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Portland Public Market


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#1 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 07:23 PM

I also posted this in the Charity section:

I got an email from Steve Olson, of the Portland Public Market campaign. They're having a fundraiser at Basilico Restaurant on Sunday Sept. 18. This is what it said:

On Sunday, September 18th, in true Public Market fashion, many local producers will showcase their foods at Portland's Basilico Restaurant. The Enoteca portion of the restaurant will feature wines and spirits of the region.

Basilico Chef Paul Ornstein will delight the collective palate with traditional Italian recipes featuring local produce, meats, fish, cheese and breads.

Good conversation, great food, wine and spirits can all be yours for the unheard of price of 50 bucks. And it's all for a "buona causa"; highlighting the many benefits the Portland Public Market will bring to our way of life.

Tickets available through Basilico Restaurant (503) 223-2772.

Reservations are required and space is limited, so call now!


Particulars:

When: Sunday, September 18 -- 5 to 8 pm
Where: Basilico Restaurant -- 500 NW 21st (at Glisan), Portland, OR 97209
(503) 223-2772
Cost: $50.
Dress: Casual
Generous Participants:

Basilico Restaurant
Lamb - Su Dan Farm
Fish - Newman's Fish Markets
Produce - Millenium Farm
Bread - Baker & Spice
Cheese - Juniper Grove
Wine - Rex Hill Vineyards
Wine - La Bete Wines
Spirit - Clear Creek Distillery
Check Out:

www.PortlandPublicMarket.com
www.BasilicoRestaurant.com

If you're not familiar with the cause, there are some dedicated food people who are trying to open a year-round indoor farmers' market in Portland. Previous fundraisers included several years of picnics on the front steps of City Hall (they were great!).

We are planning on going to the event on the 18th. That's my birthday, and I was looking for someplace different at which to celebrate, and we support the cause. I'm making reservations for just Mr PnJ and myself, but I'd love to see some of you there too. They say reservations are filling up fast.

#2 mczlaw

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 10:19 PM

If you're not familiar with the cause, there are some dedicated food people who are trying to open a year-round indoor farmers' market in Portland.


The Public Market may be many things, when and if it opens. It is not, however, going to be an "indoor farmers' market." Even after three years or so in the works, the exact concept for the proposed public market remains elusive. For this reason, the Portland Farmers Market withdrew its support for the project several months ago.

Even based on the optimistic numbers I have seen from the "feasibility" study conducted by a company hired by the Public Market organizers (at a cost of about $100,000), few if any small farmers could afford to be in that market, even if they were so inclined.

What the Market has in its favor is some fairly high profile support from a few individuals in the Portland food community and local government and access to substantial federal dollars, courtesy of Rep. David Wu.

Personally, I have some real mixed feelings about the merit of this project. At this point, I am willing to wager that it may be a nice tourist magnet, but I doubt it is going to do much to support local agriculture or that it will be readily accessible to all socioeconomic stata. Moreover, I fear this project, if it comes to being, will require substantial public subsidy or it will leak red ink and eventually close as public markets have done repeatedly over the decades in Portland.

The proposed public market stands in stark contrast to the vibrant neighborhood farmers markets that have sprung up all over Portland the last several years. In my opinion, the Public Market stands a chance of harming the farmers market movement. This is just a strong gut feeling based on years of involvement with the Portland Farmers Market and a lot of contact with the Public Market project promoters. I wish I had some evidence to back me up, but I don't have $100K to toss around to conduct a study.

I am not suggesting that anyone avoid attending this fundraiser. I am sure it will be a lot of fun. But I do want everyone to be clear about what your dollars will and will not be supporting.

To be clear, the foregoing is my opinion and my opinion alone.

--mcz

#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 September 2005 - 09:07 AM

I don't know if I agree that it will actually hurt the farmers markets. If that were the case, then the gourmet/organic chains should be destroying them right now, yet the PFM and others are more popular than ever. I think to some degree it's like putting a Wal-Mart next to a Target, they feed off each other. Except in this case, the feeding occurs because people's awareness increases. They realize there is more than the supermarket.

I tend to think the Public Market should be thought of largely as a tourist destination as well. The two big public markets I've visited, Pike Place and Granville Island, are. It's Japanese tourists (and chubby food bloggers) getting off buses and taking pictures of fish being tossed and cherries piled high.

That's not to say there isn't a strong contingent of locals shopping at each, however, but both depend on tourists. Those in charge could require the vendors to maintain a certain level of quality and also maintain a certain connection to the local agricultural community.

Then again, they could just talk about a public market for the next decade while a bunch of people have expensive dinners in the name of it.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#4 Amanda

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Posted 14 September 2005 - 09:57 AM

There has been talk of this public market thing for quite some time. I would like to see it really happen. Mostly because the place they are proposing is so close to my job and it would be great to be able to just run over and buy fresh things during the lunch hour. I think it would be a draw for tourists, too. It seems like Yamhill Marketplace had a similar deal way back when where I used to buy fresh fruit all the time, but it is no longer.

I don't see where it would really hurt Farmers Markets around town at all. I see it more as a draw that would work nicely in tandem with Saturday Market and events that occur along the waterfront.

Best regards,

Amanda

#5 Angelhair

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 09:40 AM

Wow, just searching for the words Public Market, I came up with this old as the hills thread. Well, the folks are still at it, and planning for the market continues:

http://www.oregonliv...a....xml&coll=7

In the meantime, a weekend's worth of events tied to the proposed market is coming your way:

At noon Friday, Sept. 28, the City Club's Friday Forum invites members and nonmembers to discuss the proposed Portland Public Market and the future of farmers markets in the city, with a panel including Ron Paul, Scott Dolich and others. Lunch is optional ($16 for members, $20 for nonmembers). General seating is $5 for nonmembers (free for members) and available on a first-come, first-served basis. The forum happens at The Governor Hotel, and doors open at 11:30 a.m. For luncheon reservations and tickets, call 503-228-7231, ext. 103. Details: www.pdxcityclub.org.

A number of local events tied to the James Beard Foundation's Taste America celebration take place next month. On Friday, Sept. 28, a Public Market Progressive Party starts at 5:30 p.m. on the rooftop of Station Place Smart Park on Northwest Marshall Street, and it moves at 7:30 p.m. to Union Station. Expect tours of the station, food, wine and small bites prepared by some of Oregon's top chefs, including past James Beard Foundation award-winners Greg Higgins, Stephanie Kimmel, Vitaly Paley and others; $50 per person, $60 at the door. Details: www.portlandpublicmarket.com.

From 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, a free festival will be held at Williams-Sonoma Washington Square with a cooking demonstration by Le Pigeon's Gabriel Rucker at 11:30 a.m., a book signing by Susan Sokol Blosser at 12:30 p.m., tastings of artisanal products and more.

From noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, a Foods of Oregon Educational Symposium will take place at the Food Innovation Center on Naito Parkway, delving into local ingredients with producers, farmers and purveyors; $50 per person, reservations required.

For tickets and information on any Taste America event, visit www.portlandpublicmarket.com or call Lane PR at 503-221-0480.



#6 Amanda

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:05 AM

I sure hope this thing flies. I'd love the public market. They're talking about having it at the train station now, which I think is an excellent idea!

Best regards,

Amanda

#7 ExtraMSG

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 12:53 PM

I don't know if I like the location. Let's face it, it's a tourist attraction. Perhaps they're thinking it will be like the Ferry Building in SF, but from what I've read, there won't really be that much space devoted to market vendors. The Ferry Building is really ALL about the food vendors. It feels like there's no other purpose for the place, except perhaps to walk through it to a pier. That won't be the case at the train station. And it's not exactly in the heart of downtown.

They need a good sized building that can be devoted to the project and have good parking that's free or validated for at least a couple hours. I think the Grand Central Bowl spot might have been good if they built some parking structures. It's about the right size. Although, it would be nice to have it in downtown, but where? If it took up the bottom of a development like in the South Waterfront or Pearl, that could be good. I just don't think many developers would take that chance. They want Eddie Bauer and PF Chang's.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#8 mczlaw

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 10:27 PM

Amanda and others:

I could give you you multiple great reasons why this public market proposal is a lousy idea.

Once you get past the superficial wow factor, the idea goes down hill fast.

Among the problems: required public subsidy, meaning your tax dollars (upfront and ongoing); dubious ability to support local agriculture; potential for unfair competition with existing businesses, including our fabulous farmers markets.

Most of all: the public market will add very little, if any, value to what the network of local farmers markets already provide. The markets--now long-established and self-supporting with no subsidy--themselves are increasingly looking to go year round with possible sheltering arrangements in the crummy weather.

I urge all of you to get past the breathless exhortations of the public market's supporters (many of whom will personally benefit if it comes to fruition) and think deeply about whether it is good for Portland. I am confident that if you do so, you will agree it is not worthy of your support.

Frankly, if it were such a great idea, it would have happened already and would have achieved much broader support than it has gained. Portland Farmers Market withdrew its support years ago; PDC has taken a hands-off approach; and Portland city officials (save Ron Paul's old boss, Charlie Hales) have been lukewarm to say the least.

Ron Paul is a really nice, smart guy with lots of energy. It would be a blessing if he would start dedicating that energy to a worthier, more productive cause.

--mcz

#9 Calabrese

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 05:02 AM

Uh, Charles Hales has been out of city government for a number of years (over 5). Last I knew he was working for a private firm, HDR. I am not sure how he would be germane to a current discussion of any officical city anything. I am not saying I agreed with his positions when he was a city commissioner but he's ancient history.

#10 StMaximo

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 06:11 AM

Uh, Charles Hales has been out of city government for a number of years (over 5). Last I knew he was working for a private firm, HDR. I am not sure how he would be germane to a current discussion of any officical city anything. I am not saying I agreed with his positions when he was a city commissioner but he's ancient history.


He's still promoting this idea - It's much like the Senators and members of Congress who become lobbyists when their terms expire and use their contacts to promote pet projects.

#11 Angelhair

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 06:23 AM

I would welcome the idea of a fixed market like the one in SF. But in addition to the farmer's market. That's a sweet little high-end market full of fun stuff (Cowgirl Creamery, a wine shop, great flowers, great bakery).

There is no good reason to get rid of something as successful as the farmer's markets. And I don't think a Public Market (like the one in SF) would cut into the profits of the farmer's markets.

#12 Daaaaave

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:47 AM

Most of all: the public market will add very little, if any, value to what the network of local farmers markets already provide.


Yeah...I couldn't think of anything the Public Market could provide that the Farmers Markets aren't already.

Oh, wait! How about meat that isn't coming from someone's Coleman cooler and a bigger selection of seafood than a couple smoked fish vendors and a little shellfish here and there?

Those greedy bastards looking to gain financially FROM YOUR TAX DOLLARS (Fox 12 emphasis necessary) include notorious assholes like SuDan Farms and Newman's. What have they ever given to the local food scene?

#13 Amanda

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:53 AM

I don't see where it is a threat to anyone, really. Just another cool addition to Portland. There's always room for good ideas, I think. It might be a great step in the revitalization of the Old Town area and most of the traffic will probably come from tourists and postal workers or those nearby in NW and the Pearl.

I don't want it to be muscling out other cool things in Portland, I just think it seems like a good thing. If there is something sinister behind the scenes I guess I'm not seeing it.

I'm still for it at this point.

Best regards,

Amanda

#14 Angelhair

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:53 AM

Most of all: the public market will add very little, if any, value to what the network of local farmers markets already provide.


Yeah...I couldn't think of anything the Public Market could provide that the Farmers Markets aren't already.

Oh, wait! How about meat that isn't coming from someone's Coleman cooler and a bigger selection of seafood than a couple smoked fish vendors and a little shellfish here and there?

Those greedy bastards looking to gain financially FROM YOUR TAX DOLLARS (Fox 12 emphasis necessary) include notorious assholes like SuDan Farms and Newman's. What have they ever given to the local food scene?


Oh, wait! How about a dedicated local artisinal cheese vendor any time of the frickin' day instead of Saturday and Sunday?

#15 polloelastico

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 09:25 AM

I think it's a great idea, if for the sole fact I have a central, perfunctory place to take out-of-town guests before we go out drinking.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#16 ExtraMSG

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 10:31 AM

How about a dedicated local artisinal cheese vendor any time of the frickin' day instead of Saturday and Sunday?


You may not really get that, though. More likely, you'll get a Steve's Cheese or two that emphasize local, but have a broader selection.

I agree this isn't going to be much competition for the farmers markets. They have different emphases and a different aesthetic. To some extent, but no more than New Seasons or Whole Foods. Those are who it will truly be competing with. And Pastaworks/City Market and the like.

Really, though, if it's done well, it can bring a lot to the city. First, as a tourist attraction, which does have value. Just look at the excitement around the Ferry Building, Pike's Place, or Granville Island, which are the analogs. It should be done coop style with a strong mission statement to keep it local and unique. There should be percentages set on the fresh produce, meats, and cheeses that perhaps can change through the seasons. But small businesses like Cacao or Steve's Cheese that provide an interesting, quality product, but aren't necessarily offering local products, should be encouraged as well. The advantages to something like this is that people have a central location where they know they can find all these quality goods any day of the week. I think it would build expectations for quality over time, just as the farmers markets do. It will build competition and require other gourmet shops to even be better.

And like the Ferry Building, it could be combined with farmers markets so that both build more excitement from each other. Win-win.

Whether it should be publicly funded or subsidized is another issue. But if you think things like PGE stadium, parks, OMSI, or anything like those should get public funding, arguably this should as well.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#17 StMaximo

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 01:00 PM

Whether it should be publicly funded or subsidized is another issue. But if you think things like PGE stadium, parks, OMSI, or anything like those should get public funding, arguably this should as well.


Personally I don't put parks in the same category as PGE Park or OMSI. I like parks for the green space and public access. I can support OMSI by being a member. As for PGE Park and the Rose Garden; that's another story.

#18 John DePaula

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 01:47 PM

I don't see where it is a threat to anyone, really. Just another cool addition to Portland. There's always room for good ideas, I think. It might be a great step in the revitalization of the Old Town area and most of the traffic will probably come from tourists and postal workers or those nearby in NW and the Pearl.

I don't want it to be muscling out other cool things in Portland, I just think it seems like a good thing. If there is something sinister behind the scenes I guess I'm not seeing it.

I'm still for it at this point.

Best regards,

Amanda

Well said, Amanda.
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#19 Jill-O

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 05:31 PM

But if you think things like PGE stadium, parks, OMSI, or anything like those should get public funding, arguably this should as well.


Not to mention the freakin' tram. Personally, I'd rather have a Public Market than a tram, PGE Park or OMSI.

Count me in as another person who'd love a better selection of local meat, fish, cheese, etc. in addition to local produce all in one place, open most days in the week. Doesn't mean I wouldn't support the Farmers' Markets, either.

I know you are concerned about the Portland Farmers' Market mczlaw, you might want to disclose that you have ties to the Portland Farmers' Market (weren't you heading their Board, or were the ED at one time)...especially as you are pointing out that certain folks supporting the Public Market effort might have something to gain from it.
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#20 ExtraMSG

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 06:16 PM

I think all mczlaw's work for the market has been volunteer work. I don't know what there'd be to disclose except that he really loves the farmers markets. Currently, I believe he helps with the chef in the market series. In the past, I know he's helped with the Summer Loaf.

Having worked inside the Portland Farmers Market on a semi-volunteer basis and having been behind the scenes at the Hillsdale Farmers Market a little, I know that even those who get paid, which are very few, aren't doing it for the money. There ain't that much of it and they'd have a much less stressful week with higher pay in any corporate office.

I'd suggest no one intimate underhanded reasons for their positions on the issue unless they've got some solid evidence. I will say, though, that the farmers markets get things done while it's been how many years of fancy dinners in support of a public market without much to show for it? But effective leadership is a question secondary to whether the concept of a public market is a good one or not.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's