Plus: Our Dumpling Week picks.
 
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Today’s Forecast

46º | Showers | 54% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:21 a.m. | Sunset 5:28 p.m.

 
In it for the long haul
A sign at a roundabout in Ridgefield, WA, that reads "Welcome to Ridgefield, birthplace of U-Haul."
U-Haul’s origin is no secret for drivers entering the Southwest Washington town. | Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday
Like Kleenex or Scotch Tape, the do-it-yourself moving company U-Haul has achieved a level of national recognition that its name can be used generically in place of “moving truck.” It’s an empire with outposts in tens of thousands of neighborhoods across the country, but in 1945, it was little more than a concept born from post-war necessity, taking its first steps just outside of Portland.

The story begins with L.S. “Sam” Shoen and his wife Anna Mary. Like many families after World War II, Sam, recently discharged from the Navy, and Anna Mary wanted to move — to leave Los Angeles and journey north. But no one would rent them a trailer for such a journey and they ultimately took only what they could fit in their car.

In downsizing their personal possessions, the couple blew the lid off of a business idea with big potential.

The Shoens, along with Anna Mary’s brother Hap Carty, launched U-Haul in the summer of 1945 in Ridgefield, Washington, establishing a humble fleet of trailers purchased from welding shops and private owners. By the end of the year, 30 open trailers were being offered for rent at service station lots in Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle. Painted bright orange and emblazoned with the words “U-Haul Co. Rental Trailers $2.00 Per Day,” the product advertised itself everywhere it went.

A sepia-toned photograph showing four old U-Haul trucks parked in the dirt in front of modular homes.

U-Haul trucks parked at Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in Nevada, June 1973.

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Photo by U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

By the end of 1949, people could rent U-Haul trailers for one-way use between cities throughout most of the US. The same was true in Canada by 1955. Box trucks joined the fleet a couple of years later when U-Haul started partnering with self-storage companies and other local businesses.

U-Haul’s corporate headquarters moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1967. Despite being the company’s birthplace, Ridgefield didn’t get a U-Haul dealer until recent years.
 
 
Events
 
Friday, Feb. 9
  • Indigenous Marketplace of Love | Friday, Feb. 9-Saturday, Feb. 10 | 2-7 p.m. | Bar Carlo, 6433 SE Foster Rd., Portland | Free | Support local businesses and dig into food from a special guest Native chef; the first 50 elders (ages 60+) will receive a free gift.
  • Portland Night Market | Friday, Feb. 9-Saturday, Feb. 10 | 4-11 p.m. | 100 SE Alder St., Portland | Free | Swoon over the delicious food, festive vibes, and dozens of local vendors selling everything from hot sauce that will set your heart ablaze to one-of-a-kind gifts for your special someone.
  • Roboto Octopodo Presents: “FATHOM” | Friday, Feb. 9-Saturday, Feb. 10 | 6-10 p.m. | Central Plaza, 337 SW Alder Ave., Portland | Free | Dive into this interactive oceanic art display of glowing coral reefs, a singing whale, and a sparkly angler fish on your voyage through the Portland Winter Light Festival.
  • Galentine’s Party | Friday, Feb. 9 | 6:30-10 p.m. | Punch Bowl Social, 340 SW Morrison St., Ste. 4305, Portland | $15 | Round up your squad for a night of throwback board games like Clueless and Girl Talk, craft cocktails, DIY friendship bracelets, and music.
Saturday, Feb. 10
  • Lunar New Year Tree Planting | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. | Gates Park, Southeast 136th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard, Portland | Free | Volunteer your time to help Urban Forestry plant new trees and celebrate the Year of the Dragon with treats, crafts, and games.
  • Plus Size Swap & Shop | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. | Midtowners Market, 1736 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland | Free | Bring up to 10 good-to-new clothing items (sizes 1X and up) on Friday, Feb. 9 (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) and receive up to 10 raffle tickets to exchange for other swapped items the next day.
  • PDX Moon Market | Saturday, Feb. 10-Sunday, Feb. 11 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Everett West, 914 NW Everett St., Portland | Free | Shop for unique gifts — from permanent jewelry and art to candles and edible goodies — all from local artisans and makers.
  • Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony | Saturday, Feb. 10-Monday, Feb. 12 | Times vary | Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, Portland | $25-$132 | Hear the composer’s famous work from the early 1800s performed live by conductor David Danzmayr and pianist Timo Andres.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Development
  • Keller Auditorium’s future is still uncertain; Portland City Council will decide whether the event venue will be relocated or renovated. But support for the latter option has grown with plans for a “21st Century Keller” unveiled by the Halprin Landscape Conservancy, city of Portland, and Metro. (KGW + Portland Tribune)
Open
  • Warsugai, an Asian American restaurant serving dishes that rekindle memories of childhood for owner Kyo Koo, is open in the Buckman neighborhood. The menu is inspired by Chinese restaurants from Portland’s past (Noble House Pork Potstickers) and the PNW (crab rangoons with Dungeness), set in a “retro Hong Kong” atmosphere. (Eater Portland)
Drink
  • At Statera’s new wine tasting room on Southeast Salmon Street, the vibe is anti-stuffy (a hanging cluster of stuffed animals makes that very clear). From hosting Dungeons & Dragons games to serving crab-topped cups of instant noodles, the space fosters an air of approachability alongside flights, glass pours, and bottles. (Eater Portland)
Eat
  • Where can you get your hands on an homage to Stanich’s “World’s Greatest” hamburger? At The Mule, a sports bar that recently opened in the former Stanich’s space on Northeast Fremont Street. The recipe for the burger — dubbed “The Special” — was reportedly passed along by a Stanich family member. (The Oregonian/Oregon Live + Bridgetown Bites)
Real Estate
  • If rooms hidden behind secret doors, park-like gardens, and leaded glass windows speak to your soul, then take a look at this $3.5 million mansion in South Portland. Designed (and originally owned) by Percy A. Smith, the 8,758-sqft Old World style home is like something from a fairy tale. (Portland Monthly)
Closed
  • Lardo’s downtown Portland location has closed. Slumps in revenue and foot traffic were cited for the decision to shutter the sandwich shop at Southwest 12th Avenue and Washington Street. Locations in Southeast Portland and Lake Oswego remain open. Rhinestone, a Tex-Mex restaurant specializing in smoked meat breakfast burritos, will take its place. (Portland Business Journal + The Oregonian/Oregon Live)
Kids
  • Looking for an exciting summer camp experience for your kids? The YMCA is offering a wide range of day, overnight, and enrichment programs this year. Browse camps + register.*
Sports
  • Planning to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday? Stream it with a Paramount+ with Showtime subscription — get 30 days free with code GOAT.*
Announced
  • We’re excited to share that 6AM City, our parent company, closed its Series A funding round led by the media company, TEGNA. This partnership means continuing to deliver the same hyper-local news and events while expanding our reach to new readers and communities. Learn more.
 
 
Eat
 
🥟 All that and dim sum
ya hala portland dumpling week.png
“Lebanese dumplings are like the hidden gems of the dumpling world,” wrote Ya Hala of its Kafta Dumplings. | Photo by Maya Attar
Portland Dumpling Week is celebrating its 10th anniversary with specials at more than 50 local restaurants, but you don’t have much time left to taste them before they’re gone.

The annual showcase of dumplings in various forms, from empanadas to folded-dough treats for your dog, runs through Saturday, Feb. 10.

Here are six spots with delightful dumpling specials:
  • Gado Gado, 1801 NE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd. — Indonesian-style chicken-shrimp wonton soup
  • The Houston Blacklight, 2100 SE Clinton St. — Iberico ham and Calabrian chili wontons
  • XLB, 4090 N. Williams Ave. — Braised pork rib in black bean garlic sauce with sweet potato, shallots, and parsley
  • Oma’s Hideaway, 3131 SE Division St. — Crispy shrimp-pork siu mai with spicy peanut sauce
  • Shanghai’s Best, (Pine Street Market) 126 SW Second Ave. — Pork, chicken, vegetarian, and vegan pan-fried dumpling options
  • Ya Hala, 8005 SE Stark St. — Baked spiced beef dumplings served with yogurt sauce and garlic-mint pesto
 
The Buy
 
Your must-have from Six & Main’s winter skin edit, featuring face wash, lip balm, and serums to keep your skin hydrated and radiant during the cooler months. Did we mention all products are from small businesses, too?
 
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The Wrap
 
Cambrie Juarez headshot Today’s edition by:
Cambrie
From the editor
Dairy milk hasn’t been a part of my life for many years — and I’m guessing many of you can relate, based on the popularity of plant-based milk in Portland. (Some coffee shops offer nothing but vegan milk.) Soy milk may be the most popular plant milk option on a global scale, but Portlanders, true to form, buck the trend and prefer oat. Go Team Oat.
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