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!


Portland Adult Soapbox Derby

Hello! If you’re here for 2018 Portland Adult Soapbox Derby video, we’re working on finishing the editing. Check back in a few days, or you can subscribe to get our posts, including a weekly culture and arts events listing for East Portland.

To tide you over, here are the videos we’ve done over the past few years. I hope you enjoy them! Thanks to all the hard-working volunteers and organizers that make this event so amazing.

DIY, day drinking, one of Portland’s most beautiful parks, and a hint of danger… the derby truly is Portland at its best.


The 2014 video featured Sandy V on the mic. He’s a software developer who’s not afraid to try new things… like interview strangers while day drinking.

I was there in 2015, but didn’t film anything. It was a good time still.

In 2016, we stuck to the basics. I blame my woo-ing on the boxed rosé.

At 2017’s race, I sorta asked / sorta didn’t ask my friend Jason S. help me narrate throughout the day.






This weekend

Hello all… the election wrapped up this week, but if you still have questions about the City Council election, both Jo Anne Hardesty and Loretta Smith spoke at this week’s Montavilla Neighborhood Assoication meeting (video).

There were also presentations from the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association; and Friends of Mt. Tabor Park at the MNA meeting.

And even though she was unable to unseat long-term incumbent Nick Fish for his City Council seat, Montavilla resident Julia DeGraw did win 30 percent of the vote.

The general election is November 6.


Yesterday, I happened upon Dao Strom, the founder of De-Canon: A Visibility Project, a pop-up library and web resource project showcasing literary art by writers/artists of color.

With support from a place-making grant from APANO, they’ve transformed the Milepost 5 cafe into a warm and comfortable place to enjoy their collection. Just across from Strom’s bench is a bunch of cozy couches and the plush-est rug I’ve ever seen.

“Thanks to the generosity of Artists Milepost, we’ll be in residency there from mid May to late July. … Through these three months, the exhibit space will be open as a reading library, workspace, and venue for 4 days a week, with the occasional weekend events.  We are expanding our archive and hope to have over 500 books available for visitors to read.

If you’re interested in running an event (reading, workshop, discussion) in the De-Canon space during the May – July block, email us [contact] and we’ll try to make it work.”

Milepost 5, 8155 NE 81st Ave * hours vary 


In July, the Belmont Goats (in Lents now) are needing a new home… Is there a lot in East Portland that would work? KGW reports.



Leach Botanical Garden 2018 Nature Fair:

“Chew Chomp Slurp: How Critters Eat! Come explore how the food an animal eats affects its body and behavior – including yours! There will be lots of skulls – bear, cougar, horse, alligator, gar, camel, beaver and many more! Also Lady Bug explorations, a salmon run game, critter boxes and mini-terrariums, magnifying glasses and nets, and of course, slug races. Make an animal mask, listen to a story, hear live music, try ikebana, slurp some ice-cream and chomp some popcorn.”

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


Montavilla East Tabor Business Association hosts #GoLocal Montavilla Spring Block Party. There’ll be bands, food, and fun in the streets of Montavilla!

SE 81st Ave between Stark St – Oak St * 2 pm – 10 pm


“Join the Original Practice Shakespeare Festival for an interactive, improvisational, fun and funny performance of the best of Shakespeare and how his work has made our world a better world because of his plays.

First come, first served.”

Gregory Heights Library, 7921 NE Sandy Blvd, * 3 pm – 3:45 pm * free 



“Sacred, contemporary Christian, and gospel genres, and music from the pops and opera repertoire.”

Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont St * Sat 7:30 pm, Sun 7 pm * $12 adults $12, kids under 12 free (tickets



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“Montavillage Spring Festival: Come celebrate Creative Science School and the Montavilla Community! Free and fun for the entire family. Live music and entertainment, food carts, vendors, balloon art, bouncy house, arts & crafts, obstacle course, and dunk tank!”

Creative Science School, 1231 SE 92nd Avenue * 1 pm – 4 pm


Montavilla Kiwanis Club is having a pancake breakfast Sunday!

Colunbia Christian School, 9101 E Burnside St * 8:30 am – 1 pm * $5 individual, $20 family


“Celebrating cultures: Come join Midland’s Teen Council to celebrate some of the many cultures in our neighborhood. Activities will include an ambient playlist, volunteer-run informational displays, performances, food tasting, and a collaborative poetry workshop.

First come, first served.”

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave * 2 pm – 4 pm * free 


The market is open for business on Sundays!

East PDX News did a nice story on the Montavilla Farmer’s Market… here. They also included a link to when the market started in 2007.

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


Enjoy your weekend!

This weekend

There’s a Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting this week, May 14th. Four candidates for Portland City Council will present, as well as representatives from Montavilla East Tabor Business Association and Mt. Tabor Stewardship Fund.

The full agenda is here.

Montavilla United Methodist Church, 232 SE 80th Ave *  6:30 pm – 8:30 pm



National Public Gardens Day 2018:
“All across the country, America will be celebrating our public gardens today. Here at Leach Garden, some special activities are planned. The Stone Cabin will be open from 11 – 2; our Education Coordinator, JoAnn Vrilakas, will lead an Ethnobotany Tour at noon; Gavin Bell of Dragonfly Forge will be on hand to sharpen pruning shears from 11 – 2; and local author, Teresa Bergen, will be in the gift shop from noon – 2 signing copies of her new book, Easy Portland Outdoors, which includes an entry on Leach Garden. Come by and enjoy this annual celebration of gardens with us!” 
Included above, Leach has a great new video on their web site with a bit of its history and features.
Leach Botanical Garden 6704 SE 122nd Ave * 11 am – 2 pm * free 



The Lents Community Pet Parade is Saturday! It’s open for anyone, with a few safety considerations, of course. For more info go here.

Boys and Girls Club, 9330 SE Harold St * 11 am – 2 pm 


Archives Roadshow

“We are taking the archives on the road and traveling to neighborhood libraries. Drop by and learn what you can find in the City’s collections and how you can do your own research. City archivists are ready to answer questions and get you started on your research projects. Even if you don’t have any specific questions, stop by to look at historic photos from the surrounding neighborhoods.

First come, first served.”

Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Blvd * 3 pm – 4 pm 


The always excellent Montavilla Farmers Market is in its second weekend this Sunday. For more information on what’s in store for this market… go here.

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


If you haven’t tried Lent’s Zoiglhaus, Mother’s Day is a good opportunity:

“The Zoigl-Chefs would like to invite you to a super special brunch in honor of all moms! And the best part?? A free Beermosa for every mom! 

From 11 am-3 pm on Sunday, May 13th we’ll be featuring a special brunch menu (regular menu also available!) Every mom gets a Beermosa on the house (with purchase of entree).”


Grilled Romaine Steak Salad
Crab Cakes w/ Roasted Potatoes, Asparagus and Lemon Aioli
Pesto Spatzle W/ Smoked Chicken and Parmesan
Veggie Frittata w/ Arugula Salad
Zoiglhaus Brewing Company, 5716 SE 92nd Ave * 11 am – 3 pm 

Mrs. Doyle & the Teapots: 
“Piping hot Irish traditional music served the old fashioned way with a twist of native wit! Andrea Wild from The Stomptowners will be joined by Teresa Baker on keys & Preston Howard on his mighty pipes.”
The O’Neill Public House, 6000 NE Glisan St * 7 pm – 9 pm * free
Enjoy your weekend!

This weekend


Cody Weathers & The Men Your Mama Warned You About, live at Cartlandia.

“America’s favorite scat-rockers bring their smorgasbord of musical influences to Portland’s ultimate smorgasbord, The Blue Room Bar at Cartlandia. Gorge yourselves.”

The Blue Room Bar at Cartlandia, 8145 SE 82nd Ave 


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“The first two candidate sections will be a more formal question and answer segment where candidates will be answering five questions, sourced from Southeast and East Portland neighborhood associations and organizations. At noon, candidates will stay for an informal meet and greet with light refreshments. (Please RSVP (here) to this event to help us plan for enough refreshments!)”

The Gathering Church, 5921 SE 88th Ave * 10 am – 1 pm 


“But what is Participatory Budgeting (PB), how does it work, and how is it different from other forms of governing? What are the potential benefits for increasing government accountability, making participation more meaningful and equitable, and building trust and community? What can we learn from other cities as we experiment with PB in the Portland metro region?”

This is a free event, but registration (here) is requested. Lunch is provide, childcare and translation is provided upon request.

Rosewood Initiative, 16126 SE Stark St * 9 am – 3:30 pm


“Join us this Saturday at our pop-up park on SE Stark Street! We’ll be taking over two parking spaces for a “parklet” as part of Portland Design Week. We’ll have fun activities for kids and adults to celebrate our neighborhood, National Poetry Month, and using the streets to build community!”

8037 SE Stark St * 10 am – 7 pm 


“Come celebrate the new playground at Ventura Park!

Join the party to celebrate your new playground; free cake and activities.”

Ventura Park, SE 113th Ave and Stark St * 2 pm – 4 pm * free 


“Courageous Vulnerability ‘How Can Men Support Women to Speak Up and Be Seen?’

A Non-Profit Fundraiser in Honor of #metoo, #hertoo, #timesup. Featuring an Expert Conference Panel with Audience Q & A. Presented by Cafe de la Culture, Musical Ambassadors for Peace, and 100 Thousand Poets for Change (Tickets).”


Foster Powell Community Garden Plant Sale:
“The time has come again for the annual Foster-Powell Community Garden Plant Sale and Fundraiser.
Swing by for dirt cheap prices on plants of many varieties.  We will also have snacks and raffle prizes from local business.  All proceeds go directly to the garden.”

SE 62nd Ave and Powell * noon – 6 pm

This weekend

On Thursday, April 12th, Mayor Ted Wheeler will be giving his State of the City address— and he’s chosen Portland Community College Southeast on 82nd as its location.

It’s a nice gesture, but if you follow City politics you’ll notice a trend of facilities being sited in East Portland without respectful notice or even proper process. The shelter on Foster Rd and the bottle drop planned for 82nd Ave are two recent, glaring examples.

Choosing locations for services can be challenging, but starting the process should be very simple: follow your own rules and communicate. The hard work of reaching compromise is made even harder when the City does neither. Wheeler is asking for feedback, and his first question is: “How would you like to see our communities become even stronger?”

Follow your own rules and communicate with neighbors. It would be a good start.


The community and gardening events are really starting to ramp up for the spring, and this weekend you’ll find some great art & music events like the Whitenoise Project and a preview of the Montavilla Jazz Festival.


There’s a Montavilla Neighborhood Association meeting on Monday, April 9th. Special guest for this meeting: Julia DeGraw, a candidate for Portland City Council position #2, and City Commissioner Nick Fish.

There’ll also be presentations from: Juliet Purcell, Portland Community College Adult Basic Education / GED program & a presentation about the development at 90th Ave & SE Hoyt. The agenda is here

Montavilla UMC, 232 SE 80th Ave * general meeting: 6:30 pm, board meeting: 8 pm 


I got a good look at the site of the new community garden on Oregon Department of Transportation land this week… 🙂

There’ll be a dedication ceremony for Earth Day, I hear.


“On Friday, April 6th the Whitenoise Project is thrilled to be able to host Michelle Peñaloza as our first visiting reader as well as the illimitable Samiya Bashir and Stacey Tran for a special reading to celebrate Stacey’s newly released ‘Soap for the Dogs’!

ADA accessible and all ages! No one will be turned away for lack of funds.”

Art Haus at Milepost 5, 8155 NE Oregon St * 7  pm – 9 pm  * $5 – $10 suggested 


Leach Garden tour (invitation):
“First Saturday of the month: Garden Curator Courtney Vengarick will show you what’s blooming and of seasonal interest, provide useful and engaging information, and share fun stories about the adventurous creators of the Garden, Botanist Lilla Leach and pharmacist/civic leader John Leach.”
Meet in front of the Gift Shop, next to the Manor House. Limit 15, first come first served.

Leach Botanical Garden  * 11 am – noon


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Tonight is the Montavilla Jazz Festival‘s season reveal fund raiser (tickets):

“Now in its 5th year, Montavilla Jazz Festival is a two-day festival that celebrates the very best in original Portland jazz. This April, don’t miss our Season Reveal Fundraiser, which includes wine and bites from Vino Veritas, a sneak peak performance by our top secret 2018 festival headliner, and a celebration of the Portland jazz community!”
Includes drink ticket, hors d’oeuvres, and limited edition photobook highlighting three years of MJF photography by Kathryn Elsesser.”
The big show is August 18th & 19th this year. The festival is a fund raiser for Montavilla Schools Music Fund. Vino Veritas is also hosting jazz shows several days a week, visit their page for more details.
 Vino Veritas, 7835 SE Stark St * 6:30 pm doors, 7 pm show * $50


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Green Lents Garden Swap (FB invitation):

“Calling all gardeners and plant lovers! This is the time and place to make something of your spare decorative pot, your extra seeds, your surplus plants, your half-used bag of compost, and well… you get the idea.

Embrace the season and meet us at Zenger Farm with your garden items, and hopefully you’ll find new treasures to swap them with. While you’re here you can enjoy some snacks, take part in our silent auction, and purchase a native plant or two to take home. 

This event is free and open to the public! We are thankful for our sponsors Portland Nursery and Bosky Dell Natives.”

Zenger Farm, 11741 SE Foster Rd * 1 pm – 4 pm 


Monarch Tears of Joy

“The migration of the monarch is one of the most inexplicable phenomena in nature. From the tiny caterpillar traversing a world of miniature obstacles to the beautiful and brave butterfly who dares to fly for thousands of miles, Mon the Minnesotan Monarch takes you from Canada to Mexico and back up through the states again on this astonishing journey of determination and wonder, served up with a heapin’ hot dish of Minnesotan hospitality! Performed by Emily Alexander of Tears of Joy Theatre.”

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave * 3 pm – 3:45 pm


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East County Community Orchestra and Portland Metro Concert Band play a combined concert.

This concert is made possible by a grant received by the Portland Metro Concert Band from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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


Lots of goodness going on in East Portland… enjoy your weekend!

This weekend

Under the radar of most people, there’s a lot of grassroots organizing happening in East Portland. Even the conflicts show that people care passionately about their neighborhoods and are committed to staying involved locally.

It’s interesting to see the variety of initiatives and events being organized by both neighbors, and the City, to help people take on the issues that matter to them. I do my best to help spread the word about cool organizing ideas happening in East Portland, and there are a few new ones:

Jennifer Young, a neighborhood organizer in Lents is hosting a fund raiser Saturday for several neighborhood projects (see below). I’m also curious to see how the new livability pilot program initiated by Portland Police’s East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team develops.


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Live music at The Blue Room Bar at  Cartlandia with Steve Hale.

8145 SE 82nd Ave * 8 pm – 11 pm – free



Fund raiser for Lents community projects (FB invitation):

“Please join us on Facebook Live-under my [Jennifer Young] profile— or what will be a fun filled telethon. We are raising money for a community garden project which will create a safe space for low-income families. We are also working on a community intersection mural project in Lents.

We will have an auction! We will take live on air pledges calls! We will have special guests! I will keep you posted about auction items and a link you can access to pledge/donate to these fantastic projects.

Please tell your friends! We would love to talk to you live or have you stop by to say hello. Share this widely. Let us entertain you for three hours!”

Jennifer Young’s FB page * noon – 3 pm


It’s the last weekend of the Winter Farmers at Portland Mercado:

“Support Local Growers, Artisans and Entrepreneurs in our Indoor/Outdoor Farmers Market. Kids Activities, Live Music [by traditional Cuban band Ache Son], Food Demonstrations, Chef @ the Market Cooking & Education Program.”

Portland Mercado, 7238 SE Foster Rd * 10 am – 2 pm 


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Sacred Lattice Collective presents a seed swap and medicinal plant start sale:

“Bring your seeds to exchange and prepare for your medicinal plant garden! This event is free and open to everyone.”

Milepost 5, 8155 NE Oregon St * 11 am – 2 pm 



“The Post”, “The Last Jedi”, and seven other second-run movies are showing this weekend at Academy Theater.

7818 SE Stark St * show times *  $4 for adults, $3 for youth & seniors