WHAT: The Community House in Portland’s Sunnyside neighborhood is the kind of public, communal space that’s proven hard to preserve in growing cities like Portland, and four years ago, it almost went up for sale — until neighbors stepped in to save it.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Community House was built in 1922 as an extension of the Sunnyside Methodist Episcopal Church, and over the years it’s been home to a community meeting space, a gymnasium, a part-time homeless shelter, a toy library, and more.
In 2015, all that seemed likely to disappear when the church’s shrinking congregation voted to dissolve and ownership of the building fell to the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The out-of-town owners were ready to put the property on the market and sell to the highest bidder, but a group of neighbors led by Mantu Joshi and Pat Schwiebert persuaded them to explore other options — and ultimately the Community House was saved.
FUN FACT: Volunteers cook a family-style meal at the Community House every Wednesday night and share it with neighbors in need.
Check out our video on Facebook for the full story behind the Hard Times Supper, which has been going strong for 38 years.
QUOTABLE: “The most rewarding part of the Wednesday meals has been my expanded sense of who my neighbors are. I see some folks I’m friends with now who I regularly walked past behind Stumptown down the street.” —John Mayer, chair of the Community House board
We couldn’t make this newsletter without your support, so today we want to give a special shoutout to some our very first members: Darius Kazemi, Kenzie Dettman, Grace Robinson, Meaghan Vehlies, Garet Prior, Catherine Watts, Heather Casavoy, Julie Mancini, and so many others. Thank you.
Ready to join this awesome community? Here’s how to become a member.
Lowering the limit. Oregon is likely to become the second state in the U.S. to lower its drunk-driving limit from 0.8 percent to 0.5 percent blood-alcohol content, following Utah. Senate President Peter Courtney announced the proposal earlier this week, and Governor Kate Brown said yesterday she’d support it. (OPB)
Put a sign on it. Nearly Portland 30 schools are at risk of collapsing if a major earthquake hits — but don’t worry, they’ll soon be marked with signs. Portland Public Schools says it will comply with the city’s new requirement to signpost these “unreinforced masonry buildings,” but it warns that actually making seismic upgrades could take much longer. (KGW)
New year, new caffeine fix. Good news, coffee lovers: Willamette Week decided to release its annual Portland coffee guide early this year, and highlights include farm-to-cup coffee tastings at Nossa Familia and a detailed ranking of the city’s best coffee cake. (Willamette Week)
It’s go time. If you suffer from FOMO, grab a calendar and a red pen and check out this list of 40 Portland-area events and festivals coming up in 2019. Call us eager, but we’ve already pencilled in the Shamrock Run and The Big Float. (OregonLive)
Let the kvetching continue. Following in the footsteps of its alt-weekly rival, the Merc published its own list of Portland-related gripes and grievances this week, railing against everything from street preachers to ugly sweaters. We generally find this type of journalism tiresome, but we have to admit, Alex Falcone’s point about the proliferation of “food weeks” is kinda funny. (Portland Mercury)
🏗️ Drop your kid off at Lego camp (SE | Mt. Tabor)
🏀 Cheer on the Blazers against the Thunder (NE | Rose Quarter)
😂 See four of Portland’s funniest comedians (SE | Central Eastside)
🎿 Get your skis or snowboard tuned up (SE | Central Eastside)
📽️ Watch “The Princess Bride” on the big screen (NE | Alphabet)
🍻 Test your beer knowledge – through January (SE | Hawthorne)
🛍️ Shop local at the Portland Mercado (SE | Arleta)
🐱 Help your cat make new friends (SE | Laurelhurst)
🌱 Build your own terrarium (SW | Durham)
✍️ Get help with grantwriting (NW | Alphabet)
🍷 Play board games and sip wine (SE | Creston-Kenilworth)
🤓 Geek out on games and anime – through Sunday (NE | Airport)
🔬 Go to OMSI for $2 (SE | Central Eastside)
🍿 Watch the Golden Globes at a bar (NW | Alphabet)
🎶 Catch Holland and Andrews at Mississippi Studios (NE | Mississippi) 🆕
🚲 Salvage old bike parts – every Sunday (NE | Alberta)
🙋 Play Harry Potter trivia (Tigard)
📖 Learn how to be a badass (NW | Pearl)
🗳️ Talk with your state legislator (NE | Parkrose)
🤔 Play Disney trivia (Beaverton) 🆕
🗣️ Talk race and civil rights (NE | Concordia) 🆕
🎭 See “The King and I” on stage – through Jan. 13 (Downtown) 🆕
Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #bridgeliner on Instagram to be featured.
ICYMI, there’s still time to vote for the reader-submitted question you want us to answer about Sunnyside. Voting ends on Sunday, and two of the finalists have some catching up to do. 👀
That’s all for now. We’ll see you next week.
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