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This Week in Portland - Jan 14 - 21, 2012

Lorri Ely  Hey, Portlanders!  Here's your Portland blog,  with the Portland events rundown for the week.

I was fortunate to get out to see the Emily Wells show at Doug Fir on Thursday night.  If you're looking for things to do in Portland during the winter months, we have a great live music scene in Portland.  There are many excellent shows coming up at Wonder Ballroom, Mississippi Studios, Doug Fir Lounge, Aladdin, Crystal Ballroom, and other Portland music venues.  If you have a live music show / concert you would like to share, feel free to post it on the Portland events calendar.

While I was at Doug Fir I met Larry, who heads a Meet-Up Group for Live Music in Portland.  If you'd like to join Larry's group and meet up with others to enjoy live music events in Portland, check out the group.  

Here is my (amateur) video clip of Emily Wells performing Let your Guard Down at Doug Fir in Porland.  Sorry, you can't see her very well on my phone video recording, but you can hear her amazing voice pretty clearly. I have had this song in my head all day, and that's a good thing.

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I don't rant very much on this website, but I really wanted to say this:  I enjoyed the show, but I admit I was surprised and a little upset at the rudeness of some of the people there at Doug Fir who were talking very LOUDLY over the top of the music.  Hey, Portland - it's a concert - some of us want to actually hear the music!  So please be quiet and if you aren't listening to the music, at the very least move to the bar part of the venue, don't stand smack in front of the stage holding your conversation right in front of the performer on the stage.  Sorry, Emily, Portland didn't mean to be so rude!  Some of us really enjoyed your music enough to be quiet and take it in.  

Emily Wells is an amazing performer so if you didn't catch the show, I'm sure you can look forward to a future show in Portland.

This week, I would like to introduce our guest blogger, Rob Creighton Garrison.  Rob is a member on our community network, and a great writer and contributor to the site.  This is his first guest blog post for the weekly blog newsletter.  Thanks for the great blog, Rob!

Get your Geek On! - Portland's Free Geek

Rob Creighton GarrisonBy Rob Creighton Garrison, Portland Blogger

I love the internet. This is not news to anyone who knows me. I love computers; again, not really a surprise. I ogle desktop systems like other people might covet Lamborghinis (laptops too, but the relationship I have with them is more of a tug-of-war, in that I love the sleek designs but hate that touch pad thingy you’re supposed to pretend is a mouse. Ugh.) Unfortunately, just as I couldn’t tell you how to change the oil in a Lamborghini, or even find the oil cap in the first place, I don’t know the first thing about how a computer works. I can open the tower and blow out the dust, I can affix cables via trial-and-error (and wait for the weird noises and the smoke that tell me I connected something wrong) but that’s the sum total of my knowledge. I know, pathetic. This sad state of affairs may change soon, however, with the help of Free Geek.

Anyone who (a) likes computers, (b) loves the environment and hates all the toxic junk we toss into our landfills needlessly, and (c) enjoys the idea of a little labor benefiting the community, needs to check out Free Geek at 1731 SE 10th Ave. in Portland. This place is, to put it in a way the staff and volunteers might, freekin’ awesome. The space is no-nonsense and utilitarian, with hand-lettered signs posted on nearly every surface, and busy busy staff and volunteers bustling to and fro through the narrow hallways. Two counters serve to receive donations and volunteer sign-ups, and the warehouse space beyond is kind of like the interior of that Jawa desert trawler in Star Wars; technology in various states of repair stacked in every available cranny (hardly any of them talk or walk around, though). Everyone is friendly but focused. Make no mistake that there’s serious work being done.

Free Geek offers two primary volunteer programs:

The Adoption Program deals with the receiving of donated computers and peripherals, and the recycling of those items. Volunteers basically break down the machines and sort the materials (steel and other metals, wires, cables, drives, circuit boards) for recycling. It’s a tool-intensive enterprise; you’ll acquire a close and meaningful relationship with a screwdriver very quickly. You’ll also be loving your Mother, because all this stuff you’re disassembling won’t be bleeding nasty stuff into our soil and water. Donate 24 hours of your time doing this, and you get a new-to-you computer to take home as your very own!

The Build Program teaches volunteers to build computers. This program is more regimented as to its time and schedule requirements and asks participants to commit to the construction of five computers, which will go to community programs, the thrift store located on-site (SUCH deals!) , and to volunteers who’ve earned them via the adoption program. The sixth computer you build is your own. No experience required, Free Geek’s staff will teach you.

Free Geek offers more advanced instruction and classes for those interested in learning beyond the basics, and also offers volunteer internships for those who simply can’t get enough. Visit the website at, or go to the store for an orientation. While you’re at it, take along that old tech that’s been stacked in your closet and give it to them. They’ll know what to do with it. They accept monetary donations too, if you’ve a mind.

Honestly, Free Geek is about as win-win as you get.

Free Geek, 1731 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR -

If you would like to contribute to the website as a Portland guest blogger, just Contact Us!  

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Portland Walking Group

Mark McClure
Join our Portland Walking Group if you're interested in joining some organized Portland walks.  This was just posted by  Mark McClure to the Portland Walking Group:

Tonight, I attended the final open house for the Sullivan's Gulch Trail Concept Plan. Please take a few minutes to review the materials that have been drafted so far. The prospect of walking from the Eastbank Esplanade at the Willamette River to I-205 at Rocky Butte and the Gateway District is very exciting, especially for those of us that live in NE/SE Portland.

And speaking of trails...when I was in Alaska last week visiting family and friends, I stopped by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Headquarters. The museum is a must-see if you are ever in Wasilla. The 2012 Iditarod begins on March 3. You can follow race coverage online.

I did manage to get in a few walks when I was in Alaska. I was reminded that walking in -20 weather does require a face mask though.

Here is a snapshot of Joe Redington Sr. "Father of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race" and his dog, Feets. 

Well, it certainly wasn't as cold as Alaska this week in Portland, but it was still cold.  And it's supposed to snow!

New Portland Neighborhood Photos - Belmont District

I drive a scooter around Portland during the summer months, and last year it didn't make it through the winter because I didn't drive it often enough to prevent it from getting all gummed up.  So, even though it was cold this week, it was dry and sunny, so  I rode my scooter to Belmont District  to snap some photos of one of Portland's most popular SE Portland streets.  Here are the latest images of Portland's Belmont District.  If you live in this area, feel free to come share your photos and I can add them to the slideshow that goes on the Belmont District and Sunnyside neighborhood pages.  Plus, every photo uploaded each week could win the Portland Photo of the Week contest!

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This Week's Top Ten in Portland

The Portland Top Ten List is a list of places, businesses, restaurants, or events that we'd like to focus on each week.   This week I thought I would give you a couple more indoor ideas for things to do during the winter months, including Portland arts, music, and theater events.

Fertile Ground Festival -  10 days of  World Premiere WORKS OF ART.  DOZENS of Portland-GENERATED Arts Events of New Work…and growing... The glow of creation shines out into the dark, water-kissed evenings of January in the Pacific Northwest.

Discover compelling indoor landscapes of many hues and disciplines cultivated in Fertile Ground. This 10-day sampling illuminates the verdant and abundant acts of creation that bubble and catalyze year-long in Portland.

Fertile Ground aspires to increase the appreciation for Portland’s lush creative culture, the artists and projects spawned right here in our native soil.

Oregon Ballet Theatre - Giselle begins in February (tickets on sale now).  The Heart is a Flower ...blooming in the mystery of the night. A summer affair turns to winter chill when a country girl with tender feelings and a weak heart falls for a gentleman with questionable intentions and the worst timing. Her heart bursts. Adrift in the afterlife she must ultimately decide… free him through her forgiveness or let avenging spirits dance him to death? The most beloved Romantic-era story ballet comes to Oregon Ballet Theatre in this world premiere production set by Lola de Avila, after Coralli/Perrot.  "A stunner, with showy choreography and a mythical story." - Houston Chronicle

White Bird Dance -  Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca - Hailed by critics everywhere for their transcendent and deeply emotional performances, Noche Flamenca is the most authentic flamenco touring company in the world today, and Soledad Barrio is its star. Co-founder with her husband Martin Santangelo, Barrio is the recipient of awards from 12 countries for her incendiary performances. The intimacy of the Newmark Theatre offers a rare opportunity to connect deeply with these magnificently expressive dancers, singers and musicians.

Oregon Symphony - Joshua Bell - Sparks will fly for sure as Joshua Bell, the violinist with rock-star status, takes on Shostakovich – and the orchestra responds with Handel’s rousing Royal Fireworks Music plus two other sizzlers it has never before performed.

Third Rail Repertory Theatre - Collapse - Jan 14 - You haven't gone to work in weeks, your wife's pumped full of hormones and your sister-in-law has just announced she's moving in. What better time to go on a secret mission as a drug mule? The stakes keep rising in Allison Moore's anxious new comedy of loss and recovery amid the rubble of modern life.

Portland Center Stage - The North Plan - After a ruthless cabal seizes power in Washington, Carlton Berg, a bureaucrat for the State Department, runs off with the new regime’s top secret Enemies List. Unfortunately for Carlton, the chase has come to an end in a police station in the Ozark town of Lodus.

Portland Opera - Madame Butterfly - When the American naval officer stepped onto that foreign land, he should have known. And if he didn’t, the simple sincerity of Cio-Cio-San’s tender voice should have told him. To be careful. That she would believe his every word. That she was delicate, like … like a butterfly.

Portland Chamber Music - Portland Chamber music is the region’s premier non-profit organization giving the Portland community affordable access to the beauty of live chamber music.  Fundraising Concert with Operation Night Watch - Sat, January 21, 8pm – 10pm
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.

Mythbusters - Behind the Myths at Keller Auditorium - Second show added! A matinee performance at 4 p.m. has been added on Saturday, January 21, 2012.  The all-new, live stage show “MythBusters Behind the Myths,” starring Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, co-hosts of the Emmy-nominated Discovery series MythBusters, promises to be an unexpected evening of on-stage experiments, audience participation, rocking video and behind-the-scenes stories. For the first time ever, fans will join Jamie and Adam on stage and assist in their mind-twisting and not always orthodox approach to science.

Oregon Symphony - Haydn's Creation - Franz Joseph Haydn is on everyone’s list of history’s greatest composers. His monumental oratorio for orchestra, soloists and choir is widely thought to be Haydn’s greatest masterpiece. Need we say more?

The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week winner is Stephanie Lynch for this shot of a foggy Pacific Northwest water scene.  Thanks for sharing your photos!  Come upload your photos to the Portland community photo album, we pick a photo to feature each week.

Portland Photos

Stephanie LynchPhoto by Stephanie Lynch

Come and upload your Portland photos to the Photo Gallery for your chance to win each week.  This week's winner gets a gift certificate to Portland's Screen Door restaurant, for some of the best Southern food and fried chicken in Portland.  Check back to see if your photo is selected for a spotlight in the weekly Portland blog! 

coava coffee roasters


Featured Portland Events

Here are the featured Portland events this week focusing on events happening this weekend or those just around the corner! Thanks to everyone for adding all the great Portland events to the community events calendar. You can add your own Portland events directly to the events calendar for free (please read our terms of service first). Just click "Add an Event" and fill in the details.

Joshua Bell

January 14, 2012 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm – Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall  Rock star violinist Joshua Bell returns!  This time the dramatic and boyish violin phenomenon (and his 1713 Stradivarius) take on the popular—and formidable—Brahms Violin Concerto. And if that weren Organized by Oregon Symphony | Type: classical, concert

Throwback Suburbia at Doug Fir

January 14, 2012 from 8pm to 11pm – "Doug Fir" An album release party with PDX power pop kings Throwback Suburbia Stereovision, Frame By Frame (featuring Chris Margolin) Sat 1/14 Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm Doug Fir Lounge http://www.dougfirlo Organized by Doug Fir | Type: portland music

2nd Annual Buckman Kerns Brewfest

January 15, 2012 all day – Buckman Kerns Breweries Join us as we celebrate our neighborhood breweries! Participating this year are: Buckman BrewingMigration BrewingCoalition BrewingBurnside BrewingLucky Labrador BrewingNatian BrewingCascade Brewing$1 Organized by Buckman Kerns | Type: beer

Sunday FUNday Tour

January 15, 2012 from 2pm to 5pm – SE & NE Portland We begin sampling new and usual beer styles at Hair of the Dog, a very small 4 barrel brewery in the inner SE that is known for bottle conditioning beers that improve with age. We then head to Widmer Organized by Brewvana - Portland Brewery Tour | Type: brewery, tour

Larry and His Flask at Doug Fir

January 15, 2012 from 6pm to 7pm – "Doug Fir" Jack Daniels presents the "Black & Blue" series Larry and His Flask Water Tower Sun 1/15 Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm Doug Fir Lounge This event is 21 and over Organized by Doug Fir | Type: portland music

Trivia @ Brix Tavern

January 15, 2012 from 7pm to 9:30pm – Brix Tavern A night of Trivia, Art, and Music brought to you by Synth-Bio Productions! Come out for your chance to win over $50 in prizes each night! Up to seven people per team and its free to play! Learn mor Organized by synthbioproductions | Type: pub, trivia

City and Colour at Wonder Ballroom

January 16, 2012 from 6pm to 11pm – "Wonder Ballroom" City and Colour Mon 1/16 Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm (event ends at 12:00 am) Wonder Ballroom This event is all ages Organized by Wonder Ballroom | Type: portland music


January 20, 2012 at 5:30pm to January 22, 2012 at 5pm – Oregon Convention Center The Northwest’s Premier Chocolate Festival January 20 – 22, 2012 OREGON CONVENTION CENTER, Portland, Oregon The Seventh Annual ChocolateFest promises you the opportunity to sample, taste, savor, and Organized by Amber Morrison | Type: chocolate, festival

Portland Chamber Music - Free Events!

January 20, 2012 from 7pm to 8pm – "Rose City Park Presbyterian" PCM has a free concert on Jan 20 from 7-8pm at Rose City Park Prez in Hollywood. Great for families.   January 20th, 7pm Rose City Park Presbyterian1907 N.E. 45th Ave. Januar Organized by Portland Chamber Music | Type: portland music

Rags & Ribbons, Water and Bodies at Doug Fir

January 20, 2012 from 8pm to 10pm – "Doug Fir" An album release celebration for PDX rockers Rags & Ribbons, Water and Bodies Fox & The Law Fri 1/20 Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm Doug Fir Lounge This e Organized by Doug Fir | Type: portland music

Kenton Neighborhood - Portland Real Estate Report

Ross Seligman by Ross Seligman

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Kenton Neighborhood Real Estate Market Report

The Kenton neighborhood is located in North Portland and is bordered by Arbor Lodge, St. Johns, and Piedmont neighborhoods. Kenton is also in close proximity to other popular neighborhoods via Max light rail located in nearby Interstate Avenue, bike, foot or car. A drive to downtown Portland is a mere 7-8 minutes away and a bike ride is about 25 minutes.  To learn more about Kenton, click here.

Are you keeping an eye on Kenton or is it your neighborhood?  Check out this link for a monthly updating real estate chart for this neighborhood.

If you are looking for homes in the Kenton neighborhood, visit this link where you can search for homes by particular neighborhood: Click Here

On to the report:

Here is the overall chart of inventory, sold, and pending for the Kenton neighborhood in the last 15 months:

In November 2011, there were 17 closed sales, 24 pending sales, and 93 homes on the market in the Kenton Neighborhood.

One year change from November 2010 to November 2011:

Inventory (how many homes on the market for sale): Down 42.9%

Homes sold: Down 46.9%

Homes pending sale: Down 22.6%


Chart for average price per square footage:

In the past 15 months, the average price per square footage in the Kenton neighborhood has been between $118 and $142/sq. ft. In November 2011, the average price per square foot in the Kenton neighborhood was $123.

One year change from November 2010 to November 2011:

Change in Price Per Square Foot:

Percentage Change: Down 0.3%

Days on Market, Sold/List Price:

This chart is showing us two things. First, how many days on the market that a home is spending, on average, before being sold. In November 2011, the average time on market for a home in the Kenton neighborhood was 48 days.

The second thing that this chart is showing you is what percentage of the listing price the owners actually are getting when the house is sold.  This is a great indication of the pressure on prices.  In November 2011, sellers in Kenton received, on average, 91% of their original listing price.

More stats for you:

Change from November 2010 to November 2011:

Time on Market: Down 18.6%
Sold/List price % difference: Down 1%

Average price for sale vs. average price of sold:

This chart shows us that the average listing was and what the average sale was. In November 2011, the average price of a house on the market in Kenton was $295,000. The average sale was $249,000.

More stats over one year:

Average active price: Up 4.6%
Average sold price:  Up 9.7%

Months of Inventory:

Months of inventory gives a time line of how long it would take for all of the current listings to sell.  Anything above 4 months is considered a buyers market.  This figure is a good indicator of supply and demand.  November 2011 in the Kenton neighborhood had 5.5 months of inventory.

By the way, this does NOT mean that it will take 5.5 months for your home to sell. That figure was, on average in November, 48 days.  Inventory is a figure that means that, if not another home were to come on the market in Kenton from this point forward, in 5.5 months there would not be another home to sell.  They would all be sold.


In my monthly Portland real estate report, I always talk about how each individual neighborhood is a micro-market. The first thing you will notice about individual neighborhoods as compared to the overall Portland reports are that the numbers can be wildly different month to month. Basically, the bigger the pool of data you are working with, the smoother the stats become. As we focus on smaller areas, many different things can happen month to month.


If you are looking to buy or sell in a particular neighborhood, the most crucial information that you need to know is what is going on in that neighborhood. In this situation, the overall Portland market report is less important and the national real estate report is just about useless. This posting is a real estate report for the Kenton neighborhood of all homes in all price ranges. Feel free to request particular neighborhoods in which you are interested in buying or selling and I am be happy to do a report, just contact me on this forum or at

Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland Metro Area real estate and homes for sale from the RMLS, including school and neighborhood reports at :

Best Portland Real Estate Deals

Each week, Ross shares five cool Portland real estate deals, and it is always fun to take a peek at what Portland home deals are available. Ross is on vacation this week so we are featuring two additional homes from his last report.  

The Best Deals in Portland This Week: 

1151 SE 72ND AVE Portland, OR 97215 - Mt. Tabor -$895,000

Click here to see the full listing

3517 SE 13TH AVE Portland, OR 97202 - Brooklyn - $499,900

Click here to see the full listing

See all five listings this week.

Visit our website where you can contact us and search all Portland metro area homes for sale and real estate from the RMLS, including neighborhood and school information:

View the full list of weekly Portland real estate deals.

That's It!

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