Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Park and Mirabella Photos

The New Park construction is coming along!

And an updated shot of the Mirabella:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer in the SWF

It's been awhile since I last posted... the South Waterfront Blog has been a casualty of too much activity going on this summer!

First up, some shots of the latest progress on the SWF construction front.

I also added a few new photos to my SWF map - the south waterfront community garden is going strong! Updated South Waterfront Map

And a few shots of last Thursday's party in the John Ross courtyard. There was food. There was music. There was dancing... and from what I hear, a lively after-party.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lights Cameras Action This Week

Here's just a quick rundown of some of the things going on around our neighborhood this past week. Lots of lights, cameras and action!
  • Crowley movie shoot (with Harrison Ford & Brendan Fraser) on the hill at OHSU & Doernbecher on Monday, June 1. Press conference and visit with governor Ted as well - more info.
  • More Crowley movie shooting at Oaks Park - Tuesday, June 2. I heard an estimate that ~2000 locals were recruited as extras.
  • Nike (?) commercial shoot right here in the SWF on Gaines St - Thursday, June 4. They shot footage of a male and female runner running up and down the street. The SWF community site posted some photos here.
  • Fleet Week - June 3 - 7: Ships began arriving at the downtown waterfront on Wednesday. My waterfront running route was diverted slightly on Friday afternoon, as the pedestrian sidewalk was fenced off from the Burnside Bridge to the Steel Bridge. A Coast Guard boat was sitting in the middle of the river at the Steel bridge, ready with gun pointed as I crossed. That was a very strange sensation and I'm not clear on the necessity of that sort of security. Some Fleet Week news from KGW News and KATU.
  • Dragon Boat Races - June 6 & 8: So this is what they've all been training for!!! We have seen them rowing their boats up and down the river for several months.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rose Festival Opens

It's Rose Festival time in Portland, starting Friday, May 22 and running through June 14!

"Waterfront Village" will be running during this time at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, just down the road, with (another) carnival, food and exhibits. The cost is $5 per person, but it is free on opening day, Friday the 22nd. On Memorial Day the 25th, free admission to all current and former military personnel.

Here are a few sites to find out more:
Rose Festival
Festival Events Map

Stayed tuned next week for dragon boat races (I've been wondering what they are training for), the annual Starlight Run, and more...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Heroes of the SWF!

Window washing in the SWF - What a job!

Thank you!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 9 - upcoming events

There are a bunch of events going on in and around the neighborhood this Saturday!

Doggie Dash
- Head over to Waterfront Park with your buddies on Saturday morning for a dog walk organized by the Humane Society!

When: Saturday, May 9th
Where: Waterfront Park, downtown Portland
Race Time: Runners leave at 9:00 am; walkers 9:15
"1.5 mile walk for pets and people (dogs not required!) 2.5 mile bridge-to-bridge loop for runners and walkers."

Lake Run - just down the road in Lake Oswego
When: Saturday, May 9
Where: 5K Run/Walk and 12K Lake Run begin at the intersection of State Street and Foothills Road.
Race Time: Races start at 8:00 and 8:30
Lake Run website
Family Fun Festival to follow the race: "8:00 am to 1:00 pm at Millennium Plaza Park (race finish venue). Bring your friends & family and enjoy the fun, food, entertainment, crafts, info booths, children's activities, and lots more."

Outdoor French Market
When: Saturday, May 9, 10am-5pm
Where: At the Portland French School (6318 Corbett Ave)
It is a free community event with food, shopping and entertainment. Croissant anyone?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekend news: May 3

The Storm: We were out running around Oaks Bottom when we got caught in a Saturday morning downpour. A few hours later, we witnessed the big storm from the windows of our condo. It blew in within a matter of minutes, and so quickly that the sailboats on the river had no time to escape. It looked like a bunch of them went over. We immediately heard sirens and watched the emergency vehicles show up down at the John's Landing docks, by land and by sea. It was 10-15 minutes later that the local TV station sent out a severe weather alert.

Strangely enough, the Dallas Cowboys training facility was collapsing at the same was very odd to be watching national news coverage of the storm damage there while watching our own out the window.

Here are a few images of the damage to the Bows to Plows exhibit on the SWF, which I mentioned in a recent post.

Arrest at the Street Car: A man was removed from the street car on Sunday afternoon at the OHSU stop, and handcuffed by several Portland police wearing blue rubber gloves. I have no idea whether blue rubber gloves are part of the standard protocol. It appeared that the man was under the influence of something. If you have wondered about the response time for a SWF incident, the good news is that 3 Portland police cars were on the scene immediately.

Cinco de Mayo: Cinco de mayo festivities are going on at the waterfront downtown. Music, food, and a complete carnival, which I will not be getting a closer look at. Also the new Saturday Market expansion is open and in action.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Review of our local neighborhood workout facilities

I try to keep my posts on the positive, but I'll be honest, I have not been thrilled with our nearby gym options. Here is a quick review of workout/fitness center options near the South Waterfront, in no particular order:

1. March Wellness located in the OHSU building - AKA March Madness, as in I would be mad if I worked out there. We did give it a 2 week trial. Minuses: Crowded, low light, awkward spaces, expensive. Pluses: Convenient, pool, multitude of programs and group classes. (Update July 2011: new MW layout and design is a big win. Lighting is great. My new favorite!)

2. Ardea "gym" - AKA bathroom sized, street-view cubby with wall-facing treadmills. Is there another place in town where you can run completely facing a white wall? Workout facility rule #1 - don't put treadmills facing the wall. I actually don't know if it is even open to non-Ardea residents.

3. Riverplace Athletic Club - It used to be a Y. Layout was strange, and I thought the downstairs weight rooms were Kind of Scary. In its favor, it does have one of the better pool/swim workout options. Could not easily find out how much a membership cost - had to set up a meeting during 9-5 on a M-F to discuss $.

4. I met a guy in the elevator who works out at 24 hour fitness downtown. The strange thing was that he was carrying his workout gear in his arms without a bag.

5. Willamette Athletic Club up on Macadam - Website, yikes! Url is weird... moonfruit? Anyways, based solely on the view from the road, I am not brave enough to try it. I like my gyms to be clean and up to date. I don't like a den of old guys sitting around shooting the breeze...(that's just a rumor from a triathlete friend of ours.) But it does have a lap pool.

I guess this was more of a rant than a review. I've got strong opinions about these things...but I'm willing to listen to some counter-arguments and/or recommendations.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What is that thing?

"Bows to Plows, Sentinels for Peace and Sustainability"

"Two WWII Liberty Ship bow remnants, with massive holds of concrete, currently reside on the riverside awaiting disposal or new purpose. Placement of the bows on the south waterfront greenway recasts these war artifacts as sentinels for peace and sustainability. Sculpturally, these elements represent the transfer and acceptance of gravity and the embrace of mass and suggest shipward inventory either during their making or their dismantling along the Willamette River.

To inspire an ethic of environmental stewardship, a hand operated community "bilge" pump offers reclaimed water to the adjacent riverine habitat. The pair of bows stand to remind us of the utility and grace of transforming "swords into plowshares"* for the healing of the earth."

For more info about this Earth Day Art sculpture by Buster Simpson: Earth Day Art

*Reference: Isaiah 2:4

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Local Organic Pet Food Company

Did you know? Castor & Pollux Pet Works is in Clackamas..."We lead the pack in innovative, natural and organic pet products."

This is not South Waterfront news per se, but might be interesting to the majority of pet-owning South Waterfront residents. (I have heard quotes of 50-80% dog ownership in the South Waterfront. Could be true. Must investigate further.)

I had the opportunity to tour the Castor & Pollux facilities last week, and meet with the "leader of the pack", Brian Connolly. Brian & his wife Shelley founded the company and grew it to the multi-million dollar venture it is today. It is a great story!

I was curious about their name. Castor & Pollux were the twins in Greek & Roman mythology - Gemini. Like their branding? Brian said they wanted to become the "Tazo tea of pet food"...and Sandstrom Design in Portland help make it so.

Today the company provides 2 lines of pet food products for dogs and cats - Organix (USDA Organic - same requirements as USDA human organic approval) & Nutramix (all natural premium product line) - as well as a variety of toys, accessories and even cleaning supplies.

The Pet & Soul Foundation helps fund projects and programs at a bunch of organizations including, a website game founded by a 12 year old girl in Bend named Mimi, who recently taped with Oprah by the way!

Here's a link to their site & where you can find their products.
For you SWF residents, they are available at The Pampered Pooch, located in retail space in the John Ross plaza.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Filming in West Moreland today

I caught sight of a film crew filming at the ball fields in West Moreland Park along 99E this afternoon. There were a group of little league boys on the scene. I'm assuming this was the crew with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser of the Crowley movie...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

PSU Business Accelerator just around the corner

I had a meeting recently at the Portland State Business Accelerator, which I found out is within walking distance (less than 1 mile) from the South Waterfront. They also have plenty of parking.

The business accelerator offers affordable office space and facilities to local startup companies. Included: furnishings, cheap parking, internet access. They currently have 15-18 companies residing in the building.

If you are interested in social media, they are offering an upcoming event free to the public:

Upcoming Events -- Open to the public

5/5 Lunch & Learn: Communication with Social Media (details TBA)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sustainability Speaker Series: Menu for the Future

Mike Mercer, Executive Director of Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) will be speaking at a Wednesday night event at the John Ross: 6pm-8pm Free and open to the public.

From the SW Community Relations website:

“Local, organic and cage free” has a nice ring to it, but is it worthy of your hard-earned cash? Join Mike Mercer, Executive Director of Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) to learn why it is. We’ll also learn about NWEI and how it’s encouraged over 100,000 people to take greater responsibility for the health of the planet and themselves. While we’re at it, we’ll check out NWEI’s Menu for the Future. Representatives from the South Waterfront 20/20 Sustainable Lifestyle and Transportation Committee will be in the house to answer questions and sign up new members.

To inspire your menus we’ll offer local wines from Duck Pond Cellars and tasty appetizers from our neighborhood Zupan’s Market."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Progress on the Mirabella

The Mirabella tower seems to be moving upward at a pretty respectable rate. Hoffman Construction is not joking around. These photos taken last week are already a bit dated.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dahlias coming soon

Word on the street is that the empty field north of the Meriwether is soon going to be filled with dahlias. I hear that a flower-farming-friend of SWF developer Homer Williams is providing the dahlias.

Coincidentally, the Oregonian ran a dahlia-related story this morning: Decades of dahlias, which provides more information on the local dahlia-scene and an upcoming event:

Portland Dahlia Society Annual Auction and Sale
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14
Where: Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda St.
Information: Portland Dahlia Society,

What's the secret of The Old Spaghetti Factory - Real Estate?

I am amazed at the consistently full parking lot of the Old Spaghetti Factory. I don't really get it. What is their secret?
Is it their Famous Complete Meal?
Train cars *inside* the restaurant?
The location and riverfront views?

I found a note from the history section on the OSF website, relating to the South Waterfront real estate perspective:
"Dussin pioneered the concept of developing restaurant properties in places others considered unworkable. These diamond-in-the-rough locations often are unique and distinctive—even historic—buildings in older warehouse districts where rents are low. As the restaurant's popularity grows, the area begins to improve. Other stores and businesses move in, bringing more people to the area. The Old Spaghetti Factory's traffic goes up, but the rents stay low."

This is true of the Spokane, WA restaurant as well, the only other location I have visited.

Any insights out there? Any big fans of the OSF?

Monday, April 6, 2009


I am wondering, who got asked to PROM? and did they say yes?

Friday, April 3, 2009

On the lookout for Indiana Jones

Keep your eyes peeled for Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. They are reportedly starting filming on a movie in Portland this month (April). The movie is a medical drama called Crowley... rumors say that some of the filming will take place at OHSU. My bet is on the waterfront building, with its gorgeous views, low foot traffic and the beautiful river and city backdrop.

From the Willamette Weekly:


Pics of the park & new Mirabella tower

Here are some great shots of the Park/Mudpit and the new Mirabella tower going in next to the John Ross.

We've had a little bit of rain this week.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hey Runners!

The Red Lizard Running Club has a weekly Wednesday night run nearby, starting at the Fulton Pub.

Pub Run. 5-7 easy miles. All abilities.
Time: 6:00 & 6:15pm. 6pm group 8+ min/mile. 6:15pm faster than 8 min/mile.
Location: Macadam Fulton Pub. 618 SW Nebraska, 1/2 block off Macadam.
Join the 75mile club!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Park is on the way!

I came home tonight and noticed, the grassy field between OHSU and the new Riva is gone. It's been completely torn up, to make way for the soon-to-be community park. Construction began about a week ago, and the area was fenced off and sidewalks ripped up. I miss the grass!

First South Waterfront Blog post

This is my first blog posting from the Portland South Waterfront. We moved in to the neighborhood this Fall and so far, 4 thumbs up!