Month: April 2009

Alberta & MLK: coming soon… a gym, & Sweet Thing.

This building, on the southwest corner of MLK and Alberta, is undergoing rehab. When it’s done, the second floor will house It’s About Me Fitness, which is currently using a small space in the back of the adjacent building:

It seems Sweet Thing Coffeehouse will be joining It’s About Me. Have a treat, then sweat it out…. or vice-versa.

Seen on the boulevard, 4/16.

The Beech Street Project, aka the Planned Parenthood building:

Poster for Friday night’s event @ the Local Lounge; unfortunately, ‘Luther’ is spelled wrong:

This woman stopped to wash a t-shirt, brush her teeth, and fix her hair with the water from a drinking fountain on the boulevard:

The D.A.M.N. van, driving down MLK:

You can learn more about DAMN here. From the website:Thank you for visiting the new web site of “The one shot air freshner that will make you say DAMN!” DAMN air freshner. As we continue to work hard by providing the freshest scents to cover up the worst smells, our promise stands as the only air freshener that will make you say “Damn!”

African American Alliance Community Unity Breakfast

Hosting at Irvington Village (NE Mason & MLK Boulevard), the  Academic Distinction Fund is sponsoring a Community Unity Breakfast for the local African American Alliance tomorrow, from 7:30 to 9 am.

Kevin Fuller, Executive Director, will lead a discussion on saving African American males. Discussion points include:

–Role of the community

–Making schools work for African American male

–Protecting the civil rights of African American males.

More information is available at

National Register of Historic Places: Holman Gardens.

Holman Gardens, at 6309 NE MLK, is one of  two places on the Boulevard that have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Holman Gardens, designed by architect Carl Linde, was constructed in 1928 as an apartment building and is now a condominium building called Clovelly Garden Apartments. This name change contributes to some confusion, as seen on this website that talks about Carl Linde and some of his Portland designs.

According to wiki, “The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation. Having a property on the NRHP makes its owners eligible for tax incentives for expenses incurred preserving the property if they are offered by the local taxing districts.”

The info plaque on the left that’s on the front of the building is almost completely faded.

3rd Annual Spiffin’ Up Martin Luther King Blvd. Event

The  North / Northeast Business Association (NNEBA) and SOLV, with the support of sponsors and organizations and businesses located on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, is organizing a clean-up event on Saturday, April 18, 2009.  Neighborhood businesses, community members, and citywide friends will pick up trash, clean graffiti, and remove street debris providing a public demonstration of the pride felt for this avenue where people work, shop, eat, and live.

Volunteers will register and have free coffee and pastries at Friends of Trees starting at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers will disperse to one of five work areas along NE MLK Blvd. from Broadway to Lombard. At 12 p.m. volunteers will wrap up and head back to the registration site for a “thank you” lunch and bag of coupons and drawings for giveaways from event sponsors.

Northeast Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. is a sponsored site for SOLV’s annual SOLV IT event.  Interested participants can register online at at or call SOLV at 503-844-9571. Volunteers are asked to bring brooms and rakes with them to the event.

Saturday, April 18.  Volunteer sign up begins at 8:30 a.m.; work begins at 9:00 a.m.

Register at or
Check in is at Friends of Trees, 3117 NE MLK Blvd. at Fargo St. Volunteers return at 12:00 for thank you lunch.

The North / Northeast Business Association with the support of: the Portland Development Commission, SOLV, NE Coalition of Neighborhoods, Friends of Trees, Portland Trail Blazers, Safeway, Legacy Health Systems, For The Grill Of It, Brooks Staffing, and Albina Community Bank.

Those who live, work, and do business on and nearby NE Martin Luther King, Jr.  Blvd. recognize the need for the entire community to care for the “soul” of the neighborhood.  This event will bring together the diverse community  of  inner North and Northeast Portland to take pride in the boulevard that is the center of the community, to celebrate Earth Day 2009, and to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Local Lounge @ 3536 NE MLK: Mediterranean goodness.

The Platinum Posse and I dropped into Local for beer & snacks the other day. This spot hosted, briefly, Chances Bar, and before that the Kik’nbaque Lounge, and before that, Chances Bar again. Apparently all four (three) of these bars have had the same owner, but I was so grateful for good snacks and beer that I decided not to press the issue, and instead we spent our time watching the Boulevard.

There was lots of foot traffic out and about, some people strolling on the boulevard; numerous others were heading to the liquor store next door. We even saw seom biker-types, presumably Gypsy Jokers, wander across the street for some Subway sandwiches.

When I was outside for a bit, I watched two people in a strange verbal altercation of sorts. They had passed one another on the sidewalk, one smiling and the other frowning, and the smiler called out the frowner for not being friendly. He hassled the frowner for a bit of time while I watched, then fessed up that he was kidding; with a grin and a wave to the surprised frowner, he wandered away.

As dinner time came closer, Local began to pick up a nice crowd, a different one than I’ve usually seen in this bar throughout its different incarnations. In the past, it seems to have served as a younger crowd/ “punk” bar, a sports bar, a bar primarily visited by African-Americans…. all in the last couple of years.

The crowd last week was white, reasonably upscale, and definitely queer. It’s an interesting thing to observe, that one place on the boulevard can serve so many different clienteles in such a short timeframe. It’s also a reflection of the different kinds of folks who live in Albina.

The food was good. We were happy.

from the Oregon Advance Times, April 5, 1968

City of Portland, Oregon

Press Release

FROM: Mayor Terry D. Scrunk

TO: Media

SUBJECT: Death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The people of Portland join in expressing to Mrs. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the doctor’s family and associates deepest sympathy and serious concern for the tragedy which struck down this outstanding American leader at a time when the nation needed him most. We are gravely concerned with the viciousness of this dastardly act, and hope and pray that the individual or individuals responsible will be speedily apprehended and tried for this crime.

I have directed that the flags on city public buildings be flown at half staff through Sunday.

I call upon all churches in the Portland metropolitan area to observe in their Sunday services a memorial service to this leader, and to pray for responsible citizens across America to pick up the principles for which Dr. Martin Luther King gave his life, and to move forward in a rapid and orderly manner to bring about understanding and justice for all of our citizens, regardless of race, creed or color. The fine progress and advancement brought about by Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates must not be lost by additional acts of violence. The finest memorial to the good works of Dr. King will be a new awakening of all the American people to the fact that we have much work to do and we can and will accomplish these objectives through peaceful means by a concerned America.