Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Way Back

I haven't posted in two weeks, so I will try and catch up. On April 16th our assignment was to walk the neighborhood and find a business/nonprofit that had someone who could talk to the entire class for five minutes about what they do. Sandy and I walked to a auto repair shop where we talked to eduardo. He told us that his father was the man to talk to, but he was busy. We waited for his father to speak with us. He told us he might be able to talk to us, but that his son would be the most available. In the end, Eduardo Jr told us that he couldn't speak with our class.

One of the places we visited was a boutique called tumbleweed. the owner Kara spoke to our class about her two boutiques. she said that she donates to school. she doesn't like the word "gentrification". i drew a picture of her.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alberta & NE 15th on our first day

Our first day at the site was interesting. Our class is doing a research for a future project/construction,that will be built in the vicinity of the Alberta St. and NE 15th neighborhood. The future building is supposed to be a temporary put together construction, movable in the near future to a different location.

Some of us are more familiar with this neighborhood than others. For me it felt somehow familiar ... I used to pass through this area with the 72 bus while going to PCC Cascade, a few years ago.

The first day at the site, me, Sandy and Allison went for a walk and tried to find people who would talk about what they do, and sort of find our way from here about what we wanted to know about these people we interviewed.

Here is Sandy walking ... by the way, notice the beautiful mural on this street. It is fascinating, but I guess this neighborhood has some of the most eye catching murals I've seen in Portland so far. I'll post a few from our first day in the area.

Malcom mural

We walked a couple of blocks. The first business we went to visit, the UMOJA Outreach seemd that they weren't quite excited to see more students doing "survey" type of things... or at least one lady seemed to respond this way; the other staff were actually nice, and one of them gave us a business card and some flyers.

Sandy and Allison

Next stop: Alberta Cooperative, a owners' operated type of business, which opened since 2000,if I rememeber correctly. WE talked to Jumpa, a nice woman who happened to be a member of the Coop also. She used to live in the neighborhood, but moved to another place in order to take better care of her mom.

Our last stop was at a JanitoriaL Service Office. This is the place were we were the most welcomed, and the one where honestly I wasn't expected much to spend too much time in there. Marnella is the woman we talked to, and later we found out she was a PSU student also; she is a Community Development major. The business is family operated mostly, and is being around for 50 years! Marnella, is in her early 50's. She plans to find a way to give back to the community, and these are some of the thoughts she shared with us. She also received a recognition for her efforts as a Youth Manager, from the Governor of Oregon, in 1989.

Marnella showing her favorite book,

The letter from the Governor,

We went back to the site, and discussed our first impressions.

This class is a new experience for me, and it makes me sort of break out of my routine, or shall I say my shell? so I go talk to people and/or approach unknown persons. I'm looking forward to the new opportunities this class brings.

One cool finding in an art store we visited while in the neighborhood, is this dactilo machine stitting on a dusty shelf:

This was my first day.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

first day

on our first day in the neighborhood, sandy, laura, and I walked to the alberta coop grocery. we chatted with a woman who had been working at the coop since 2001. She used to live close to the grocery, in the Alberta neighborhood, but she had to move to SE in order to live with and take care of her mother. She seemed to have a nice disposition and answered all of our questions.

we walked another block up on alberta and knocked on a door to a business called "Courtesy Janitorial Services". A woman named Marnella answered the door and warmly invited us into the small office. During a general introductory conversation with Marnella we discover that the business is family owned and has been family run since the 1950s. Marnella herself is not a part of the family that owns the business, but went to high school with a son of the man who started the business. She lives in the Alberta neighborhood, close to the office. We find that she is a student at PSU studying community development, if I remember correctly. She has taken a few classes on the history of Portland and through these classes has learned a lot about the city she loves.