I love our little Eliot neighborhood. I love the big old Portland houses with good sized lots and the proximity to downtown with easy access to TriMet. This is why my husband and I moved here in the first place 6 years ago. Within the last few years the list of reasons for loving our neighborhood keeps expanding. I love the ever-growing number of eateries and boutiques within walking distance, being a part of a diverse and eclectic population, and participating in block parties, Friends of Trees annual plantings, and neighborhood clean-up days. My favorite is the summer concert series in Dawson Park.
The last few years the Eliot Neighborhood Association has teamed with Portland Parks and Recreation to hold free concerts in Dawson Park. I thoroughly love these. I stop by the grocery store on my way home to pick up some cheese, sausage, crackers, and hummus; grab a bottle of chilled Pinot Gris out of the refrigerator, a blanket, my husband, and our dog. We then walk a short 3 blocks to enjoy the evening listening to amazing music as the sun sets. Sometimes, a few of our friends will join us and bring their fancy picnic baskets filled with goodies. There’s usually a hot dog stand and an ice-cream cart in the park just calling my husband’s name. Many neighbors and music lovers from all over the city come to Eliot to enjoy to the music.
This summer Dawson Park hosted three great concerts. The performing artists were Ocean 503 (hard-kicking blues), Mike Phillips (funk/jazz), and Linda Hornbuckle (diva of soul/R&B). My favorite was Mike Phillips and his saxophone. He is a fantastic performer who often walked out into the audience while playing to amp up the crowd. At one point he walked over towards us and serenaded Oscar, our dog. Oscar may have been a hit of the show cocking his head to the beat of the music intrigued by Mike Phillips and his sax. Towards the end of the evening during one song, Mike Phillips held a single note for what seemed like at least 8 minutes! The crowd was both impressed and dumbfounded. I’m not sure how he did it but it was a great way to end the evening.
Summer fades so fast and I wish there were more concerts in our neighborhood park. I already look forward to next year’s concert series and the lovely Portland summer evenings. For more information on the Dawson Park Summer concert series or other activities happening in Eliot, visit the neighborhood website at http://www.eliotneighborhood.org. I have that website bookmarked so I don’t miss a thing!