Bernstein’s Bagels: A Good Bagel Can Be Hard to Find, But at Bernstein’s Bagels It’s Easy

By Abby Morgan

On a clear morning, as the sun traces a path from east to west, the light eventually breaks out over the treetops of the Eliot Neighborhood, slips under the freeway passes and spills sunshine onto North Russell Street. Still a quiet strip that’s surely poised to grow, right now it’s a mix of industrial shops peppered with business storefronts.

It’s during this time of day, at about 7:30 A.M. that you’ll want to make your way over to Bernstein’s Bagels. In the winter of 2018, Bernstein’s grew into the space that was formerly home to Mint, one of Portland’s mainstay cocktail bars. A labor of love and dedication, the renovation at 816 North Russell by owners Noah Bernstein and Peter Hurteau, features plenty of seating room and hand-painted wallpaper by Melanie Nead.

In fact, Nead’s studio that focuses on custom wall treatments and ceramic objects, Lonesome West Studio, sits beside the bagel shop. Her Arts and Crafts Movement inspired designs bring a coziness to the space and certainly do the historic property justice. All things boiled and baked dough, the frieze pays homage to the venerated everything bagel. Concentrate on it closely and the subtle ingredients begin to pop out: sea salt, barley, wheat, and poppies.

Even as they bid farewell to their firstborn, a location in St. Johns, a whole year after moving into the Eliot, Bernstein thrives. They continue to serve up delightfully hearty bagel sandwiches. However, the old adage rings true: the early bird catches the worm. Except, in this case, it’s bagels and they are very popular. They are “hand-rolled, boiled, and made onsite twice daily.” Looking for a classic lox combination? You got it. Schmear not, their spreads change from time-to-time. Flavors you may know—cinnamon raisin, herb, and strawberry—tossed in with wildcards like carrot cake and once upon a time even pizza. The bagel is merely a blank canvas; how you dress it is up to you.

Arrive eagerly and on time—your weekday and weekend windows to visit vary. Hot bagels come out of the oven at 7:30 A.M. Monday through Friday and at 8:30 A.M. on the weekends. Stop in or check out their Instagram (@bernsteinsbagels) for updates on specials.

The Black Parent Initiative Appoints New Executive Director

By Ann Beckett

The board of directors of Black Parent Initiative is pleased to announce they have selected Bahia Overton to lead and champion its community-driven programs and to steer its strategic goals and objectives into the future. Bahia Overton holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. She is completing her Ph.D. in Social Work Research, focusing on the experiences of African American female adolescents in foster care.

Ms. Overton most recently served as the Director of Equity and Partnerships at the Chalkboard Project. She is also the Executive Consultant for Joy DeGruy Publications. She assists Dr. DeGruy in researching historical trauma and developing new models and methods for culturally responsive service delivery. Ms. Overton has also assisted with training and development for government agencies in creating and sustaining equitable policies and practices.

With over 14 years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she has served as Child and Family Therapist, Curriculum Developer and Culturally-Specific Treatment Specialist in several states, with various community-based organizations and government entities.

Ms. Overton serves on the following Boards and Councils:
• College Possible
• Oregon Student Voice
• Organic Oneness
• Oregon Educator Equity Advisory Group

Ms. Overton is also an active member of the Bahài’ Faith which espouses the oneness of the human family.

As always, the staff and board of directors at BPI are grateful for our community’s support as we continue to deliver high-quality programs and services to families of Black and multi-racial children to break generational cycles, achieving financial, educational, health and spiritual success and well-being.

For more information or to donate contact ann.beckett@thebpi.org.

Diversity Gardening Co-op Harvests Food and Fosters Community

By Darren Holcomb

The Diversity Gardening Co-op is a citizen-led project envisioned by Eliot Neighborhood Association board member, Shireen Hasan, with the generous support of the members of St. Philip the Deacon Church led by Reverend Maria McDowell. It was designed and constructed by myself and other Eliot residents and community members.

This garden had its beginnings in August of 2018 and in April of this year 2019, construction began. By May we planted our first crops. Those crops were harvested this summer. Currently, the garden consists of nine 3’x6’ planter boxes growing a variety of vegetables for the members of our community. Our ultimate goal is to expand that number to provide gardening space for the members of the church, the unhoused, African Americans, low income, flash disadvantaged, veterans, youth who are in our area and even a raised gardening box for those needing wheelchair accessibility. There will also be an extensive herb garden for all to plant in as well as a meditation garden including artwork to reflect the African American Diaspora in the neighborhood.

These additions are currently in the design stage. This project is breathing renewed life to an area that was starting to slip back upon itself. The pooling of our group’s talents, community and business organization’s resources and other partnerships and support of the neighborhood have been key to helping us proceed past a number of obstacles, both inherent to the project and that arose from unexpected sources along the way. With the continued support of all involved, we are looking forward to the completion of this vision in the summer/fall of 2020.

Stay tuned for quarterly updates and please consider volunteering at the garden this year. It’s a great way to meet some new neighbors and friends and give back to your community.

New Plant Shop Takes Roots

By Ruth Eddy

On one of the last sunny days of the year, Tylor Rogers looks out an open garage door at Arium Botanicals, soaking in the fresh air with a room full of plants behind him. Just outside the door is the busy traffic at the intersection of MLK and Tillamook Streets and the skeleton of a sign left vacant from the previous tenants. “A sign is next,” Tylor says, “maybe something that just says ‘plants’.”

Over the last few months, Anthony Sanchez, 22, and Tylor Rogers, 24, partners in life and business, have taken over the former home of the Land Rover repair shop, Green Oval, which moved to a larger space at 121 NE Weidler Street, and the old garage is blooming with new life.

“I love seeing people’s faces when they walk in,” Rogers says. Most of the people who came to Arium’s grand opening this summer were plant enthusiasts who had started following the shop when it was only online. Like a well-cared-for plant, the business has grown visibly. Prior to their recent move, they rented a 400 square foot space in the Standard Dairy Building further north on MLK. There, they shipped online orders from the store half the week and were open to the public the other half.

“We would drive past this building every day on our way to work and imagine what it would be like,” said Rogers, who wasted no time when the building went up for rent. “It’s nice to be able to branch out and grow, so to say,” he said with a laugh. The new space is more than six times larger than their old shop. It’s painted a bright
white, with garage door windows inviting sunlight for cactus arranged on the floor. Other house plants are paired with locally made ceramic pots and macramé hangers. Rogers and Sanchez say they feel like they have found their forever home.

The shop’s name, Arium, is a representation of the space. It’s a play on “terrarium”, which breaks down into to Latin roots Terre, or Earth, and arium, or container.
“This is an entire vessel,” Rogers said, “Think of it as a large terrarium to host these plants and grow them to bring into other people’s spaces.”

Tylor and Anthony have a clear love for plants and are enthusiastic and approachable about sharing their knowledge with people looking to buy their first house plant or
to add an exotic aroid to their collection. “We have definitely killed plants in the past from not knowing how to take care of it. So we want to set everyone up as best as we can,” said Sanchez, recalling the fate of his first houseplant, a parlor palm from The Home Depot.

The house plant industry has seen huge growth in the last decade. Arium is a boat on that rising tide. A recent article in the NY Times reported a botanic design company, Greenery NYC saw a 6,500 percent increase in business in the past ten years. “I think it does something different for everyone,” Rogers said, “For us, we don’t have pets.”

Sanchez added, “But when we come home, it’s nice to walk into a space with living things.” Just like pets, houseplant owners find ways to communicate with their floral family, picking up hints about their plant’s needs.

Sanchez and Rogers have become more selective with the plants they have at their house as the collection in the shop has grown. Occasionally, they do become attached
to new plants for sale, but they are always happy to see them go to a new home. Many customers come back to share pictures of new growth. “It’s cool to create relationships with the people who acquire our plants,” Sanchez said, “You kind of feel like the plant is still in our life.”

On a recent walk in the neighborhood, the couple spotted a plant in a window, with the Arium tag still attached. Sanchez shook their head
recalling the feeling. “That’s really weird, like bizarre.”

“It’s super special to know we are playing a little piece in people’s lives,” Rogers added.

Arium Botanicals
2046 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
503-719-4763
Ariumbotanicals.com

Black Hat Books Program Offerings

By Ruth Eddy

Local book shop, Black Hat Books, has an ongoing workshop and a reading group worth checking out. Learn confidence and become more well read while supporting a locally owned business.

Public Speaking!
1st and 3rd Saturdays 2:00 PM
Performative Reading and conquering stage fright twice monthly. All ages workshop taught by actor and musician Chrissy Sukboriboon

Reading Group
Mondays 7:00- 9:00 PM
Excerpts, essays, and poetry on a rotating monthly theme centering on black authors

Black Hat Books
2831 NE MLK Jr. Blvd

Legacy Health Announces New President for Columbia Region

By Vicki Guinn

Legacy Health today announced Gretchen Nichols BSN, MBA, as president for the Columbia Region. Her responsibilities will include leadership of Legacy Emanuel and Legacy Mount Hood medical centers. Legacy’s new regional president role combines leadership of two hospitals to better focus on meeting the health needs of the community and providing patients with an integrated health care experience across its array of services in the region.

“Gretchen brings a strong track record of developing new services and programs and a deep experience in East County to the regional president role,” said Trent Green, senior vice president and chief operating officer, Legacy Health. “Her leadership will help Legacy Emanuel and Legacy Mount Hood continue to grow and innovate while providing outstanding patient care.”

“Legacy Emanuel and Legacy Mount Hood both play critical roles in meeting the health needs of the region,” said Nichols. “I look forward to collaborating with the physicians and staff at both hospitals on how we work together to best care for our patients and this growing community.”

A registered nurse, Nichols came to Legacy in 2007 as Legacy Mount Hood’s chief nursing officer. She served as president of Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center from 2009 to 2019. Most recently, Nichols served as interim president of Unity Center for Behavioral Health. During her tenure at Legacy Mount Hood, Nichols oversaw a significant expansion of services, including the addition of advanced cardiac care, a fast-growing robotic surgery practice, and the launch of a regional gastroenterology and endoscopy center, and led the hospital in achieving high marks in quality and service.

Zumba for Your Life

By Shireen Hasan

Okay, all you couch potatoes (especially men), I challenge you to get up and prepare to ZUMBA!

Start your New Year’s resolution off on the right foot. Michelle Jones, at Matt Dishman’s Community Center, is the girl to move you on your way to better health and overall wellness. Michelle has been teaching ZUMBA for 9 years, starting at Sellwood Community Center, and has spent the last 7 years at Portland Parks and Recreation. Michelle says that she loves to dance, she prefers community centers and loves to see others’ joy of dance and the mental and physical benefits from ZUMBA.

Although Michelle teaches at a few locations for PP&R, she especially loves teaching her ZUMBA class at Matt Dishman Community Center because of the camaraderie and
diversity of a community of all ages, ethnicities, and all different levels of physical abilities. Her class even includes folks with developmental and physical disabilities participating in their own way, all dancing together.

Michelle feels that it is more than just exercise, it is a fellowship with each community exposing folks to music from around the world from Costa Rica or Africa, to name a few, which folks may not have the chance otherwise to experience. The Creator of Zumba, Alberto Perez, formatted ZUMBA for all folks to follow from beginner to advanced and all walks of life.

Elks Lodge Open to the Public

There is a big banner hanging from the Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge at Tillamook and Williams. The yellow lettering boldly says “Open to the Public.” The fraternal organization hasn’t always been open to the public. The club has occupied the corner since 1959 and historically has been members only. The club is now hosting many weekly events, like free Jazz on Sundays from 5-8 pm. Their full bar serves cocktails, Executive Groove lays down the music, the dance floor is open and food is available. The club hosts card games on Mondays and Thursdays, has a DJ on Friday nights and is finishing a new kitchen soon.

The Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge is a great place to meet neighbors and support the boldly standing Black-owned building of Portland’s African-American community.

Free Jazz
Sundays 5-8 pm
Billy Webb Elk’s Lodge
6 N Tillamook St

You’re Invited: Weekly Events at Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center

By Jennifer Wilcox

There’s a lot happening at Cascadia’s Garlington Health Center located at 3036 NE Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Everyone’s invited to join in and you don’t have to be a Cascadia client to participate. See below for some weekly events.

There’s more to come in the new year but check out these fun events now! Mark your calendar or check out Cascadia’s website at https://cascadiabhc.org/services/wellnessprogram/

Family Game Night

Come join us on the first Thursday of each month from 5:00-7:00 pm at our Garlington Health Center for a Family Game Night! Bring your family and friends each month to socialize, have some snacks, meet community members, explore our health center, and play some fun games! For more information or to ask questions, please email Jennifer Wilcox at wellnessprogram@cascadiabhc.org or call 503-238-0705 ext. 1109.

Walking Group

Come join us every Thursday at our Garlington Health Center to join our weekly walking group! Get out in the fresh air, meet new friends, and improve your health by joining our group. Walkers will meet in the Garlington Wellness Center on the first floor and walk from 11:30 am- 12:30 pm.

Healthy Eating Class

Come join us every Monday from 11:00 am -12:30 pm at our Garlington Health Center for our weekly Healthy Eating Class! Learn about nutrition, and how to create healthy, delicious meals for yourself and your family.

Music Meet Up/Sing-Along

Ready to make some music? Join the Music Meet Up and SingAlong on Thursdays from 2:30-3:30. Sing in a group hits from the 50s and beyond. Lyric sheets and percussion instruments are provided.

More to come in the new year so stay tuned!

Congratulations! Vera Warren, Attorney at Law

By Shireen Hasan

In our last issue of the Eliot News, we featured an article about Vera Warren, a woman of color and aspiring, student attorney.

Vera has passed the bar exam and it is now official, she is an Attorney at Law and is well on her way to continue doing great things for justice in our society.

The community wishes Vera much success!

Portland Police Bureau Stopping Crime in its Tracks

By Shireen Hasan

In an effort to strengthen more positive community relations, Portland Police are stepping up their game for the security of package shipments via online shopping venues. Officer Schmerber of the Portland Police Bureau reports that during the holiday season there are higher rates of thefts. Portland Police are working with the United States Postal Services and Amazon to help mitigate the “Porch Pirate” thefts that occur more often during the holiday season, but also during the rest of the year as well. Shopping Centers are no exception to the higher risks of theft, and Portland Police are working with stores on the prevention of thefts there, as well.

The Portland Police Bureau is also working on camp abatement while offering services and resources to the homeless communities.

A Snapshot of History: MLK in Motion

By Alan Silver

Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard is the spine that supports our inner Northeast neighborhoods. What happens on the street affects everyone nearby, and we can track the changes in our community by seeing what people make of the street. Its businesses and sidewalks, road surfaces and atmosphere – we can see who we are, and who we want to be, in what use we make of them.

Living near Alberta Street for some years, I found that as that street’s commercial uses changed rapidly, I was struggling to remember what it looked like before
gentrification swept through, tornado-like. With MLK Boulevard, I wanted to be able to remember what it looked like before its next wave of development made it into something new – so I decided I wanted to create a photo record of what the street looked like. When I learned the story of Erwin Grant – a gentleman who filled a warehouse near Fremont with toxic waste – I decided to dig deeper into the history of the boulevard. My website of photos and stories of the boulevard became a launching point for gaining a better understanding of how people have used the boulevard and its buildings throughout years past.

Strongly-debated aspects of American life have repeatedly filtered down to the boulevard, as people have again and again contested with one another on how their ideals should affect life on the street. Racial aspects of gentrification; a deliberately-set explosion in a building (still standing!) that was serving as a military recruiting center during the Vietnam War; protests in support of, and opposition to, abortion; numerous other issues have been contested on the street. One story, now little-heard, is a city police raid on a porn theater at MLK (then Union Avenue) and Alberta, in 1964. The city vigorously prosecuted this case, filing charges against both the producer and director of the movie being shown. This was a time when cries about the dangers of pornography were running high. Mayor Schrunk wrote a screed in 1962, warning parents that children were never safe in commercial spaces by themselves – porn might lurk behind any sales counter. The city pursued the film’s makers into the 1970s when a court in New York state declined to extradite the filmmakers.

With the World Arts Foundation, I organized a celebration for the 25th anniversary of the boulevard’s name change in 1989. While the conflict over the name change slowed the process, residents of the area led the move to name the street after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Success in place-making such as this is often citizen-led; city-directed place-making often leads to disappointment, as with a Gateway project that fell short of what was promised, and is now sequestered in a little-used concrete plaza.

While I’ve uploaded fewer pictures in the past couple of years to mlkinmotion.wordpress.com, I continue to collect stories of people’s experiences on the street. We create a world in miniature along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

Adopt-a-Block Update

Winter has arrived, and the streets of Eliot are looking mighty fine thanks, in part, to the on-going efforts of our super adopt-a-blockers. Not an easy a task in the colder months….so a big shout out and thank you to all our volunteers.

During the past several months we’ve added John and Cara who are applying their efforts to Thompson street between MLK and Rodney, and Jan Landis who’s been keeping the area behind Boise Elementary School trash-free. So happy to have them on board. Do feel free to contact me if interested in adopting near your area. Also know that you could sign up to adopt one of the newly planted bioswales. They tend to accumulate all manner of trash, cigarette butts, etc. Sadly, I’ve already fished quite a few items from one near my house. Contact me at jodyguth@gmail.com to sign on and be a bio-swale protector, or a block picker-upper, or both!

Land Use and Transportation Committee — January 13th, 2020

Agenda January 13th, 2020

7:00-8:15 pm

Location: 120 NE Knott St

  1. 7:00 Open meeting, Welcome guests, Introductions (5 mins)
  2. 7:05 Discuss agenda and accept any additions (5)
  3. 7:10 Portland Streetcar (45)
  4. 7:55 Discuss upcoming projects and if we want to get involved (15)
    1. Residential Infill Project + Anti-Displacement
    2. Updates Broadway Toyota’s proposed parking structure
  5. 8:10 Approve Minutes (5)

Insurance Masters NW: Giving Back to the Planet and Covering Your Insurance Needs

By Corey Kaster

Insurance Masters NW was started in 2005 by Corey Kaster, a North Portland resident who saw the need for an insurance agency that does things differently. Too often people do not secure proper insurance because it seems confusing, time-consuming, or they receive incorrect advice. He began his agency to fix these problems by simplifying and streamlining the process, offering expert advice, and keeping the best interests of their clients at the forefront.

In 2018 Insurance Masters NW became a Certified B Corporation as they have always been committed to social and environmental responsibility. They also became a 1% for the Planet Member, committing 1% of profits to environmental charities.

In early 2019 Corey switched the office from being a semi-captive agency with Farmers Insurance to an independent insurance brokerage. This allows them to offer more competitive pricing while still providing great coverage and quality customer service. They have grown rapidly since this change.

Many financial experts will tell you some unforeseen events and a lack of the right kind of insurance can spell trouble quickly. It can turn a bad day into a bad life! Call them today and they can analyze your insurance needs and get you covered easily at the right price. Everyone has different insurance needs. Connecting with them for a personalized business or individual assessment can show how help protect your hard-earned assets. They offer an easy side-by-side comparison to your current coverage/pricing so you can easily make the right choice.

Corey was born and raised in Portland and loves the variety Portland and the surrounding area offers. When not in the office you can find him out hiking, camping, wakeboarding, snowboarding, biking, doing crossfit, yoga, exploring the city and more. As you can see he stays quite active!

In the industry since 2004, Derek Ortega joined the team with a passion for the impact of insurance in people’s lives. An expert in both personal and commercial insurance, he asks the right questions to provide customized packages to meet each need.

Insurance Masters NW offers the following insurance products – Business/ Commercial, Home, Life, Auto, Fire, Flood, Theft, and more.

Contact them today to see how they can help. Call 503-419-6421 or drop by at 434 NE Knott St. Suite 210 directly behind the Nike Factory store.