Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 29, 2004 11:01 PM. The previous post in this blog was Nanook-a, no no. The next post in this blog is Local nerd makes good. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, November 29, 2004

While I was out

Lost in the haze of the gluttonous weekend just past were a couple of news stories that deserved blog attention, but didn't get it. (Perhaps you missed a few items, too?) I'm going to try to catch up on them starting now.

The big bombshell was dropped in the O on Wednesday, but didn't catch my eye until I piled up the papers for recycling tonight: Zupan's Markets is not going through with its plan to open a new store in the condo tower being built at NE 16th and Weidler. The developer and Zupan's are slinging major kim chee at each other in a lawsuit, and the lease for the ground floor of the property has been cancelled.

Long-time readers of this blog know that this is really significant. The specter of a new Zupan's at that location, just northeast of Lloyd Center, apparently contributed to the demise of the once-proud Irvington Market. Times got tough for the produce operator in that market, and when he pulled out, no one was fool enough to step in and take on the impending Zupan's. Soon, without the fresh produce as a magnet, the rest of the shops in the market -- a butcher, a fish market, a deli, and a juice bar -- fell like dominoes. Now the nearest decent fresh fish is a 10-minute drive through Pearlie Hell to the City Market on NW 21st.

But the folks in the neighborhood took heart. Soon we'd have our $24-a-pound Copper River salmon right at our doorsteps once again, when Mr. Zupan opened another enchanted forest of high-end groceries at the foot of the condo tower.

Guess again.

Who knows why this aspect of the project failed? Was the developer acting in bad faith, was Zupan's, or were they both acting up? I smell somebody running out of money.

Meanwhile, the condo tower continues its hideous skyward climb. It's a bulky box, to say the least, with sidewalks on Weidler Street that are grotesquely narrow compared to the size and height of the building. There's no setback at all. Even with a prime anchor tenant, it would have been way too much building. With a collection of gumball stores on the ground floor -- like the motley crew of nondescript mall food court castoffs that now occupy the old Irvington Market space -- it will be a downright ugly place to be.

And forget about the surrounding properties. The poor florist on Broadway who held onto his fraction of a block rather than sell out to the condo weasels will likely live to regret his decision. His little skylight looks ridiculous now, surrounded on the south and west by multiple stories of housing. His plants will literally never see the sun. Ditto for the west-facing lots across the street on NE 17th. There will never be anything there now but another condo tower or "Fast Noodles on a Carousel R Us."

And you folks who are paying upwards of $800,000 to live in an apartment building on the corner of NE 16th and Weidler, let me give you an important link: here.

Ironically, in the same pile of newspapers I came across an article about how the folks in the raped and pillaged Lair Hill neighborhood (where the Mrs. and I lived for several years) are hoping to get some funding to rip out some of the obscene highway ramps that have destroyed their community for many decades. Now that the OHSU Aerial Tram is under construction, they can resume talking about some day, maybe, if there's ever any money for it, considering starting to eventually take the bridge approaches and freeway ramps out. But the neighbors will have to have patience -- a virtue that's not required of the rich doctors who will literally look down their noses into these folks' backyards in a couple of years. No waiting for grants when it's time to put money into Homer Williams's pockets. Just start ripping.

One of the factors that is listed in the article as wrecking the old Lair Hill are the condo towers that were built in the nearby South Auditorium district:

"It would help weave together sections of that neighborhood that have been pretty badly cut up by past transportation projects," Doss says.

Projects from the 1950s

Those projects, which include Interstate 5, Naito Parkway and the Ross Island Bridge's western end, were built primarily in the 1950s during the urban renewal of south Portland. Once a vibrant community of immigrants, the area began to lose energy with the opening of the Ross Island Bridge in 1926 and the rise of the automobile, according to neighborhood historian Stephen Leflar, who is in the planning group.

During the urban renewal in the 1950s, buildings on several dozen blocks were bulldozed and the roads were put in along with condominium towers.

It appears that building those towers is now acknowledged as some sort of mistake.

But if you're a developer on the City Council A List, 50 years later, you still get to make all the mistakes you want. No doubt the taxpayers will clean them up later.

Comments (10)

Another 1000 words on why condos and high density housing are ruining Portland.

Perhaps you're right, Jack. But I've said it before and I'll say it again: give us a viable alternative to providing housing for people moving to Portland.

You don't want sprawl (at least I hope) and you don't want high density housing. You just want everything to stay the same.

A noble ambition, I suppose. But so is ending poverty and achieving world peace. Noble ideas, but not very realistic.

Having had the benefit of leaving Portland for one of those liberal Northeastern states in the early 80's and returning in 96', I am amazed at how little has changed during those years.

Economic development is vital to the entire state of Oregon. It's nearly 2005 with a new medical facility and tram going up right over SW Gibbs Street where I bought my first house. I predict a revitilization of the Corbett neighborhood, all the way up to Gibbs. More jobs, more shops, renovated homes, more visitors to the Contempory Crafts Gallery. More med students, nurses, docs looking to live close to the tram. Growth and change aren't evil, Jack.

Jack, sorry to hear that about Zupans, my wife has been looking forward to having it in the neighborhood. Also, sorry to see all the businesses gone because of Zupans. We are a poorer community w/o the businesses.
Mover Mike

Mr Bog - You think Potter being elected will break the cabal of HomerW/RobBall et al? Slowly, this area is slowly looking like Vancouver, BC (Yaletown) without the views. Zero creativity or respect for anyone that lives in the respective neighborhoods.

I wish PDC would realize that all of the high traffic areas for shopping (NW23rd, Hawthorne, SE28th, NE Alberta/NPortland) surprise, surprise happened without Vera's help or social engineering or the trolley or any government participation.

ack, that does suck about zupans. for that area n. of Powell, east of the willamette, south of russell, west of 16th, there are no quality stores for groceries. i'm surprised other tenants aren't clammoring for the locale. jack, you may have a new career calling you.... high end grocery store owner.

A hell of a good, short expose! This is why I read this blog everyday! Thanks, and keep it up.

I bet Jack is right about "someone" running out of money. I wonder if part of the underlying friction is that grocery stores often reduce their risk by having a minimal flat rent plus 1-2% gross sales, and that the apparent fallout reflects the parties' different outlooks for the future success of the space.

Going through your litany of urban planning disaster, I found that I disagree with 100% of your comments:

1. "Hideous Skyward Climb." The building (and more like it is just what the doctor ordered for streets such as Broadway and Weidler. Similar development has been going up south of the downtown area (across False Creek/Bay) from downtown Vancouver BC, and the housing is finding favor with (surprise) families, who don't want the yard to keep up, not to mention the majority of American households that aren't traditional nuclear families.

Furthermore, a "tower" is not five stories high. Save that insult for the Pearl District (more later).

As for the sidewalks, it's hard to tell from the picture how "narrow" they will be. Hopefully they will be at least 12 feet wide, which is appropriate in such an urban environment.

As for the "raped and pillaged" Lair Hill neighborhood, the destruction was done when the freeway and 1960's style redevelopment went in. I think the tram is going to actually upgrade the neighborhood. And, after taking my wife to a 5 PM lecture at OHSU last night, the tram is desperately needed to relieve traffic congestion at one of the city's employment anchors, not just a "rich doctor" private skyway as you derisively call it.

The redevelopment did the usual thing at the time, closing off streets, making the remaining streets into traffic sewers, setting back buildings from the street, separating them with little-used greenery, etc. The Pearl District is being developed quite differently, enhancing the streets as public spaces (read Jane Jacobs "The Death and Life of Great American Cities, written over 40 years ago, for the concept).

In twenty years or so we'll know whether the developers or the naysayers were right about the Pearl District. I'm betting on the developers.

The sidewalks aren't going to be anywhere near 12 feet wide, unless they're going to take away part of the existing Weidler Street. In fact, it looks as though they will be substantially narrower than any of the others on nearby Weidler. If you approach the site from either the east or the west, you'll see how ovepowering this building is. It's way too much -- a blight even before it opens.

Out of curiousity, how did they did determine these guys got off with such a skinny sidewalk? My wife's partners wanted to build a small building 150 feet back from SE Powell (not to be confused with the Champs Elysees) and were told they needed to dedicate 2 extra feet of sidewalk on SE Powell. According to the BDS/Planning person, they get badgered all the time (think about the neighborhood around Docs/Safari Club on about 25th) about making sure new sidewalks are 12 feet wide for strolls.

Also, on the height of this thing, it is out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood which I think offends Mr Bog the most.

Nothing against the Pearl, I just don't understand the subsidies/taxbreaks/special projects for just the Pearl while the rest of the city is told to pound sand meanwhile.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference While I was out:

» Noted and/or newsworthy from My Whim Is Law
See what happens when I don't pay close attention to the local newspaper? I miss the big news of the neighborhood - we're not getting that Zupan's after all. Jack (who caught it as he was recycling his own batch... [Read More]


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics