Adopt-a-Block update – We’re making Progress, but still need your help

By Jody Guth

It’s a beautiful day in our neighborhood – the skies are blue, the sun is shining, and the streets are looking better all the time.  Many thanks and kudos to all involved with Eliot’s adopt-a-block team.  While they may not take credit for the blue skies and sunshine, they most certainly can for the improved look to our streets and avenues.  

We’ve had quite a few people sign-up this past quarter, and the ranks of trash-ridders are reflected in things looking as good as they are….mostly.   And, because we’re greedy and can always use more volunteers, we’re seeking out more.  Maybe yourself?  You know you want to be a part of helping Eliot look its best, and I can show you how it’s done. 

All you do is contact me, Jody, at jodyguth@gmail.com or call 971-320-8594, and I’ll get you set up with trash bags and gloves – plus, I have just a few more picker-uppers as well. If you’re one of the first two lucky winners to contact me, they’re yours.  We’ll decide what block you’d like to “adopt,” you care for it like the adoptee it is, and then you’ll even be entered into a contest every three months where you could win a $100.00 gift certificate to your friendly New Season’s market. 

 What?!….crazy simple, right?….and prizes to boot!  So what are you waiting for?….. 

But before you do, let me announce the current winner of this quarter’s New Season’s gift certificate.  Come on down, Laura and Michael Livingston!  Laura and Michael take care of parts of Williams near Tillamook and around other areas as they walk their dogs.  It can’t be overstated how grateful we are for all those critters who get their humans out for cleaning.  Thanks, Dot and Pipa.. 

Please consider joining Laura and Michael, and the 6(!) other exemplary volunteers who joined this quarter….. big shout out to Richard DeWolf, Moses Wrosen, Laura Atkinson, Pamela Sery, Linda Kading, and Tyler Brunhart.  You do Eliot proud.  

NEW Details: Dawson Park FREE Concert this THURSDAY, July 22 5pm

  • MC is the one and only Joe Bean Keller
  • Live jazz music by the Yugen Music Project
  • Family-friendly event including kids activity area provided by Irvington Co-operative Preschool
  • Raffle prizes from the Nike Community Store on MLK
  • Learn about Eliot’s history and tell us your story – Storytelling booth
  • Give your input for a new intersection/street painting
  • Food carts
  • Picnic Box offered by Lottie and Zula’s at 120 NE Russell St, 503-333-6923 to order and bring to the event check out the link here: https://checkout.square.site/buy/6UXV2YEQZCDKD5KGTWIAILYO
  • BBQ by Eliot Neighborhood Association with meat provided by Cason’s Fine Meats
  • Covid Vaccine Clinic offered by REACH of Multnomah County Health Department
  • Variety of vendor booths
  • After Concert at Ex-Novo at 2326 N Flint and a portion of the Eliot IPA beer sales will go to the Eliot Neighborhood Association

This is the first of 4 events this summer/fall. (Other event dates: August 26, September 16, October 7)

Bring your family and friends and enjoy an evening at Dawson Park. Food available for purchase on-site or pack a picnic and snacks, don’t forget a blanket or low lawn chairs.

We can’t wait to see you all at the event!

To become a volunteer, sponsor, or vendor visit the Concerts page… we’d love you to be a part of this event or one of the 3 upcoming events!

The Untouchable Eliot Mess

By Anonymous

You wake up to the boom of a car stereo or the smell of cigarette smoke wafting through the back bedroom window. Aggressive drivers rev their engines and honk their horns. It sounds like rush hour, but it’s 6 AM, and this is the destination.

All-day long, looking outside is like playing bingo. Across, the headings are categories like violence, drugs, sex, vandalism, and driving.

Continue reading The Untouchable Eliot Mess

FREE Dawson Park Concert – Thursday July 22nd

Join us at Dawson Park Thursday, July 22 from 5-8pm for a free jazz concert and family-friendly event. See the flier below for more details and also visit the website CONCERTS page here for more details and to sign up to be a sponsor, vendor, volunteer or just to donate.

We hope to see you there and to celebrate coming together again as a community. Tell you friends!

We hope to have 3 more events this summer and fall.

Within and Beyond the Borders of Eliot: Murals and Street Art

By Julie Doumbia and Sue Stringer

It’s been a while since we have had a Within and Beyond the Borders of Eliot column. For this issue, we think it’s time for a sequel to the piece the Eliot News did three years ago. There’s a proliferation of new murals and street art in and around our neighborhood. You can also find the map online with links to larger color photos than we could publish in the print version. See the FAQs below the map legend for more information about murals and street art. Photo credits Julie Doumbia and Sue Stringer.

So put on some walking shoes and enjoy a day of wandering through the neighborhood and enjoy the free art show accessible to all. We’re still waiting to get an update on the new mural/art on the building at NE Russell and MLK Blvd., so check back with us in the fall for that one. Also, a mural was approved to be painted on PICA’s and RH Brown’s buildings. Installation starts sometime this summer or fall.

Click the link HERE to navigate to the Google map with all the murals and art and their locations. For a preview of what is on the map see the information below:

1. Women Making History: N Harding Ave and N Interstate Ave sponsored by In Other Words Women’s Books and Resources (closed) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_Making_History_in_Portland Artist Robin Corbo

2. Mural plus lots of street art: Ecliptic Brewing Warehouse 2410 N Interstate Artist  Pablos Murals https://pablosmurals.com

3. MLK Jr. Mural 627 N Tillamook St: Artist Shane Grammer @shanegrammerarts, https://shanegrammer.com

4. Night Stars, Camping & street art: 2410 N Interstate Ave Ecliptic Brewing warehouse

5. Geometric patterns and scenes: N Mississippi and N Fremont (NE corner)

6. Salmon along a fence: Boise-Eliot-Humboldt Elementary N Borthwick at N Cook St

7. Michelle Obama: residential front door 329 N Fremont St. Artist Dianne Bocci

8. People and aliens: Grains of Wrath 3901 N Williams

9. Tropical fruits and desert-scape: MF Tasty food truck 3925 N Williams Ave

10. Geometric shapes: Parallax apartments 4030 N Williams Ave

11. Urbanscapes: Cook St apartments parking lot access via N Ivy between Williams and Vancouver

12. North Portland Jazz Scene “Unite Us”: Above The Waypost 3120 N Williams Ave

13. Honey in the Bee Ball—I Can’t See Y’all – Medallions: Dawson Park fence N Williams Ave at N Stanton St. Artist Isaka Shamsud-Din

14. Geometric design: Breadwinner Cycles 2323 N Williams Ave

15. Frogs: Port City Gallery (closed) 2170 N Williams

16. Birds: Pacific North Press 16 NE Tillamook St

17. Flowers: Tillamook Row 22 NE Tillamook St

18. “MIKE” (Multicultural Integrated Kidney Education Program) Mural: 1914 NE 7th Ave. Artist Robin Corbo

19. “In My Skin”: PDX RedWall, Oregon First Realty 2106 NE MLK Jr.- Rotating art -current artist Jason Hill

20. “Together” Rotating Mural: Open Signal 2766 NE MLK Jr. Artist: Limei Lai

21. Mural (by students?): Growing Seeds Child Development Center: 2808 NE MLK Jr.

22. “In My America” Flag mural: 2915 NE MLK Jr.

23. Mural and Tiles and Sculpture: Cascadia/Garlington Center NE MLK Jr and NE Morris St. Artists south side bldg. mural –Arvie Smith, panels at the front door on MLK –Jeremy Davis, sculpture by the parking lot –Hillary Pfiefer

24. “Jumptown Video Wall”: The Magnolia apartments 3262 NE MLK Jr. Artist Pamela Chipman. Thomas Robinson and Portland City Archive contributed photos and videos

25. Residential garage mural: 435 NE Cook St. Artist Ryan Bubnis

26. Waves of color: Mothership Music 3611 NE MLK Jr. Artist Pablos Murals

27. “Peace in the Hood”: mural on residential wall 3792 NE MLK Jr.

28. Women and shapes: Luna Wellness 3801 NE MLK Jr

29. Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and BLM Protestors mural: North side of Sengatera Ethiopian Restaurant 3833 NE MLK Jr.

30. MESO murals, plant/art piece, garage mural -4008 NE MLK Jr. Artists: Southside -Adia Gibbs, Latoya Lovely, Kyra Watkins, Alex Chiu, Emmanuel Dempsey. Panels/plants -Peg Butler. Northside Isaka Shamsud-Din, Garage – Emmanuel Dempsey

FAQ about Murals and Street Art

What is street art?

  • Street art is visual art created in public locations for public visibility.
  • Themes may be historic, political, social critique, abstract, etc. depending on the intent of the person commissioning the art or the artist themselves.

Why is street art important? What’s the big deal?

  • Street art is a way for an artist to share their perspective and thoughts with the broader community in a very public way. For example, given the rapid gentrification in this part of N/NE Portland and associated demographic shifts, its not surprising that there are historic scenes depicted in street art to remember how the neighborhood used to feel and educate newcomers that there is a lot of history here.
  • Protest can take many forms and street art is one way to comment on social or political injustice. Due to its visibility, it can be a powerful way for artists to make their voice heard. For example, after the BLM protest marches began following George Floyd’s murder, many of the plywood panels (bare or chaulked) that started going up in downtown Portland began filling up with images and statements ranging from anti-police messages to motivational quotes and anti-racist statements and images (see https://www.streetroots.org/news/2020/07/11/photos-art-uprising).
  • Urban art provides a unique sense of place that attracts happy pedestrians, customers, and employees. Street art contributes greatly to the development of the ‘creative city’ (Portland Street Art Alliance website).

What is the difference between street art and graffiti?

  • It can be difficult to cleanly separate these forms at times, but street art tends to be image-based with a community/social commentary or purpose, while graffiti tends to be word-based and may be done for a variety of reasons that vary by person but may include a sense of not belonging, not being heard, resentment, lack of other outlets for creative energy, for the fear/adrenaline, or it be associated with gang activity, to name a few.

Where can I go to learn more about street art?

  • Portland Street Art Alliance (pdxstreetart.org) has a lot of great information on their website, including recommended reading and walking tours where you can see many examples of local street art and (legally) try your hand at painting techniques at their location.

I’m interested in commissioning a mural for my property, where can I go to get information?

  • If there’s a work you already like, check to see if there’s Instagram or other contact information for the artist. Many artists who have done the Eliot installations are local artists.  

Portland Street Art Alliance has a long history of supporting community connections and they can help you scope your project and connect with an artist: http://www.pdxstreetart.org/commissions

Watch This Space for a New Art Installation

By Sue Stringer and Mike Warwick

North Russell at MLK Blvd

Do you recognize this building? In the past years the ENA Board has talked about getting a mural or some art installed on this wall. It is where NE Russell Street ends on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Baileywick Properties is working on a new art installation on the building. Stay tuned for more details in the next issue.

Also, in our next issue, we will have a map of all the art and murals in the neighborhood. If you have a favorite mural, we’d like it if you could email a photo and location or just the intersection to news@eliotneighborhood.org and we’ll add it to the map.

Smokin’ Fire Fish Saved by Collaboration with Tamale Boy in their Ghost Kitchen

Chris Cha, the owner of Smokin’ Fire Fish was almost put out of business because of COVID-19, but the king of collaboration and kindness, Jaime Soltero of Tamale Boy offered his take on a ghost kitchen at the 668 N Russell location.

Continue reading Smokin’ Fire Fish Saved by Collaboration with Tamale Boy in their Ghost Kitchen

Boise Eliot Native Grove Update: Happy Sunny Day!

By Andrine and Howard de la Rocha

After our snowy and icy February, it looks as if spring is coming our way! We’ve used some of our Patron funding to acquire wood chips from ChipDrop, which were in abundance after the ice storm knocked so many branches and trees down. Thanks to New Seasons for donating cardboard for the sheet mulching. 

Continue reading Boise Eliot Native Grove Update: Happy Sunny Day!

Environmental Services Offers Eliot Neighborhood Grants for Raingardens, Native Plants and More

By Kira Smith

Do you have an idea for a project that will improve your community and the environment?  Environmental Services has resources to help fund your ideas for planting trees and native plants in the households, businesses, non-profits, schools, and local places of worship that you are involved in within the Eliot Neighborhood.

Students from Boise-Eliot-Humboldt Elementary School installing native plants at the Boise-Eliot Native Garden on Earth Day 2018. Photo credit Brittany Quale

Continue reading Environmental Services Offers Eliot Neighborhood Grants for Raingardens, Native Plants and More

Join Adopt-a-Block Team: You and Eliot Will Reap the Benefits

By Jody Guth

Ahhh… Spring! Not many 6-letter words evoke as much joy and promise. It certainly was a long, cold, challenging winter, and picking up bag after bag of garbage isn’t particularly fun – not when it’s 35 degrees of rain, sleet, and wind…but like the postal service, the Eliot Adopt-a-Block gang persevered. Hard work, but the results are oh, so worth it when you walk down a sidewalk or street and don’t have to step over broken glass, tossed fast-food cups, straws, and wrappers, cigarette butts, abandoned face masks and, well…you get the picture. 

Continue reading Join Adopt-a-Block Team: You and Eliot Will Reap the Benefits

One Street, Five Generations and Infinite Life Lessons

An abundance of history and personal stories are woven into the fabric of Portland. So, to make sure the stories are not lost as generations of our residents pass on and memories begin to fade, here is one family’s story and a bit of history with links at the end of this article to learn more.

Irene Shaw Wilson’s home at 2747 NE 7th Avenue at the corner of Graham Street. Photo from Google Maps

For many of the Black residents of Eliot, the family stories begin outside of Oregon. The great migration from 1917-1970 brought both Black and white residents of the South to states in the North, Midwest, and West. Looking for an opportunity and a better life, many people landed in Oregon during the swell of migration during WWII because of the rise of shipbuilding and other war-related industries. With the influx of people moving to Portland, the city had to find a place for all these new residents to live.

Continue reading One Street, Five Generations and Infinite Life Lessons

SOLVE | Boise-Eliot / Irvington Neighborhood Cleanup (Se habla español)

Come together with SOLVE and community members for a cleanup in the Boise- Elliot/Irvington Neighborhoods starting at Irvington Park! This event will be entirely outdoors and will comply with social distancing guidelines. After a safety talk and getting cleanup supplies, we will spend a couple of hours picking up litter in the neighborhood to improve our community and protect our ecosystem.www.solveoregon.org

There’s an upcoming cleanup happening at Irving Park this Wednesday, March 31 from 10 AM – Noon. Volunteers will be given cleanup supplies, instruction, and then will be sent out to clean the park and surrounding neighborhood. We’d love it if you could share this volunteer opportunity with your association’s network! https://www.solveoregon.org/opportunity/a0C1I00000QFQZp

Who pays property taxes and who does not? Land speculation has been hurting Eliot for generations

The Eliot neighborhood in 1937. Flint and Russell streets are noted and the area marked in black includes where Harriet Tubman Middle School is today and some of Legacy Emanuel property. Photo courtesy Portland Archives

The Eliot Neighborhood is a geographically unique neighborhood in Portland. Bounded geographically from the Willamette River to NE 7th Avenue and the Fremont Bridge/Fremont Street to N/NE Broadway Avenue, Eliot is shaped like a rectangle plus a triangle. While most current residents in Eliot live between N Vancouver and NE 7th, that was not always the case.

Continue reading Who pays property taxes and who does not? Land speculation has been hurting Eliot for generations

First Rose Lanes Painted in Eliot

The most progressive and potentially transformative transportation program in the City of Portland this century is a sneaky transit efficiency-boosting project called the Rose Lane Project. The goal of this project is to improve the speed of transit across the City. Many of the places where buses get most stuck in traffic are in central Portland, so you may have noticed some small upgrades already. Bus-only lanes heading towards the Steel Bridge on NW Everett Street were an early project that affects the #44, #4, and #35 routes that run through Eliot by serving as a northern extension of the Transit Mall into the Rose Quarter Transit Center.

Recently, the Rose Lanes have been painted in Southern Eliot along NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. The right lane of the road is now transit and right-turns only for several miles. I have been using this route a lot on my commute by bike and I have noticed that the road feels a bit tamer with a small portion of the street designated for transit instead of the entire road being for all vehicles. It does not appear that traffic has been slowed at all by this change. I look forward to more changes from this project. You can find out more information about this by looking up the Portland Rose Lane Project.