Thousands of folks returned to Northeast Alberta Street June 30 to mark the return of Last Thursday, a monthly summer event. Small businesses, galleries, restaurants, and bars come together to celebrate the Alberta Art District community as artists, musicians, and performers lined the street from NE 15th through NE 30th Ave. Last Thursday takes place again Aug. 25. Photos by Isaac Puga-Phillips and Rob Cullivan
Thank you again to all the volunteers and for all of the support from our community during the Spring Egg Hunt. The winners of the egg hunt raffle were Donna Amrein, Katie Schaumleffle, Brian Jensen, Michael French, and Catherine Swanson.
June is a great month for social events, including the return of last Thursdays on Alberta Street. The plan is to celebrate on Alberta Street between NE 15th Ave. and NE 30th Ave. from 6-9 p.m. every last Thursday of the month. Make sure to mark your calendars and show up to support our local businesses and vendors.
Black United Fund will open up their lot (corner of Alberta St. & NE 29th Ave.) to host several tents supporting our BIPOC community. Alberta Art Works (NE 19th St & Alberta St) will also be hosting live performances, art and many more surprises.
Additionally, Blind Insect (corner of NE 29th Ave. & Alberta St., across the street from Black United Fund) will host “Barrio Parties” on Last Thursdays from June to September, with a different theme each month:
- June: African Party
- July: Argentinian Party
- August: Brazilian Party
- September: Cabaret theme
Several other businesses on Alberta are getting ready to celebrate Last Thursdays, among them:
Bonne Chance (corner of Alberta Street and NE 22nd Ave.) will be celebrating with an eclectic selection of music and adult beverages.
DB Desserts (Alberta St. between NE 26th & NE 27th Avenues) is offering specials on some of their sweet treats to celebrate.
Holy Beanz Coffee (next door to DB Desserts) will host their “After Sundown Spoken Word & Poetry” from 7-9 p.m.
JRJ Skillets (on Alberta St. between NE 25th & NE 26th Avenues) will offer “Aguas Frescas, Tamales, Elotes, Tacos & Nachos” for the whole family on its brand-new patio.
Also coming this summer, the Concordia Neighborhood Association will collaborate with the City of Portland to bring back “Summer at the Park” concerts. The first band, Son de Cuba, a Latin jazz/merengue/salsa group, performs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, July 15, at Alberta Park. Please stay tuned to next month’s column for more details.
Litter pick-up events
Moving on with neighborhood updates, the neighborhood litter pick-ups have been incredibly successful. Thanks to our many volunteers we have picked up more than 9,000 pounds of trash from Concordia’s streets. We still have work to do though, so please sign up for our next litter pick-up event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 4, at Alberta Park. See Page 2 for more details. If you cannot make it to this one, we have future litter pick-ups scheduled on Aug. 6, Oct. 1 and Dec. 1.
A quick survey for residents: We have received several requests for different events. One of them is a coordinated “Neighborhood Yard Sale” where neighbors can set up their own yard sales. If you are interested in this event please email with the subject “Yard Sale.” Depending on the response we will plan to help coordinate.
The Concordia Neighborhood Association would like to highlight Clary Sage Herbarium, 2901 Alberta St., which opened in 2011 and changed ownership in 2021. Kara Maymi is the entrepreneur currently behind the shop.
Maymi started her herbarium education as an intern at Clary Sage. Later, when an opportunity to join the management for Clary Sage materialized, the pandemic hit. Instead of letting the business close, Maymi decided to purchase the shop and continued following her passion for medicinal plants.
According to Maymi, her calling is the plant world. The shop has a large variety of medicinal plants, some sourced locally. Sharing knowledge of plants f rom scient if ic, spiritual and practical points of view with customers is a priority.
“We love to see how people express themselves through plants,” Maymi said. In addition to plants, Clary Sage offers house-made essential oils , candles, crystals, incense, body care and many other natural products. They are also proud of the quality of their teas and herbal extracts.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Maymi now considers herself a Portlander at heart, and said she finds Concordia to be her community. Community is one of the pillars of the Clary Sage approach. Plants, like people, live in diverse communities, she said. “When we engage with plants, we can learn how important community is and their relationships among themselves and even with humans.”
The social committee needs volunteers for all events. Please email social@ConcordiaPDX.org, or call/text Javier Puga-Phillips, chair of the social committee, at 323.573.1516. Finally, make sure to follow us on instagram @CNAPDX and use #SocialConcordiaPDX to get a shoutout.
Javier Puga-Phillips holds the At Large 4 position on the Concordia Neighborhood Association (CNA) Board of Directors, manages rentals of the McMenamins Kennedy School Community Room and chairs the CNA Social Committee. He is a real estate professional locally, and he is a published author and motivational speaker in Latin America and Spain.
Wednesday, Nov. 4, is the CNA annual meeting. Six board positions and the chair are up for election/re-election, beginning at 7 p.m. Nominate yourself or others. 2020 chair Astrid Furstner details the qualifications at Concordiapdx.org/2020/11/chairs-corner-dont-forget-to-also-vote-in-cna-election.
Then stay tuned to discuss whether consideration should be given to changing the name of the Concordia Neighborhood Association. We were named for the university located here, and it’s now gone. Should we keep its name or consider others?
Details for joining the Google Meet session are at ConcordiaPDX.org/CNAMeetings.
Have you lost confidence in the Portland Police Bureau? Your Concordia Neighborhood Association wants your opinion. Make your voice heard at the virtual association general meeting Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. Read the draft letter on Page 6 of the October CNews or online: Draft letter to Portland city leadership.
To attend the virtual meeting at 7 p.m on Wednesday:
Phone: +1 413-779-5435 PIN: 246824040#
Please join your neighbors for this important meeting!
Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, 6 – 8 p.m.
Location: YesYes Healing Garden, 1626 NE Alberta St.
Tour Alberta Street’s newest wellness practice. It offers acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, several genres of massage and more. Founders John Kozel and KMA Sullivan will offer tours, beverages and hors d’oeuvres. This is CNA’s first opportunity in 2020 to mingle with your neighbors.
Tuesday, Dec. 31-Wednesday, Jan. 1, noon-5pm
CREATIVE PATH WALK: Turning of the Year–Hopes & Resolutions for 2020
Location: Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd
The monthly indoor community contemplative walk is on the historic Chartres pattern. Traversing the design offers the opportunity to focus & still the mind. Donations accepted, reservations encouraged. Wear comfortable socks.
Fridays, Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31, 10:30am-noon
FEAST COMMUNITY CHOIR
Location: Subud Portland, 3185 NE Regents
Forget Everything & Sing Together (FEAST) is a community acapella choir with the goal to build community. New singers welcome.
Monday, Jan. 6-Friday, March 20, library open hours
Heather Goodwind Exhibit
Location: Concordia University Library
Helen Goodwind deploys paint, ink & graphite to create a personal anthology of the archetypal images she presents as a permanent record of her experience. Her current projects include large scale works on canvas, & self-data collection to track & optimize her creative process. The exhibit shows through the Concordia University Library Multicultural Arts & Events Program. A reception for the artist is Thursday, Jan. 30, 5:30-8:30pm.
Details/library open hours: cu-portland.edu/academics/libraries/library-calendar
Tuesdays, Jan. 7, 14, 21, 28, 4-8pm
TIME TOGETHER: TUESDAYS
Location: Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd
Gather, knit, craft, fold, chat, be. This open house connects friends. Most Tuesdays include a 22-foot Chartres pattern labyrinth for a contemplative walk.
Saturday, Jan. 11, 3-5pm
Home Energy Score Workshop
Location: Community Energy Project, 2900 SE Stark
Portland homes now require home energy scores to be listed for sale. This class is for home sellers/buyers & real estate brokers. Class covers interpreting home energy score reports & effective energy efficiency upgrades.
Sunday, Jan. 12, 3-5:30pm
Location: Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd
Join community members to talk about neighborhood change in the premiere of the film “Diary of a Street. ” Learn about early neighborhood history from CNews historian Doug Decker. Explore diverse perspectives on neighborhood change with a panel from the housing field & community. Enjoy light refreshments & participate in the raffle for prizes from local businesses. Funded partially by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, the event is hosted by Jordana Leeb, featured in CNews (Page 9 of the November 2019 issue at concordiapdx.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/cna-201911-web.pdf).
Monday, Jan. 13, 7pm
Paranormal Pub: Ghosts of McMenamins
Location: McMenamins Kennedy School
Presenter Rocky Smith, historian & paranormal investigator reports the legends of ghostly apparitions guests have encountered at McMenamins properties, especially Kennedy School, White Eagle & Edgefield. In fact, those properties are featured regularly on lists of Oregon’s haunted hotspots. The in-depth presentation not only offers some of the most chilling entries from the famous McMenamins ghost logs–it also explores the mystery & history surrounding the buildings. Minors welcome with parents or guardians. Doors open 6pm.
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7pm
Race Talks: The Color of Fear–Walking Each Other Home
Location: McMenamins Kennedy School
This session ends the 4-part discussion of “The Color of Fear,” an insightful, groundbreaking film about the state of race relations in America. It gives an in-depth look into the state of race in America. In the era of Black Lives Matter, gay pride & chants of “send them back”–with the urgency for racial reconciliation heightened–the film’s commentary is just as poignant today as it was 25 years ago. Doors open 6pm.
Thursday, Jan. 16, 6-8pm
FREE CRAFT NIGHT
Location: Atlas Pizza, 710 N Killingsworth
collage & Atlas Pizza collaborate the third Thursday of each month to sponsor this event. Supplies & instructors provided, no registration necessary.
Saturday, Jan. 25, 8:45am-1pm
Location: McKinstry Company, 16790 NE Mason
Join the Portland Water Bureau & the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for this workshop geared toward adults & adolescents as young as 17. You’ll learn groundwater basics including local geology & hydrology, the role groundwater plays in the local drinking water system & what you can do to protect this resource that lies beneath the cities of Portland, Gresham & Fairview. The workshop is presented with a mix of hands-on & classroom-style teaching, Light refreshments provided.
Saturday Jan. 25, 10am-1pm
Stewardship Saturday: Columbia Park Nature Patch
Location: 7701 N Chautauqua
Help plant native trees & shrubs to create habitat for pollinators & birds at this north Portland park. Not only do they require less watering & chemicals to thrive & create healthy wildlife habitat for pollinators, native plants discourage invasive species, & they help manage stormwater naturally to improve the health of the rivers & streams. Instruction, gloves, tools, snacks, & warm drinks provided for this family-friendly event. Cosponsors are the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Friends of Columbia Park & Portland Parks & Recreation.
Sunday, Jan. 26, 10am-5pm
Sacred Geometry & Mandala Art: Drawing the Universe
Location: Cerimon House, 5131 NE 23rd
The morning segment of this playshop focuses on sacred geometry & learning to draw 2 basic patterns. The afternoon explores the contemplative process of the mandala. Short, guided meditations align with the significance of 11/11 & will be offered throughout the day. The day is presented by the Liminal Space Society, no experience is necessary & supplies & beverages provided. Bring your own lunch. A similar gathering was highlighted in CNews (Page 9 of the November 2018 issue at concordiapdx.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cna-201811.1-web.pdf).
Monday, Jan. 27, 7pm
History Pub: About the Making of “The General”
Location: McMenamins Kennedy School
Presenter Oregon Encyclopedia author & former state librarian of Oregon Jim Scheppke introduces Buster Keaton’s masterpiece silent movie that was filmed in 1926 in Cottage Grove, Oregon. He’ll describe the filmmaking process, including the famous train wreck scene that was most expensive scene in the history of silent film. Following a screening of the movie, Jim will answer questions. Doors open 6pm.
Community calendar items Admission to events is free unless otherwise noted. Priority is afforded to local events sponsored by–or which benefit–local nonprofit organizations. Submit information to CNewsEditor@ConcordiaPDX.org by the 10th of the month preceding the event.
HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD
Concordia Neighborhood Holiday Party
You Are Invited!
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Cerimon House, 5131 N.E. 23rd Ave.
- Vernon School Band
- Faubion School Choir
- Grupo Latitudes Band featuring South American and Andean music
- Craft table and activities for kids
Step into our International Food Terrace and enjoy taste samples from around the world, featuring a variety of ethnic bites presented by some of your favorite local restaurants!
Nonalcoholic beverages and scrumptious dessert table!
Food drive and raffle to benefit Northeast Emergency Food Program
Men’s & women’s clothing • Soups, canned meat, rice, pasta, cereal and oats • Canned fruits and vegetables • Staples (salt, pepper, cooking oil, etc.) • Snacks and treats • Personal hygiene items (toilet paper, feminine hygiene, soap, shampoo, etc.) • Household supplies (laundry and dish detergent, cleaning supplies) • Pet food
Raffle tickets: $2 each or six for $10
Great Raffle prizes graciously donated by Concordia neighborhood businesses. All businesses will be announced from the stage!
By Nancy Varekamp | CNews Editor
Every September thousands of Portlanders arrive on wheels to ride the 7.6-mile loop of city streets that connect four Concordia-area parks in NE Sunday Parkways.
They return Sunday, Sept. 22. Neighbors move their cars to where they can access them on other streets, or they simply plan to be part of the annual event between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Rebecca and Nick O’Neil on Ainsworth Street, and Nell Westerlund and Bryce Tolene on 37th Avenue didn’t realize they’d be on the route when they bought their homes five and four years ago, respectively.
“We’d lived in Portland 20 years and participated in some of the Sunday Parkways around town,” Rebecca said. “But being on the route came as a surprise, a welcome one.”
“We were excited when we realized it,” Nell recalled. “We have always participated in Sunday Parkways in some form, changing every year as the kids’ abilities grow.”
Last year her children drew bike art in the driveway. This year they plan to sell vegetables from their garden after they finish their own circuit of the loop.
Rebecca’s and Nick’s daughter was born shortly after they moved here, and each year pictures record her maturing – from a bike trailer, to training wheels and last year to just two wheels.
Friends participating in the event – and even ones who don’t – gather in the O’Neils’ front yard to watch and to interact with passersby.
Before and after their own ride around the loop, the O’Neils’ daughter sells lemonade, or gives away flowers and fruit from their garden.
The story’s much the same for the Westerlund/Tolene family.
“We embrace the event by having a party in our front yard,” Nell explained.
“It’s become like a holiday tradition. We let our friends know we’ll be out front if they want to stop for a drink or a snack and, as a bonus, we always get to see people we didn’t know would be out biking. We flag them down, and they join the party.”
This section of Concordia also gets plenty of traffic in the spring and summer since Fernhill Park – with its egg hunt and concert series – is only a stone’s throw.
“We see those as more opportunities to take the event and expand on it since we live so close,” Nell reported.
Rebecca agreed. She and Nick invite friends from outside Concordia to the park events.
“It’s a statement of how the neighborhood is so desirable, since our friends like to come and experience it with us.”
Editor’s note: Click here for details about NE Sunday Parkways and the route.
Nancy Varekamp is semiretired from her career in journalism, public relations and – her favorite work engagement – writing and editing targeted newsletters.
By Marsha Sandman | CNA Media Team
Get ready to put your food, drink and dance on. Local businesses invite you to their 10th annual block party on 30th Avenue between Emerson and Jarrett streets.
Both 30th Avenue blocks will be closed to vehicles Sunday, Sept. 8, from 3 to 9 p.m.
This area is also known as Foxchase.
Curious? That’s what the recorded plat said in 1889 when Alberta Street was a dirt track. Read some interesting and unusual facts about Foxchase, here.
The event is sponsored by the Concordia Neighborhood Association (CNA) and Dayna McErlean, with additional support and involvement from the other local vendors.
Dayna is a longtime Concordian and a well-known Portland restaurateur. She is the developer and owner of Yakuza Izakaya, D.O.C. and Nonna Tavern, all on 30th between Emerson and Jarrett.
“This celebration is all about community – building it, nurturing it, promoting it,” Dayna explained. She is a creative visionary dedicated to bringing interesting and inspiring businesses to her neighborhood.
The festive block party started 10 years ago as customer appreciation with about 200 people in attendance. Dayna estimated there were 1,000 people there last year and expects even more this year.
It’s an opportunity for folks to sample and learn more about the goods and services offered by the local businesses. There will be complimentary tastes and product samples.
There will also be a variety of musical entertainment curated by Brent Folis, a drummer with Pink Martini. Be prepared to boogey.
All businesses in the two-block radius are invited to participate.
John McSherry, CNA board member, is involved with preparations. He promises a day of kid-friendly fun with a children’s play area and games at Yakuza’s backyard patio.
The block party will be a great chance to mingle with your neighbors and taste all this area has to offer.
A night of food, music, dance, drink and friends. Does it get any better?
After living east, south, north and west, Marsha Sandman is home at last. And she wants to hear your story. Contact her at MarshaJSandman@gmail.com.
By Paloma Wykhuis | CNews Special Writer
The Alberta Street Fair is my absolute favorite place to spend a hot summer day!
From food, to art, to fabulous costumes and even live music, (not to mention the parade) the Alberta Street Fair is truly a magical tradition.
Every summer I look forward to going. My mother owns the store Frock on Alberta Street, so I get to proudly represent the store in the parade each year.
I help throw candy and hold Frock’s banner. I have been in the parade since I was a one-year-old, and Aug. 10 will be my 15th Alberta Street Fair. Many of my favorite childhood memories are being pulled in a wagon in the parade and around the fair when I was small.
The Alberta Street Fair is interesting because everyone dresses up in the most silly and unique costumes. Ignoring the usually humid weather, parade participants dress in full costume.
You will see people dressed as elephants and other animals mingling with clowns and fairy princesses, and you will always see the neighborhood Hello Kitty walking past the booths lining the street.
It has always been a special tradition for my family to participate every year and it’s always fun to take a day off of the usual hustle and bustle of normal life to be silly and have fun dressing up.
The fair also has amazing shows that you can watch while viewing the booths or grabbing a bite to eat. Kids put on a talent show at the end of the parade. Additionally, there are two other stages on either end of the street where local bands provide entertainment.
After the parade, I like to visit the art booths. The art booths capture my imagination because they are all unique and each has something beautiful, different and interesting to offer.
I love making art, and it inspires me to see the incredible art that Portland artists bring to the street fair. It’s always fun to buy the art and support local artists.
The fair makes you feel like a real part of the Alberta community. You get to see old friends, and you get to meet new people who are a part of the community.
Of all the street fairs I have been to, the Alberta Street Fair is my favorite. It really brings out the fun and excitement of Alberta.
I hope to see you there!
Paloma Wykhuis is a 15-year-old sophomore at Jefferson High School. In addition to attending the annual street fair, she enjoys writing and making art.