Welcome to Village Portland

Welcome to Village Portland, neighborhood news & actions in East Portland.

We’re here to bridge the gap between news & civic participation… and to encourage folks get involved with their community and support their neighbors. There are a million voices fighting for your attention, but we want to help you connect with your village, your neighborhood… where your power to connect and make change is the strongest.

Sign up at the bottom of this page to get email notifications from Village Portland. We publish a weekly news and events multi-media post to keep up up to date on what’s happening in the neighborhood. You can also follow us on Facebook / Twitter.

Support us and help promote your business or organization to your neighbors by having us tell your story. You can also get involved and tell stories from your community through our multi-media citizen journalist training program. 

There are Village Portland sites for Montavilla, Lents, and Brentwood-Darlington:

Village Portland @ Montavilla

Village Portland @ Lents

Village Portland @ Brentwood-Darlington

Village Portland @ Richmond

We’re most excited about the Village Portland @ Montavilla site. It has the space for more in-depth stories, as well as a neighborhood directory where neighbors can find and learn the story of local businesses and organizations.

Explore your Village with DuckDuckGo, the search company that respects your privacy.


If you’re an organizer or writer interested in bringing a Village Portland to your neighborhood, contact Andrew Wilkins, Publisher / Editor:


Read more…

This weekend

At this month’s Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting, there was an interesting presentation about Rocket Empire Machine, the building at 6935 NE Glisan St that’s being rehabilitated as a hub for small businesses.

We’ll have the video from the meeting ready next week.


There’s also discussion of a fabulously late Pride street party event for Montavilla. Contact folks at the MNA for how to help make that happen.

Movie series:

Again this year, Academy Theater is hosting a Summer Repertory Series that began last week. This weeks showings are “The Thing” (1982) and “Singing in the Rain” (1972).

“We are once again doubling down on “classic” titles all summer, showing two every week, including 5 movies on 35mm film, 2 in classic anaglyph 3D (red/blue).”

The full schedule is here.


Shun Fat is now open! Check out video and photos from KOIN here.

Live metal (event):

Gürschach / Suburban Paranoia / Devil Asylum / Felony Flats

Eastside Bar & Grill, 2530 Ne 82nd Ave * 8 pm – 12:30 am * $7


Kalmiopsis Day:

Leach Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave * 10 am – 2 pm * free


Farmers market:

For the full list of producers and some of the special fall produce available, go here.

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

Talk Time (event):

“Talk Time is an informal conversation circle for non-native speakers to practice speaking English. First come, first served.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd * 12:30 pm – 2 pm

Vino Veritas Sunday Jazz / All Day Happy Hour:

“Come enjoy live jazz Sunday afternoon along with all day Happy Hour. A wonderful way to wind down the week.”

Vino Veritas, * 5 pm – 7 pm

This weekend

Pat Sanders “Montavilla Memories” article this week looks into how municipal water came to the neighborhood. For an individual, as well as for a neighborhood, the need for a steady supply of water makes things happen! Read “We Want Bull Run Water!” here.


There’s an extra special guest at this month’s Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting.

Representatives from the Rocket Empire Machine building at 69th Ave & Glisan St will be attending. They’re the creative force behind buildings like The Fair-Haired Dumbbell (50 feet from me as I write), The Zipper on Sandy Blvd, and several other inventive buildings around town.

They have an interesting community-building plan (nicknamed “gentlefication”). for this building that you can read about here. They’ve also been exploring the idea of adding a hand-painted mural to that building!

Also at the meeting: a discussion & vote Membership Eligibility Exception Policy for the MNA Bylaws. More about the meeting is on the agenda, here.

Montavilla United Methodist Church, 232 SE 80th Ave * Mon, 6/10, 6:30 pm


New apartments are going in at 97th & Couch Street. Read more about the 61-unit development here on Next Portland. Also, The Tannery bar (E Burnside & 53rd Ave) closed this week.


Take a survey on options for changes to outer Stark Street here.


Farm to table meal (event / tickets):

“Join us at Zenger Farm’s beautiful Urban Grange for an evening of incredible food, wine, and community. Our 2019 Chefs’ Dinner brings together an incredible lineup of Black leaders from the local culinary and beverage community, led by award-winning chef Gregory Gourdet of Departure.”

Zenger Farm, 11741 SE Foster Rd * 6 pm – 9 pm * $85


African drums (event):

Robbi K - Osebo's Drum

“Parents’ Choice Award winner Robbi K’s spirit is contagious as the entire audience is soon singing and clapping along with Osebo’s Drum.” 

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave * 2 pm – 2:50 pm


Farmers market:

For the full list of produce available, go here.

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

We want Bull Run water!


These days we tend to take plentiful, clean water for granted. We turn on a faucet and, “presto!”, there it is. Yet that wasn’t always the true.

Montavilla in the early 20th Century was experiencing frequent shortages, especially in the summer months when water was needed most.

Until around 1900 Montavilla’s water service was adequate for its small population. Like other unincorporated communities near Portland, private companies did the job. The Mount Tabor Villa Water Company and the Mount Tabor Water Company, both incorporated in 1891, were the local suppliers. (The Mount Tabor Water Company piped water to Montavilla from Paradise Springs on the west slope of Mount Tabor.)

At that time, real estate sales grew slowly due to the the depression of 1893 to 1897, but they picked up in the early years of the 20th Century. With the real estate boom, the Montavilla population rose and soon the water supply could not keep up. 

Portland newspapers began to run horror stories about Montavilla’s water shortages. The Oregon Daily Journal of August 15, 1902, for example, reported that the Mount Tabor Water Company was dealing with the summer undersupply by turning off the water lines after 6 pm. The Oregonian on October 4, 1902 proclaimed “Water is Badly Needed” and residents would no longer be allowed to water their gardens in the summer.

Worries about water to put out fires were also a concern for many. (For more on Montavilla fire protection in the early 20th Century visit How Montavilla Got Its Own Fire Station).

The obvious solution was to gain access to Bull Run water, which started flowing into Portland in 1895. But there was a hitch: Bull Run water was only available to customers within Portland city limits. 

So why not just annex Montavilla to Portland?

Photo credit: George Arthur Peake, Mount Tabor Reservoir, Portland, Oregon, about 1940. Collection of Patricia Sanders

A note on the photo: I didn’t think it would be very interesting to show a picture of a water pipe, so I decided to use a photograph of Mount Tabor Reservoir Number 5 (built in 1911) filled with Bull Run water. This photo was taken by my grandfather, who liked to give his photographs an artistic feel—hence the slightly blurred effect. By the way that’s my grandmother, May Peake, in the foreground. They lived just a few blocks from Mount Tabor Park.

Annexation had been discussed in previous years and had been roundly rejected by Montavillans. Now, with the water shortages, the issue came up again. Contentious public meetings were held, but, despite the water issues, Montavillans still could not agree about joining the City. There were pro and con factions, some favoring incorporation others annexation.

And then, in 1904, there was another obstacle: the City thought there was insufficient Bull Run water to supply added populations.

Finally, in 1906, the way was cleared to put annexation to a vote, and Montavillans approved it with an 80% majority. The Oregonian of July 14 rightly proclaimed this a victory for annexation AND for Bull Run water. About a year later installation of the new system began with a 12-inch wooden pipe running from the upper Mount Tabor reservoir down to Montavilla. The small pipes of the old system would later be replaced to handle the increased pressure. 

So next time you turn on your tap, maybe take a moment to think of those Montavillans of old who were able to reconcile their differences and lay the foundation for the water abundance we enjoyed until 2015, when the Mt. Tabor reservoirs were decommissioned.

Historical story ideas? Questions about Montavilla’s past? Also share a love for neighborhood history? Reach out to Pat Sanders at pat.montavilla.history@gmail.com.

Read all of the “Montavilla Memories” articles by Pat Sanders here

This weekend

This won’t come as a surprise to neighborhood advocates, but Multnomah County’s District Attorneys Office recently testified that they don’t have the staff to prosecute the cases being brought to court in a timely manner.

The issue came to light during budget hearings earlier this week. Read more about it in the story from Fox 12 here.


Village Building Convergence (there’s no connection to this site) is one of those events that involved hundreds of neighbors working on multiple projects across the city— but you’ll never hear about it in the news. 

Maybe it’s not edgy enough, but it’s great to know neighbors are coming together all over the city to get to know each other and work on a project everyone can be proud of.

There are events all over the city and in Montavilla. Learn more about the project here from Village Portland @ Richmond reporter Leah Bell-Johnson.


Paint the Town Green (event):

Here’s another opportunity to participate in a community-building event. There are projects all over the city, including a litter pick-up and graffiti removal in Montavilla!

Montavilla (directions given after signup) * 8:30 am – 1 pm

Lovin’ local (event):

There’s a lot of cool stuff going on at Remedy Gallery, the new name for the gallery at Milepost 5.

“Lovn’ Local is a volunteer ran art pop-up event meant to bring artists and their audience together to celebrate local creatives!

Follow Lovn’ Local on Instagram: @lovnlocal.popup”

Remedy Gallery, 850 NE 81st Ave * noon – 6 pm

Once Upon a Time Family Theatre (event / tickets):

“Once Upon a Time Family Theatre is a magical mix of theatrical simplicity and grand storytelling for kids and their families. There’s always a slight twist to the traditional story that keeps these productions fresh. Though simply produced, these delightful and engaging productions will soon have everyone fully absorbed in the interaction of live theatre.”

This month’s production: “The Bremen Town Musicians”

Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark St * 11:30 am * children $1, $2 adults $2

Talk Time (event):

“Talk Time is an informal conversation circle for non-native speakers to practice speaking English. First come, first served.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd * 12:30 pm – 2 pm

Live music (event):

“Three rocking bands for you at the Eastside! The Ruckus / Gravity Blanket / Tangent!”

Eastside Bar & Grill, 2530 NE 82nd Ave * 9 pm * $5


Farmers market:

For the full list of producers go here.

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm

Joint concert: 

Joint Concert with Portland Metro Concert Band and East County Community Orchestra. 

David Douglas High School, Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 
SE 130th Ave * 3 pm

Learn more about place-making with the Village Building Convergence


Beginning the 31st of May and lasting until the 9th of June, Portland’s neighborhoods will play host to the Village Building Convergence (VBC), a series of community-built projects held throughout the city. 

The Village Building Convergence is the flagship event of City Repair, a non-profit that “fosters thriving, inclusive and sustainable communities through the creative reclamation of public space.” 

According to their website, they encourage community involvement through a wide variety of “placemaking” projects, which range from creating street paintings at intersections to constructing urban gardens.

The Village Building Convergence will put City Repair’s placemaking projects on full display with 30 such projects scheduled throughout the city. Participants can choose from a wide variety of projects during the 10 days of the VBC as well as attend evening events.

City Repair has made sorting through and selecting projects of interest simple with an interactive map on their website. The map features three different types of pins corresponding to the different types of projects (intersection repair, ecological landscaping, and natural building) as well as a brief description of each project and its location. More in depth info on certain projects can be found on the “Project Sites List.”

Many of the projects are closer in, but in Lents, you can help the Lents Bridge Project paint the footbridge over I-205 (it connects SE 93rd with SE 96th at Steele Street). There will be food, music, and Portland Pickles players attending). 

In Montavilla, a community house called The Booty House, is inviting is building a raised swamp to capture rainwater: “This will create ecosystem for our two ducks while also saving the water it takes to refill their pond daily, provide water to cool our brews without using new water, and water our garden”

No reservations or tickets are required, except for the VBC’s Village Building Design Course (more info on the website). 

So this May 31st through June 9th join your neighbors in lending a hand to make Portland a better and stronger community!

This weekend

For Montavilla neighbors concerned about traffic deaths— there’s another important community discussion being hosted by the Lents Neighborhood Association for its May general meeting Tuesday of this upcoming week: 

Traffic safety & Reducing fatal and serious crashes in Lents/East Portland” with the manager of the City’s Vision Zeroprogram, and representative from Oregon Department of Transportation.

The board will also consider motions on support for changing the City’s representation system (video on a LNA forum on the topic), and opposition to the City’s Resident Infill Project

8815 SE Woodstock Blvd * Tues, 5/28, 7 pm – 8:30 pm

This weekend

Every business, every organization, and yes— every person— has a story.

How a business develops and the role it fills in a market and community truly fascinate me. The amount of time, trouble, and resources that goes into building a small business almost always means it’s more then just about making money.

Talking with Village Portland contributor Pat Sanders one day about the intersection of neighborhoods, culture, and small business, she suggested a conversation with the owner of Fressen Artisan Bakery and Cafe, Edgar Loesch. His cafe and bakery, that just began its second year in Montavilla, is a beautiful example of how interesting it is to learn more about your fascinating, hard-working neighbors.

I bet the food will taste even better once you know Fressen’s story.


Another organization we profiled on Village Portland @ Lents, PNW Adult & Teen Challenge, is also worth a watch if you’re interested in problem-solving around addiction and homelessness.

The faith-based organization runs a thrift store to support a recovery program— the thrift store also teaches job skills to the program’s participants.


Montavilla Spring block party:

Our 2019 Montavilla Spring Block Party will take place on May 18 from 3pm to 9pm.

“Join your neighbors for an afternoon/early evening of music, activities, and family fun. We’ll end the night with a DJ dance party.”

SE Stark St, near SE 76th Ave & 82nd Ave * 3 pm – 9 pm

Nature Fair 2019 (event):

Play games, work with plants, mask making, and pet goats, chickens, birds, and slug, ice cream, and hikes.

Music from: Possum 6-Pack & The Marian Street Ramblers

Leach Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave, Far East Meadow * 10 am – 2 am * free

Intercambio / Language Exchange (event):

Intercambio group

“Practice English or Spanish and help other learners in a friendly atmosphere. Participants speak half the time in English and half in Spanish. Beginners welcome.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd * 4 pm – 5:30 pm


Sunday Parkways Southeast (event):

To encourage bicycling and non-motorized transportation, the City shuts down a ring of streets several Sundays a year, with booths, bands, and other interesting events.

This route will explore the neighborhood greenways of Ankeny, Clinton, Lincoln, Salmon, Taylor streets and more. While you’re at it, don’t forget to dance, grab a bite to eat and learn something new.”

Southeast Portland * 11 am – 4 pm

Oregon Sinfonietta concert (event):

“The award-winning Oregon Sinfonietta, now in its 46th season and conducted by Dr. Donald L. Appert, is a full symphony orchestra of about sixty musicians that draws together community musicians from the greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington metropolitan area.”

Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church, 10501 SE Market St * 3 pm * free

For the full list of producers and vendors, go here.

Montavilla Farmers Market, 7700 block of SE Stark St * 10 am – 2 pm