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January 13, 2007 14:34 - Free Spanish Class in St. Johns

St. Johns has many unique features to boast about. We'd like to list a free Spanish class being offered to the community in the St. Johns area. This class will be taught by students of Roosevelt High school.

St Johns All Nations, COGIC

Free Spanish Classes

St. Johns All Nations Church is offering FREE Spanish Classes to the Portland Community.

Classes begin Saturday, January 20, 2007 at 1pm to 2:30 pm, and each consecutive Saturday for 8 weeks. Light snacks will be provided Classes will be taught by Roosevelt High-SEIS School Students

All ages are welcome, no prior Spanish is required.

This is a beginning course for conversational Spanish.

Classes will be held at the Church: St Johns All Nations Church of God In Christ, 9486 N. Buchanan, Portland OR 97203, 503.247.8447

Pre-registration required.

Call Yvette Key to register or to get more information 503-209-9045

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January 14, 2007 12:47 - Fun in the (cold) sun in a frozen Portland...

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Brrr!  It's cold out there!  I have to admit though, I'm actually enjoy this weather.  The cold keeps me alert and the sun-- well, the sun just makes me happy!  I have a sneaking suspicion that half of Portland is down at Forest Park, walking their dogs and drinking coffee. I think I will be a little sheep and just follow along...I've got three dogs that would die of happiness to get out and get some exercise! 

It appears we are to be in a freeze for some time, so here are some ideas on keeping the house warm and the bills down....

Here are some Portland Home Winterizing Tips:

  • Check your downspouts and drains to make sure water is draining properly. If necessary (I bet it is), clean your gutters.
  • Disconnect garden hoses, and cover outdoor water spigots and insulate pipes if necessary.
  • Insulate your hot water heater with an insulation blanket.
  • Have your furnace inspected and serviced annually for optimal maintenance and operation. At a minimum, replace your furnace filter. They recommend you do this monthly during the winter to insure good airflow.
  • Seal all possible leaks around doors, floors, walls, ceiling, ductwork, and windows. A little weather stripping and caulk could save you a lot on your heating this winter!
  • Check to make sure your home has adequate insulation. Add more if necessary.
  • To save on heating costs, set your thermostat between 65-70 degrees when you are home, but while you are away you can lower the temperature even more than that by using an automatic programmable thermostat.
  • Other tips to consider include updating appliances to more energy efficient models. You could even potentially get a tax break!

    Have a splendid afternoon, Portland...


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    January 16, 2007 09:28 - Portland Snow Day!! And-- an ice storm lurking...Please read for tips on how to stay warm and safe

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    Wheeee!!  A Portland Snow Day!  I was starting to wonder if it was going to happen this year.  I mean, come on-- it's just not ok to have seriously freezing weather without any fun white snow to show for it!! 

    I'm pretty lucky that I get to work from home today as I don't have to venture out on the roads and risk life and limb.  Even if you do know how to drive in this stuff, there are plenty of people who do not, so think twice!  Just stay home, hang out, make a fine pot of chili and enjoy a book or a movie...It's definitely more fun! 

    PortlandNeighborhood.com quick and dirty chili recipe (delish!!):

    • 1.5lbs hamburger (10% or less)
    • 1 large sweet onion chopped
    • Cook chili and onion in a large pan, salt and pepper to taste
    • In a large pot, add: 1 can kidney beans, 2 can chili beans (strain and rinse beans), 2 cans tomato sauce, 2 cans water, cumin to taste, 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste), 2 cans stewed tomatoes
    • Optional :  add frozen corn or chopped potatoes
    • Simmer for a few hours

    On a more serious note--  rumor has it that a Portland ice storm is right around the corner...You still have time to prepare yourself a little bit.  Here are some ideas:

    • Knowing bad weather is on the way, prepare a small stock of food (don't forget the four-legged ones!), plus a few candy bars- ;-) - and tuck it all away. Put together an 'emergency kit' (candles, matches, flashlight) with necessary supplies, stowing the kit away under the sink or in a closet. Don't forget any prescriptions you might need, as well as a manual can opener.
    • Drive only when you really need to. We Portlanders just don't get enough practice driving on slick, icy roads. Even those folks who have sufficient experience from a "past life" need to be wary-- the roads aren't full of seasoned-bad-weather-drivers...What's worse, the city simply does not have the resources to take care of all the roads (plows, salt, sand, etc). Personally, I would rather grab a pair of cross country skis, snow shoes or spikes and wander out on foot than get in a car and drive. The ice storms out here are just wickedly awful at times!

    If you have to drive, please keep the following in mind:

    • Thoroughly clean ice and snow off all windows, the hood and the trunk before you leave. This is a perfect time to warm up the engine while you prep the vehicle. By the way, an ice scraper is a pretty good $3 investment-- sure extends the life of your drivers license!
    • Utilize snow tires, studs and chains if necessary. Les Schwab is my choice for outfitting the car before a trip to Mt. Hood, but that's usually the only occasion where I will don chains...
    • This one is important: Drive slowly. Depending on the weight of your vehicle, you will need 3 to 12 times more stopping distance on icy roads than on dry surfaces. Ease off the accelerator when stopping.
    • Remember, bridges and overpasses usually freeze first, so slow down when approaching them.
    • Be aware of alternate routes to your destination in case of road closures.
    • Listen to the radio or check the web for road condition updates.  I really like Katu's Weather Page-- you can even set up a profile so that Katu will send weather alerts to you via email.
    • Some of you will have to go outside and brave it, anyway.

      Keep checking your local news channels for updates, and let's hope for a warmer afternoon! Stay safe and warm today, Portland!

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    January 17, 2007 14:25 - Oh, the snow in lovely Portlandia

    Another snow day in Portland....

    The roads are better but still a little ugly in some places...kids are out of school yet again (free yard decorations-- snow men, snow angels-- for all!).  We drug out our shovel and cleared the walks and felt like true winter pioneers...;-)  Word has it we have a significant chance of freezing rain this evening and tomorrow morning--  if you've been around for a Portland ice storm before, you know they can get nasty. Power outages, roads closed, bursting pipes and a whole bunch of scary stuff.  This is just a gentle reminder to get prepared since you still have time...


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    January 18, 2007 13:01 - Snow's a-meltin' in Portland

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    So, we dodged the "big one"...I have to admit, I'm right in the middle of disappointed and relieved.  Ice storms are so beautiful and so rare in the Portland area (exciting) but get old real quick (cabin fever!).  Oh well, with our weather being as crazy as its been lately, you never know-- we might have another opportunity for a Frozen Portland.

    Some of the kids are back at school after a late start while some schools are still in "weather lockdown". ;-)  I suspect the last few days have been quite the treat for Portland kids who never get to enjoy snow.  It was really neat to see all the foot traffic around my North Portland (Piedmont) neighborhood.  Kids with sleds, folks walking over to the New Seasons on Portland Blvd and Interstate, dogs frolicking in the snow. Most people I saw had a cup of coffee in hand, were bundled tight and for some reason, were either pushing a stroller or had a few dogs dancing by them. This kind of weather might put a dent (pardon the pun) in your road travels, but it certainly doesn't keep all of Portland indoors. ;-)

    And now its all melting....wahh! I want more snow-- how about you?

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    January 18, 2007 17:31 - Cloned livestock to enter US food supply?

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    Article source is New Seasons Market in Portland, Oregon.  Thank you, New Seasons, for making us aware of this important news!

    The FDA is collecting public comment on cloning livestock through April 2.  Send your comments to the FDA.


    The FDA has announced that it will allow cloned animals and their offspring to enter the U.S. food supply without any special labeling requirements.

     This is unacceptable. Labels are a must. In the past, we have demanded labeling of products containing GMOs. We didn't believe genetically modified crops should go unlabeled and we feel even stronger about the importance of labeling the meat of cloned livestock and their offspring.



    "Country Natural Beef Ranchers have never cloned animals, have no intention of doing so, and the practice is not congruent with our philosophy of raising animals in harmony with nature."

    -Rancher Doc Hatfield,
    Country Natural Beef


    We are in the process of contacting our ranchers for commitments that they will not participate in the breeding, raising or processing of cloned animals.

    Rancher Doc Hatfield of Country Natural Beef has made his position clear to us: "
    Country Natural Beef Ranchers have never cloned animals, have no intention of doing so, and the practice is not congruent with our philosophy of raising animals in harmony with nature."


    Umpqua Valley Lamb Rancher Kathy Panner had this to say: "I do not see any possibility that any of the producers involved in Umpqua Valley Lamb will be involved in any way in cloning of lambs." 

    Alan Hummel, our Meat Merchandiser for all of our stores, has a personal relationship with the meat producers whose products we stock behind our meat counters. We know where our meat comes from and we know the ranchers who are producing that meat. 

    "Doc and Connie over at Country Natural Beef, our pork producer Claude (Williamson) and Kathy Panner down in the Umpqua Valley are doing great without cloned animals," he said. "There's no reason why they should use them now."

    Why Labeling is Critical
    We believe it is simply wrong to allow cloned meat to enter our food supply while leaving grocers and consumers in the dark. Labeling is essential. We can't stress this enough. We, as grocers and as consumers, must demand accountability from government agencies like the FDA and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (the USDA's regulatory agency responsible for overseeing food labeling).  




    "I do not see any possibility that any of the producers involved in Umpqua Valley Lamb will be involved in any way in cloning of lambs." 

    -Rancher Kathy Panner,
    Umpqua Valley Lamb


    What is Cloning?
    The FDA and some meat lobbyists argue that clones are not GMOs and they are right. A clone's genes are not altered, they are replicated. Bottom line: it's biotechnology. While we are not against all forms of biotechnology, we believe that when food is manufactured through the use of GMOs or clones, it needs to be labeled.

    Some consumers may choose not to consume the meat of clones or their offspring for ethical or religious reasons. Others may decline because they recall that a lack of biodiversity in the human food supply has historically resulted in famine. (One of the more recent in our cultural memory being the Irish potato famine, precipitated by a lack of diversity in potato crops.) History has shown that human health is dependent upon diversity in our food supply.

    A good rule of thumb: If you produced it in a petri dish, label it.


    Is Cloning Organic?
    We don't think so and neither does the Organic Trade Association. They told us that they will not support cloning and will only support the use of natural processes for breeding and raising animals. They made it clear to us that they will not certify a cloned animal or its offspring as organic.

    What You Can Do
    Now is a critical time for action. The FDA is seeking public comment for the next 90 days. Never before has our food supply been in such danger for compromise. We intend to do all we can to educate those consumers who aren't aware of the importance of something as simple as food labeling. We implore you to please do the same.

    We must not allow cloned livestock, or their offspring, to enter our food supply unlabeled. Consumers have a right to know what they are eating. A right to make informed decisions for themselves. A right to know what's on the end of their forks before it enters their bodies.

    Below is the contact information for Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith. Write, email or call and let them know you think it's important to protect our food supply and not leave consumers in the dark.

    You can also familiarize yourself with other government agencies that are accountable for the health and safety of our food supply, as well as the consumer groups who are working to defend it, by visiting our Government Agencies and Sustainable Farming pages. You can also learn more about the rules governing what is Organic.


    Contact Our Oregon Senators  

    Senator Ron Wyden


    Senator Gordon Smith

    Washington, DC Office
    230 Dirksen Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510-3703
    Phone: 202.224.5244

    Portland Office
    1220 SW 3rd Ave., Ste 585
    Portland, OR 97204
    Phone: 503.326.7525

    Email Senator Ron Wyden




    Washington, DC Office
    404 Russell Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    Phone: 202.224.3753


    Portland Office
    One World Trade Center
    121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 1250
    Portland, OR 97204

    Phone: 503.326.3386


    Email Senator Gordon Smith


    Contact the FDA

    The FDA is accountable for determining what is allowed to enter our food supply.


    The FDA is seeking comments for the next 90 days.

    Register your comment with the FDA

    Mail letters to:
    Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305),
    Food and Drug Administration,
    5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061,
    Rockville, MD, 20852.

    Comments must be received by Apr. 2, 2007 and should include the docket number 2003N-0573.


    Contact the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service

    The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is accountable for our national food labeling rules.


    Email: fsis.regulationscomments@fsis.usda.gov.

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    January 18, 2007 23:40 - New PortlandNeighborhood Forum

    Howdy Portlandia...We have a new forum for you to test drive--  it's a lot more user friendly and better organized.  We see the PortlandNeighborhood forum as your place to post and share Portland information, news, events, questions, restaurant reviews, classifieds, comments and opinions, and...well...anything you like about living in Portland, Oregon.

    We welcome your feedback-- enjoy!



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    January 19, 2007 12:17 - Updated Piedmont Neighborhood Page

    Howdy Portland,

    Just a quick shout out to let you know that we have modified the very popular Piedmont neighborhood page.  Drop by and take a look-- and please, let us know if we have missed any of your favorite places! 



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    January 19, 2007 16:17 - Portland's Rake Art Gallery February 2007 Exhibition




    FROM:                                  Rake Art Gallery
    325 NW Sixth Avenue
    Portland, OR 97209
    CONTACTS:                                 Jeremy Tucker (cell, Press calls only) 503.453.0434
    Gallery # 503.750 .0754
    www.Rakeart.org Rakeart@gmail.com

    RE: Rake Art Gallery February 2007 Exhibition


    "Things of Precious Measure and Of Consequence" by Sarah Cruse

    "Re-freshing Play" By Rachel J.Siegel

    First Thursday Opening Reception: February 1st, from 6-10 PM
    Show will run Feb1st - 24Th
    Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 2-8 Sat 12-8

    "Things of Precious Measure and Of Consequence"

    Sarah Cruse's poignant series of paintings set a contemplative tone. Themes of deconstructing old patterns, and the struggle to redefine and balance ones' emotions are central to her paintings.  Originally from Indiana, Sarah Cruse, is a recent Graduate of Portland State University with a B.S. in Painting and Drawing. She has had numerous solo and group shows in Portland since moving here 1999.

    Of her work, Sarah states: "My paintings are usually acrylic, sometimes oil, figurative or representational, with a good dose of abstract expressionistic influence."

    "Re-freshing Play" By Rachel J.Siegel

    The installation artwork, "re-freshing play" brushes
    up against a feeling of nostalgia seeking to go beyond just the
    relationship of youthful memory. How do qualities of child wonderment,
    discovery, and enthusiasm become part of adult life? Preserving memory
    is not the aim of the work; rather it is about women's changing
    perspectives and perceptions as we age.

    In May of 2002, Rachel completed a Master of Fine Arts at University at
    Buffalo where her feminist art practice included video, installation,
    digital arts, photography and book-making. In the summer of 2004 She
    relocated to Portland where she currently lives, teaches and makes art.




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    January 24, 2007 20:19 - Help Shape the future of Portland International Airport

    The airport master plan, a proposal to extend the north runway, and a state-of-the-art inline baggage screening system: learn more about these and other Portland International Airport projects at two upcoming open houses. These open houses are being held to discuss changes you can expect to see at your airport, areas where community input is being solicited, and opportunities for you to get involved early in the planning process.  We hope you can attend!

    DATE: Thursday, February 1, 2007 LOCATION: Parkrose High School, 12003 NE Shaver Street, Portland TIME: 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 6:00.

    DATE: Tuesday, February 6, 2007 LOCATION: Clark County Public Utility District Community Room, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver TIME: 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 6:30.

    Attendees will be entered into a drawing for gift certificates to airport businesses. On-site childcare and refreshments will be available, and everyone is welcome. For more information, please feel free to contact me at 503-460-4073 or 800-547-8411, ext. 4073, or rachel.wray@portofportland.com.

    Rachel Wray Community Affairs Aviation Program Manager 503-460-4073 7000 NE Airport Way Portland, OR 97218

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    January 26, 2007 18:25 - Portland's Delivered Dish

    We want to give a plug to a local Portland start-up that we absolutely adore (and question how we ever lived without)

    Pretty much every Friday night, we drag our sorry butt's home, completely exhausted and of course, totally starved. We investigate the cupboards and "home cooking possibilities" and discover-- alas-- that Campbell soup sounds very...hmmmm...boring. So, in comes the white night-- DeliveredDish!.  We mosey over to our trusty oracle, the Internet, and click on over to DeliveredDish and peruse their fine selection of local Portland restaurants that we can order from. And here's the kicker-- you, clad in pajamas and sipping wine, pick out your evening meal, choose the delivery time and voila! You walk away and watch some TV. Convenience heaven!  The delivery guy is always super friendly and the delivery charge is only 6 bucks-- a small price to pay for some real pampering, if I say so myself!

    My all-time favorites (thank god I'm anonymous), are the deep fried Twinkies from Fire on the Mountain with (of course) a mess of hot wings with BBQ sauce.

    PS-- As I type this, my other half just ordered 2 fried twinkies, hot wings and french fries. I'll be fat and happy in no time. ;-)

    Happy Weekend, Portland!

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    January 27, 2007 00:31 - Convenient and stylish First Thursday transportation....

    Convenient and stylish First Thursday transportation is now available. The Groove Bomb is a former Trimet bus that was converted into an art car complete with lounge, bar, and sound system, and has served Portland in this guise since 2005. This Thursday, February first, the Groove Bomb will provide free shuttle service between five businesses and seven art galleries in Northwest and Northeast Portland, including Rake. The shuttle route will begin at 6 PM at the corner of NW 9th Ave. and Couch and will proceed to the Everett Street Lofts (home of the Rake Gallery, Sugar Gallery, and Vorpal Space). From there, the shuttle will continue with stops at the Secret Society Ballroom, Cafe Wonder, Mark Woolley Gallery, Russell BBQ, Gold Rush Cafe, William Park Studios, Salon Arabella, Queen of Sheba, and Echo Restaurant.

    Whether you arrive on the Groove Bomb or not, Rake Gallery invites you to attend its First Thursday opening reception featuring "Things of Precious Measure and of Consequence," by Sarah Cruse and "Re-freshing Play" by Rachel J. Seigel, from 6-10 PM. Sarah Cruse's poignant series of paintings explores the themes of deconstructing old patterns and the struggle to redefine and balance one's emotions. Rachel J. Seigel's installation, "Re-freshing play" asks how qualities of child wonderment, discovery, and enthusiasm become part of adult life.

    We hope you will be able to attend.

    Rake Art Gallery 325 NW 6th Ave. Portland, OR 97209


    Hours: Mon-Fri 2-8 PM, Sat. 12-8 PM

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    January 27, 2007 19:31 - We want your Portland pictures!

    Everybody loves a little something for free.  Google Earth just might be THE coolest thing we have ever seen in our entire lives-- and Google Maps is a close second. Have you seen our clickable map of Portland Neighborhoods?  Based entirely off of Google Maps and it's pretty dang cool, if we do say so ourselves. 

    At any rate, here comes Google yet again with some more cool, free stuff bundled in "the Google Pack".  Picasa is rather snazzy (photo software) and we use it extensively in these parts ;-)  Google Desktop promises to take over the world...I would die without RealPlayer....Run Microsoft, run! 

    So, what's in this infamous "Google Pack"?

    • Adobe Reader 7
    • Ad-Aware SE Personal
    • GalleryPlayer HD Images
    • Google Desktop
    • Google Earth
    • Google Pack Screensaver
    • Google Talk
    • Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
    • Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar
    • Norton AntiVirus 2005 Special Edition
    • Picasa
    • RealPlayer
    • Trillian

    Click here and get it now-- make sure to send us some of your awesome Portland photos ala Picasa!

    This hail-Google blog would not be complete without resurrecting an older blog post about Goog's work with our very own TriMet (no longer in pilot and super cool!!)

    Dear Pilot town of Google's latest brainchild...

    Google is now focusing their attention on public transit...What better system to start with than a super sophisticated mass transit system such as the one we have here in glorious P-Town?  The Google pilot is focused on the TriMet system (local bus and light rail system for you non-locals)-- the pilot is basically a trip-planner that gives you detailed information on how to get from A-Z-- where to walk, what line to take, cost and more.  This system even compares the cost of riding TriMet compared to driving! 

    We hear the pilot is still somewhat buggy- a work in progress in some areas, but we are stoked to be a pilot city for the Big G.  Google has said that they chose Portland because ""Tri-Met, Portland's transit authority, is a technological leader in public transportation. The team at Tri-Met is a group of tremendously passionate people dedicated to serving their community. And Tri-Met has a wealth of data readily available that they were eager to share with us for this project."

    Go check this out...from what I can see, its super cool and will be very useful.  Google Transit would totally blow my grandparents away...How far we have come!  This couldn't have existed 10 years ago (not easily anyway)--- amazing the benefits we continue to gain, and grow accustomed to, via the Internet...


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    January 28, 2007 12:13 - Sunday Portland Trivia

    The famous Nike "swoosh" logo was designed by University of Oregon student, Carolyn Davidson in 1964. This was just four years after business undergrad Phil Knight and track coach Bill Bowerman founded the company they originally called Blue Ribbon Sports. Rumor has it Ms. Davidson was paid $35 dollars for her design.

    Find more Portland Trivia, here!

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    January 29, 2007 16:44 - Portland's International District

    The International District, formed in 2007, is a new business district aiming to celebrate Portland's Diverse Cultures. Its borders are NE57th, NE Prescott, NE 82nd, and the I-84. Sandy Boulevard runs diagonally through the district and has many different types of cuisine, natural medicine facilities, and other local businesses. From bicycle shops to records stores, and Turkish rugs to new movies, the International District has it all.

    Do you like to golf? What about Hawaiian, Thai, or Vietnamese food? Trying to find an Asian grocery store? The International District is a great place to live if you want a home with classic Portland architecture and friendly neighbors at an affordable price.

    If you would like to learn more about about homes, parks, or businesses in the area, talk to the International District President, Tyler Whitmire. You can find him at http://www.rosewayrealty.com

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    January 30, 2007 22:12 - Ringside Steakhouse No More?! Tell us its not true....

    Howdy Portlanders,

    We had a beautiful (albeit cold), sunny day which has me yearning for spring -- big time!  I have visions of planting raised beds and mowing the yard and making ice tea dancing around in my head....Alas, its not even February yet--  oh, to last another few months.....It can be done, right?  ;-)

    So tonight we left the house heading for sushi (Mio Sushi is a fave but we wanted a change-up and were headed for Todai downtown) yet due to traffic-insanity on I-5, we veered up onto 405 and ended up on Burnside. Hmmmm....what is there to eat on Burnside?  Oh yes--- Ringside Steakhouse!!  I can't even tell you how much we love this nearly 63 year old steakhouse--  perfect, perfect, perfect simply to-die-for food.  It's a splurge, but man- it's worth every red cent! 

    It was busy but we only had to wait a few minutes and snagged a few spots at the bar (love sitting at the bar) and were pleased to see that Jimmy was our 'tender. Jimmy (some call him Jim) is the idyllic bartender-- attentive, witty, sardonic sense of humor, punctual-- heck, I'm running out of adjectives....we absolutely love the guy and the fact he's from Steel Capital Ohio. He's the real deal. Jimmy, if you're reading this-- seriously, the restaurant world should clone you.

    Anyway, tonight we enjoyed some *fantastic* Ringside fare-- a bone in rib eye and a perfect New York, both Oscar style topped with asparagus, potatoes with the works and some might fine drinks (me-- Eola Hills Pinot Gris and my mate a Makers and ginger)....So, yes- we were sitting there, nearly into full blown food-coma and embarking upon a fond Ringside ritual of: "Do you just LOVE this place or what?" when I overhead a guy a few feet away from me telling someone he heard from someone that the Ringside was considering selling out/shutting down and what we know and love as Ringside today would become a (gasp!!!!) CONDO highrise!?!!! 


    Our heads snap and we listen but try not to be obvious as obviously the conversation is not for us (its meant to be secretive and we know this given the hushed voices) but oh woe is me we cannot help ourselves. So here's the deal-- we cannot vouch for the legitimacy of this wicked, wicked rumor but what we can say is-- NO, NO, NO, NO!!!  If the Ringside is torn down and becomes a CONDO we'll just....uhhhhhhh.....riot??  What will we do?  I don't know what exactly but it will be severe!  We're going to spend some time over the next few days considering our options-- in the meanwhile, please let us know what you think.

    Oh, and if you didn't know, the Ringside has been repeatedly ranked as one of the top 10 steakhouses in the COUNTRY (among other awards).  We love this place and you should, too!


    RingSide Downtown:

    2165 W Burnside

    Portland, OR 97210

    Phone 503 223 1513

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