Lompoc opened a new pub over in N/NE Portland.  Well, I finally made it over there on Saturday night and have a good report to share with everyone.  First, if you've been to the New Old Lompoc down on NW 23rd, this new place has the same beer and some of the same pub-style food, but a totally different focus and feel.  This Lompoc feels very family friendly and more like a laid back restaurant than a "bar".  It's a smaller place, though not teeny, with several large booths, tables, and a small bar.  As expected, they do have their famous beer on tap (though I was super bummed to find they were out my favorite: the Sockeye Cream Stout (its beer you practically have to chew--- I love it!)  The food was very good-  I had the hummus wrap which was absolutely fantastic and my dining partner had an old fashioned burger.  Both dishes were fairly priced and the servings were huge.  Very attentive wait staff down to our waiter chasing us out to our car when we left a cell phone behind-- now that's commitment!  All indoor seating until the spring or whenever nice weather is upon us-- I did see a small paved patio outside the main door and imagine some outdoor tables being setup.  All in all, this new Lompoc is a good fit and a welcome addition to the North and Northeast Portland pub scene. 

In other news, we have added a new and super cool feature to the site:  the long awaited clickable neighborhood map!  It's simple to use...Just click one of the neighborhood names from the menu, or click a marker on the map and that neighborhood's position will be highlighted on the map, along with a neighborhood information box. To learn more about that Portland neighborhood, click "Neighborhood Page" in the information box. Voila!  This is where you'll find neighborhood information including location, photos, demographics, parks and services, restaurants, businesses, community events calendar, and more.

Happy Monday (and Martin Luther King Day!), P-Town...lets hope its dry!

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January 17, 2006 07:42 - Showing in Portland

Showing in Portland This Week

I love great animation. The freedom of _expression, the ability to tell a story that is larger than life--especially if it is projected on an enormous IMAX movie screen. At OMSI this week, catch a showing of the IMAX: Big Shorts Animation Film Festival:

Today's Showtimes (January 17, 2006): 11:00am, 11:45am, 7:30pm
To browse showtimes for other dates, please see the showtime calendar.
Five animated films created especially for IMAX have been combined into a unique 32-minute experience of amazing sights and sounds.
IMAX Slit-Scan is an introductory short that launches viewers into the immersive OMNIMAX dome environment with a burst of color and sound.
Arthur C. Clarke's Search for Infinity was produced by San Diego's Ruben H. Fleet Science Center in 1999 as a pilot project for a proposed large format film. This experimental film brings the colorful world of fractals to the giant OMNIMAX dome.
Primiti-Too-Taa is a playful sound poem, where the text jumps to life through animated typing on paper.
Where the Trains Used To Go takes a stop motion journey along a 100-year-old narrow-gauge railway. This film was chosen best short film in 2003 at the Large Format Cinema Association's annual conference.
The Old Man and the Sea is Director Alexander Petrov's film based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. To create this stunning film, Petrov painted more than 29,000 images on glass directly under the IMAX camera. The Old Man and the Sea won the Academy Award® for Best Short Animated Film in March of 2000...the only IMAX film ever to receive such an award!
Call OMNIMAX Film Info: 503.797.4640
If you're not in the mood for animation, but want to catch a flick instead,  this week in Portland (until the 19th only), catch a highly recommended film, "Film Geek" by local filmmaker James Westby. 
"FILM GEEK is a hilarious new comedy about Scotty Pelk, a socially inept video store clerk with an encyclopedic knowledge of film. He runs a website, scottysfilmpage.com, which receives zero traffic. He annoys his customers. He annoys his co-workers. And when he is inevitably fired from his video store job, Scotty finds refuge in Niko, a downtown hipster who teaches him a thing or two about love and life. But Niko’s smarmy ex-boyfriend Brandon won’t go away quietly. As Scotty’s first love turns to obsession, his life begins to change in profound ways."
Showing at Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 503-223-4515

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January 18, 2006 12:54 - Portland's Albina Press Coffee Shop

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Good day, Portland!  We've had some brief sunny moments and amazingly enough, a shockingly dry day so far.  Makes me earn for spring in a big, bad way. Soon enough, soon enough...

Today, I wanted to show my support for a great coffee shop in the Humboldt neighborhoodThe Albina Press is, in my humble opinion, the best coffee shop around the area (believe me, I've tried my fair share).  I love the simplicity of the furniture, the exposed brick work, old wood floors and ever-changing artwork adorning the walls, courtesy of Pacific Switchboard.  Of course, the coffee ain't bad either...Albina Press uses Stumptown bean and even better, they've got award winning barista's behind the counter (seriously).  Each cup is literally a work of art and a taste of nirvana.  It's a quaint place, full of locals and non-locals, friendly staff, great music and is well equipped for those of us that tote our laptops around.  The Personal Telco Project outfits them with wireless internet access and a smattering of couches and comfy chairs make it an excellent place to veg or work the rainy afternoons away...Perhaps I'll see ya around!

Have a great afternoon all!

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January 19, 2006 08:08 - Portland Winter Events Coming Soon

Yes, we are now officially in the thick of the winter doldrums.  By now, you're sick to death of the rain, sick of feeling trapped in the house, sick of winter...and itching for a change of scenery and something to do.  Well, luckily Portland has many upcoming events to tempt you to get off the couch, and out of the house.  Here are just a few, coming soon... don't worry, spring is right around the corner!
The Portland Seafood and Wine Festival, February 3rd and 4th at the Convention Center, "Scheduled in the quiet of winter, and smack dab in the middle of the Dungeness Crab season, it promises to be a popular event in Portland , the gateway to the Oregon coast and the Oregon wine country.  The event will be a very upscale yet festive event at the Oregon Convention Center , promising a climate-controlled facility with lots of on-site and surrounding parking.  Over 90,000 square feet of exhibit space will allow for lots of room to wander the event while stopping to sit and enjoy the good food, drink and live music throughout the event."
For you Portland Jazz lovers, also coming soon is the renowned Portland Jazz Festival, Feb 17-19th, hosted at multiple venues.  With nine ticketed concerts and additional performances, you are sure to find something pleasing to your ears and your spirit.  The internationally acclaimed Portland Jazz Festival will feature McCoy Tyner, DeeDee Bridgewater, Bill Frisell and Eddie Palmieri, plus more than 90 additional jazz performances at multiple downtown venues.
If you're a history buff, you don't need to wait until February--go check out the fascinating  Lewis and Clark National Bi-Centennial Exhibit now, running through March 11th at the Oregon Historical Society.  "The Oregon Historical Society is host to the exclusive West Coast appearance of Lewis & Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view the most significant priceless treasures that tell this unforgettable story. Two hundred years after the Corps of Discovery reached their West Coast destination, you too can experience the adventure at the Oregon Historical Society. Organized by Missouri Historical Society. Presented by Emerson."

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January 20, 2006 08:20 - Lovely Hula Hands in Portland, Oregon

Every Thursday night

Every Thursday night, the minds behind PortlandNeighborhood.com get out to enjoy the food and vibe of local restaurants around The Big Puddle.  Tonight we enjoyed ourselves immensely over at Lovely Hula Hands (aka LHH) over in North Portland's Boise neighborhood.  Never been to this unique and charming restaurant?  If not, there's just no way around it-- you're missing out! 

Lovely Hula Hands did us right: a fantastic meal consisting of a house salad with lemon shallot vinaigrette (exquisite), the pan roasted half chicken on "smashed potatoes" topped with fresh asparagus and swathed in a caramelized sweet onion marsala sauce (oooh, utterly divine).  We enjoyed a tangy glass of pinot grigio and toasted to a great meal in a quaint, 1920's four-square house as homey as any grandma's kitchen.  I even kissed my New Years "diet" goodbye for the evening and indulged in a super sinful crème brule...(Yes, it was worth it)

This big pink house has won my heart.  I love the way the owners have emphasized an 'old world paradise', creating an original, and very enjoyable, dining experience. I also love the fact that they took a dilapidated old home and nursed it back to health-- this is a big part of the Portland spirit that moves and inspires me.

“'We serve Portland fancy food at a moderate price,” says Sarah Minnick, who co-owns the restaurant with her sister Jane. “We've worked hard to build a menu that brings together food from many different countries, while putting our own spin on all of it to form a consistent fare .'

The sisters, who bought the 1910 house with their mother almost a year ago, labored to preserve the spirit of the place despite having to restore the entire thing. The structure had been abandoned for a full year and was facing demolition like every other house on the North Portland industrial block over the past 30 years. The building has been saved and spruced up with vintage wallpaper, period fixtures and an old mantle serving as the bar. To celebrate their one year anniversary, LHH has recently opened their upstairs to diners on weekends."  Read the rest of the original press release (2003) here

Dinner:  Tuesday thru Sunday 5 to 10pm
Food:      Global fare
Drinks:   Beer on tap, specialty cocktails, wine list
Seats: 32
Sorry, no reservations

Happy Friday, P-Town!

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January 21, 2006 14:28 - Enjoying Winter in Portland

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Are you wanting to take advantage of an Oregon winter before it's gone?  Yes, it's hard to believe, but February and March are  just around the corner. First check our fitness page for some winter sports ideas, or head up to Mt. Hood Meadows for some snow action!  Check their site for snow conditions, lift tickets, classes and more.     How to get there:  FROM PORTLAND
  •     Take Hwy 26 east to Government Camp.
  •     Then north on Hwy 35 - 10 miles to Meadows.
    If you prefer an easier less congested drive
  •     Take I - 84 to Exit 64 in Hood River
  •     Follow Hwy 35, 35 miles to the Mt. Hood Meadows Entrance.
If it's a change of scenery you want, rent a cabin!  I can personally recommend at Mt. Hood Cabin Rental from Cascade Property Management.  I have stayed at several cabins for a weekend getaway and they are awesome.  Check their website for information, photos and descriptions about available rentals.
"Cozy cabins, romantic cottages, spacious chalets, beautiful homes and contemporary condos in a variety of settings provide the perfect lodging choice for Mt Hood, Oregon. Each private home has its own personality and charm and is close to Mount Hood recreational activities; ski, snowboard, snowshoe, hike, mountain bike, golf and fish just minutes from all accommodations. Enjoy a variety of restaurants and specialty shops just minutes from your vacation home. Our Mt Hood Vacation Rental Homes are fully furnished and supplied including well-appointed kitchens, bed and bath linens, paper products, a basic supply of firewood, TV, VCR, stereo, phone, washer and dryer, decks and BBQ. Most homes also include a fireplace or woodstove and hot tub. All homes are non-smoking! Ask about our pet-friendly homes. Winter ski packages and quiet season discounts are available."
Go rent yourself a cozy cabin, enjoy some winter sports, or just stay comfy indoors with a nice bottle of wine or some hot chocolate!

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January 22, 2006 14:17 - Fun for kids in Portland, Oregon

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Good afternoon, Portland!  How many of you are glued to the football game right now?  ;-)  At the time of this writing, the Steelers are up 24 (Denver at 3). I've got family in Pittsburgh going absolutely bonkers about right now! 

Well, today I wanted to share some ideas for "kid fun in Portland"...Hopefully you will find some good activities that will be enjoyable for the whole family.  Personally, I have a major love affair with the Oregon Zoo (I'm an animal lover!). 

  • The Oregon Zoo has a ton of educational and fun events for kids of all ages.  Take a look here for a very impressive list of activities coming up in the next few months.  A few that caught my eye:  Animal FamiliesKits, cubs, calves, pups and chicks - all get raised in different ways and Animals Nobody Likes- Meet some animals with undeserved bad reputations and discover how charming they really are. They don’t hold grudges — and will be on their best behavior for your visit.  Did you know the Oregon Zoo has one of the largest volunteer programs in the country? Why not check volunteer openings?
  • The Portland Children's Museum has a great events calendar. A spotlight on a few eye-catching events:  Puppet Theater with Museum Puppeteer Penny Walter for puppets, songs and stories.
    Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street?  Sunny days, sweepin’ the clouds away….Everyone loves to watch Sesame Street, but it is twice the fun when you get to be part of the action!
  • Museum Family Sundays at the Portland Art MuseumJoin us for a musical retelling of the classic German fairy tale written by the Hesse–sponsored Brothers Grimm. Enjoy entertainment by the Bremen Town Five, a group of local musicians that includes members of the Oregon Symphony, as they perform this charming story about clever barnyard animals. Then illustrate and write your own fairy tale book to take home.
  • See Harry Potter on the big screen or explore Animation (Featuring Cartoon Network) at OMSI"Explore how art, math, science, and technology come together in the exciting world of animation. Experiment with storyboarding, character design, movement, timing, filming, sound, editing and more as you explore the process of animation and create your own animated sequences."  Check the events calendar for more ideas here. 

Have a great Sunday afternoon, everyone!




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January 23, 2006 08:06 - The Oregon Coast

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Weekend Trip to Cannon Beach
In Portland we are just 1.5 hours away from the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific coastline.  Taking a day trip to Cannon Beach is always a possibility as it is an easy drive West on Hwy 26 about 70 miles to Hwy 101.  But for a really relaxing weekend, I like to spend a couple of nights there.  Here are a few ideas for a perfect weekend at Cannon Beach:
Where to Stay
If you are planning on spending the night, check to reserve a hotel room at least a week or more before you go.  They book up early during high season, but right now (during winter off-season) you may be lucky enough to find a room available the very night you call.  To be honest, I prefer off season as it is less crowded and more peaceful.  The weather varies just like it does in Portland, and I don't mind rain on my beach stroll, especially if I have a cozy hotel with fireplace to hole up in.  I also have dogs, so my choices of favorite Cannon Beach hotels are limited to those that are pet friendly.  Part of the thrill of this weekend visit for me is watching dogs freewheeling down the beach, ecstatic to have an open playground on which to run.  My favorite pet-friendly hotels include The Ocean Lodge, Surfsand Resort, and Inn at the Beach.  These hotels are fairly expensive--but during off season you can usually get a special deal.
Where to Eat
There are many good restuarants to try.  For breakfast, try a fluffy omelette at Wayfarer, a stack pancakes at Pig N' Pancake, or a tasty homemade quiche and scone at The Lazy Susan Cafe.  For lunch, there is no topping the halibut fish & chips at Ecola Seafood--they wild catch their fish and it is fresh.  For dinner, try JPs of Cannon Beach, or the Wayfarer.  Both offer consistently excellent food and equally good service.
What to Do
Cannon Beach is an arts community, so there are many wonderful galleries and shops to explore.  Also, it's a great boutique shopping area, so stroll the streets and window shop, or pick up unique gifts for loved ones.  My waiter at dinner informed me that Cannon Beach is the only city in Oregon where you are allowed to stroll the open streets with wine glass in hand--so walk, sip, shop, and enjoy!    Of course there is always flying a kite, taking a beach bike out for a spin, horseback riding, reading a good book from one of the local independent bookstores, or if you are the artsy type--you can paint "en plein air", as the scenery is inspiring!  Don't forget to take some time to take a long stroll on the beach, amuse yourself watching the frolicking dogs and the happy children building sandcastles.  It is after all, a place to unwind, soothe the senses, and relax.
Hopefully this gives you ideas for your next trip.  Enjoy, Portland!

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January 24, 2006 08:24 - Interesting facts about Portland, Oregon

Interesting facts about Portland

Portland is considered an example of outstanding urban planning. 
High above the city of Portland, the International Rose Test Garden features more than 500 varieties of roses cultivated continuously since 1917.
Elevation = 173 feet above sea level
Miles to the Pacific Ocean = 78
Acres of Parks in the Portland Area = 37,000, including the 5,000-acre Forest Park
The Portland Saturday Market is the largest continuously operating open-air crafts market in the United States.
Powell’s City of Books, occupying an entire city block, is the world’s largest independent bookstore.
The Oregon Brewers Festival is the largest gathering of independent brewers in North America.
At 465 square miles, Multnomah County is, geographically, the smallest county in the state. Interestingly enough, it boasts the largest population.
Oregon and New Jersey are the only states without self-service gas stations.
Miles to a glacier = 65 to the Palmer Glacier on Mount Hood 
Major industry = tourism, high-tech, health care and manufacturing

Portland's Sister Cities

Sapporo, Japan November 17, 1959
Guadalajara, Mexico September 23, 1983
Corinto, Nicaragua April 17, 1985
Ashkelon, Israel October 13, 1987
Ulsan, South Korea November 20, 1987
Suzhou, China June 7, 1988
Khabarovsk, Russia June 10, 1988
Kaohsiung, Taiwan October 11, 1988
Mutare, Zimbabwe December 18, 1991
Bologna, Italy June 5, 2003

Lets hope for a little more sun today!  Have a good one, P-Town!



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January 25, 2006 08:14 - Eliot News Article on Portland Jazz History

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I am happy to report we now have the full version of the Eliot News available for download and viewing from our Eliot Neighborhood Page!  Read more about the Eliot News here on the Eliot neighborhood discussion forum.  The Eliot News is the community paper for the Eliot neighborhood in North/Northeast Portland.  The winter edition features a great article and book review by Martha Gies on the Portland jazz history book,  Jumptown–The Golden Years of Portland Jazz, 1942-1957
A unique and valuable social history, Jumptown is also clearly a labor of pure love. Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Art Farmer, Errol Garner, Lionel Hampton, Stan Kenton, Meade Lux Lewis, Thelonius Monk, Art Tatum, Jack Teagarden, Fats Waller—they were all in Portland during the 15-year “golden period,” that author Bob Dietsche dates from the WWII arrival of thousands of African Americans who came to work in the Kaiser shipyards. Organized around 19 venues, Jumptown combines thumbnail biographies, legends grown up around unforgettable performances, and other jazz lore, all told with a fan’s contagious ardor. The venues, each a chapter, are presented chronologically, to tell the story of how Portland played and danced after dark. For jazz lovers who live in Eliot, Dietsche's book is a double treat, since three of these places were in Eliot, and eight more within a couple blocks of its present borders. Chapter one is about the Dude Ranch, housed in one of the few buildings still standing, at 240 North Broadway, on the pie-shaped block that divides Broadway and Weidler. Sam Amato opened a club there in 1944 and a year later sold it to two Black business partners who made it a wild success for another year, only to have it closed down in 1946. “The papers said it was all that big time gambling and an accidental shooting,” Dietsche writes. “Most people think it was the mixed couples, the flirting, those racy dances...” When it closed, the owners had to cancel engagements for Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole, among others.
Read more of the article, and learn more about Portland's rich Eliot neighborhood history in the Eliot News.  If you are looking for a modern Portland Jazz Club, be sure to check out Jimmy Mak's on 300 NW 10th Ave

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January 26, 2006 08:19 - Dining in Portland, Oregon

Good morning

Good morning, Portlandia,

What a chilly evening we had last night....It is impossible to convey how much I long for spring and summer-- ah, will it ever arrive?  Although my New Years "resolutions" were all about getting out more, exercising more and potentially losing a little "poundage", I've found that the dark, rainy, cold days have kept me nestled in my routine of comforting myself with the excellent meals served up by some of our awesome Portland restaurants.  No matter how long you've lived here, finding good restaurants in Portland requires a mix of personal recommendations, research and yes, a touch of bravery.  We are a word-of-mouth society and as such, place a great deal of value in the opinions of trusted sources.  In my never-ending quest for the "best Thai food" or the "most authentic Indian food", I've come across a few really excellent sites that have served as great resources and wanted to share them with you. 

  • An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink  A great site, offering extremely thorough reviews, menus, "restaurant rumors" and more.  I love the "tell it as it is" approach here.
  • ExtraMSG  The Culinary Blog and Portland Food Guide-- In addition to being an excellent source for information, I think we have a future photographer in the making-- great photos from all over!
  • PortlandFood.org  "Portland Food and Restaurant Events, Charity, and Talk"  Get-Togethers, Requests for Dining Companions, and General Food Events and more here!
  • BarFly  A great site centered on Portland bar reviews from a patron's perspective. Salty, good fun!

Though the popular CitySearch is a nice and easy-to-navigate site, I really do prefer the local flair of our homegrown Portland websites.  No one knows Portland like a Portlander, right? 

As an aside, I found this site pretty dang interesting, too:  Multnomah County Food Inspections  Want to know how that restaurant you ate at last week did on their last inspection?  Maybe you do, maybe you don't! ;-)  I love how technology has created all these new "consumer services"-- wow. 

Have a splendid Thursday all...


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January 27, 2006 08:06 - This weekend in Portland

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Portland Weekend Music Events
Hello, Portland--and happy Friday!  Looking for some weekend activity ideas?  Here are a few Portland events you might want to check out:
McMenamin's Crystal Ballroom at 1332 W Burnside - Friday, January 27
'80s VIDEO DANCE ATTACK! |10 p.m. | $3 at the door | 21 and over
Hosted by VJ Kittyrox
"Why just dance to '80s music when you can Stray Cat Strut to the glow of new wave videos shown on a large projection screen? The lovely VJ Kittyrox goes retro to a time when all the kids in America had Keds on their feet, crimps in their hair and knew the score between video and the radio star. (Sorry, Pop Rocks and 7-Up not included.)"
Aladdin Theatre at 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave - Friday, January 27
Scott Fisher Band | Ticket Price: $8.00 adv / $10.00 dos | All Ages - Doors Open at 8:00 PM
"Fisher is a sophisticated songwriter distinguished by a remarkable voice, deft keyboard mastery and eye-and-ear-catching poise. His current self titled release is a ‘smart pop’ fusion of old school ‘70s funk-soul-groove and modern rock. The album has received national airplay on non commercial and triple A stations around the country with the track “Tragedy Untold” reaching #138 on the commercial triple A charts. G. Michael Keating, Program/Music Director at WBCG -The Beach 98.9FM in Punta Gorda, Florida found that the track “possesses a keen lyrical relevancy and an lively, up-beat rhythmic energy that smashes the airwaves with an undeniable resonance. Fisher delivers an ode to love like no one has in years! Scott Fisher is an artist to be reckoned with now and in years to come. In the meantime, don't miss this fine debut that stands out in stark contrast from the pack...from a future core artist who is, "true to the music."
Wonder Ballroom at 128 NE Russell - Saturday, January 28
The Hot Buttered Rum String Band | All Ages Bar for 21+ 9:00pm show
"In the short time since Hot Buttered Rum debuted its music, dubbed as a “High Altitude Acoustic Experience,” the band has been praised by fans, peers and national media alike, recognizing Hot Buttered Rum for their ‘stunning instrumental and vocal virtuosity.’ Hot Buttered Rum is attracting a truly multi-generational audience with its ability to create an undeniably hip and fresh sound that weaves together the grounded traditions of folk and bluegrass with the modern influences of rock-n-roll, reggae and acoustic singer/songwriters. Hot Buttered Rum’s musical evolution has not only defined their sound, with their extensive touring schedule,the band has become established as one of the nation’s hottest young touring acts since setting off as a group of friends on a trail in the high sierras in the early part of the decade to emerge as a band, appropriately named, Hot Buttered Rum."
Have a great Friday, Portland!

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January 28, 2006 14:41 - Remodeling Tips & Tricks for Portland Homeowners

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Good afternoon to a soggy and sunny (!) Portland.  This blog is courtesy of Thomas Jay Construction, a local general contracting firm in Puddletown Oregon:

"After a recent kitchen remodel, I sat with my client and chatted about the overall project. We discussed the many aspects of remodeling projects: the chatty electrician, the good-hearted plumber with the great sense of humor, how horribly "ugly" the kitchen was prior to the project (he was so happy he took pictures for the 'before and after' view), the evolution phase (aka the building phase) and the shared satisfaction of the completed project: a beautiful, well-equipped kitchen completely built to suit- an accomplishment that makes us both proud. 

Here are some tips on making your kitchen renovation go smoothly:

You must feel comfortable with your contractor.  Trust your gut.  Word of mouth is not always enough, but its certainly a better starting place than closing your eyes and pointing into in the phone book. One thing is for sure, the contractor you choose will determine how smoothly the project will proceed and will do a lot to put you at peace. Do you really want a person in your home for two, maybe three, months if they drive you nuts or make you uncomfortable?

Budget. Have a really good idea of what you want the finished result to look like.  Before meeting with a contractor for a consultation, you should do some leg work and get a rough design and layout of what you want to achieve. Understand that some elements of the remodel will require choices and trade-offs-- cost and quality, for instance, sometimes require some real homework and even more, compromise if the budget is tight.  Be aware that in a kitchen remodel, the three most expensive items are flooring, cabinets and countertops. The difference in price (and quality) can be astounding. A good contractor will be more than willing to shepherd you along in this process-- we understand it can be very overwhelming. 

Communication. This is by far the most important element of any project. So many conflicts and setbacks can be avoided by being up front and direct when you have questions and comments. This is where you partner with your general contractor, understanding that poor communication can cost you (and the contractor) a lot of time and money if something needs to be done twice.  Remodels are exciting, sometimes stressful, but should never be frustrating.  A good contractor wants to hear your concerns-- a project well done is something you will both enjoy the success of."

Thanks to Thomas Jay Construction for a great informational piece! 



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January 29, 2006 09:18 - Portland Kid-Friendly Activities

Yesterday we received an email from Robyn from PortlandatPlay.com, regarding a new DVD video for those of you looking for great kid's activities in Portland.  Robyn writes:
"The DVD offers a visual tour of the terrific kid-friendly activities and attractions available in and around Portland and is loaded with ideas for fun things to do any day of the year, rain or shine. We cover outdoor spots like parks and playgrounds, U-pick farms and splashing fountains as well as activities like hiking, biking, skateboarding, boating and snow play. We cover indoor activities like museums, theater, climbing gyms, indoor pools, etc. We also cover the basics -- the lowdown on finding your way around the city as well as info on downtown -- and day trips. With seasonal info and age-specific recommendations, we believe the guide is a really useful resource for visitors and Portland families. And because so much of what Portland has to offer is enticing for all ages, we've even found that people without kids are enjoying the DVD and finding it useful as well. In producing the DVD we did our own personal research and we also distributed questionnaires to young families in the Portland area. We received absolutely no compensation or promotional consideration from any individual, company or attraction appearing in the DVD so hopefully people will feel like they can trust it knowing that its contents are not advertisements but real suggestions from real families."
Check out the DVD and let us know what you think, Portland.  Thanks to Robyn for writing us about this great Portland kid-friendly resource!
In other news, perhaps you noticed that our website is developing a brand new look and feel.  We were tired of our old website logo because...well--it didn't look like Portland!  Thanks to our graphic artist friend Lisa S. for helping us to create a site logo with real photos of Portland.  We are always making constant improvements to the website, and we add more content daily.  If you have any features you would like to see, business information you would like us to add, or other feedback, please Contact Us and share your input, we love hearing from you, Portland!

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January 30, 2006 08:17 - Free Geek in Portland, Oregon

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Howdy, Portland,

Today I want to promote a local organization called Free Geek. Free Geek's motto is: "Helping the needy get nerdy since the beginning of the 3rd millennium." Haven't heard of this great place? Well, here's some information to bring you up to speed:

"TOUR our lovely facility...If you want to get acquainted with FREE GEEK and join one of our volunteer programs, or just satisfy your curiosity, come down to FREE GEEK at noon or 6 pm any day we're open. We'll be glad to give you an informational tour.
RECYCLE your old equipment...We accept all computers and computer equipment, in any condition; there is a $10 fee for all monitors. Read more about donating stuff and the fate of the equipment.
EARN a refurbished computer...in exchange for 24 hours of service. You can also help us to repair and recycle computers; we will teach you the skills required.
DONATE to the cause...We're not just a community organization - we're a community-supported organization. That means we take cash donations in addition to old computer stuff. Donations large and small and allow us to continue to provide our services.
VISIT our great Thrift Store...Looking for an inexpensive (but high-quality) monitor? We have lots! We also just might have that adapter you're looking for, that video card you need, or some spiffy new-to-you RAM, all at low prices. Our Thrift Store is open the same hours as the rest of our facility.
APPRECIATE our communication skills...Want to keep up on FREE GEEK news? Subscribe to our monthly email newsletter! Visit this page to sign up."

Free Geek is a fantastic learning and volunteer opportunity. If they are brand new to you, make sure to check them out and pass the word-- I know they will be a great service to you or someone you know.
Free Geek is at 1731 SE 10th Avenue, Portland, OR

Have a great evening, Portlandia!

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January 31, 2006 16:24 - Chinese New Year Celebration

If you haven't visited the Portland Classical Chinese Garden yet, now is a great time to go, as January 29th  to Feb 12th is a New Year's celebration for the "Year of the Dog"!
"The Portland Classical Chinese Garden is proud to host a series of special events to hallmark the upcoming Year of the Dog or lunar year 4704.  This year, the New Year will commence on January 29th with the new moon and will conclude with the lantern festival on February 12th.  The Lunar New Year is the most exuberant of all Chinese festivals and incorporates a full schedule of events to enchant the entire family.
Throughout the fifteen-day span of the traditional Chinese New Year, the Portland Classical Chinese Garden is proud to host a number of activities, performances, exhibits and special events.  Join the Garden from January 29th to February 12th, 2006 in celebrating Chinese heritage by participating in traditional Chinese crafts and viewing various Chinese performing arts.  The Garden’s highly anticipated annual plant sale commences on Friday, February 3rd.  This is our largest plant sale of the year and features many traditional Chinese New Year selections: Orchids, flowering Meyer’s Lemons, potted kumquats, fragrant Buddha’s Hand, Flying Dragon citrus, and Chinese Crab Claw narcissus will be complemented by a host of other plants, common and rare, all native to China.
Garden events begin with a spectacular Lion Dance on Sunday, January 29th and will conclude on Sunday, February 12th with a traditional lantern festival hallmarked by a free lantern making workshop and procession through the Garden.  Local martial arts groups will demonstrate Tai Chi and Qigong.  Other activities include Dragon Arts Puppetry, Chinese Knot Tying, Calligraphy and Storytelling.  The Garden also invites visitors to meet author and illustrator Grace Lin.  Ms. Lin will be at the Garden on February 4th & 5th to read excerpts from her new book, The Year of the Dog and sign books."
The Garden is located between NW 2nd and 3rd and NW Everett and Flanders in Old Town/Chinatown. The Garden can be reached from I-405 by taking the Everett Street Exit and turning East. The garden is also available by MAX, which is Portland’s light rail system, or by buses 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, 16, 33, 40, and 77.
November 1 - March 31:  10:00am - 5:00pm
April 1 - October 31:  9:00am - 6:00pm
Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5.50 for students, with children under 5 for free. With a membership admission is free for one year.
map of northwest Portland

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