And…we’re back

Well, one of us has been working all along…and one of us hasn’t. At least not at 1651Portland.

Finally got the phone back to taking pics-yay! So this will be a long post. Really don’t see how people who blog regularly (unless it is for a living) keep up with it. But-have an iPad now so that helps.

First of all, the bunch of trees we bought last year at Grant Line Nursery made it through the winter! we planted a catalpa, birch, and elm last fall in front of the building and to the corner of 17th! And now…three more are in the ground. A black gum at the corner of the building and two serviceberries in front of Lots of Food! Still have some more to plant – but they’re promised to neighbors.

Planting was a group effort-lots of sledge-hammering. Thank you to all the neighbors who helped. Here are some pics before the third tree went in…this sidewalk is looking better! We will have a tree-lined street!


The black gum tree or sourgum is very interesting.  It is also called beetle bung and pepperidge-depending on the region. From Wikipedia:  Nyssa sylvatica’genus name (Nyssa) refers to a Greek water nymph;[1] the species epithetsylvatica refers to its woodland habitat.[1]. On Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, this species is called “beetlebung”, perhaps for its use in making the mallet known as a beetle, used for hammering bungs (stoppers) into barrels.[3]
We’d never seen one in a nursery (thank you-Grant Line). If it lives it will be a beautiful tree. It has fruit and flowers and is great for the birds and the bees. But, dang it, evidently some trees (not all) require a male and female tree.

The two trees in front of Lots of Food are serviceberries. They are also called Amelanchier-pretty word. Another interesting tree. Indians used the berries to flavor pemmican and the wood for arrow shafts and body armor(?)!  It is also a member of the rose family.

The remaining trees are hardy rubber trees, a beech (maybe two), and a linden tree. Can’t wait to plant them.

In the process of breaking out the tree wells, this little guy showed up. Not my favorite but they’re actually pretty small. Funny what things live under our sidewalks.  

Other projects-new siding on the exterior stairwell. We call it the ski jump-eventually we’ll remove it because it creates a problem with the flat roof. For now, we’ll keep it. Thank you to Ray for working with us (and by us-I mean Michael). Check out the sliding window from Habitat Restore. We’ll lime wash the brick this summer.   

The view. 🙂


In the process of doing some yard clean-up we found the old stone curb on Nelligan Ave behind us. It is pretty degraded but we’re going to keep revealing it-makes the road wider.

Micheal just completed Metro’s Neighborhood Institute. For a few years now we’ve been pondering the absence of bus shelters or even benches in the neighborhood. It’s hard for people to stand around with no place to set their groceries or to wait for the bus holding a kid in the sun or rain with no shelters. There are a lot of TARC riders in Portland, so his group is working on a couple of bus shelters as their project. In researching Michael took this pic of a makeshift bus stop in the neighborhood-kind of love this photo.  A garbage can and a chair. 

Finally apropos of nothing but to give my brother some props-a pic of the most fabulous ribs ever from the pig my brother got for me for my birthday last year. Thanks, E! Best brother ever!