Lombard Re-Imagined

On October 14, I participated in a Walktober event, a walking tour of Lombard Street sponsored by Oregon Walks and organized by the Swift Planning Group, Friends of Lombard and the Kenton Neighborhood Association. In the introductions, before the walk started, I described myself as an interested neighbor leaving out the part about my being a blogger in search of things to blog about. I wasn’t sure about the subject matter and I was being shy. So much for self promotion. Three things struck me after walking up Lombard with this group:

walkway est

1. The concrete walkway across the exit for I-5 South doesn’t always get used by pedestrians. It takes longer to wind your way up and over what is actually an easy section of street to cross underneath. The walkway is in need of sprucing up. The views I’ve seen when crossing by bike are nice. On a clear day Mt. St. Helen’s looks spectacular.

walkway med Seven Rivers BBQ

2. The Seven Rivers BBQ restaurant has a beautiful sign when it’s lit up at night in red neon. It stands in one of my favorite sections of North Lombard. Looking down the street, with the Arby’s sign lit up in the background, makes me wish there could be at least a half dozen more neon signs in that section of Lombard although I’m not sure the Lombard Re-Imagined folks would want that.


foggy notion

3. Inside the Foggy Notion is a cool bar area. They serve pierogies if you need a fix. I’m not sure about the mural inside though. Maybe I felt dumb because I only recognized Mick Jones from the Clash and while it’s great to see his image in black and white, the other people in the mural appeared to be rocking out and falling out of the frame. More thoughts: We checked into the rumor that King Burrito might be closing after the walk and found out that this is only a rumor.  Everything is fine at King Burrito and they’ll continue to operate as normal. I was in awe hearing that the Swift Planning group, the Portland State University graduate planning students that are working on reimagining North Lombard Street, have put together a guidebook containing 122 pages of information about the work they’ve been researching for potential improvements of Lombard Ave. You’ll find it here:


Additional info:



Something Happen

TB Building

I don’t know much about Terrell Brandon. I had a coworker who was nostalgic about his basketball skills. Brandon owns a beautiful, two story, brick, historic looking building in downtown Kenton. For more than five years, since I’ve lived in the neighborhood, it’s been empty. At Christmas time last year the front windows were decorated to market downtown businesses and it was nice to see some life in the building. When I saw Terrell Brandon on the cover of the Portland Observer, I wondered if they would mention his building in Kenton. The article was part of a minority business report the newspaper was running. High praise was given for Brandon for being a successful business man for twenty years in Portland. The focus was on the businesses he owns in another neighborhood. I kept thinking about the hole he’s left in the heart of downtown Kenton with his lifeless property. Pardon the melodrama, but I’ve walked past the building many times and I can only seem to dream about something going on there. My wife, Ronna, tried to remain positive. She said the last quote of the article hinted at the possiblity that something could happen and there is a PDC (Portland Development Commission) sign in the window that only seems like a long shot in years of little action. I would like to see the Portland Observer write about this and other dormant neighborhood properties. While it’s inspiring to see that Brandon does great things for the community, I’d like to see him challenged to make something happen with his Kenton building.