All Attendee Reception!

We’re looking forward to the All Attendee Reception!  Check out all of the delicious food options below!Food Truck_Rd2 (1)

Note: Attendee badge will be required to attend this event.  It is not open to the general public (guest of attendees may purchase tickets).

 

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Breakfast and Brunch: Wait an hour? Really? No!

Contributed by: LauraDenise White, Consulting Archivist for the Digital Manuscripts Collection at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon

 

Getting your morning fuel shouldn’t be like standing in line at Disney World for the magical swirling tea cups. You can definitely find places for a wonderful brunch and breakfast in Portland without having to wait an hour or two for a seat. Here are some tips to keep your mornings stress and rush-free during this year’s SAA alike/different 2017 conference:

 

COFFEE, TEA, AND A BAKED GOOD TO GO!

Costello's Travel Caffe

Costello’s Travel Caffe (http://www.costellostravelcaffe.com/) This lovely little café is located a short walk from the Convention Center at 2222 NE Broadway St, just past NE 22nd Ave heading away from the river (aka east) on NE Broadway. Great for fast breakfast scones, teas, and coffee’s.

J Cafe

J Café (http://oregonconventioncafe.com/) Maybe a panini or bagel or other morning food stuffs with less sugar is more your style? Check out the J Café at 533 NE Holladay St #101, two blocks west (aka toward the river) from the Double Tree Hilton on NE Holladay.

Temptations Cafe Logo

Temptations Café (http://places.singleplatform.com/temptations-cafe/menu?ref=google) You could get any closer to the Double Tree Hilton by the Convention Center if you tried! Located kitty-corner from the Double Tree hotel across NE Holladay and NE 11th Ave (aka away from the river and across from the Holladay Park). Amazingly eclectic breakfast and brunch options to go (including paninis, smoothies, and Mediterranean wraps), and they open from 6:30am, so you won’t have to miss a minute of the conference.

 

 

SIT DOWN ‘N CHOW RIGHT NOW!

The Good Earth Cafe

The Good Earth Café (http://www.goodearthcafepdx.com/) Breakfast burritos, pancakes and eggs, and burgers!? All from 7am – 2:45pm, Monday through Friday, or from 8am – 1:30pm, Saturdays. Located at 1136 SW 3rd Avenue, corner of Madison St on the bottom floor of the Justice Center. Did you hear what I heard? They even have Wi-Fi! Grab one of the 50 seats in their dining room or call 503-206-8214 for a take-out order.

Ken's BakeryKen's Bakery Logo

Ken’s Artisan Bakery (http://kensartisan.com/) Oh counter service, how we love your efficient fluid movement of the ever hungry crowds. We highly recommend this place if you’re planning a morning up at the Rose Gardens, Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Gardens, or just a hike through the West Hills Forest Park trails. Get a few croissants, usually loaded with local seasonal berries, veggies, and/or cheese, to go, or grab a seat with a hot slice of veggie or ham quiche and watch the Portland northwestern neighborhood rouse from its slumber out the bakery’s floor to ceiling, wall to wall windows.

 

 

HOT PLATES FOR THE EARLY BIRDS!

Brunch Box

Brunch Box (http://www.brunchboxpdx.com/) Especially good for those taking advantage of the Hilton in Portland’s downtown area, this little brunch place is located at 620 SW 9th Ave, just a block and a half from Pioneer Courthouse Square which is where you’ll be catching the Max trains to fly over the river to the conference center. Build your own burger and go! Open from 8am – 10pm.

Kornblatts

Kornblatts (http://www.kornblattsdelipdx.com/) Don’t judge a book by its cover, right? They may not have the flashiest website, but their L.E.O.’s (lox, scrambled eggs, and onions) are to die for, along with everything that comes out of their kitchen. This little joint fills up fast but the wait is never longer than 10-15 minutes even if you wait until after 10am to join the brunch fun. Located at 628 NW 23rd Ave, just down the West Hills from Forest Park and all its many attractions. Breakfast served all day!

 Pine State Biscuits

Pine State Biscuits (http://www.pinestatebiscuits.com/) We recommend being true to your word on this one and sincerely playing the early bird game, although even the lines on this one that end up wrapping around the edge of the block somehow always seem to shuffle through within 15-20 minutes. Or, on the other end, you could give it some extra time and hit this counter service joint a little later in the morning or even afternoon. Open from 7am – 3pm, with several locations, one across the street from the Genealogical Forum of Oregon Library (one of our repository tours on Tuesday afternoon) on SE 11th and Division. There’s also locations at 125 NE Schuyler St, which is a good walk from about 10 blocks north from the Convention Center (about ½ mile), or you could try their Farmers Market stand location at SW Park & SW Montgomery on Saturday from 8:30am – 2pm.

Cheap Eats in Portland

SAA Hosting Committee Blog – Cheap Eats

 

Contributed by: LauraDenise White, Consulting Archivist for the Digital Manuscripts Collection at the Genealogical Forum of Oregon

 

We understand you’re probably trying to stay on a budget while still getting as much of out of your trip to Portland, Oregon this summer for the SAA alike/different 2017 conference.

 

Here’re some hot tips on places to gather sustenance while watching your pocketbook. The following locations are for those staying close to the Convention Center (visit our prior post titled “The Perks of Staying at the Hilton Downtown” for cheap eateries near the downtown Hilton):

180pdx

Xurroland (http://www.180pdx.com/) Sometimes you just want a sweet sweet snack! Located at 2218 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232, this little joint has all the sugar rush you could ever hope for! Watch out, though, as they’re closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Laughing Planet

Laughing Planet (https://laughingplanetcafe.com/) Moving away from sweet snacks, and plunging straight into the healthiest of the healthy meals, we couldn’t recommend this place more! Whether you prefer bowls or a burrito-style dinner, they pack a punch of flavors from around the globe into every dish. Great for on-the-go eating or just a quick sit-and-scarf meal. Located at 1720 SW 4th Ave.

Por Que No

Por Que No (http://www.porquenotacos.com/) Just down N Mississippi, closer to the Convention Center by a couple blocks, this closely knit place is one of our absolute favorites! Super great prices both on their regular and their happy hour menus. Did we mention they also have brunch? Located at 3524 N Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR 97227.

Radar PDX

Radar (http://radarpdx.com/) A bit of a hike if you decide to walk from the Convention Center, but just a 10 minute ride on the #4 bus from the Rose Quarter Transit Center Eastboard stop. This pub is known for its creative tapas and wonderfully eclectic happy hour, located at N Mississippi Ave between N Failing St. and N Shaver St.

Miss Delta

Miss Delta (http://www.missdeltapdx.net/#gallery) Just across the street from Radar’s is this amazing gem with its savory southern-style dishes and tons of seafood options! Recommend visiting them for their 4-6pm happy hour for the biggest bang for your buck.

Cha Cha Cha

Cha Cha Cha! (http://www.chachachapdx.com/happy-hour.html) If you’re set on Mexican food, we hope you try either the Farmer’s Bowl or the Sopecitos at this establishment, located at 2635 NE Broadway, Portland, OR. And if you’re looking for local and sustainable, the owner reports that they “serve only the freshest and healthiest ingredients from purveyors and farmers who share our commitment to environmentally and socially sustainable practices.” And they deliver!!

 Frank's Noodle House

Frank’s Noodle House (http://www.franksnoodlehouseportland.com/menu/) Located at 822 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232, which is two blocks from the other side of the Lloyd Center mall (the one right out your hotel doorstep if you’re staying at the Double Tree Hilton by the Convention Center. Homemade Asian fare in a house…doesn’t get much more Portland than that. Lots of veggie options!

 

Umi Sushi (zomato hosted menu) Located at 914 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232, which is just down the street from Frank’s Noodle House. Hard to beat prices for sushi this good.

McMenamins Pub

McMenamins Broadway Pub (https://www.mcmenamins.com/broadway-pub) Located at 1504 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232, about a 15 minute walk with a park on the way no less) from the Double Tree Hilton Hotel. Founded in the Portland area, the McMenamins’ restaurants and hotels are renowned for their habit of taking their customers back in time to the late 1800’s.

 

The following are also close to the Convention Center, just incase you’re not in as adventurous of a mood, which we can understand…sort of:

 

Denny’s at 425 NE Hassalo St, Portland, OR 97232

 

Red Robin at 1139 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97232

 

Burgerville at 1135 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

 

Subway at 1211 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

Getting around town: transportation options in Portland

Contributor Laura Buchholz works in Reed College Special Collections & Archives.

To and from the airport

The airport is located a few miles northeast of downtown and the convention center. Options for getting to and from the airport include the MAX red line (lightrail), taxis, shuttles, and rideshares. More info on getting to and from the airport is at Travel Portland.

Public transit

TriMet is our regional transit system. Check out their site for a trip planner, fares, maps, and schedules. Pay ahead with your phone with their ticket app or buy tickets at any MAX or Streetcar station. A 7 day pass is $26. All TriMet tickets are good for the MAX, the Streetcar, and all of the buses. For MAX and Streetcar, just make sure you have a valid ticket, and then hop on. For buses, show your ticket to the driver or pay (cash only) as you board.

Biking

Bike share: There are stations of orange bikes all around town available to rent for one way or round trips. Visit BIKETOWN for more details. Bring your own helmet or rent one from a local shop.

Bike tours: Want to explore Portland by bike, but prefer a little company and guidance? We have several options for guided bike tours that will take care of details so that you can focus on enjoying the ride.

Be safe: Follow the rules of the road when riding and be aware of your surroundings. Yield to pedestrians.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has maps, safety tips, and info on combining rides with public transit.

Driving

If you rent a car, decide to use carsharing like Zipcar or Car2go, or drove to the conference, there’s a few things to be aware of when driving in Portland:

Bikes: There are a lot of bikes in Portland. Pay attention and yield to bikes, especially when making right turns or crossing bike lanes. Some intersections have green bike boxes. Cars need to stop outside of the box.

Crosswalks: By law, every intersection is a crosswalk whether marked or unmarked, and cars must yield to pedestrians showing intent to cross.

No cell phones: It is illegal to use a cell phone unless via a hands free device. Please don’t text and drive.

Be nice! Oregon drivers are often nice, sometimes to the consternation of folks from other states. If someone slows down to let you merge, don’t worry; they don’t have ulterior motives.

Gas: We don’t pump our own gas here. When you pull up to the pump, an attendant will come to your window to help you out.

 

Check out more transportation options–including pedicabs–from Travel Portland.

Donuts/Doughnuts, Portland Style

Contributed by: Amber D’Ambrosio is Processing Archivist & Records Manager at Willamette University, a small, urban liberal arts college in Salem, Oregon, where she manages the collections and wrangles ArchivesSpace and Archivematica. In her spare time she writes, reads about early modern London, hikes, travels, and obsessively visits the Oregon Coast.

You’ve probably heard rumors about the Portland donut scene, and I’m just scratching the surface with the those most accessible to the conference venues. I’ve also included mention of shops for those with dietary restrictions (unfortunately, less accessible from the conference locations) so be sure to keep reading if you’re looking for vegan or gluten-free donut options.

IMG_1039

Let’s get Voodoo Doughnuts out of the way. Voodoo Doughnuts is for tourists, and it serves its role well. On my very first trip to Portland for ACRL, I did my due diligence and stood in line (fortunately, not for very long) to glimpse the weird and wonderful concoctions with creative names. You will most likely stand in line, especially outside the downtown location, which is walking distance from the conference. Voodoo Doughnuts is known for its weird toppings (Captain Crunch on your doughnut, anyone?) and weird shapes (yes, that is exactly what you think it is). However, you quickly discover that the base doughnut under the quirky gimmicks is average. You can also purchase plain, tame doughnuts here if all of the wacky toppings and shapes are ultimately unappealing once you reach the counter. Voodoo Doughnuts is an experience, and it’s worth a visit, especially with a friend.

 

For those more interested in the gourmet doughnuts of Portland, there are other options. You will probably still have to stand in line unless you get there very early in the morning on a weekend. Blue Star Donuts is walkable from the downtown conference hotel (you do have to walk uphill on the way there) but might require use of public transit for those with weary feet. Blue Star is known for donuts like Blueberry Bourbon Basil and Buttermilk Lemon Poppyseed. These are decadent and well worth the wait in line. They serve Coava Coffee to accompany their rich donuts.

 

Another local favorite is Coco Donuts, which walks the line between classic and gourmet quite nicely. They also roast their own coffee and make craft coffee beverages to accompany their classic donut selection. The best part is that Coco Donuts is within a block of the downtown Hilton. For those of you staying across the river, it’s still a reasonable walk or there’s always the MAX light rail.

 

For those wanting to indulge in small, fancy donuts and Portland food cart culture, there’s also Donut Byte Labs. This cool blue food cart specializes in bite-size donuts in three tiers of flavors: simple, mid-tier, and advanced. Simple and mid-tier more closely resemble classic donuts while the advanced have the gourmet quality of Blue Star but often paired with pastry cream and other complementary toppings. Donut Byte Labs resides on a corner not far from Voodoo Doughnuts and is within walking distance of the conference venues.

 

Vegans, don’t despair! Portland recently gained a dedicated vegan donut shop called Doe Donuts. They specialize in artisanal vegan donuts, but the downside is that you’ll need either a car or to take the bus to reach it.

 

For something closer to the conference venues for both vegans and those on gluten-free diets, there’s Gluten Free Gem, which doesn’t specialize in donuts but does carry them among its other pastries.

 

 

SAA plans festival to serve members’ brew needs

 Contributed by Terry Baxter

Brewfest

 

 

Well, not really. It’s just happy coincidence that the Society of American Archivists 2017 annual meeting overlaps the Oregon Brewers Festival. The Brewers Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary by offering over 150 craft and specialty beers. Located just a short walk from the Oregon Convention Center and the Hilton, the festival will be open from July 26 through July 30 from noon until 9 daily. In addition to the tips scattered through the festival website, I can offer the following veteran advice.

 

Try before you buy (a whole pint). Tastes are one token, pints are five. With all the different brews to try, my tactic is to sample, sample, sample. If you come across something you really like, get a full pint.

 

Unless you are there at 12 sharp, the lines will be long and the place crowded. I often get a sample and then drink it while waiting in the next line. This is a good opportunity to chat with Portlanders and find out a little bit about the Rose City. The festival provides a booklet with all the festival beers. Map out the ones you really want to try. Some will go by the second day, especially the specialty beers.

 

Be smart about your consumption. It’ll be hot, so stay hydrated. Set a reasonable limit (both in time and in samples). Think about going for shorter stints over a couple days. Go with friends and enjoy the companionship as much as the beer.

 

Finally, if you want a little history about craft beer in Oregon, remember that the Liberated Archives Forum has a Saturday morning discussion session about just that!

Street Books: Serving our host city

SAA Partners with Street Books

Founded in June 2011, Street Books is a bicycle-powered mobile library that serves people who live outside in Portland.

Street Books

We use an old-school library pocket and a card that patrons sign and leave with us. Patrons are issued an official Street Books library card without being required to show proof of address or identification. During our shifts, patrons stop by to check out and return library books. They’re invited to be photographed with their book, and these photos and stories are collected on our Patrons page (streetbooks.org/chronicle/).

We are committed to providing good literature, and conversations about literature, for those who are pushed to the margins. Since our founding we have checked out thousands of paperbacks in all genres, from sci-fi to romance to memoir. Street Books fosters engagement between patrons and the housed community—and good books and conversation form the bridge.

To read more about Street Books, including how to make a donation to fund librarian shifts, bike maintenance, community outreach, and book purchases: http://streetbooks.org/

We welcome your donations of paperback books and reading glasses.

https://youtu.be/22oG1cell1E

 

If you would like to donate a book (or more than one) and/or reading glasses, a collection site will be available throughout the conference near the registration desk.  If you do not want to pack books and glasses in your luggage, there are places nearby where you can purchase them (see list below).  Street Books is also in need of monetary donations and you can find out more by visiting their page: http://streetbooks.org/take-action/.

 

According to one of the librarians: Our patrons’ taste covers the reading spectrum, so [you] can’t go wrong–though books like Louie L’Amour and Kerouac are always favorites.  And anything in Spanish is greatly appreciated.

Places to purchase books (not a comprehensive list)

Near the Oregon Convention Center (OCC) – walking times included, but remember to check on public transportation options (https://trimet.org/#/planner )

  • Barnes & Noble
    1317 Lloyd Center (in the Lloyd Center Shopping Mall)
    About a 16-minute walk, 0.8 miles from the OCC
  • Broadway Books
    1714 NE Broadway St
    About 23-minute walk, 1.1 miles from the OCC
  • Title Wave Used Book Store
    216 NE Knott St
    A Multnomah County Library shop
    https://multcolib.org/library-location/title-wave-used-bookstore
    About 23-minute walk, 1.1 miles from the OCC.
  • Goodwill
    1231 NE Broadway St
    About 21-minute walk, 1.0 miles from the OCC

Near the Hilton – walking times included, but remember to check on public transportation options (https://trimet.org/#/planner )

  • Powell’s
    1005 W Burnside St
    About 11-minute walk, .5 miles from the Hilton
  • Friends of the Library
    1020 SW Taylor St Suite 439
    friends-library.org
    About 5-minute walk, 0.2 miles from the Hilton

Places to purchase reading glasses (many of the bookstores will also have reading glasses available)

  • Dollar Tree
    1420 Lloyd Center
    About 20-minute walk, 0.9 miles from the OCC
  • Walgreens
    1620 NE Grand Ave
    About 13-minute walk, 0.6 miles from the OCC

 

Local Eats!

Contributed by: Katrina T. O’Brien
Collection Manager & Archivist // World of Speed ®

Welcome to the neighborhood, the area around the Oregon Convention Center is filled with plenty of places to eat, drink, and be merry.

 

Whether looking for a quick coffee or sandwich to go, a cafe to linger in, a place for colleagues to gather, a place to unwind, or gear up, you’ll find someplace unique to our city or somewhere that offers tastes just like home.

 

 

 

Spirit of 77

500 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

http://www.spiritof77bar.com/

1 min walk from the convention center

Rethink bar food with a cold adult beverage while watching the game, or multiple games

 

Starbucks

Starbucks, 525 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97232

https://www.starbucks.com/

1 min walk

There’s always a Starbucks nearby so get your Starbucks’ lingo down

 

Table 6

622 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97232

https://www.table6pdx.com

2 min walk

The café’s daily menu changes offer unique breakfast and lunch options

 

Dutch Bros. Coffee

430 NE Lloyd Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

https://dutchbros.com/

2 min walk

Some equate it to the Dunkin Donuts of the west coast, minus the donuts.

 

Citizen Baker

1089 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97232

https://www.citizenbaker.com/

6 min walk

Exactly what you hope for from an independent cafe, plus a few surprises

 

J Cafe

533 NE Holladay St #101, Portland, OR 97232

http://oregonconventioncafe.com/

6 min walk

Hot and cold breakfast and lunch with plenty of gluten free options

 

Red Robin

1139 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR 97232

Redrobin.com

7 min walk

Classic chain restaurant known for burgers and brew with all the staples you’d expect

 

Burgerville

1135 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

http://www.burgerville.com/

6 min walk

Fresh, local sustainable Pacific Northwest fast food joint known for its burgers and shakes

 

Subway

1211 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97232

https://order.subway.com/Cart/Menu2.aspx

7 min walk

Quick sub or sandwich just the way you remember it, whether 6 or 12 inches

 

Burnside Brewing Company

http://www.burnsidebrewco.com/

701 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

12 min walk

Sit down and enjoy great food inside of one of Portland’s artisan breweries

 

Sizzle Pie

624 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214

https://www.sizzlepie.com/

12 min walk

Whether vegan, gluten free, classic or adventurous, there’s a slice for you

 

Chipotle Mexican Grill

704 NE Weidler St, Portland, OR 97232

https://www.chipotle.com/

14 min walk

Known for its mammoth burritos with fresh ingredients and responsibly raised meats

 

Frank’s Noodle House

822 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232

http://www.franksnoodlehouseportland.com/

14 min walk

Known for its handmade noodles and a great menu (closed 3-5 for fresh noodle making)

 

Pine State Biscuits

125 NE Schuyler St, Portland, OR 97212

https://www.pinestatebiscuits.com/

15 min walk

Southern style sandwiches and sides, plus three different kinds of biscuits and gravy

 

Stanfords

913 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR 97232

http://www.stanfords.com/

15 min walk

Sit-down family steakhouse with all the trimming and plenty of steak knives

 

Village Inn

1621 NE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97232

villageinn.com

18 min walk

No rush booth diner for breakfast, lunch, and pie—and free wifi

 

Walk a bit farther and these four restaurants serving lunch and dinner sit on the corner of Broadway & 15th

 

Blossoming Lotus

http://www.blpdx.com/home

1713 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97212

25 min walk

Restaurant and bar with mouthwatering organic vegan dishes, signature drinks and smoothies

 

Aztec Willies

http://aztecwillies.com/

1501 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232

25 min walk

Local mouthwatering Mexican food alongside their award winning margarita and horchata

 

Pastini Pastaria

http://www.pastini.com/

1426 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232

25 min walk

Local Oregon pasta bistro is sure to please your pasta, soup, salad, and wine cravings

 

McMenamins

https://www.mcmenamins.com/broadway-pub

1504 NE Broadway St, Portland, OR 97232

25 min walk

One of the uniquely McMenamins pubs in the Northwest that each showcase local history

 

Running Routes and Places to Exercise

Contributed by: Theresa Rea, Archivist at the Oregon State Archives located in Salem. In her free time, you are bound to find Theresa out and about exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

running1

A group of runners on a trail in Forest Park. Courtesy of Travel Portland

From the roll hills to nearly one hundred miles of verdant trails, the Rose City is filled with appealing places to run. Whether you are running for fun, fitness, or training for your next race, there are plenty of options for routes, organized group meet-ups, and fun runs! The majority of the regular group runs are organized by local running stores. The best part is that they are free, although the option for post run libations is also a perk!

 

The Portland Running Company organizes free weekly group fun runs for all skill levels. Conveniently located near the Oregon Convention Center on the corner of SE Morrison and SE Grand, they offer giveaways, opportunities to test new gear and more. The schedule for both group runs and running routes around Portland are available on the Portland Running Company website or Facebook page.

 

Foot Traffic’s downtown location is three blocks away from the Hilton at 333 SW Taylor Street. They offer group outings for both runners and walkers. Boasting a handful of maps and routes around in the city on its website, Foot Traffic also hosts free group runs every night of the week.  Groups explore 3, 5 and 7-mile routes around the waterfront or downtown. The evenings often include demo opportunities and post-run refreshments back at the store.

Team Red Lizard also hosts free group runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, welcoming all non-members to run.

If group runs aren’t your thing, schedules don’t sync, or you would just prefer to venture out on your own, Great Runs in Portland Oregon provides countless options for road and trail routes all over Portland, as does the afore mentioned Portland Running Company.

If you are looking for something close to the DoubleTree, here is a 4-mile route starting right outside the front door.

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation website also has fantastic maps for any part of the city you may be interested in exploring on foot, bicycle or other form of transportation.

Running Alternatives

running2

Fitness in the Park

If you are looking for other exercise options besides pounding the pavement, check out the Travel Portland website. There are some great suggestions for other workouts, such as spin, CrossFit, Pilates, and yoga.

There are also free exercise classes around Portland too. Portland Parks and Recreation hosts free fitness classes throughout the summer. Fitt Nation website also provides excellent suggestions for free classes.

Although both the DoubleTree and Hilton hotels offer fitness centers, pools, and other exercise amenities, I highly recommend you get outside and discover the beautiful visages that the Rose City has to offer.

 

Portland in 2017: Confronting “The Whitest City in America”

Contributed by Maija Anderson, Host Committee Chair.

PittockJust a few days after I finished writing a cheerful Host Committee greeting for SAA’s on-site conference program, I heard the devastating news that three men had been stabbed – two of them fatally – by a white supremacist who was hurling racist invective at two young women of color. It all took place on a MAX light rail train near a busy transit center in Portland. My initial reaction was both shock and a familiar sorrow. Portland has a reputation as a progressive, prosperous city with a low violent crime rate. However, like anyone with even a passing knowledge of local history, I also registered the event as a frightening recurrence of racist violence, which is as much a part of Portland’s legacy as its rose gardens, bridges, and breweries.

The following week, the Host Committee recognized that some archivists were questioning whether Portland was a safe place to visit for the Annual Meeting. We saw calls for archivists to protect each other, and for SAA to issue an official statement, which was forthcoming. Initially, I felt defensive. Portland isn’t perfect – for example, I anticipated that colleagues who expected an urban utopia would be shocked by our highly visible houseless population – but I still thought of Portland as a safe city. At the same time, I felt the Host Committee should respond. All of us on the committee were well aware of Oregon’s history of white supremacy, and Portland’s status as “the whitest city in America.” Most of us on the committee are white women, and are aware that we have the privilege of feeling safe, and experiencing racially charged violence as a freak occurrence. We recognize the reality that women of color encounter disproportionately high rates of violence. We wanted to provide a safe and welcoming environment, and we were not in a position to tell our colleagues, especially our colleagues of color, that they have nothing to worry about.

Taking into account the reactions from our peers on social media, email lists, and via personal contact, we explored opportunities to respond. For a variety of reasons, we chose not to issue our own “official” statement in response to SAA’s. We agreed it would be more effective to focus on peer-to-peer communication and support.

Several of us independently came up with the idea of promoting Portland’s many cultural resources led by historically marginalized communities. We felt that national news coverage had inadequately represented communities who have demonstrated resistance and resilience in the face of white supremacy. Follow #saa17 on Twitter to learn about community-based cultural projects, institutions, and businesses in Portland. Consider coming to open houses at the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center and the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, where staff are generously opening their doors to attendees.

You can also expect the Host Committee to fully support SAA’s efforts, which will include “I’ll Walk With You” ribbons, active bystander resources, and more. Looking forward to the meeting, we welcome more feedback on how we, as your colleagues in Portland, can support you.