Category Archives: In the Community

Four Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

In a smart Slate piece about more thoughtful ways to celebrate Black History Month, Aisha Harris implores readers to do more — to make an effort to learn something new about the black community or experience.

So if you haven’t already, now’s a great time to start. We’ve gathered some ideas below — these upcoming events will broaden your perspective and offer insight into the past, present and future of African-American culture. Each is guaranteed to be engaging and thought-provoking, and all are accessible by transit.

Cascade Festival of African Films

Thursday, Friday and Saturday screenings through March 5 at PCC Cascade Campus’ Moriarty Arts & Humanities Building. Free.

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The films being shown this year take on subjects as varied as urban life, gender equality and religious fundamentalism, but the majority of them share a common trait: They were made by African directors. This makes for a great opportunity to explore the continent’s diverse cultures through the lens of first-hand experience.

The festival’s centerpiece film, Run, plays February 19 at 7 p.m. at the Hollywood Theatre. Free.

The festival’s centerpiece film is Run, which takes place in the present-day Ivory Coast. The story reflects on the journey of a man named Run, who is in hiding after assassinating the country’s prime minister. It’s described as “impassioned and poetic…a strong allegory for the people and history of contemporary Ivory Coast.”

Portland Black Film Festival

Through February 27 at the Hollywood Theatre. General admission $8.

Bringing things closer to home, this young film festival focuses on the black experience in America. Seven films will be screened, including A Ballerina’s Tale, the story of prodigal ballerina Misty Copeland, and the only known print of Catch My Soul, a 1974 rock opera treatment of Othello (!).

African American Read-In

February 14 at 2 p.m. at the North Portland Library; Teen Read-In is February 26 at 4 p.m. at the St. Johns Library. Free.

Two Multnomah County Libraries have gathered community leaders, teachers, students and local celebrities to read from their favorite books by black authors — but you can do more than just listen. Everyone will be able to share words from their favorite works, and children and young adults will be able to enjoy special gatherings.

PDX Jazz Fest

February 18–26 at a dozen Portland venues. Tickets for individual shows from $15.

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This festival began 13 years ago as a Black History Month initiative to heighten jazz outreach and education in Portland, and now it’s bringing world-class performances to our city. Jazz is one of America’s most celebrated art forms, with roots in hundreds of years of the black experience — but it’s not all history. What you’ll discover at these shows and talks is that jazz is an ever-evolving medium.

So whether you’re at an intimate club like the iconic Jimmy Mak’s or seated in the Newmark Theater, taking in a tribute to the greats or watching a virtuoso harpist who has recorded with Drake, you’re sure to marvel at how vital jazz really is.


The final point Harris makes in her article is that we need to continue this conversation year-round — not just every February. So after you’ve enjoyed the festivals and events, consider that there is infinitely more to share and learn. There are people to meet, businesses to become acquainted with, books to read and lots of history to consider.

All this is especially important to us as a transit service (as everyone who knows Rosa Parks’ story can attest). We have an ongoing responsibility to steer our legacy toward fairness, understanding and appreciation — that’s what drives our transit equity and diversity work, and why we encourage everyone to celebrate Black History Month.

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Date night ideas—all accessible by transit!

heart rosette whitebgValentine’s Day is just around the corner, so why not surprise your sweetheart with a date you can get to by bus or train? Here are some fun (and frugal!) date nights — and you don’t have to drive!

The good ol’ go-to

Who doesn’t love dinner and a movie? MAX Blue and Red lines will take you right to the Regal Lloyd Center Cinema, or hop on the Green Line to check out Clackamas Town Center’s XD Theater. Want to have dinner delivered to your seat during the film? Check out the Living Room Theater in Downtown Portland. The Portland Streetcar and Line 20-Burnside/Stark will take you there.

Brunch lovers

Forget the fancy dinner and take your Valentine out to brunch. Portland — known for its brunch scene — is chock full of great spots. Here are a few you can get to by public transportation: Old Salt Marketplace (Line 75-Cesar Chavez/Lombard), Kerns Kitchen (Line 19-Woodstock/Glisan), An Xuyen (Line 14-Hawthorne), and Roman Candle (Line 4-Division/Fessenden).

Plan a private pub crawl

Perfect for the beer lover in your life! Stay safe and off the streets by planning your crawl along a bus, train or Portland Streetcar route. Need a little inspiration? Here’s a Belmont pub crawl by bus, a pub crawl through the Pearl District and a crawl all along the streetcar’s North/South Line.

Play in the park

Washington Park, that is! Take MAX Blue or Red lines to the Washington Park MAX Station and explore! There’s not much in bloom at the International Rose Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden is closed through March, but you can still enjoy a stroll with your sweetie through the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum or the World Forestry Center.

Nature lovers

Spend some alone time with your Valentine in the wild outdoors. There are so many hiking trails accessible by transit, rain or shine! Frolic through Forest Park — Lines 15, 20 and MAX can get you there .

Jessica Ridgway

Jessica Ridgway

I'm TriMet's Web and Social Media Coordinator. I develop content for our website and social media channels. I'm a daily MAX rider and an adopted Oregonian.

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5 tips for a happy—and safe—holiday season

The holidays are a time of wonder and goodwill, and for the men and women of the Transit Police Division, a time to step up our patrols on the TriMet system. In an effort to keep the Grinch at bay, we need your help to make sure your belongings (and those holiday purchases) make it home with you.

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Lt. Rachel Andrew chats with a rider on how to travel safely this holiday season.

So far this month, we’ve noticed a good thing—riders being more courteous to each other. This is something we hope to see year round! But please don’t get complacent—thieves will strike when you least expect it.

Here are the top five tips to make sure you have a happy and safe holiday season:

  1. Pay attention to your belongings.

Too often we see someone hang up their bike on MAX and then go sit down with their back to it. A thief could make off with your bike and you wouldn’t notice! So far, two-thirds of reported thefts this year were items left behind or lost and never turned in to Lost & Found, so please keep track of your things.

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings.

We can all get so caught up in our phones or devices that might not notice someone watching us. Look up every so often to see who is around you and trust your instincts. When you hear, “Doors are closing, please hang on,” on MAX, make sure to hang on to your phone and other items. Thieves often look for opportunities to snatch-and-run as vehicles are about to leave a stop.

  1. Don’t leave valuables in your car at Park & Rides.

Leaving items, especially valuables, in plain view in your parked car is an invitation to thieves. If you must leave packages or other things in your car, make sure they are out of sight or locked in a trunk. If a thief walks by and doesn’t see anything worth breaking a window for, they’ll likely move on.

  1. See something. Say something.

If you see something suspicious, please say something. Tell your operator or call 9-1-1 immediately—we’ll decide what’s important. You never know, your call could prevent a crime.

  1. Look and listen when crossing tracks and streets.

Please listen for approaching trains and look both ways when crossing tracks. Take your time and don’t run across—a few seconds could save your life.

All year round, Transit Police officers patrol the system, hopping on trains and buses, and interacting with riders at stations and transit centers. During the holidays, we increase our missions to keep those looking to spoil the season from targeting you and your stuff.

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Happy holidays from the Transit Police Division!
Christina Hansen-Tuma

Christina Hansen-Tuma

I’m Officer Christina Hansen-Tuma with the Transit Police Division. Working in transit, I get to meet different people across the metro area and help make TriMet a system that my grandmother would enjoy riding. When I’m not on the job, I’m busy spending time with my kids and running in marathons!

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2015 Holiday Events Guide

Who doesn’t love November? Sure, the brisk weather and short days can catch us off guard. But once we get past that, our holiday spirit begins to surface as we come together for food, family and festivals.

Here are 10 upcoming celebrations to get you started:

Macy’s Holiday Parade

Friday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.
Downtown Portland

Shake off your post-stuffing stupor with a morning of grand floats, costumed characters (nearly 500 of them!) and local marching bands parading through Downtown.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Friday, Nov. 27 at 5:30 p.m.
Pioneer Courthouse Square

There’s a 75-foot tree in the middle of Pioneer Courthouse Square — you may have seen it — waiting to be lit for the holidays. As part of the ceremony, Thomas Lauderdale will lead members of Pink Martini, the Pacific Youth Choir, The von Trapps, and thousands of onlookers in a holiday sing-a-long. Come prepared: Download a copy of the songbook here.

ZooLights

ZooLights

Friday, Nov. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 3
5–9 p.m.
5–8 p.m. on Value Nights
Oregon Zoo

There are 1.5 million lights on display at the Oregon Zoo’s annual winter festival, but that’s only one reason it’s so popular. This year, think “train” when you go to ZooLights — there’s a special Zoo Railway loop you won’t want to miss, plus big savings for anyone who takes MAX to the event.

Tip: The Sunset Transit Center Park & Ride often fills up on Blazers game nights — consider using a different lot if you’re planning to visit those evenings.

Holiday Ale Festival

Wednesday, Dec. 2–Sunday, Dec. 6
11 a.m.–10 p.m. most nights
Pioneer Courthouse Square

What would an events guide be without a beer festival? Keep warm by sampling more than 50 exclusive and rare brews, from Belgians to barleywines to porters and stouts. Keep your phone handy when you’re there, because the mobile version of the festival’s site will have up-to-the-second updates on beer tappings and locations.

Christmas Ships

Christmas Ships

Friday, Dec. 4–Sunday, Dec. 20
Parade on the Willamette and Columbia rivers, starting most nights at RiverPlace Marina

The first Christmas Ship sailed solo from the Portland Yacht Club back in 1954; now, nearly 60 boats light up the Willamette and Columbia rivers in what’s become a grand Portland tradition. If you’re taking in the spectacle this year, be sure to track the fleet on Twitter. And if you’re looking for a new vantage point, may we suggest Tilikum Crossing?

First Night at Director Park

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m.
Director Park

This year’s celebration of the first night of Chanukah features a special ice menorah (ice menorah!), music, latkes and activities for kids. It’s a community collaboration between Chabad of Oregon, the American Red Cross and Portland Fire & Rescue — pitch in by bringing travel-size toiletries to be given to VA Hospitals and Stand Downs, events providing supplies and services to homeless veterans.

Super Colossal Holiday Sale

Saturday, Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 13
11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Oregon Convention Center

Need to get gifts for your sister, grandfather, boss, best friend, neighbor, et cetera?

Try Crafty Wonderland’s Super Colossal Holiday Sale — you won’t be disappointed. With 60,000 square feet of handmade gifts, goodies, art and crafts from Northwest artisans (and beyond!), this is your one-stop holiday shop.

Portland Posada & Holiday Bazaar

Posada: Saturday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.
Holiday Bazaar: Saturday Dec. 12–Sunday, Dec. 20
Portland Mercado

Looking for something a little smaller than the Super Colossal sale, and with great food? Head to the Portland Mercado for the inaugural Portland Posada, an all-day craft fair with specialty food and drinks, a gift drive and musical performances.

What makes Posada even more special is that it’s tied to Latin American holiday traditions, and that it celebrates philanthropy and creative entrepreneurship. Plus, it marks the kickoff of the Holiday Bazaar, a nine-day pop-up gift shop in the heart of the Mercado.

Winter Village

Friday, Dec. 18–Sunday, Jan. 3
10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Orenco Station Plaza

Be the first to take the ice at the Winter Village, an open-air ice skating experience making its debut at the Orenco Station Plaza. Hop on MAX and you’ll be at the rink in no time — this one’s right across from the Orenco/NW 231st Ave Station!

Portland Winter Light Festival

Portland Winter Light Festival

Wednesday, Feb. 3–Sunday, Feb. 7
5–11 p.m.
OMSI

In the bleak midwinter, a light! Or, actually, large-scale light sculptures, projections, performances, installations, from a dozen world-class artists. Taking cues from light festivals around the globe, the inaugural Portland Winter Light Festival aims to bring people together during a time of year typically reserved for the indoors.

Who couldn’t use an inspiring spectacle to celebrate light, life and warmth in February? Bundle up!

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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MAX Orange Line Grand Opening: A historic convergence [VIDEO]

It’s what we’ve wanted since the beginning: for the new Orange Line to connect us as families, friends, neighbors and communities.

And if last Saturday’s opening day celebrations were any indication, this wasn’t just wishful thinking. Thousands gathered to commemorate a new chapter in our region’s history as they caught the Orange, crossed the bridge and partied from Oak Grove to Portland (and back).

MAX Orange Line Grand OpeningYou caught the Orange, crossed the bridge and partied from Oak Grove to Portland (and back): bit.ly/1LdjOsr

Posted by TriMet on Monday, September 14, 2015

 
The morning began with an extraordinary sight as the first Orange Line train from Milwaukie, filled with community leaders, crested Tilikum Crossing with a procession of members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Morning sun poured through the bridge cables, illuminating the regalia and bringing the moment’s full splendor to light.

Grand Opening (1 of 1)

Soon after, when the train reached the Lincoln St/SW 3rd Ave Station, the party began. Toasts were given, balloons were released (biodegradable, of course!) and music marked the festivities. Hundreds of eager riders lined the sidewalk to catch the first trains to Milwaukie and, just like that, the MAX Orange Line was in service.

The next seven hours of celebrations were a testament to the new line as a vital connection: The crowds that explored the route saw new things, met new people and formed new associations. From Grand Ronde’s Tilikum Village in the South Waterfront to the festival atop the Park Avenue Park & Ride, everyone showed an abundance of curiosity, excitement and patience — our community’s finest traits.

At the outset, our hope was simply for people to show up and check out the new line; what we witnessed was something bigger, both in scope and significance. More than just a celebration, Opening Day was a story — and it’s all thanks to you.

The Orange Line has arrived! Head to catchtheorange.com for schedules, stations, parking and more »

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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Zipcar moves into two more transit centers

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We have more ways for you to move around town as Zipcar has expanded to the Willow Creek/SW 185th Transit Center in Hillsboro and Parkrose/Sumner Transit Center in Northeast Portland. Our car-sharing friends have just added two dedicated parking spots to these transit centers as well as a third one at Gateway/NE 99th Transit Center.

“The relatively quick uptake in these areas demonstrates very strong demand for more sustainable alternatives to car ownership in areas further away from the urban core,” says Jeremy Nelson, General Manager for Zipcar in the Portland metro area.

Zipcar also has vehicles available at the following locations:

There are 18 Zipcars available at TriMet transit centers and more than 200 within a five-minute walk of transit stops in the metro area. Look for the large green signs: “Zipcars live here.”

Gateway_Zipcar

“I’ve been really amazed by the demand we’ve received for Zipcars at transit centers surrounding Portland in all directions,” Nelson says. “What started as a modest launch at two transit centers has grown to eight in a little over a year. We’re going to continue to push these boundaries as demand dictates.”

Zipcar can be used by the hour or daily. Gas and insurance are included. Check out all the Zipcar locations at TriMet transit centers.

Andrew Longeteig

Andrew Longeteig

I’m TriMet’s Communications Coordinator. I share what’s happening at the agency with the media and general public. When I’m not working, I’ll either be watching the Blazers or at a rock concert.

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Orange All Around: Recapping the Orange Picnic + Fireworks Spectacular [VIDEO]

Last Saturday, a hazy orange day turned into a dazzling orange night.

The line of picnic-goers waiting to get in to Zidell Yards, a former shipbuilding site nestled between Tilikum Crossing and the Ross Island Bridge, popped with orange: shirts, hats, sundresses, blankets. At 5 p.m., picnickers began streaming in to the festival site, where they were greeted with games, food carts, a beer garden and a set by the Student Loan Stringband.

Kids chased bubbles and ate ice cream (Salt & Straw debuted their honorary Orange Line flavor: Olive Oil and Burnt Orange Marmalade) and curious onlookers chatted with the Portland Picnic Society about their picture-perfect spread.

Families and friends claimed tables and tucked into their orange picnics as Bearwater took the stage, and the deep orange sun dipped out of sight.

Thousands more spectators flooded in and lined the riverbank, buzzing with anticipation for the fireworks (and maybe a glass of BridgePort’s Orange Line IPA, too). And then it was time.

All eyes were on Tilikum Crossing as the show began with a magnificent cascade of white light pouring off the bridge’s deck. The crowd gasped as the sky lit up: red, purple, yellow, blue — and, of course, orange.

And to prove how well-planned the display was, even the soundtrack sparked joy. The Decemberists’ “On the Bus Mall” played our heartstrings and Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around” proved undeniable, despite its renown as the Portlandia theme song.

The grand finale was an incredible sight, as glittering bursts spanned the entire sky above the bridge.

For those 12 minutes it became clear that we were celebrating more than a bridge or a light rail line. I’m an optimist, but I’d say we were cheering for each other. Community — that’s what gets us out of the house wearing blaze orange and sits us down with thousands of neighbors we’ve never met. So to everyone who shared this special night with us: Thank you.

Orange Picnic + Fireworks Spectacular (music: “Good Times” by …Last Saturday’s all-orange party was one for the ages: bit.ly/1NQi0EvTo everyone who helped make the night special: Thank you!

Posted by TriMet on Monday, August 24, 2015

Brian Lum

Brian Lum

I'm TriMet's Web & Social Media Specialist. I'm here to help tell our story, and to share the interesting things I find along the way. When I'm not here, you'll find me out riding my bike and taking pictures.

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