Goat Blocks: A Slap in the Face to Goats and Humanity


Yeah, well, maybe those prices won't withstand the marketplace - but those "goat blocks" used to be a(n abandoned?) produce distribution warehouse and a restaurant (before being burned down by a squatter trying to stay warm). It's good to have the property back on the tax rolls.
Thank you Claire. Best and (funniest) I've read in a while. How bout that affordable housing? I'm sure supply will surely catch up with demand, right? Or maybe we aren't dense enough. In another couple of years we will have to tear down all of those 4 storey apartment buildings lining our streets and replace them with 10 storey buildings. That should finally do it.
The developers were the people who put the goats there in the first place.
I prefer paying tenants over squatters and undeveloped brown fields in the middle of Portland. This is a terrible article, it sounds like an entitled kid complaining about something they don't understand. "But I miss the goats!" If you want to live near goats, why did you move to the middle of a city? Canby is like 35 minutes away, there are plenty of goats and cheap rent out there.
Really wish someone would at least acknowledge how these buildings compare to what is taken down - they simply don't. Material sciences have boomed. Literally we have quantum theorist (e.g. Eric Corwin at UO) getting $750,000 grants to study 'glassy states of matter' because glass is huge in construction. They stick it to the sides of high-rises for example to make them glossy. Polymorphic plastics and walls constructed out of engineered wood meaning it’s been chopped up and glued together (OSB plywood etc). Literally we're gluing things together now!!

The thing is these materials allow developers to produce cheap and quick while still flipping them to the public at exorbitant prices. Obviously this kills consumer leverage. In the meantime the culture and habitat of a neighborhood is ruined as buildings are transformed into plastic cookie-cutters which are supposedly ('uniquely designed').

Consider the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They told Wal-Mart that their town is constructed out of all wood and that if they wanted to build a store there they’d have to comply. But apparently Wal-Mart was not interested once some standard of materials used was set.

**Finn - Abandoned old buildings, open spaces, and dirty goats yield x100 the amount of culture than bland and plastic buildings.

**Nixon - there are reasons people live in cities. Those reasons are not because they can afford to be where they want to be.

Seriously this article is so shitty I had to come back here and comment again. You call yourself a journalist? This article has nothing of substance, but shits on the development of "your city". If you are angry about the building tell us why and give a good fucking reason..."hur dur cause I like goats and keep Portland weird!" is not a reason. Do some fucking research on the area. Maybe a lot of these new nice apartment buildings are going up over low income housing (WHICH WE DO NEED) because measure 5 is still in place, which limited property taxes to 10 mills. Maybe developers are more inclined to develop nicer apartment because they can rent them for more while paying the same amount of property tax as a shitty apartment building that is rented for less (you know, cause they're a business and they are trying to make money, not cater to entitled millennials who just shit on things for no actual reason). Measure 5 is also pulling funding out from underneath our public school programs (which ranks like 47th out 50 states). There are so many issues and problems in this town and you have a chance to use your voice and show the world what the issues are and you decide to put this piece of trash tabloid/click bait/bullshit/self serving/circle jerk article that seriously accomplishes nothing. Seriously, Portland Mercury, if you need a new journalist give me a shout. I'd relish the opportunity to put out some meaningful articles that do actual research, attempt to understand underlying mechanisms, interview involved parties, actually ask the who/what/when/where/ and why. What we don't need right now is someone spewing unhelpful b.s. that gets us nowhere.
Apparently Guidogazz thinks we can use 'culture' to fix our roads, lead pipes in schools, and all the other actual problems in this town. Guidogazz, whats the exchange rate currently for culture to dollars? How do I monetize all of that culture out on Foster and 82nd? Have you guys been to the new abandoned RV culture park up in North Portland? Whats the current tax rate on culture? Oh wait, that's right, cities run on economic principle, not culture.
Wait, $45,120 a year for rent??? Perhaps it should be called the Gloat blocks.
I'm starting to love these kind of developments. Keeps the kind of people who can afford them well contained ie easy to avoid, while exposing them to all of the modern Portland problems. Before they choose to buy and make Portland their permanent home. Thanks Goat Blocks!
New development buildings aren't meant for low income people. And they weren't in the past, either. New development has a price floor based on land, materials, construction, and permitting costs that mean you cannot ever have an "affordable" new development that isn't subsidized in some way by, guess what, taxes. Guess what helps pay taxes? A new tax base of both higher income earners and more valuable properties such as this Goat development.

Portlanders whining about "lost" culture (fucking goats in the middle of a city? really?), or high prices are akin to that 40 year old loser still wearing his Starter jacket in the corner of a dive bar talking about how great high school used to be, because that's when he peaked. Meanwhile, the rest of us are doing great, and making this city better than it ever was before.
The goats gentrified out the Lido and Monte Carlo. RIP Old Portland and all you can eat minestrone soup.
The new Goat Blocks is at the Wattles boy's and girl's club off 92nd and foster.
"Economics is a social relation" - Karl Marx

Come the day - and believe it or not it is approaching - physical scientist take the reigns of understanding human interaction on a large scale then economics and all other social sciences will go out of business. We will also understand that yes, culture is money. You can increase you money or you can understand the underlying principles which govern WHY and HOW people spend money and thereby find a different way to achieve you ends - which would depreciate the value of money in the first place.

By definition, by trying to extricate culture from the value of money and why cities need it you are overlooking the "factors of causation" you bitch about. What you going to tell me that an American economy largely fueled by a CULTURE of produce more, consume more, reuse nothing, throw it all away has nothing to do with evolutionary group dynamics, e.g. group identification, cooperation, and belonging? Do people hit the mall and theater so hard because they would not survive without those designer jeans or seeing the latest incarnation of Will Smith? Then when you have less than the smartest or hardes working type of people getting filthy rich because they managed to capitalize off of consumerism bull***, would it be so unreasonable to say that they found a way to do so by capitalizing off of the inefficiencies and SOCIAL deprivations of the lower classes?

You want to talk about underlying factors of causation - without considering the nature of the spender - then look at the materials. As I described in my first post new materials and methods give more leverage to those who own property, e.g. developers; rich get richer poor get poorer.

Finally, habitat and its cultural effect is not to be understimated. Marawa Al-Sabouni just wrote a book about how infrastructure - which once served as a source of group identity for people in syria - helped open the gates to war when greedy developers and corrupt mayors ran through it all.

As a physics grad student who demos houses in the summer, when I have time, I'll be looking into olfaction (smell). Believe it or not quantum theories of smell are the leading candidates. Smell has a profound affect on us as its tied to our limbic system. This is what I think of when demoing in the summer and helping deliver materials to new places and seeing the contrast. Something 'feels' different. Smell, or the lack of smell [of materials] does noticeably produce a shift. Plastic buildings produce plastic crowds. Don't believe me walk into doc side grille. Take a whiff of all the REAL wood and know that is OLD OREGON. Now step outside and observe all the new plastic condos around you and the people inhabiting them- people who walk their dogs just to escape the house and neighborhood where you could hear a pen drop. Coincidentally or not, wealthy peoples shopping patterns also follow a pattern of hunter-gatherer exploratory behavior ("Social Physics" - Pentland, MIT); they are looking to escape the CULTURE and they pay a LOT to do it.

Hundres of millions of years evolving through group selectivity means we have a profound drive to seek group identity. It explains much of our behavior - economic and otherwise. All I am arguing is that such a 'group identity' mechanism is tied to the habitat it grows in. And if you don't think smell can influence group identity then you need to explain to me why dogs are always sniffing each others butts. But even if you don't buy that, many other arguments can be made about visual appeal. Ever notice all the carvings atop old portland buildings?

In either case, what our ancestors constructed lasted 100 years. This flimsy crap will rot in 20. You'll have a lot of trouble paying for your roads when you're to busy fixing your plastic buildings.

ps- you know plywood, OSB board emits aerosols of toxic glue at a rate the EPA does not approve of? See all the plywood and OSB going up in construction?
...and walking emo dogs just to escape the house is not my definition of "doing great".
I spent pretty much my whole adult life in inner southeast (until being priced out last year!), and for my tastes, this style of housing (and the people it attracts) only make my neighborhood shittier to live in.

That said, it's pretty hard to argue that the goat blocks shouldn't have been developed. As long as people want to move to this city in droves, new housing is obviously necessary - and of all the places to build it, uh, yeah, vacant lots like the goat blocks should be first on the list. The alternatives range from undesirable to impossible: suburban sprawl, demolishing & replacing existing lower-density housing, or somehow magically halting the city's population rise.

It's understandable that these sorts of buildings are flashpoints - and literally naming the building after the beloved thing it displaced displays bewildering moronic gall on the developer's part. But I think we've got to keep our complaints and activism focused on material issues, i.e. affordability and nondiscrimination (remember the racial bias in rental offers that was demonstrated by that housing audit a couple years back?). If we get distracted by nebulous aesthetic and cultural matters (The building's ugly! The goats were cool!), it'll only hamper our efforts to make this an affordable city for working people, and encourage weird incoherent alliances with rich NIMBY homeowners who are only concerned with their effortless on-street parking.

Or in short: gripe about the fucking rent, not the fucking goats.
1) not worth making the rent here if we got no goats
2) The argument is that the two are inextricable. Culture and economic leverage are two sides of the same coin.

Ultimately my argument would lead to bunkbeds. Yes, I said it; bunkbeds. Technology and materials advance and consumers/ residents/ workers lose leverage against wealthy property owners. Leverage in employment as well as leverage to inhabit a place and establish yourself and belonging without watching it get ran through. You can run from it once it happens, but you cannot run from a lack of leverage. Yuppies will find you wherever you go, it is only a matter of time. Hence, one must begin to consider the true underlying causes of how leverage is becoming lopsided.

One MIT researcher showed the increased inequality over the last 50 years is because of housing more than anything else.

But with technology advancing the way it has I'd argue we need to go back much further - a couple hundred thousand years in fact to a time when privacy as well as inequality and lopsided distribution of goods did not exist. The seeds were planted long ago. Technology and materials are just bringing them to fruition. Rent control, unnaffordable plastic housing - all have contradictions or are just smaller versions of the same thing which triggered the issue in the first place, and neither can counter the new variable to the equation (technology). Unless of course housing advocates wisen up and decide to start demanding that some standard be set for materials. But then developers could not build so easily and they'd cry because "supply does not meet demand and our rents will soar!!"

Lets Neglect the fact that supply will [intentionally] never meet demand consistently and even when it does it will not create a surplus and therefore will never DECREASE rents from what they were raised to - not consistently anyway. So we're ignoring the supply/ demand argument and instead focusing on solutions for which it cannot be said other towns have been there done that and it apparently has not worked. We want to restore leverage not relearn old lessons.

Hence, dig back to hundred thousand year old roots - to a time when the seeds to the loss in leverage were planted in the first place. Question privacy. Don't build wall = save money on construction cost = afford to use better materials = quality + craftsmanship. It also means that rental markets would not be monopolozed by privacy thereby restoring leverage to all those crybabies in the middle class who would never dare to nor ever have to sleep in a bunk-bed.


One crazy lady told me they were in the air. I said, "no, they are in the wals". We got into it after that. You all will run in circles to no avail. Then you'll run to other towns and repeat the process. As for you yuppies, you'll just live empty. But you're good at pretending and even better at surrounding yourself by people who pretend they don't notice your pretending, so whatever.
Both sides of subjective issues are relevant and equally arguable. The question is "What are you going to do about it?" The thought that arguing over an opinion might actually accomplish something is absurd, yet here we are..... www.justopinions.org