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PacificNW Apr 10, 2009 2:40 AM

↑ Much better said than I could ever muster... I hate the idea of losing the M.C.

65MAX Apr 10, 2009 8:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CUclimber (Post 4186606)
This Portland Live! thing sounds downright terrible. While I realize that you can't build a modern metropolis on hipsters, Stumptown, and independent boutique toy stores there simply has to be a better alternative than that corporate garbage.

This isn't Las Vegas, this isn't Dallas, it isn't Cincinnati, Denver, or Atlanta. It's Portland, and we have made a hell of a good name for ourselves by keeping that faux-glamorous tacky nonsense out of the city proper. If you want your California Pizza Kitchen then go down to Bridgeport (and yes, I know there used to be one on the corner of 23rd & Burnside...).

All of that "Live!" stuff is simply lowest-common-denominator schlock. I don't want to see it here, much less see it billed as a destination. We can do better.

Wow!! Lowest common denominator?!? How elitist are you? You think that Las Vegas and Dallas and Cincinnati et al are all the same because they have all the same chain stores and restaurants, but Portland is somehow better than that.

Have you ever shopped at a Home Depot or Target? Ever eaten at McDonald's or Burger King or ANY fast food chain? How about a chain like Outback or Olive Garden or Red Robin? Worn any clothing that has Nike's or Levi's or anyone else's logo? Or is this all lowest common denominator schlock to you? Railing against a Portland Live! just because other cities have them seems really hypocritical if you're patronizing other national chains and brands.

MightyAlweg Apr 10, 2009 10:06 AM

I do have to wonder when a succesful business crosses the line into that hip buzzword "corporate" (said with mild scorn, and perhaps slight eye roll). Has StumpTown Roasters gone corporate? They have multiple locations in multiple states and employ a growing number of people all under the same marketed brand. Sounds corporate to me. Is Powell's corporate? They have multiple locations, etc. Is New Seasons Market corporate? My sister works there now, in salaried management, and they have plans to expand beyond Portland metro when the economy turns the corner. Corporate?

I wonder what the hip crowd might approve of for a collection of restaurants, bars and shops around a revitalized Rose Quarter/Convention Center/Baseball Stadium complex? Setting aside a baseball stadium that may not be built, the Oregon Convention Center as it stands now is a handsome facility in a distinctly unattractive and unappealing neighborhood desperately in need of restaurants and entertainment diversions.

Compared to its competitors on the West Coast, the OCC is in the worst area for a big city convention center. San Diego Convention Center is on the harbor and directly next to Petco Park and the vibrant and stylish Gaslamp District, with multiple new high rise hotels directly adjacent. San Fran's Moscone Center is in a gritty neighborhood, but all of San Fran is fairly gritty nowadays, and at least there are some very large, upscale hotels and restaurants in the immediate area of Moscone. Seattle's surprisingly small Convention Center is in the urban core and surrounded by good hotels and top restaurants. Los Angeles Convention Center is on the edge of the urban core and on a light rail line, just like Portland, but it has been boosted by the directly adjacent Staples Center and now the LA Live! high rise mega-development.

The biggest convention center on the West Coast may come as a surprise; Anaheim Convention Center. It's massive yet sleek, and gets all the biggest conventions and groups; we're talking numbers like 100,000+ plus attendees routinely throughout the year. It's across the street from the Disneyland Resort as the biggest tourist draw west of, well, west of Disney World. :haha: But Anaheim has thousands of hotel rooms and dozens of upscale restaurants within walking distance of the huge Convention Center. It's the only convention center in the world where a Ruth's Chris and a Morton's Steakhouse sit directly across the street from each other; talk about expense account mania! :cheers:

Portland is not in the same league as the other West Coast cities because it failed to bolster its perfectly lovely convention facility with adjacent hotels and dining and entertainment for attendees. You can't survive on Boat Shows and church youth groups. You need the big-spending clients and salesmen and schmoozers that big conventions attract, and they need to be fed and entertained after sundown within walking distance of the center.

MightyAlweg Apr 10, 2009 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CUclimber (Post 4186606)
All of that "Live!" stuff is simply lowest-common-denominator schlock. I don't want to see it here, much less see it billed as a destination. We can do better.

I think the firm that does these Live! things does a pretty good job of tailoring them to their cities. They aren't all cookie-cutter deals, and some are massive and some are rather small. The Portland one would be smaller. And it won't have a theater that will be hosting the Grammies each year.

LA Live! has really perked up the area around the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center though, even though the 54 story tower won't be completed for another 8 months.

When I look at this picture, I'm struck by the similarities between LA's Convention Center and the Oregon Convention Center. Both are large facilities that have been established on the un-glamorous edge of the downtown core for a few decades now. Both are directly on a light rail line that feeds into other lines/subways. Both are hemmed in by major league sports venues and a freeway. Both had no anchor hotel adjacent to them for decades, and struggled for the biggest conventions because of it. LA has been losing to Anaheim for years.

http://bustler.net/images/uploads/38..._awards_23.jpg

But the LA center was more succesful at getting a major hotel/retail/entertainment/housing development built next door to feed and bolster the Convention Center offerings. The Oregon Convention Center needs that.

Rhome Apr 10, 2009 4:59 PM

I may have missed it, but has anyone supplied a reason why the two stadiums aren't flipped. PGE park is already a good AAA baseball stadium and will need zero work. They can then build the Major League soccer stadium from scratch in the Rose Quarter. This seems more economical than doing work in two places at once.

pylon Apr 10, 2009 5:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhome (Post 4188446)
I may have missed it, but has anyone supplied a reason why the two stadiums aren't flipped. PGE park is already a good AAA baseball stadium and will need zero work. They can then build the Major League soccer stadium from scratch in the Rose Quarter. This seems more economical than doing work in two places at once.

Seems like a reasonable, if not great, question, Rhome! Plus they would have the two pro stadiums together in the same 'hood (greater attraction for the Rose Quarter?), and there wouldn't have to be the issue of "do we build a AAA stadium that could later be expanded to accommodate MLB?". Beaver baseball would remain uninterrupted. Thanks for taking off our blinders to the obvious, and please get this question to the city council.

jaxg8r1 Apr 10, 2009 5:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhome (Post 4188446)
I may have missed it, but has anyone supplied a reason why the two stadiums aren't flipped. PGE park is already a good AAA baseball stadium and will need zero work. They can then build the Major League soccer stadium from scratch in the Rose Quarter. This seems more economical than doing work in two places at once.

For one, PGE Park is entirely too big for Minor League Baseball. I've been to a few games where there would be 4k people in a stadium that holds 20k. Not exactly an ideal situation. And from what I know, PGE can't really be expanded to MLB standards.

And I would imagine it would be just as expensive (if not more expensive) to build a 25k seat soccer stadium in Rose Quarter than the current plan, with the downside being that baseball would still be in a hugely oversized stadium.

twofiftyfive Apr 10, 2009 6:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pylon (Post 4188514)
Seems like a reasonable, if not great, question, Rhome! Plus they would have the two pro stadiums together in the same 'hood (greater attraction for the Rose Quarter?), and there wouldn't have to be the issue of "do we build a AAA stadium that could later be expanded to accommodate MLB?". Beaver baseball would remain uninterrupted. Thanks for taking off our blinders to the obvious, and please get this question to the city council.

Please tell me this is meant to be sarcasm.

pylon Apr 10, 2009 8:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twofiftyfive (Post 4188578)
Please tell me this is meant to be sarcasm.

Hey 255-

Totally sarcasm-free. Maybe I should have written, "Thanks for taking off my blinders to the obvious". The stadium switcheroo option wasn't even on my horizon.

I've spent several years facilitating groups of clinicians to define the user interface requirements for their information systems, and have seen smart people get caught up (fiercely) arguing over one solution or another. And then some "idiot" would come along and turn whole the problem on its side and make the need for either solution (as well as the writhing of hands and gnashing of teeth) moot.

I've also seen people who have a great idea or solution be too shy/afraid to bring it up, usually because they were afraid to be brow-beaten by the type of folks arguing in the paragraph above- some people just can't control their primal impulse to pounce.

I hope these barriers to better, more well thought-out solutions aren't playing out in City Hall. Anyway, sorry for the detour. Let's go to Departure!

urbanlife Apr 10, 2009 8:31 PM

yeah, I love PGE, but it is too big for minor league games. It would make more sense to build a smaller ballpark for the Beavers that can be expanded to a major league stadium in the future. PGE is just about the perfect size though for a major league soccer team...so the current plan to build a new ballpark makes more sense.


I have always thought that the convention center should of happened near Keller when they did the massive urban renewal...while I hate what that renewal area destroyed, it would of made more sense than its current location.


With that said, I do have to agree, the whole hatred to the buzz word "corporate" is stupid...who doesnt want to start a small company and have it take off for themselves? Nothing wrong with that....and usually my hatred to something corporate has more to do with the company themselves....I dont care for starbucks because I dont think their coffee is good and it makes no sense to have so many starbucks competing with itself, stumptown is being much smarter with their growth by going with quality in their beans and being selective with their new locations rather than applying the blanket effect.

But I think hating a company because it is "corporate" is a lame excuse.


I see nothing wrong with a Live! complex...again, I probably will never go there, but I am not its target audience. My only concern is who it will be done and how the ballpark will be handled, this is a chance to not screw this up and make the Rose Quarter even worse.

I wish I had the attachment that many of you have for the MC, but I didnt grow up here and never went to a Blazers game there....but I think my biggest concern with keeping the building is what to do with it. I have heard the MC to be described as a perfect glass box with a gentle curved bowl, but lets say they remove the bowl to apply a new function to the building, would that not be the same as tearing down the building? It would still be destroying its characteristic that makes it the building it is.

I hate saying this because it goes against my beliefs with architecture, but maybe this building really does have a timeline to it and it has finally reached the end of it.

But I would love to hear what you guys have to say about the idea of keeping the shell but destroying the inner contents of the building because you have to admit, it will make the building read differently...even the picture of what it could look like seemed like a massive change from its original look.

Okstate Apr 10, 2009 9:25 PM

^ Great post. I don't understand the point of saving the MC only to then completely retrofit it for a different use & a different look. I do understand the reuse of materials but that could be done regardless. If we are to save the MC then SAVE it in its entirety & simply work AROUND it.

scottyboi Apr 10, 2009 9:56 PM

Maybe Portland could actually do something different like it always says it is going to...something akin to the drawings of Malcolm Wells from the 1994 book Infra Structures.
http://landscapeandurbanism.blogspot...tructures.html

zilfondel Apr 11, 2009 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 65MAX (Post 4188045)
Wow!! Lowest common denominator?!? How elitist are you? You think that Las Vegas and Dallas and Cincinnati et al are all the same because they have all the same chain stores and restaurants, but Portland is somehow better than that.

Have you ever shopped at a Home Depot or Target? Ever eaten at McDonald's or Burger King or ANY fast food chain? How about a chain like Outback or Olive Garden or Red Robin? Worn any clothing that has Nike's or Levi's or anyone else's logo? Or is this all lowest common denominator schlock to you? Railing against a Portland Live! just because other cities have them seems really hypocritical if you're patronizing other national chains and brands.

I guess I am an elitist snob. I enjoyed Europe FAR more than Vegas, and haven't been to Dallas or Cinci yet. I have shopped/eaten at every chain you listed above, but generally prefer independent restaurants. I wear Adidas 'cause Nikes don't fit my feet.

I think we can do better in Portland, particularly if we TRY. The problem is, nobody has really tried to fix the Rose Quarter before; we just end up plopping shit in there and hoping it works.

Well, it hasn't so far, and now we're going to tear this huge building down and lose an opportunity for creative reuse. Which is one of the reasons I live in this town, the ability for locals, developers, the city, and architects to find creative uses for older, obsolete buildings.



Maybe we need an International Design Competition. It worked before for the courtyard housing competition, skinny houses, and Pioneer Courthouse Square.

bvpcvm Apr 11, 2009 2:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4188779)
But I think hating a company because it is "corporate" is a lame excuse.

I think the whole thing about "corporate" stuff being awful boils down to the fact that once a company gets too big, whatever they produce is inevitably calculated, designed and produced by committee; i.e. it's aimed at a target audience. It's no longer someone's funky invention, it's being manufactured with a specific intent, and that intent is to make money. Of course, every business person is in it to make money, but at the same time, you'll find much more variety and creativity among independent operators. And, maybe, some of them are doing it because it's something they love, rather than a way to fatten the bottom line for next quarter's report. Thus, the whole hipster prejudice against the corporate world is simply a desire for something original, "genuine" and, frankly, interesting. So I don't think there's anything whatsoever silly about hoping that we could have something other than this silly Live! concept. Whether that hope is realistic or not is another question.

Re: MightyAlweg's comments about his favorite chain restaurants (and going back to his comments last year about how wonderful service is in hotels in Japan vs Portland): dude, I SO don't get you. But rock on anyway.

holladay Apr 11, 2009 4:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bvpcvm (Post 4189262)
I think the whole thing about "corporate" stuff being awful boils down to the fact that once a company gets too big, whatever they produce is inevitably calculated, designed and produced by committee; i.e. it's aimed at a target audience. It's no longer someone's funky invention, it's being manufactured with a specific intent, and that intent is to make money. Of course, every business person is in it to make money, but at the same time, you'll find much more variety and creativity among independent operators. And, maybe, some of them are doing it because it's something they love, rather than a way to fatten the bottom line for next quarter's report. Thus, the whole hipster prejudice against the corporate world is simply a desire for something original, "genuine" and, frankly, interesting. So I don't think there's anything whatsoever silly about hoping that we could have something other than this silly Live! concept. Whether that hope is realistic or not is another question.

Re: MightyAlweg's comments about his favorite chain restaurants (and going back to his comments last year about how wonderful service is in hotels in Japan vs Portland): dude, I SO don't get you. But rock on anyway.

Thank you. Well said.

urbanlife Apr 11, 2009 7:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bvpcvm (Post 4189262)
I think the whole thing about "corporate" stuff being awful boils down to the fact that once a company gets too big, whatever they produce is inevitably calculated, designed and produced by committee; i.e. it's aimed at a target audience. It's no longer someone's funky invention, it's being manufactured with a specific intent, and that intent is to make money. Of course, every business person is in it to make money, but at the same time, you'll find much more variety and creativity among independent operators. And, maybe, some of them are doing it because it's something they love, rather than a way to fatten the bottom line for next quarter's report. Thus, the whole hipster prejudice against the corporate world is simply a desire for something original, "genuine" and, frankly, interesting. So I don't think there's anything whatsoever silly about hoping that we could have something other than this silly Live! concept. Whether that hope is realistic or not is another question.

You do have to keep in mind that what you are describing as "corporate" is a blanket statement and at this point in my personal life I have a nice view on both ends of this idea and I can see the benefits in taking a "basement" idea and turning it into something that turns into a very profitable product....nobody starts out with a business idea thinking "I hope this idea doesnt sell and I lose my house over it!" People start these small companies like Starbucks in hopes that it turns into a success and in turn makes them alot of money so they can do all the things they dreamed about. Also, even the small companies have target audiences...if you dont have one, you dont have a product to sell.

Now keep in mind, I am not saying this in defense of whether Live! is a good idea or not, I am just making a general point.

As for the Rose Garden, one must understand that at its current state, nothing organic is going to happen there. No one tower is going to be built there and create a trickle effect in development. That area is so cut off from the city (in pedestrian mindset that is) that the area will need a blanket development, so something like Live! could very well be a good idea if it is done with the mindset to allow people to move through and within the area freely. Now as for the establishments that should be in something like this, is a whole other thing.


Now if this was a Walmart development, I would be totally against it because of Walmart's way of drowning their competition, which is a very unhealthy practice. In this case we are talking chain restaurants mostly (actually, at the moment it is completely). Chain restaurants and independent local restaurants are the same thing, in the sense that they both serve food and they both have had someone construct each dish. Beyond that, the big difference is advertising. I dont go to chain restaurants here because there is so much good local food, but it doesnt mean that I have never been to them or havent liked the food at any one of them.

Also another thing to keep in mind, something like this might actually attract people into downtown that would not normally come downtown anyway...or those people that come into town only for parades and camp downtown a day before (though they annoy me more than anything...but that is a different story). Diversity is a good thing to have downtown.

PF Chang's hasnt killed the Pearl yet.

MightyAlweg Apr 11, 2009 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bvpcvm (Post 4189262)
Re: MightyAlweg's comments about his favorite chain restaurants (and going back to his comments last year about how wonderful service is in hotels in Japan vs Portland): dude, I SO don't get you. But rock on anyway.

For what it's worth, LA Live! restaurants have about a 50/50 mix of national firms like Wolfgang Puck and Trader Vic's and Flemings, and local restauranteurs like Conga Room, Katsuya, or The Farm. That's been a succesful model for the Live! developments, mixing upscale chains with some local businesses. I think the allegation that LA Live! is cookie-cutter "Anywhere USA" is not quite fair.

Now granted, none of the local places in LA Live! is the first one in the area. Rather, these are restaurants that have two or three other locations around metro LA and have been around for a few years. It would take sufficient capital and experience to go into an expensive development like Live! anyway, so first time restauranteurs aren't going to make it. But they are truly "local" businesses that are very tiny compared to the Olive Gardens and Claimjumpers of the world. If that helps any. :)

(For the record, I may not be hip enough to refrain from sticking up for succesful national businesses, but at least I don't eat at Olive Garden. :yuck: I mean you have to draw the line somewhere!)

Katsuya is my favorite at LA Live! because it's very high quality Japanese food served perfectly, but they also had Phillipe Starck design the dining space for it and the two Katsuyas I've been to look awesome. There are three earlier Katsuyas around the LA metro area, and LA Live! is now their fourth location.

In theory, a Portland Live! may have two or three national chain restaurants, and then two or three locally owned restaurants. That seems to be the model the Live! folks use. Maybe Papa Haydn goes for a third location at Portland Live?

And if I'm the only one here who remembers Portland's first Trader Vic's off the lobby of the Benson Hotel, then that truly is a shame. It would be nice to see Vic's make a triumphant return to Portland Live! after a 20+ year absence, as Trader Vic's was once a real PDX hot spot. I'm sure many other Portlanders over the age of 40 remember it well.

MightyAlweg Apr 11, 2009 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4189655)

PF Chang's hasnt killed the Pearl yet.

Well, their lettuce wraps are consistently good, and they do a gin cocktail now called the Chinese 88 that is fantastic! They are good for something. :D

philopdx Apr 11, 2009 3:26 PM

I understand the spirit of the argument when people express displeasure at having an overwhelming, glittering corporate presence at the Rose Garden.

I also understand that all big corporations were well-run small corporations at one point, and that castigating large corporations for nothing more than being large is sort of asinine (the 'South Park' argument :D ).

However, there is certainly a qualitative difference between the business practices of most national giants and smaller, more nimble concerns.

For one, can you tell me one national chain restaurant where I can get Czech food? Bento? Fresh sushi? Authentically Spicy Thai? Bi-Bim-Bop or Kimchi? Ethiopian flat bread and vegetables? Masala or Tandoori? Pochero or Kaldereta (Filipino)? Jerk chicken - I mean REAL jerk chicken?

During my business travels I've been to 48 states and about 160 cities, and let me tell you, it's a wasteland out there. There's nothing but chains with 1,500 calorie blooming-onions or chicken in a bun that tastes exactly the same no matter if the name says Applebee's or O'Charley's or Ruby Tuesday's or Chili's or The Cheesecake Factory or Bennigan's or T.G.I. Friday's or Olive Garden or Red Lobster.

I got to the point where seeing a Subway was a religious experience, since I knew that I wouldn't have to throw half my meal away and it wouldn't precipitate arteriosclerosis!!

So, in sum, while I admire large business for being successful, I can completely identify with the "elitists" out there who like a more authentic, local experience.

Maybe the best solution has already been articulated, in that we can have a few nationally-known chain-food schlep-shops there to draw in the middle-aged, Cadillac and Hummer with "drill baby drill" bumper-sticker driving, distended-belly, Miller-Lite drinking, Mid-West and Mid-South suburb-living account managers whose glory days blew by them in their Junior year of high school so they can spend liberally on their middle-aged, easy to impress vendors who had their best time ever at the Excalibur buffet line in Vegas in 2006.

Meanwhile, the rest of us get a nice selection of local and ethnic fare to enjoy on warm summer evenings by the ball park.

Problem solved!!

bvpcvm Apr 11, 2009 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by philopdx (Post 4189866)
Maybe the best solution has already been articulated, in that we can have a few nationally-known chain-food schlep-shops there to draw in the middle-aged, Cadillac and Hummer with "drill baby drill" bumper-sticker driving, distended-belly, Miller-Lite drinking, Mid-West and Mid-South suburb-living account managers whose glory days blew by them in their Junior year of high school so they can spend liberally on their middle-aged, easy to impress vendors who had their best time ever at the Excalibur buffet line in Vegas in 2006.

^ well done :haha:


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