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Friday, October 15, 2010

Watching the new neighbor

The new New Seasons grocery store is open at 41st and Hawthorne in the Sunnyside neighborhood in SE Portland. Many shoppers are happy -- especially those a few blocks away -- but critics and neighbors are watching the traffic and parking situations with a wary eye. Speaking of watching, here's a neighbor with a live streaming webcam trained on the new store:

The parking's on the roof, accessible off 40th Avenue, which is a narrow two-way street. Our spies tell us there's an electronic sign at street level telling you how many parking spaces are currently available, but if it says 0, you're in for a long ride down 40th, where there's never likely to be many open parking spaces on the street ever again.

When you swing around way down on Harrison and back north on 41st, another narrow two-way street, eventually you run into the store's truck loading zone, no doubt along with many cyclists since it's apparently a bike boulevard. Hmmmmm... there are probably some kinks here that will need ironing out.

We haven't been inside the place yet, but it's probably a little tight. Even as remodeled, it's not a big store by anyone's standards. But to those consumers who will benefit from having it close by, congratulations.

Comments (21)

I just drove by there a few minutes ago. The only activity I saw was a bunch of delivery trucks parked in the center turn lane unloading stuff for the store. I think this one is going to be a looser for them, unless of course the city puts a trolley down Hawthorne. I think that this high priced organic stuff is a fad and with the economy going the way it is, folks are all going to be shopping at Wal-Mart and getting their luxuries at Trader Joes.

Woah, right now that live video is showing a huge truck unloading in the middle of Hawthorne. I guess that will be happening now, what, 5-10 times per day?

And the link is named "asylum avenue". Now there is a Portland street name change I could get behind, renaming the Hawthorne District the Asylum District. That would be perfect.

Hawthorne Boulevard was originally named Asylum Avenue, after the asylum up near where the new store is. The asylum was run by a Dr. Hawthorne.

High priced organic stuff a fad? Organics have been around for thousands of years. It's the chemical stuff that's a fad, and like the bottled water, is slowly reeling the cynics in until it's too late.....

I know the history of Hawthorne. I should have been more clear in my comment that I think it would be a great and appropriate idea to return Hawthorne Avenue to it's original title of Asylum Ave. since it seems to me now to be a big open air Asylum like much of the city. Free Range Lunacy.

Not sure if the webcam owner is a critic or fan of the New Seasons. His webcam has a crawl that encourages people to come to the Grand Opening.

I could watch this for hours. Not.

A thousand years ago everything was organic and the average lifespan was about 45 years. There is nothing wrong with better living through chemistry. Go ahead pay through the nose for the stuff you get with the organic label. Atoms are atoms, molecules are molecules and whether the nitrogen fertilizer comes from chicken poop or was synthesized form natural gas it has the same chemical composition. The same goes for pesticides like Pyrethrins which also have many after effects like synthesized chemicals.

If they've got a loading dock, I think the police should ticket every truck that parks in the turn lane to unload.

Organic? Funny you should mention that; because a friend of ours who has cancer is a huge "organic everything" shopper. Had been for years.
We were just in Whole Foods and all they seem to have are tiny organic apples at $2.49 to $2.99 a lb. depending upon variety. Pathetic since we got about 20 lbs. at an orchard up the hill from Hood River for 39 cents a pound and they are simple huge in comparison to the crap Whole Foods is selling...

We used to live on 41st just down from the new New Seasons. Many of the houses were built in the very early 1900's; many of them don't have driveways, so the residents have to park on the street. It's a narrow street to begin with, and then with all the cars parked, there isn't room for 2 cars to pass each other, or even for a car to pass a bike.

The New Seasons location used to be an independent grocery store, The Daily Grind. It didn't attract too much vehicle traffic, and those cars that did come were able to easily fit into the small parking lot.

It seems to me that 40th and 41st streets both just got a whole lot more dangerous to the many families with children who live there. I'm glad we moved.

I'm enjoying watching the live video. If you watch long enough, and I mean quite a while, you may actually get to see a bicyclist! Cool!

If traffic gets too unbarable, or there is no parking available, people will quit going. Same thing happened immediately after they finished the remodel at the Freddy's down the street - pure mayhem for about two weeks, and now its managable. I wouldn't judge whether this is going to be a fiasco by how busy it is the first few weeks. I think the more likely scenario is it will eventually just syphon more traffic from the 'green' Freddy's which is only two blocks away.

I'm enjoying watching the live video. If you watch long enough, and I mean quite a while, you may actually get to see a bicyclist! Cool!

The one I saw was riding on the sidewalk...

I am the owner of the webcam streaming above. New Seasons has placed my link on their website so I am promoting their opening. Tit for tat. The webcam was installed so interested folks could watch the demolition and construction. The scroll will change in time when the dust has settled. I have no other affiliation with New Seasons at this time and I do not work for them in any capacity, nor do I receive any other benefit or payment for this service.

I am also a former employee of the Daily Grind which once occupied the site, so I speak with the authority of longevity. Regarding "Asylum Avenue", the term "asylum" actually means refuge and for some has a positive connotation, especially those seeking political asylum. Those of us who live here are kind of fond of our "open air asylum" where folks are tolerated no matter what their degree of "damage". Hawthorne is very much a "hate free zone" and we prefer it that way so if you haters don't like it, kindly STFU and stay away. You obviously don't belong here.

Yes, the store is "tight", but people who eat healthier are less likely to be obese so it shouldn't be much of a problem (a little fat joke there). New Seasons had two public meetings inviting residents to voice concerns and provide input long before construction began. The store plan was actually "flipped" to satisfy concerns about bike and pedestrian traffic on 41st. There is more parking available on the other side of Hawthorne to accommodate shoppers brave enough to cross a street. The company has made efforts to minimize impact on the neighborhood by installing a walk-up deli window, a large number of bike "stables", and claimed it would give hiring preference to employees who would not drive a car to work. They also offer delivery.

No, the neighborhood is not the same, but similarities exist. The Daily Grind also received freight from trucks parked on Hawthorne, but less frequently, and no, the DG parking lot was never adequate and there were always shoppers and staff parking on the side streets. I worked there for 3 years so I know.

Organically grown food is not a "fad" as one poster states, evidenced by the fact that Hawthorne Fred Meyer expanded every section of their natural food area during the recent remodel in anticipation of competition from New Seasons. As the hazards of genetically engineered frankenfood are emerging, access to wholesome food is in increasing demand. Modern agribusiness is the recent fad, not naturally grown food. Contrary to what one poster wrote, industrial fertilizer is chemically different from manure in many ways, contamination by heavy metals and other pollutants being the most obvious differences, just as the fluoride in "natural" toothpaste is very different from the fluoride sourced from the smokestacks on industrial fertilizer "scrubbers", which is the poison dumped into nearly all the water consumed in the U.$. for the dubious purpose of cavity prevention.

To the poster who refutes claims of organic food's superiority based on one anecdotal scenario, all I can say is, get real. Eating organically grown food is just one part of living a healthy lifestyle. If you are eating organic but drinking the toxic swill flowing from every tap and fountain, and every can and bottle in the supermarket, then eating organic is not going to prevent disease. Those who choose to blunder blindly and naively opinionated through the morass of hazards in our world will fill the hospitals of the future. Those who live consciously and choose education over comfortable ignorance have a much better chance of avoiding illness of nearly every kind. The medical establishment only recently began to acknowledge publicly that diet does make a difference, something that informed natural food consumers have known for decades.

The neighborhood will never be the same, but for those of us who have watched this block deteriorate over the past few years while nearby businesses languished and closed, the new store is very welcome and a shining beacon on what was once a blighted block. It has also been the catalyst behind other new businesses now opening up on the boulevard. The quality of life may diminish for some, but for nearby struggling merchants, this is one of the best things that could have happened. I live directly across the street and I am among the many who are very pleased about this. Change happens, and grousing about it isn't going to make it go away.

Thanks for sharing your superiority with the rest of us. Maybe they will hire you as a bagger.

As is so often the case, Jack beat me to it.

One addendum:

If you are eating organic but drinking the toxic swill flowing from every tap and fountain,

You got something against clean Bull Run water?

Sarcasm is the resort of the desperate. Undoubtedly some of your readers will enjoy your petty swipe.

Nothing against water. It's how it is treated that is the problem. Fortunately water is not fluoridated here, but there are other problems. If you are not educated on these matters, you will accomplish more becoming that way than attacking people who are.

If knowledge is superiority, then I will wear the badge with honor. It is my shield against catty BS.

It's been fun. Good luck with the parking.

Compared to the stuff in the bottles, likely sold at DG, tap water here is pristine, and the bottled water is dangerous swill...particularly with regards chemicals and heavy metals.

I'll also take my water without critters, which is what unchlorinated water has, in abundance. Those critters cause some pernicious health problems. If you utilized enough sense to research water treatment, people wouldn't be making snarky comments about your less than enlightened outlook on spreading cholera and waterborne parasites.

And Jack...the new New Seasons is not in Sunnyside neighborhood. That's across Hawthorne, with Freddy's. New Seasons is in Richmond, as are those over-utilized streets which bracket it.

Also, if memory serves, the asylum which the good Doctor Hawthorne headed up was located down in what is now Buckman neighborhood. Up where the shiny new New Seasons is is Doctor Prettyman's territory. Prettyman is notorious for another reason; he cleared most of his land claim on the west slopes of Mt. Tabor to plant the crop he had special ordered, sent as bagged seed by multiple wagon loads from Kentucky so he could produce his patent medicine...tincture of dandelion.

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