Sunday, July 31, 2011

The first ever Big Float

Once again, Portland impresses the tourists with our beautiful summer weather, lively waterfront and ... a flash mob on the river? At first glance, that's with The Big Float looked like this afternoon - a bunch of people on inner tubes, rafts, kayaks, etc. hanging out together in the middle of the Willamette.

The inaugural Big Float was actually organized as a fundraiser for Willamette Riverkeeper; ($5 suggested donation per floater).
"This first annual Willamette River event, presented by Willamette Riverkeeper, is a celebration of our river – highlighting the recreation it offers as well as the restoration it has undergone in recent years. The idea is to have fun on the river, inspire Portlanders to have positive aspirations for the river, and engage people to create lasting, meaningful change to the river."

It seems like it is partly in response to the recent bad press about the water quality of the river and "Combined Sewer Overflow" issues. For more on that, see Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

Even Mt Hood made an appearance!
A shot from the east side, where music, food carts, beer garden & after-party are happening.

Just a bit further up the river, the Oregon Brewers' Festival (which began on Thursday) is still going on. Plenty of people are soaking up the sun along with some cold beer. Terrible photo here:

And back at home...aaahhhh peaceful south waterfront Sunday afternoon.

Friday, July 29, 2011

10 outdoor activities starting from the South Waterfront

Here are a few suggestions for enjoying the summer weather, no car required!

1. The 4 T Trail: Trolley, Train, Trail & Tram

Note: If it's a Sunday, make sure the Tram is running before you head out.

2. Take the streetcar to the PSU farmers' market on Saturday morning.  I enjoy taking the streetcar in to the market, then wandering home through downtown, to the river, and back along the waterfront.

3. Run the waterfront trails - From the South Waterfront to the Sellwood Bridge and around to the east side of the river you can find 8, 10 and 12 mile loops.

4. Bike the Springwater Corridor

5. Relax and enjoy Ali Hour @ the Aqua Riva ... OR join the South Waterfront regulars hitting the Aqua Riva patio on Friday afternoons.

6. Kayak around Ross Island - Rent kayaks from Portland Kayak Company

7. Get out and play at Willamette Park. I've seen all of the following in the park: boating, jet skiing, sailing, kayaking, picnics, walking a dog/child, biking, running, playing soccer, frisbee football, playgrounds, play dates, working on a laptop, practicing tight rope walking, world's longest hopscotch, sun bathing, wedding receptions, ....

8. Outdoor concerts in the park @ Willamette Park, Sellwood Park, and right here in our front yard @ Elizabeth Caruthers Park

9.  Ride your bikes up to Cartlandia food carts to check out South Waterfront-er Roger Goldingay's newest development.  OregonLive: roger_goldingay_approaching_op

10. Join your friends and neighbors on your balconies, patios and rooftops to BBQ and soak up the Portland summer sun and breeze.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nike photoshoot in the park

It seems the South Waterfront is becoming quite the popular film and photo setting. A number of photoshoots, commercials, and even TV filming have taken place over the past year or 2.

Nike did a photoshoot tonight in the park around dusk. I didn't investigate closely, but could see the subjects were 2 runners dressed in long sleeves, long pants running gear (perfect for the kind of summer weather we're having).

Berries berries berries: OHSU fruit stand, Oregon Berry Festival

Blueberries, raspberries & blackberries are in at the OHSU fruit stand today!  ($20/half crate and $35/crate.)

In other berry news, I plan to check out the Oregon Berry Festival taking place this Friday (12-6) & Saturday (11-6) at the Ecotrust Building in the Pearl. Admission is free. Along with berries, berries, berries, there will be kids' activities, live entertainment & a berry cook-off.

To round off the weekend, there is a Blueberry Pancake Breakfast and used book sale on Sunday morning in Hillsdale in the parking lot between Key Bank and Casa Colima.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SW Moody construction update tonight

1. There will be an update on the SW Moody construction project tonight at Umpqua Bank @ 5:30pm. It is open to the public. Thanks to South Waterfront Community Relations for the following details:

The SW Moody project has been in construction since January and is on schedule to be completed this winter.  Please join Chris Armes, Project Manager for the Bureau of Transportation at the City and Bill Bruce, Project Manager for the contractor, Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. for and update, including:
  • Overview of the project
  • Visual description of the completed project
  • Construction schedule
  • Question and answer session
Tuesday, July 19, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Umpqua Bank 
3606 SW Bond Avenue
2. I just discovered the Portland Bureau of Transportation website for the SW Moody construction project:

Great info. The overall schedule is posted, as well as a detailed schedule of work happening each day.  Also provides links to other projects of interest: the light rail & Lake Oswego transit projects.

3. Cyclists be sure to check out the bike detour also posted on the SW Moody website. I did see a woman wipe out last week on the streetcar tracks.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Welcoming Dr. Morrow to South Waterfront Dental

A cocktail party at South Waterfront Dental tonight welcomed Dr. Jacob Morrow to the practice. Dr. Morrow is a recent grad of OHSU, and will be joining Dr. Todd Beck at the South Waterfront office.

Paws for a Cause benefit in the park

It was a great turnout this morning for the first Paws for a Cause event. About 200 people and dogs assembled in Elizabeth Caruthers Park for the Paws for a Cause fundraiser for Parkinsons Center of Oregon.

The event included a 1K and 4K walk, and concluded with a series of contests, including a doggie pie-eating contest and costume contest.

 Ex-Trailblazer, Brian Grant, was here, showing support for the cause.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New businesses opening in the Ardea: Stylefront & Transitions

Three new businesses are opening in the Ardea: a clothing store, a counseling group, and a salon & spa.

The sign for Stylefront, the first clothing boutique to venture into the neighborhood, went up today on the corner of SW River Parkway & Gaines.

Transitions Professional Center is a bereavement counseling center. "We serve adults, couples, and families who are facing life-threatening illness or terminal illness, as well as to serve clients who are facing loss of a loved one. "

They are currently located at 3715 SW River Parkway, but will be moving into the space at 3735.

A new salon and spa are rumored as well...more details soon.

Lost Male Tabby Cat Named Ben

Have you seen this cat???

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

South Waterfront Neighborhood Crime Review

Portland Police Bureau has a tool called CrimeMapper which is "an easy to use neighborhood crime mapping tool that creates maps of reported crime in Portland".

You can subscribe to their monthly updates to receive an email newsletter providing a review of neighborhood crimes, such as the following:

In the half mile radius around the SWF, there were 11 crimes reported in June, and 10 in the month of May.  However, looking at just the SWF area east of I-5, there were 4 in June:  Disorderly Conduct, June 13, 8:30am, Fraud, June 9, 12:00pm, Theft from Auto & Vandalism, June 20 & June 30 respectively.  In May only 1 crime was reported (Disorderly Conduct).

Using the CrimeMapper search tool (, a search for the SWF data over the last 12 months yielded the following:

Based on this data, it looks like the majority of SWF issues over the past 12 months have involved some form of Theft, or Disorderly Conduct, and a smattering of other crimes.

Another site for exploring neighborhood data is, which offers an interactive map and a rich set of data, including traffic stops & emergency calls.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12 - new 'Block 49' construction photos

The crane was set up last week.

 Forms are up for pouring the foundation.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday morning action in the South Waterfront: beer at Rilassi, barge & free bike valet at OHSU

Rilassi now offering beer:

Q. What's the name of that barge? -- A. Dale Frank Jr.

OHSU free bike valet at CHH is crazy busy:

Auxiliary lot open for OHSU permit holders during Sam Jackson road closure:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aerial photos of the new light rail bridge site

Ground broken on the new light rail bridge site. Photos snapped from the OHSU Tram this afternoon:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Still waiting on ICE Detention Center decision

It will probably be September before we hear a decision on the ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) detention center proposed new location in the South Waterfront.

South Waterfront residents participated in the public hearing this week, which was reported on by the Oregonian and Portland Biz Journal:
Fate of South Waterfront Immigration Center
City Appears to Approve Immigration Cells

"Frank’s (the City's hearings officer) decision is due Aug. 4 and can be appealed to the city council, which has until Sept. 6 to issue a final decision."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whitaker Parking Lot Changes & Valet Service

Due to the construction on Sam Jackson Park Rd -- July 11-Sept 16 -- a group of Marquam Hill parking permit holders will be assigned to the Whitaker Lot in the SWF. The Whitaker lot will be assigned parking only.

In addition, a valet service went into effect July 5. This is offered M-F 6am-6:30pm. (See attached flyer for details & FAQ.)

Who can park here?
- 3 Diamond SWF Annual & Monthly permit holders
- Marquam Hill parkers assigned to the Whitaker Lot during construction

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mental patient on the loose?!

I was going to post a riveting note on some parking changes in the OHSU Whitaker lot, etc. but then I got this AP newsflash via the Oregonian about a mental patient escaping from OHSU. Still on the loose, last seen in the South Waterfront:

Mental patient escapes from Portland clinic

"Stebbins is 5-foot-9, 183 pounds with blond hair and blue eyes. He was last seen at the Oregon Health and Science University Hospital pain clinic in the new South Waterfront neighborhood."

Have started texting neighbors... Updates please!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Osprey Update

In an update to my earlier post about the osprey nest, here is proof of the actual osprey, with head poking out...and proof of the bright Portland sunshine.

However, for the real deal, check out this YouTube channel dedicated to our South Waterfront Osprey: carolotis's Channel

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Goats at the Tram...are gone already

It looks like the OHSU goats at the Tram have moved on.

These "maintenance goats" - Mo, Ella, Olivia, Brunhilda, Cecelia and Clarence - were hired to mow the grass at the Tram. They sure made a splash last week, including video coverage by a KGW local news crew.

I'm told by the security team at the Tram that they had many visitors from near and far. However, they were taken away for the holiday weekend and it sounds like their work here is done.

On to greener pastures............

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Public Hearing on ICE Detention Center

A public hearing on the proposed Department of Homeland Security detention center is taking place this Wednesday, July 6, 2011.

This notice for interested community members was posted in the John Ross elevator:

More on the story from the Portland Business Journal:
South Portland residents object to center’s jail cells

Friday, July 1, 2011

"Block 49" construction photos

Construction is progressing on the affordable housing project at Lowell & Bond in the South Waterfront.

More on this project from the City of Portland: