NE Sunshine Dairy distribution building getting awesome murals

Sunshine Dairy truck in front of the building with giant milk carton on top
The Sunshine Dairy milk carton glows behind the truck after dark

I have a penchant for large versions of everyday things (milk cartons, pink elephants (Seattle!), beer bottles, etc.), and so have always loved the Sunshine Dairy distribution center in NE Portland on NE 20th just south of I-84 crossover. There is a giant (formerly) rotating milk carton on their building. They have closed and the property will presumably be redeveloped (discussions of apartments and whatnot have been in the media, but nothing seems to be moving fast).

I am very concerned about my giant milk carton (we should make sure we save it!), but I am also delighted to see the building getting a number of murals. Since it’s just down the street from my favorite beetles (dung?) on the side of the Eutectic gallery, this seems great. Plus the building was getting random, uncreative tags. The murals still being created, but I’m already enjoying them!

Lloyd neighborhood and the parking lots

Sign announcing the closure of the Lloyd Center parking lot in April 2018I walk through the Lloyd neighborhood (also called a district) almost every day. And this is an interesting area in central Portland with so many intriguing opportunities. Similar to the surface parking lots in NW Portland around NW 21st and Savier that are all turning into buildings, there is a lot of unused or very underutilized land between NE 16th and the river and NE Irving and NE Broadway.

There was a period of time about four years ago (around 2015-16) that I thought the neighborhood was about to pop. And unlike parts of Portland where there is a lot of existing housing (affordable or otherwise), the neighborhood is a lot of surface parking lots and low commercial buildings.

The encouraging signs:

  • Hassalo & 7th apartment buildings (built! but still empty retail space)
  • Affordable housing at NE Holladay and Grand Ave. (being built!)
  • Convention Center area getting new buildings and renovation (underway)
  • Increased use and care for Holladay Park at the max station (happening, although we always seem to be a moment from backsliding — but the activities and maintenance are very nice)
  • Redevelopment of Lloyd Center mall (sort of happened, but there is a long way to go)
    • Entrance/staircase at 12th or so is built, but has some usability challenges
    • Nordstrom space turning into music venue (maybe still happening, but not a lot of action going on there)
    • Movie theater going into a pushed out Sears space and the addition of office space (maybe still happening?)
  • Possible continuing build-out of the Oregon blocks just to the south of the Hassalo development (stalled but one of the existing buildings did get renovated)
  • Apartment buildings in the parking lot of the Regal Cinemas movie theater at NE 16th & Multnomah (stalled and parking lot remains empty — could we do something fun with this space?)
  • Redevelopment of the land where the Regal Cinemas currently is located and the parking lots to the east of Sears space in Lloyd Center mall (stalled)

But things seem to have ground to a halt. So, what I want to ask, is what could this neighborhood be? What can we do right now to continue to use this space in the best way possible?


Things I love when walking in Portland

Welcome to my running list about all of the things I love about walking in Portland.

  1. Sidewalks that are easy to walk on and protected from traffic
  2. Crosswalks
    1. Good signage
    2. Protected area to step out to indicate to drivers that I intend to walk across the street
    3. Electric signals
  3. Traffic signals that automatically have a walk cycle (no need to worry about missing hitting the button)
  4. Sidewalks and paths that follow the most direct route
  5. Fun touches (official or otherwise)
    1. Art on the intersection
    2. Decorative people painted in bike paths
    3. Murals
    4. Art
    5. Little Free Libraries
  6. Walking across or along the Willamette
  7. Admiring all the plants
  8. Slowing down and seeing (and hearing) birds
  9. Checking out the bioswales
  10. Interesting buildings and delightful architectural flourishes
  11. Easily shifting to mass transit or a bikeshare if needed
  12. Discovering public stairs or other handy cut-through to get where I need to go (or explore something new)

Portraits of Biketown bicycles

Biketown bikes I have enjoyed

La Moule: mussels and french fries

Mussels and french fries and cocktails and wine and a burger and salads and a pasta dish and pure bliss.

La Moule is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland. I learned to love mussels here — and try to restrain myself at other restaurants from ordering mussels because they rarely are as good.

The menu is relatively small, but I’ve never had a bad dish. The pasta changes with what’s available, and is a great option for folks who don’t care for seafood or meat. Even for those of us who do eat seafood, it’s sometimes hard to resist.

The wine and cocktails have always been a delight. If ordering a bottle of wine, I usually ask for a suggestion since they carry inexpensive wine that I’ve never heard of. That being said, I have a hard time resisting their cocktail menu. They can also make delightful low- to zero-proof drinks.

If I lived around the corner, I’d be eating at their back bar for happy hour meals far too often.

When you first enter at the corner, you enter into one of two main dining areas and can see into the bustling kitchen. To your left, there is another room with more seating and a delightful bar that takes drop-ins. As La Moule gets going for the evening, the noise levels escalate. Plan accordingly.

What I eat: green salad and split the classic Marinière mussels with a dining partner. Fries and all the sauces. Something tasty to drink.

The details:

2500 SE Clinton St.
Portland, OR 97202


Make a reservation via Open Table

And enjoy!

Iconic gone; BBQ arriving! – updated

Update: We have BBQ! I haven’t been yet, but while staring at the menu, a woman walking interjected that Miss Delta’s BBQ is delicious! Need to make a visit.

The Iconic Lounge on NE Broadway between NE 22 and 24th has closed. Signs are up promising BBQ from MD PDX and the web address. No much info there yet, but curious what’s on the way.

Iconic never seemed to thrive (and had enough fails that some members of my family refused to go there). I always enjoyed the happy hours and projected movies, but I never went all that often. Rose and Thistle always won out.

Portland Sportsball Teams

This is a work in progress. More info added regularly.

Rose City Rollers — women’s flattrack derby league
Location: Hangar at Oaks Park and sometimes other venues around town
Season runs: January – Spring, with other events year round
Ticket prices: $7-$20
League: Rose City Rollers
Mascot: enthusiastic fans?
A few comments: This is not a single league but rather an entire league. The All-Stars team is BLANK and represents Portland in the BLANK league. Fans are passionate and very loud. I have been known to use ear plugs at bouts.
Location: Civic Stadium, currently known as Providence Park
Season runs: March through September
Ticket prices:
League: NWSL
Mascot: Timber Joey?
A few comments: Thorns games are great fun. Lots of families attend, and it’s exciting to see lots of young girls and boys excited about the team. The team is supported by the Rose City Riveters, with the seats at the North End for standing and cheering for the whole game
Location: Civic Stadium, currently known as Providence Park
Season runs: January through October?
Ticket prices:
League: MLS
Mascot: Timber Joey, formerly Timber Jim
A few comments: The Timbers have been in Portland in one form or another for decades. Their current incarnation is terrifically popular and the fans impressively enthusiastic. The members of the Timbers Army have been sitting at the North End of the field for many years and you are expected to be on your feet and cheering.
Trail Blazers, basketball
Location: Rose Quarter, currently known as Moda Center
Season runs: October through May
Ticket prices: all over the place
League: NBA
Mascot: Blaze, who looks like a rat?
A few comments: like many a popular sports team, the Blazers have broken many a Portlander’s heart. But they are ours, and many of the current (and past) team members are beloved members of our community. The longtime owner, Paul Allen, recently died and the team is currently reflecting and appreciating his support and contributions to the team and league.
Winterhawks, hockey
Location: Portland Memorial Coliseum
Season runs: September through March
Ticket prices: $15-$35 (approximate)
League: Western Hockey League – WHL
Mascot: ?
Transit: MAX lines and many bus lines
A few comments: There are a devout group of Winterhawks fans. We should all try to go to a game a year to help support them and the team.
Location: Lents Park
Season runs: summer?
Ticket prices: cheap
League: summer wooden bat collegiate league
Mascot: Dillon the Pickle
A few comments: I used to live around the corner from the Civic Stadium and always enjoyed catching some minor league baseball games in the summer. I was happy for Portland when we got major league soccer, but missed the relaxed, summer baseball. The Portland Pickles have helped fill that void. I am not a very passionate sports fan, so sitting out on the berm, drinking some beer and hanging out with friends has been exactly my speed.
Hillsboro Hops, Baseball
Location: Gordon Faber Recreational Complex in Hillsboro
Season runs: Summer
Ticket prices: affordable
League: Northwest League and Minor League Baseball — Short Season teams feeding into other minor league teams and eventually Diamondbacks
Mascot: A Hop
A few comments: family friendly

Portland newspapers and magazines

I am actively updating this post. Let me know what I missed!

Background: the surviving daily newspaper for Portland, the Oregonian has gone through many, many changes over the last 25 years
Frequency: daily?
A few comments: the daily newspaper for Portland, the Oregonian has gone through a number of layoffs over the last twenty years. As staff have been shed, the amount of in-depth local reporting has decreased. It seems like new reporters have come up, increased their expertise, and then been laid off. They have a branding confusion between The Oregonian and their web presence of OregonLive. The comments on the website tend to be incredibly toxic. In my opinion, their failure to merge their print and online brands and offer a native digital subscription has led to a missed opportunity with possible subscribers of my generation.
Background: started more recently, the Portland Tribune and has associated small town papers and is a good way to get a sense of some of the suburban Portland issues
Frequency: 2x a week, I think, but I just read online
A few comments: Bob Pamplin (founder) is a conservative business owner of Ross Island Sand and Gravel
Background: started in early 2000 as a sister paper to Seattle’s the Stranger. Just shifted to every other week.
Frequency: Every other week
A few comments: this was the weekly paper I started reading when Willamette Week seems kind of old. But now I’m old! But Portland Mercury is young at heart, right? One of the big focuses right now are events and activities in Portland.
Background: the alternative weekly paper since [the 1970s?], the writing has ebbed and flowed over the decades. Currently creating print “Best of” compilations that can be quite handy.
Frequency: weekly
A few comments: I mostly read their compilations and attempt to read their website on my phone. There are a few usability issues with a constant pop-up to sign up for the email newsletter and troubles with loading more articles while still knowing where I am in the website. When I do dip into their reporting, I particularly appreciate the local politics coverage, even if I don’t agree with every point. Their voting guides are always useful.
Neighborhood papers: