Saturday, November 28, 2015

Binks mural

Next up is the mural outside Binks, a hipster bar on NE Alberta at 27th. A June 2014 Oregonian article indicates it was painted around that time, thanks to a grant from the Portland Development Commission, but doesn't say who it's by. Which is a shame because I like linking to the actual artists when I can.

I do think it's weird that NE Alberta still gets PDC money, though. If you looked at the area just 15-20 years ago, there were empty storefronts everywhere, buildings in disrepair, potholes in the street, precisely the sort of thing the PDC was supposed to be targeted at. And they did it: Over the next few years, they were able to gentrify the area, first into an edgy-artsy district, and then into an upscale retail street lined with luxury condos (though "Arts District" lives on as an effective real estate sales slogan). You'd think that at some point the street would finally be on its feet and able to fend for itself, and the PDC could declare victory and go elsewhere. It's not that I'm in favor of them going to Lents, or Cully, or Portsmouth, and giving the neighborhood the Alberta treatment, displacing existing (mostly minority) residents in favor of the usual hip artisanal pumpkin spice pod people. I'm totally not in favor of that; I'm just surprised the PDC isn't doing it.

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