The first of several planned Jade Night Markets, in the Southeast 82nd parking lot of Fubonn Shopping Center parking lot.
Clearly, there's a hunger for this type of event in the area that has become the city's real Chinatown, because the small section of the lot they set aside for this event (a joint venture between The Jade District and the Asian Pacific Network of Oregon) was not nearly enough to handle the estimated 5,000 people organizers said showed up for the market, from 6 pm to 10 pm.
We showed up at 8 pm, just as it was getting dark, and were stuck fighting intense traffic, and, once we made our way in, a glut of people and very little to actually do. I know there were Chinese dragons and other more relevant performers, but while we were there, it was a band of white girls with ukuleles and washboards. Not so night market, but so *very* Portland.
Many of the six or so food booths were also sold out by then, although my friend managed to get her mitts on some killer scotch quail eggs with dipping sauces before they went sayonara.
This was the first one, and there's always going to be hiccups. Organizers should seriously consider taking more of the parking lot for the event itself, and actively recruiting more food vendors and some better quality merchandise. No reason Fubonn shouldn't stay open either. There's a lot of potential, and it would be so good to see a solid, organized Jade Market become a unifying staple of an area that could really use it.
The next ones are set for Aug. 30; Sept. 6 and Sept. 13. They're planning to do more Jade Markets if they stay popular. Hopefully, with some adjustments, that will be the case.