Every year the Willamette Week puts out the FINDER, the Willamette Week’s so called “Guide to Portland.” The truth is, it’s not really a resource for those who know the city. Long-time Portlanders don’t need a neighborhood-by-neighborhood guide to fun stuff. But for those new to Portland, (they keep coming every day) the FINDER offers a glimpse of how the media of our local culture interprets and markets our home.
Year-to-year it offers up pretty much the same list of places, neighborhoods and stores, but with slight modifications to reflect the new hot thing of the moment. What does this mean for Foster neighborhoods? Usually not much. In the past, their faint praise of the things they like about us was rarely enough to counter the not-so-subtle jabs at all of the other things they don’t. The 2013 edition feels like an improvement though, a little more respectful than in years past.
Make no mistake, this guide guide to Portland only pretends to cover the city, and the truth is made plain in their distorted sense of geography. Literally half of the city is missing in their citywide map. (yo WWEEK, the city goes past 174th!).
Their layout staff kinda goofed up too. While I’m sure they meant no harm by it, Lents is literally in the crack, and you can only see their name if you dig into the seam of the magazine.
The full reviews are reproduced below, so that you don’t have to leave your neighborhood to read ‘em (that’s right, the FINDER is distributed to a limited set of locations, Foster not included. The Closest pickup location to us is the Woodstock Library.)
FINDER Neighborhood Reviews:
What it’s Like: The once-desiccate no-man’s land now blends a sizable Russian enclave, domesticated creatives, and a homespun variant of the sort of Portlander who needs no encouragement to keep things weird.
Drink: Five of six taps at NWIPA stock that hoppiest of ales-alongside a cider- but luckily there is room in the coolers for a range of beers, as well as local fave Salt & Straw ice cream.
Eat: The Famous FoPo Cristo from Egg Carton at the Carts on Foster pod deserves mention as the districts honorary sandwich. Bring it across the street to Devil’s Point for somewhat different diversions.
Shop: While fortune cookies remain a niche market, K&B Bakery offers chocolate and fruit-flavor-dipped varieties, and locals stopping by the unasumming storefront have the added option of selecting their own fortunes – A box of 25 cookies may include up to four message written by the customer.
Play: For more than a decade, Alex Krebs has led Portlanders of all levels of experience through instructional classes at Tango Berretin, and the small studio hosts regular concerts in which willing partners can put their newfound skills into motion.
In 10 Years: Awash in “Foster, Pussycat? FoPo, Ho!” stories from New York media slavishly detailing the sudden hub of global hipsterdom.
What it’s Like: What isn’t it like? It’s Portland’s most diverse and most-often forgotten district, a place of little parks and sidewalk free streets, family homes and trailered gravel roads.
Eat: Reo’s Ribs (11140 SE Powell Blvd), run by Snoop Lion’s uncle, serves up solid barbecue. Meat not your thing? El Nutri Taco (8438 SE Woodstock Blvd) has a ridiculously vast selection of vegan tacos and burritos at a little food cart parked in the front yard of a family home.
Drink: For strictly historical-touristic reasons, do so at the New Copper Penny (5932 SE 92nd Ave), a nearly 40-year old Lents diner institution that transitions to a deeply strange, deeply besotted nightclub in the wee hours. Come for the mean, stay for the meat market.
Shop: Lents offers a duplex of the fruits of the soil. First the lovely, expansive secont location of the Portland Nursery (9000 SE Division) for buds, seeds and plants, and the the Lents Farmers Market, which is probably Portlands most diverse market, with offerings from Russian to Latino.
Play: If the plans for Berrydale and Lents parks come to fruition, Lents will be skate-or-die heaven, but for now there’s the seriously diverse terrain of Ed BEnedict Park (SE 100th Ave & SE Powell Blvd).
In 10 Years: Short City Hall attention spans for the far east side all bu guarantee up-and-down “improvement initiatives” that bear only occasional fruit.
Other neighborhood locations featured throughout the guide:
- Lion’s Eye Tavern (5919 SE 82nd Ave)
- Foster Burger (5339 SE Foster Rd)
- An Xuen (5345 SE Foster Rd)
- Good Neighbor (4107 SE 82nd Ave)
- Devils Point (5305 SE Foster Rd)
- O’Malley’s Saloon & Grill