Foster, your Street Card is here

10354952_661364017282014_536251139831972226_n The Foster Street Card has arrived! This is the first in a series of fun simple ways we can come together to promote our favorite coffee shop, art shop, game shop, and whatnot. 

Pick up your handy dandy lovely card at any of the following locations and support your favorite local spots.

I’ve Been Framed : 4950 SE Foster Road

Pieper Cafe : 6504 SE Foster Road

Red Castle Games : 6406 SE Foster Road

Salon Mojo : 5820 SE Foster Road

Meticon Bikes : 5927 SE Foster Road

Torta-landia : 4144 SE 60th

Gemini Lounge : 6526 SE Foster Road

Bar Maven : 6219 SE Foster Road

FAN fun

Foster Art Night is back this Saturday. If you have the energy after a day of Garden Tour bliss, we urge you to take the FAN stroll and pick up your Foster Street Card.

CoverCard-01The discount card is free for neighbors and friends to frequent and discover shops, services, and restaurants along the Foster Strip. Salon Mojo is generously hosting our open house to kick off the FAN season. Stop in for refreshments, chit chat, and pick up your street card while you're at it. 

We are looking forward to another great Summer of neighborly fun, art, and inspiration.


Portland’s Dirty Little Secret by Jacob Sherman

 portlands-air-is-toxicPhoto courtesy of Neighbors for Clean Air

Given how "environmentally-friendly" and "green" our city is reputed to be, you might find it hard to believe that Portland has a serious air quality problem -- but it's true. In August 2013, a national study named Precision Castparts Corporation (PCC) as the nation's #1 toxic polluter due to the quantity of the company's emissions, the toxicity of the pollutants, and the proximity of these emissions to the people in neighborhoods around them; neighborhoods like those in SE Portland. From cobalt to nickel and chromium to manganese, the company emits a toxic soup of carcinogens and neurotoxins. As a result of industrial pollution and that the fact that Oregon is becoming a dumping ground for dirty diesel engines that are now outlawed in California and Washington, many of our local schools have some of the most dangerous outdoor air quality in the entire nation.


Meet your Neighbors: Foster Row

1486757_1438208816393362_662153319_aMeet the folks behind Foster Row, coming to our fine road in 2014.

Who are you?
Mark Pendergrass is a Woodworker from Kansas. He moved to Portland in 2006 to pursue a career in furniture design and manufacturing. Jennifer Erickson is a textile weaver. She moved to Portland in 2007 from Minneapolis, MN.

What do you do?
Foster Row is a place for creative entrepreneurs to work alongside each other and be a source of inspiration and collaboration. Based in the historic YMCA building, Foster Row includes a full woodshop, textile studio, and retail showroom. As the neighborhood moves through a period of redevelopment Foster Row aims to serve as a hub for community events.

What is your inspiration? (Why do you do what you do?)
Our goal is to create a communal working environment for our businesses and other small businesses to grow together. Rather than hiring employees, we will collaborate with other skilled entrepreneurs to create our unique line of home furnishings. We will also host events to draw attention to our businesses and establish Foster Row as a permanent fixture in the community.

What brought you and/or your business to this fine community?
We are excited about the direction we see this neighborhood moving in, and appreciate how down-to-earth everyone is here. There is a strong sense of pride that folks feel for the Foster neighborhood and the dedication to continue to build community.

3 Ways to unite the Fine Folks of Foster and it’s neighboring communities
1. We want to offer our 5,000 square foot space for hosting community events
2. We really like the idea of a Foster Card system to tie together local businesses.
3. Beautify the neighborhoods and encourage pedestrian traffic

How do you envision the future of your neighborhood?
We see our neighborhood drawing in more community and family-oriented businesses/organizations.


Join us

FUbadge03When Foster United started in the summer of 2012, we were mostly sure that our readership would consist of us four, so when the numbers started to increase, we were beyond pleasantly surprised and we adjusted accordingly. As we gear up for 2014, we find ourselves in a similar position, only this time there are far more stories to tell, events/meetings to attend, and neighborhood champions to applaud; hence, expansion.

If you are a community-minded writer, artist, or planner-extraordinaire seeking to share your stories in a medium such as this, we’d love to hear from you.



The future of FAN, fun stuff

Foster Art Night  needs your help in 2014. What began as a simple stroll down Foster road in 2012 has now become a night of neighbors making friends amid live music, libations, and art.


fanIn the great fashion of supporting one another and promoting our Foster district community, we have decided to take FAN up a notch in 2014. If you would like to assist in coordination, idea making, fundraising, and/or art making, we’d love to hear from you. Planning is underway now. Please contact us here at for more details. (more…)

Meet James Layton and Ne Si’ka, it’s a Journey worth taking

James Layton
Ne Si’ka – Food from the Heart

Ne Si'ka - Food from the Heart_997753159_a

Who are you?

We’re a group of regular folks mostly with pasts in the service industry who can identify with, and have had experience with, food insecurities and hunger issues at some point. We identified an issue and a need and discovered an amazing way to help put a dent in that issue and help some people.

What do you do?

We are in the process of raising funds and developing a pay what you can restaurant. This model is popping up all over the country in different forms, each a little different. Some are cafes and some even move around, ours will be a full service restaurant servers and table seating. There will be a suggested price for any given meal and there will be those who can afford to pay the suggested price, those who have can pay it forward and pay a little bit extra, and those who need to pay less or nothing at all. No one will be turned away, but there will also be volunteer opportunities to pay for a meal in that way and learn some job skills and gain some work experience.

What is your inspiration? (Why do you do what you do?)

So many inspirations! Locally, Sisters of the Road is a great model and provides a great service, but their primary goal is in helping with homelessness, of which hunger is only one part. Funny enough, we first discovered the concept through Jon Bon Jovi, who has a pay what you can restaurant called Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey. We contacted them and they led us to Denise Carreta where they got the idea. She started with One World Cafe in Salt Lake City and now has a non-profit foundation called One World Everybody Eats that guides others through the process. She has been a major inspiration and invaluable resource. Our primary inspiration right now, may actually just be the people we talk to in the community. There is such support and love from everyone we talk to about the concept it really keeps us going when the whole non-profit process gets frustrating!

Ne Si'ka - Food from the Heart
What brought you and/or your business to this fine community?

One of our board members was born and raised in Foster-Powell/Lents, which helped us take a hard look at the area. Although, we checked out demographics around the city, our final decision to end up in Foster-Powell came due to the fact that it is the largest urban food desert within Portland and contains some of the lowest paid working families. These things all point to exactly where there is the greatest need for our restaurant model. Beyond the logistics, there is already such a solid sense of community that are extremely excited to tie into that and do our part to strengthen that.

Ways to unite the Fine Folks of Foster and it’s neighboring communities?

I’ll put this into a context that relates to us and some of our goals. We would like to be a community “anchor” a hub where everyone feels comfortable regardless of their means. The community table, if you will, where conversations are struck and neighbors can meet neighbors whether they live in Mt Scott/Arleta, Woodstock, Lents, Foster/Powell, or any of the surrounding communities. One of the reasons we are seeking a larger location is so that we can have a space for community meetings, gatherings, and events. Something that is important to us and the sense of community is garnering as many partnerships and sourcing as many resources as we can from within the community itself. This can be as small as helping a community garden out by purchasing resources or as large as using a local contractor for renovations. Sustainability is extremely important to us and one of the best ways to be sustainable is by keeping everything as local as possible. When that happens and people see it happening successfully that circle just grows.

How do you envision the future of your neighborhood?

From what I have seen and the people I have talked to I definitely see a lot of forward motion and collaborative effort moving the neighborhood toward stronger economic growth. The important part of that is the collaborative effort, because it seems a more unified vision exists that is leading to stronger community with more diversified businesses that are desired and needed. We are excited to be a part of that growth and for the positive responses we have already received from the community.

Some top fives to appease the list lovers: Your Top 5 Songs to get you through a life?

Our tastes are just too diversified as a group to come to consensus on this so I’m just going to say “Don’t Stop Believin” because you know…Journey