Month: July 2010

Art Not Crime: Provenance Gallery’s Last Thursday graffiti art creation, hosted by DeAngelo Raines.

Provenance Gallery, a hallway gallery in the rehabbed building at MLK and Alberta and run by DeAngelo Raines, has been hosting a Last Thursday graffiti art workshop. Raines invites in graffiti artists and provides them the opportunity to create graffiti pieces in real-time during Last Thursday, and folks can come and watch, or talk with the artists.

The owners of the building have donated use of an unfinished portion of the building for artists to work in.

Check out Raines’ ArtNotCrime website here, including info on the artists who participated in last month’s show, and then peruse some photos from last month’s Provenance Gallery Last Thursday show:

Bruce Forster @ the Provenance Gallery.

The recently rehabbed building at MLK & Alberta holds two businesses: Sweet Thing Bakery on the ground floor, and It’s About Me Fitness upstairs. The hallways of the building downstairs have been converted to use an art gallery – Provenance Gallery, curated by DeAngelo Raines. Raines is a graffiti artist and promoter in town – here’s a video of him talking about graffiti art and murals:

One of the featured artists at the Provenance Gallery has been photographer Bruce Forster, who set out to document some amazing graffiti art that was about to disappear:

Forster’s website is here; and here, Brian Libby reviews Graffiti Funhouse, a 2009 exhibit of Forster’s photographs.

Pink Moon Apothecary: closed.

This blog has been getting a lot of hits for Pink Moon Apothecary lately, I’m guessing because their website was taken down when the business closed.  This post will have to serve as an e-announcement: Pink Moon Apothecary is no more.

Sometime soon, I’ll give a shout out to some other MLK businesses that have shut their doors or moved away from the boulevard in recent months.

Urban Renewal changes in N/NE: a Portland Development Commission presentation.

The Portland Development Commission regularly uploads videos explaining their programs onto the web, and here’s a very recent video that provides a pretty succinct explanation of the N/NE urban renewal areas and the upcoming (probable) changes to their boundaries.

From the video’s youtube ‘description':

After months of discussion and public meetings, the N/NE Community Advisory Committee voted on May 19, 2010 to approve 8 separate recommendations regarding policy issues and boundary adjustments for the Interstate Corridor and Oregon Convention Center URAs.

Two links: a photoblog, & some comedy-video.

Community Warehouse has a photoblog for its used-items store on MLK  – check it at… you won’t regret it. It’s a blog about items for sale in the store – but it’s so much more than that. I get a kick out of it.

Also, Curious Comedy has a vimeo page with lots of comedy videos produced for its comedy festivals. Here’s a very short clip showing the small waterfall in Vanport Square’s courtyard: Magic!

Planned Parenthood’s Sexy Tuesdays Block Party

Tuesday, July 20, 2010
6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
PPCW Regional Service Center
3727 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Portland, OR 97212

Join Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette at our new digs for this outdoor summer celebration!  Enjoy a fabulous evening with live music from Break As We Fall, henna by Rovinghorse Henna, and tarot card readings with Esoteric Industries.  Mingle with fun people while learning about what great things PPCW is doing in your community! While you’re at the party, bid on cool silent auction packages from local businesses!  Check out the list below.

Have kids? Bring them too! We have entertainment for the whole family.

Advance tickets are $15. Tickets at the door will be $20. Admission price includes food and beer.

More info at Planned Parenthood’s website.

Queen of Sheba

Dinner last night at Queen of Sheba, 2413 NE MLK Boulevard, was delicious. Jenn didn’t think to ask, but according to QoS’s website, we could’ve requested gluten-free injera! Photos feature the lovely Miss Audrey, who ate every last bit of whatever kind of food she got her hands on, no matter how spicy:

Queen of Sheba is in the Union Manor Apartments building. It’s one of five East African restaurants on the boulevard!

Miracles Club groundbreaking.

Construction of the new Miracles Club facility on MLK is underway, as the ground is being cleared and a couple of small unused structures have been removed from the property.

The Skanner reports:

Miracles Club Board Chair Malcolm Slaughter celebrated the ground-breaking of the new location for the longtime social club for people in recovery for alcohol and drug addiction. In addition to the social gathering space, the club will now offer sober housing units in the top floor of the building. Former state Sen. Avel Gordly said it was a good day for Portland.

“We have not lost our ability to dream,” she told the crowd of Miracles Club members, community members and city and state officials. “We have not lost our ability to hope and we have not lost our ability to trust.”

The singly-branched tree above, its other arms shorn, reminds me of a landscape feature that might appear in a Krazy & Ignatz comic by George Herriman.

To the left of the Miracles site, out of the frame of this picture, is Mac’s Radiators, recently closed; the white building to the right is 4122 NE MLK, an unused building that was recently marked with a large U by the City of Portland – “unsafe,” in other words, a warning to firefighters.

About the new Miracles Club, the eloquent Anna Griffin writes:

The Northeast Portland nonprofit’s home for the past 10 years is rented space nobody else wants on a stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that hasn’t yet gentrified. It’s dark and musty, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter and too small for the crowds that form more than a dozen times each week for 12-step meetings. The tales club members tell one another as part of their recovery are almost uniformly sad, if filled with dark humor. They’re stories of bad choices, broken families and ruined lives…

Taxpayers will pay for the bulk of the $12 million project through tax credits, federal stimulus grants and loans. You might not like the idea of using public money for anything other than the most basic government services. But in a world where city leaders can seriously talk about using tax dollars for pro sports and federal leaders go gaga for streetcars, we should all applaud the rare case in which our urban-renewal cash is going to rebuild lives rather than a real-estate developer’s portfolio…

The bigger, better, nicer space will allow the Miracles to serve more people, from a wider variety of backgrounds, members say. If it works, the facility could even wind up saving taxpayers money — fewer drug addicts means fewer drug-related crimes, fewer children in foster care, fewer overdose patients in Portland emergency rooms.

Monkey tree.

Just a bit ago, I was walking up MLK Boulevard with my bike. A woman, perhaps in her early fifties, stopped and started a monologue, telling me about watching her mother’s house nearby with a monkey tree in the yard, and something about not eating the apple (a Garden of Eden reference? It wasn’t clear). After this thread of ‘conversation’ was finished, she looked at me directly and said, “I need a husband, you know what I’m saying?” Then she glanced down at my bike, presumably noticing the rainbow flag/star of David sticker on it, and said, “Aw… I’ll take whatever I can get. Even a homo!” With that, she walked off.