Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ode to an Awesome Neighborhood

I am very lucky!  I live in one of the awesome neighborhoods of Portland.  This city has always prided itself on livability, and Montavilla has seen an amazing resurgence over the past ten years or so that exemplifies that quality.  My past posts have raved (perhaps ad nauseum for some of you) about the Montavilla Farmers Market, and it certainly is an integral part of the neighborhood's livability.  Yet there is so much more, such as the local businesses, stores and restaurants, not to mention the cultural opportunities. 

For the second year, the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) organized a street fair, where streets are closed to traffic, tents erected and music abounds.  Even more delightful is that the weather cooperated this year (as opposed to the record rainfall at last year's inaugural event).

Meet Nicole (on the left), who owns Union Rose, a women's clothing store that celebrated it's 5th anniversary this weekend.

Montavilla (which is a shortened version of Mount Tabor Villa) was a small community dating back more than 120 years on the trolley line that connected other towns to Portland.  As you drive down SE Stark Street, the architecture is reminiscent of those bygone days. 

This is Bethlehem.  She owns Salon 419, just off Stark St.  She cuts my hair...yes, what's left of it still does need cutting.
Around the corner is PastryGirl, a bakery that makes the most amazing cakes and desserts...and blowing the bubbles is Laura, the owner.

Down the street is Milepost 5, a collection of artists and performers, who graced us with their version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

 Music abounded, with guitars, banjos, keyboards...and yes, even a saw.

Portland is known for being a dog-friendly city, and that means dogs of all sizes, from ones you could hold in a pocket...

 ...to ones a little larger.  This greyhound used to be a racing dog but now has been adopted.

The Humane Society also had representatives with adorable puppies.

Could you say no to a kid holding a little dog?? They knew what they were doing....every dog found a home here.

 Meet Duke.  No, he's not up for adoption.  I met him walking on the sidewalk, and I'm not sure if he was expecting a treat from me when I called his name.

 ...and then you have pets who don't require much feeding at all.  In fact, this one seemed a lot more agreeable than my two cats, but then there are some strings attached.

Meet Lulu Moonwood Murakami (left), owner of Lulumoon featuring art dolls and mixed media art.  I loved his hat.

This is Rowan, from Bless This Mess, our local tattoo shop...and no, the young lad is not getting a tattoo but a painting. 

Of course, this is an election year and our two candidates running for Mayor paid a visit.  Above is Charlie Hales standing with Beth, Treasurer for both METBA and the Montavilla Farmers Market and Emily, the Market's Volunteer Coordinator.

 Mayoral Candidate Jefferson Smith (middle) also paid a visit.

 There were kick-boxing demonstrations...
 ...and a hula hoop contest.

This is Finn Doxie.  He plays the guitar, and she a celtic harp.  Together they played contemporary music in a new and delightful way. 

 And yes...there was dancing in the street (though mostly mothers and daughters).

All was well until a balloon escaped and sought freedom into the clouds...much to the chagrin of this little girl who until that fateful moment danced with great exuberance. 

The market still ran during the fair, and so did the Chef Demo with Abbey Fammartino of Abbey's Table. 
This day was Michael's last day as the Market Chef Demo sous chef, before he takes a position across the country.  He was presented with a gift book, and his apron will be retired.  (Actually we're letting him keep an apron as a memento of his time with us.)

Montavilla is a collection of small businesses, fabulous restaurants, bars, shops and even our own theater.  The Academy Theater had closed decades ago and saw a number of uses until its resurrection a few years ago.  It has been faithfully restored to its former glory that dates back to the '20's.  It's nice to sit in a comfortable chair, watch a movie while sipping a beer and eating a pizza...and get to walk home.

Yeah...it's a pretty awesome neighborhood.

(A note to those of you who graciously posed for me as I pestered you with my camera, but didn't see your pic here...be patient.  I took more than 300 images that day and not all could be put into this blog.  I will find another way for you to access them.)

Some links, for your viewing pleasure:


Finn Doxie said...

Thank you for including us in your writeup about the Montavilla Street Fair.

We included a link to your "Ode" on our website.

Thanks again!

Finn Doxie

Anonymous said...

Wonderful way of capturing the vibrancy of your city--both in images and words. Umami