Plus: A mansion with a $9-million view.
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Today’s Forecast

60º | Partly cloudy | 80% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:33 a.m. | Sunset 4:27 p.m.

Taking a trip back in time
A scene on the streets of downtown Portland during the 1920s shows pedestrians in long coats.
Trenchcoats were very much in vogue. | Photo via Portland City Archives
The “Roaring Twenties” in Portland just did not have the same shine as they did elsewhere in the US. Industry trudged on as the economy crumbled toward the Great Depression.

With the construction of bridges and infrastructure, the city began to take shape, yet racism and corruption left dark stains that would persist long after the 1920s. Let’s turn back time and take a deep dive into this decade of Rose City history.

📈 Population: 258,288

🗳️ Mayor: George L. Baker (1917-1933)

1920 — City engineer Olaf Laurgaard proposes building a harbor wall to combat seasonal flooding and sewer backflow. The project would be completed before the decade’s close.

1921 — Members of the Ku Klux Klan arrive in Portland and call a meeting with civic leaders at Multnomah Hotel, where they outline their racist agenda and attempt to counter their hate group’s negative press. The Portland Clinic sees its first patients.

1922 — KGW transmits its first radio broadcast; early shows featured Lincoln High graduate Mel Blanc. Civil rights champion Beatrice Morrow Cannady becomes the first African American woman to graduate from Lewis & Clark Law School.


Blocks along the Willamette River would flood often prior to the harbor wall’s construction.


Photo via Portland City Archives

1923 — Work begins on The Grotto, where a cave is blasted out of a 110-ft basalt cliffside on former Union Pacific Railroad land. The project is led by Father Ambrose Meyer and receives the blessing of Pope Pius XI.

1924 — The Portland Junior Symphony is founded. Now known as the Portland Youth Philharmonic, it remains the oldest and longest-running youth orchestra in the country.

1925 — William “Bill” Sumio Naito, one of Portland’s most influential figures of the 20th century, is born to Japanese immigrant parents. Construction finishes on the Sellwood Bridge.
Monday, Dec. 4
  • Pacifica Quartet | Monday, Dec. 4-Tuesday, Dec. 5 | 7:30 p.m. | Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park Ave., Portland | $32-$59 | With multiple Grammy Awards under their belt, this chamber ensemble is known for their energetic style and intriguing catalog.
Tuesday, Dec. 5
  • Womens’ Networking Kombucha Party | Tuesday, Dec. 5 | 6-7:30 p.m. | SOMA Kombucha Taproom, 3777 SE Belmont St., Portland | $7 | Meet like-minded people and sample four delicious kombuchas — and get a full glass of your favorite.
Wednesday, Dec. 6
  • OMSI After Dark: Sweet Shoppe | Wednesday, Dec. 6 | 6-10 p.m. | OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave., Portland | $25 | Indulge your sweet tooth and curiosity about various saccharine subjects, including the differences between chocolates.
Thursday, Dec. 7
  • The Pickle Jar 2 Year Anniversary Party | Thursday, Dec. 7 | 6-9 p.m. | The Pickle Jar, 130 SW Taylor St., Portland | Free | Brine your friends to this celebration of the Portland Pickles’ downtown retail store and clubhouse.
  • Portland’s Public Menorah Lighting | Thursday, Dec. 7-Friday, Dec. 15 | Times vary | Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Ave., Portland | Free | Chabad of Oregon will host this nightly lighting of the menorah during Hannukah.
Friday, Dec. 8
  • The Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition | Friday, Dec. 8 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW Sixth Ave., Portland | Free | Angelic voices will lift 10 downtown blocks as they vie for your ear and your vote.
Saturday, Dec. 9
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer | Saturday, Dec. 9-Sunday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | The Judy Kafoury Center for Youth Arts, 1000 SW Broadway, Portland | $25-$35 | The holiday classic soars off the screen in this musical adaptation of the beloved television special.*
Click here to have your event featured.
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News Notes
  • Airlines named for the 49th and 50th states are combining. Alaska Airlines, the largest airline at Portland International Airport, will buy rival operator Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion in a deal that would provide customers access to 138 destinations, including international routes to cities like Tokyo, Seoul, and Sydney. (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
  • The Swoosh may be set to swoop into downtown Portland’s Pioneer Place, at least temporarily. An application submitted to the city outlines Nike’s plans to move into a two-level space in the mall while the company remodels its location across the street in the Kress building next spring. (Portland Tribune)
Plan Ahead
  • Portland Art Museum invites frequent visitors and first-timers to enjoy free admission on Sunday, Dec. 10, in celebration of the institution’s 131st birthday. These tickets can be reserved online beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m. See what’s on display now.
Real Estate
  • Curious to see what kind of view $9 million can buy you in Portland? Well, between a mansion in the Southwest Hills and Ritz-Carlton penthouses, you have two options (they’re also the city’s most expensive listings). (The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
Coming Soon
  • If you see a faded sign at the side of the road that says just one month to The Love Shack — a new cocktail spot opening in January. Expect caviar, bubbly, brioche waffles, beach vibes, and 1950s sophistication from the owners of G-Love (it’s also next door). (Eater Portland)
  • Brunch in a brewery? Yes please. From now until the end of the year, Deschutes’ pub in the Pearl District will serve up Saturday brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) with a dash of holiday flair. Each day will have a theme, including ugly sweaters and Christmas cookies. (Willamette Week)
  • Toumani Camara fittingly had to blaze a trail to play professional basketball in Portland. The Rip City rookie hails from Belgium and his lockdown defense is a bright spot in his team’s rather dreary NBA season. (Portland Tribune)
  • Masterworks is a platform that helps you invest in multi-million dollar art by names like Banksy, Basquiat, and Picasso, for just thousands – not millions. When Masterworks sells a painting, like the 16 it’s already sold, investors can get a return. 6AM City readers can skip the waitlist to join.**
**Investing involves risk and past performance is not indicative of future returns. See important Reg A disclosures and aggregate advisory performance
Opossum on the run
Homer the opossum poses in his Oregon Zoo enclosure.
Homer the opossum is an ambassador animal in waiting at the Oregon Zoo. | Photo by Michael Durham/Oregon Zoo
Are opossums native to Alaska, you ask? No they’re not, and actually, the Virginia opossum is considered invasive across the entire PNW.

So you’ll understand the hubbub when wildlife officials in The Last Frontier discovered that an opossum had stowed away on a cargo ship out of Washington state.

The gal’s name was Grubby, see, and she slipped right past port security in Homer, AK, spending several months on the lam and giving birth to five babies (aka joeys). Eventually, the long arm of the law caught up to our marsupial maven, and the little gang was transported to Anchorage’s zoo.

About a month ago, one of Grubby’s outlaw offspring, adorably named Homer, undertook another odyssey to fly to the Oregon Zoo, where he now enjoys snuggling in his hammock behind the scenes. Keepers hope he will soon greet visitors as an ambassador for his often misunderstood species.
The Buy
A fun and useful gift that’s sure to get the holiday party started: a margarita machine.
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The Wrap
Ben McBee headshot Today’s edition by:
From the editor
Here’s Johnny! A new themed karaoke bar based on “The Shining” is offering a scary good time in Old Town. It’s called Hallway PDX and yes, you’ll find Danny Torrance’s infamous tricycle there (but hopefully not the ghostly twins).
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