Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Wishes & Hopes for 08

I am intrigued by this crazy 365 blogging (hat tip to Lelo). I am not yet fully committed, but I may give it a shot.

Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone. 2007 was a hell of a year, and I'm expecting 2008 to bring a whole new round of surprises. At the very least, when the year is over, we will know who our new president will be, and it will NOT be someone in the Bush family.

Since this blog is really supposed to be about North Portland, I was thinking about some hopes I have for North Portland in 2008. Consider this my fantasy wishlist:

1. Less of this
2. And this
3. Some actual resolution of the Interstate/Chavez debacle that gives each side some sense of fairness. I think this is going to have to get uglier before it gets better, as lots of people feel shut down, and all that resentment isn't just going to disappear. Personally, I would like to see the conversation move beyond a street name and into the realm of making a significant recognition of the growing Latino presence and influence in NoPo. Mayor Potter's role in this whole fiasco was unprofessional (who can forget him walking out of a City Council meeting like a teenager storming off to his room after a fight with his parents) and naive. The less involved he is here, the better. I can only hope that City Council tackles this and doesn't shy away from the fact that it is a politically sensitive issue. Let's do away with the racist accusations on all sides, ok?
4. That Walgreens NOT go into the vacant Honda dealership in St. John's. I guess this classifies me as a St J transplant, but I would much rather see some restaurants, a Trader Joes, or small businesses go in there. Or maybe some live/work space. We already have Freddys and Safeway in the village, and there is both a Rite Aid and a Walgreens within 3 miles and Trimet accessible.
5. I would love for a few nice-but-reasonably-priced restaurants that serve DINNER to go in North Portland somewhere north of Rosa Parks Way/Portland Blvd. We have been incredibly lucky over the past year-plus to see an influx of coffee/pastry/breakfast places like Little Red Bike, James John and LadyBug. But aside from take-out and diners, there are very few options. I've been disappointed by Encanto, and you have to mosey on down to Alberta or Mississippi for some better options. So c'mon all you enterprising Pacific Northwest chefs looking for some cheaper rent to start your own place: come on up to 97203! I am thinking along the lines of Country Cat in Montavilla (I would settle for something half as good), Equinox or even Mississippi Station on Mississippi.
6. Some increased security at the N. Lombard Transit Center, especially the one on the North side of the street. It is the only bus stop in Portland where I have witnessed or been the target of repeated harassment, and can get a scary mob-like vibe at times. I'm not sure what the answer is, but it needs some better scrutiny.
7. That Tulip Pastry open on Sundays. What better time to enjoy a delightful marionberry fritter than Sunday morning?

Happy New Year, NoPo. Let's make 2008 the best one yet.

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