East Borough Shop forming with the flow

East Borough Shop forming with the flow

July 27, 2020

East Borough Shop was originally planned to be a welcoming little brick & mortar in Portland, OR (set to open in early 2020—our favorite year ever!). Along with the storefront, I hoped to use the space to host occasional performances and creative meet ups. This would be an idyllic spot where you’d be served an au gratis something special to sip while you browsed the wares and soaked in the charmed ambiance.

Well, I’m not alone in 2020 plan redirection, and that brick & mortar aspect will be revisited when safety measures and practices are firmly in place.

And with the pandemic as backdrop, the Revolution is shining its much-needed light. Portland’s (very largely peaceful) protests have been so consistent that fed troops in combat gear are now deployed and have been staved off by other protesters wanting to protect boots on the ground rev supporters.

There’s much room for improvement in this very liberal haven, we can all agree. The revolution and wide acknowledgement that Black Lives Matter is taking the needed place at the top of the change-needed-now helm. There are many other issues. The evolution of the city in recent decades has favored gentrification over protecting traditional neighborhoods that once had a solid POC presence. It’s not easy to afford to live here anymore, which lends itself to minimizing diversity, in general. Our police force has been brutal towards POC and the homeless, the latter population one that has a lot of mental illness/substance abuse challenges.

Opening a store during a revolution and pandemic might seem like off timing. And yet, many of the offerings I planned are still relevant. Bright lights and respites are quite needed during change, and don’t diminish the recognition for the need to do better overall.

The belief in home being a restorative place of respite is still there. (Yes, if you’re lucky enough to have one). The belief that beautiful objects can give a hard earned and much appreciated boost is held firm. That self-care is needed more than ever is a solid claim. And sending a loved one a joy injection through the language of gifts has not ceased. It’s still needed and as important as ever. And so East Borough Shop will open. And I hope you enjoy what we have to offer.