AFTER WORK ACTIVITIES
DEAR MERCURY: I've enjoyed listening to your podcasts for the last few weeks, but I can't help but feel like host Adam Gnade is phoning it in. He sounds tired, inarticulate, and not even very interested in the music he's playing. I know being the Mercury Music Editor isn't exactly a "real job," but can't Mr. Gnade wait until AFTER work to get stoned, like the rest of us do?
MUSIC EDITOR ADAM GNADE RESPONDS: My podcasts are recorded after work, so whatever. PS: Don't do drugs. PPS: Don't forget to check out the new podcasts every week at portlandmercury.com/podcasts!
DEAR MERCURY: Hey, Mississippi—there's a lot more we can do ["The Big Picture," June 1, in which Amy Jenniges argues that neighborhood residents' protests against the Mississippi Lofts project run counter to Portland's greater development interests]. Yes, we need more "dense, multi-family housing on transit-oriented streets." But those places need to be affordable and sustainable, too. By affordable, I don't mean luxury lofts with a couple income-restricted apartments mixed in (See: Pearl). How about something for average people? And by sustainable, I'm talking about cheap natural materials, not recycled plastics and glass. How about some salvaged brick? If the developers gave a shit about what normal people want instead of what the yups'll line up for, then my old neighborhood would change into something as beautiful as it already is.
DEAR MERCURY: Way to go for your op-ed piece on the Mississippi Lofts ["The Big Picture," June 1]. I've got a suggestion for the NIMBYs up there: Fulfillment of your quest for neighborhood dominion may be found in Lake Oswego or the West Hills. Oh wait! You want shops within walking distance?! You like restaurants on the corner? You're going to miss being able to bike to downtown? Yeah, Last Thursdays are fun, aren't they!? What?!? You can't afford a house in the West Hills or Lake O??? Lighten up! Let's not allow a building that's five feet (!!!) too tall dry up the awesome—but fragile—urban ecosystem that we all enjoy so much.
DEAR MERCURY: As a resident of North Portland, I just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Amy Jenniges' article ["The Big Picture," June 1]. It expresses how truly in touch she is with the issues facing the Boise neighborhood and the Mississippi Lofts project. It's good to know that there are idealistic liberals out there who know that what we really need in North Portland are more wealthy white people. Density is the true issue here, and we need to pack the whiteys in. Amy knows that all the black people who now live in the Boise neighborhood either can't afford to, or don't want to go to all the lovely new cafés, restaurants, and boutiques on Mississippi Avenue. The people from the Pearl and Beaverton who are now required to support these businesses currently have to drive here. Why not give them places to live in fancy pads, towering over the rows of 100-year-old houses?
Steven Del Favero
FOR THE MISSISSIPPI LOFTS
DEAR MERCURY: I applaud the article regarding the dispute on the Mississippi Lofts ["The Big Picture," June 1]. Jane Jacobs [author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities] has been gone only a bit over a month, yet the Mississippi neighborhood has already forgotten her simple teachings: Dense, affordable multi-use spaces are the safest, most efficient way to build a city. Although I fully support preservation where it is appropriate, the one thing we can be sure of is that going forward there will be more people, not less. Less space, not more. Suburbanization has had its run and it has failed miserably; the only responsible way to accommodate more people is to build up, not out. This will necessarily require that "hot" neighborhoods undergo a change of mass and scale. Anything else is simply wishful thinking, irresponsible, and ultimately reeks of greed.
CONGRATULATIONS TO BRANDON for evoking the great mind of Jane Jacobs, the revered critic of bad city planning who died on April 25 of this year, and for snagging himself some prizes as the Mercury Letter of the Week Winner! (That's good planning.) He gets two tickets to see Tapes 'n' Tapes at Berbati's on Sunday, June 18, plus $30 to No Fish! Go Fish!, whose fish-shaped sandwiches are also dense and affordable.