PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—Portland's recent development boom has been a thorn in the side of many activist groups, who have bemoaned the rapid changes—particularly the inclusion of high-rise condos—to their neighborhoods. However, in Portland's Buckman neighborhood, residents are actually begging for condos if it will mean losing a much loathed nearby business.
Hookah Brother Up—a combination hookah parlor and hacky sack shop—has been operating in the Buckman neighborhood for six months, and for some area residents, that's six months too long.
"Every time I look at that business, I want to murder the earth," says Buckman neighbor Jim Balesco. "It's bad enough that we have to put up with a hookah parlor, but hacky sacks, too? It's unconscionable!"
Mary Simmons, who lives directly next door to Hookah Brother Up, has similar strong feelings.
"It's disgusting," Simmons says. "Pick-up hacky sack games at all hours... people coming in and out smelling like they fell into a chewing tobacco spit cup... and the thought of all those people sharing hookah nipples? GaaaaaahhhEaaggghheewwwww!!"
In response to growing public outcry, the Buckman Neighborhood Association has taken the drastic step of actually begging developers to buy the building, tear it down, and replace it with a high-rise condo.
"It certainly is an unusual request," says Larry Jacobs, head acquisitions manager for Build Up Development, LLC. "I mean, usually we're fielding calls all day long from neighbors screaming and yelling about how we're 'destroying' their neighborhoods. These guys, they don't care what we build, as long as it gets rid of this hookah-hacky situation. They even approved an eight-story condo with no off-street parking! It's like a dream come true!"
However, not everyone is on board with the plan—particularly the owner and manager of Hookah Brother Up, Damian StarNephew.
"Bro. I cannot see the malfunction here," says StarNephew. "Our shit is totes on fleek. These neighbs, they just mad jealous 'bout my wicked biz skillz—but wait 'til they find out we're also gonna be the new home for Bullseye Glass! The DEQ has already approved it, so we're not gonna get anything but mad love, brah! MAD LOVE!"