Sneak Preview of Lake Oswego’s Unveil Your Art!

This kinetic steel sculpture, "Aspens" by Reven Marie Swanson will be at home on the corner of 5th and A Avenue for the next two years as part of Lake Oswego's Gallery Without Walls.

This kinetic steel sculpture, “Aspens” by Reven Marie Swanson will be at home on the corner of 5th and A Avenue for the next two years as part of Lake Oswego’s Gallery Without Walls.

I can already tell I’m going to be a big fan for this year’s installment of new sculptures to the Gallery Without Walls. Having gotten a glimpse of a few of them, I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite. The Lake Oswego Arts Council is planning a celebration today, Sunday, August 30, to both herald in the new sculptures and recognize the 15 year history of Gallery Without Walls. Both are worth toasting and here’s why.

1. The Gallery Without Walls features over 60 permanent and loaned works of art spread throughout Lake Oswego. Thirty of them are on loan from the artists and rotate every two years.

2. Lake Oswegans aren’t the only ones who appreciate the Gallery Without Walls. It was featured in Sunset magazine and won a City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2007.

This work by Joel Heidel and Angelina Marino-Heidel, called "Journey Home," can be found in lower Milllennium Plaza Park.

This work by Joel Heidel and Angelina Marino-Heidel, called “Journey Home,” can be found in lower Milllennium Plaza Park. (Photo taken by Deb Hollister with Pure & Simple Graphics).

3. There are several ways to take in the Gallery. You can arrange fora private guided tour by one of the Art Council volunteers or take advantage of scheduled tours, like the ones set for today, beginning at 4:45. You can pick up a brochure at City Hall or download the free app for a digital tour.

4. Fourteen new sculptures will be added to the downtown walking area this year.

5. Festivities begin in Millennium Plaza Park at 3:00 p.m. Steel Away Trio will provide music and entertainment. The Road Dog Café will be on site to provide food and drinks for purchase. Arts council staff will be on hand to discuss the program and everyone is welcome to some free banana cake from New Seasons. Artists and their sponsors will be introduced beginning at 4:00 p.m. with docent and artist-led tours taking off at 4:45 p.m.

If you’re interested in touring homes in town because you’re looking to move to Lake Oswego or even change neighborhoods, give me call at 503.939.9801. I’d love to show you around.

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7 Ways to Grab Summer While You Can in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Neighborhood lemonade stands are one of the things that will disappear with summer so support your local entrepreneurs while you can. Back in the day our kids put in their time peddling their goods.

Neighborhood lemonade stands are one of the things that will disappear with summer so support your local entrepreneurs while you can. Back in the day our kids put in their time peddling their goods.

Much as I hate to admit it, summer is winding its way to a close, so go out and grab the sweetest tastes of the season you can find while they’re still around. Here are some places to consider:

Swim parks. Staffed by teachers, students and school district alumni, these parks close once school starts so get there while you can. The Lake Oswego Swim Park at 250 Ridgeway Road is open to all Lake Oswego residents from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. through August 31. The Lake Grove Swim Park at 3800 Lakeview Boulevard is open to all residents who live within the boundaries of the former Lake Grove School District (see map).
Hours are 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. through August 30. The park will reopen for Labor Day weekend and close for the season at 5:00 p.m. on September 7.

Salt and Straw cart in the Wizer parking lot at First and Evergreen. If you haven’t had the Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons, you are really missing out. Sure, you could drive into Portland, and visit one of Food Network’s Top 5 Ice Creameries in the nation, or you could just pull up to their food cart right here in Lake Oswego. But hurry—they’re only around until August 30. Hours are 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m.

Eat outside. Take in the outdoors while you eat at one of Lake Oswego’s restaurants while you still can. There are lots of options including those listed in a round-up I did a couple years ago as well as some new additions including: Aji Tram at 4477 Lakeview Blvd., and Kyra’s Bake Shop at 599 A Avenue.

Outdoor concerts. Lake Oswego’s summer outdoor concert series is wrapping up this week with the final Moonlight and Music performance in Millennium Plaza Park at 200 First Street today, August 23, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. featuring the Latin to Funk sounds of Sabroso. Radical Revolution will bring back the 80s as they close out the Sounds of Summer series on Wednesday, August 26, in Westlake Park, 14164 Bunick Drive, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You can still catch live music at the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays through October 10.

Village Flower Baskets. Don’t take these baskets for granted—they’re only around until the first weekend in October so take the time to really appreciate them while they’re in their glory.

Neighborhood lemonade stands. Local budding entrepreneurs will be back in school soon without the lazy days of summer to peddle their wares. So be sure to stop and support the vendors you walk or drive by in the next couple of weeks. It’s an easy way to make a kid’s day (and consequently make yours too).

Street of Dreams. You could find inspiration for some winter home improvement projects at this year’s Street of Dreams which just happens to be conveniently located in Lake Oswego at Knauss Road and Goodall. Last day is Sunday, August 30.

If you want to grab the best of Lake Oswego, subscribe to this blog. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column. If you’re thinking of moving to Lake Oswego, let me show you around. Give me a call at 503.939.9801.

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5 Reasons Why You Don’t Have to Be a Car or Boat Buff to Enjoy Oswego Heritage Council’s Collector Car & Classic Boat Show

car show 4Car and boat buffs have lots to look forward to in Lake Oswego this weekend.

The Oswego Heritage Council is hosting its 16th annual Collector Car & Classic Boat Show August 22-23 at three venues in Lake Oswego: George Rogers Park, Foothills Park Marina and the Lake Oswego Corporation docks on Lakewood Bay. Cars and boats will be on display Sunday, August 23 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

But you don’t have to be a car or boat nut to enjoy this show. There’s more to take in than just your reflection off the side of a shiny 1971 Mercedes Benz 280SE. Just look.

car show 3

Wouldn’t you love to know the story behind this classic?

1. Stories. One thing boat and car lovers love to do is talk about their cars and boats. Whether it’s where they originally found their classic 1965 Ford Mustang or how many hours it took them to restore the mahogany deck on their 1961 Cruiser, you’ll find storytellers looking for an audience.

2. History. The PT Boat 658, which is the only World War II PT boat still seaworthy, will be on display at the Foothills Park marina along with amphibious military vehicles. It arrives Saturday, August 22,  at 10:00 a.m.

Every car and boat at Oswego Heritage Council's Collector Car & Classic Boat Show comes with a story, including this lilac Morris Minor.

Every car and boat at Oswego Heritage Council’s Collector Car & Classic Boat Show comes with a story, including this lilac Morris Minor.

3. Trivia. Last year there was a lilac Morris Minor, one of my favorite oldies. It was part of a special collection to celebrate the production of a million Morris Minors. Why lilac? Seems the paint technicians couldn’t guarantee the preferred color of metallic gold or silver to last beyond six months. That left a committee staring at shades of lime-green, pink, yellow, orange and lilac. All they could agree on was it shouldn’t be orange (obviously not a Beaver fan in the bunch) and that one of their members, Jack Field, should choose the color. Lilac it was…and still is to this day.

4. Vintage Water Show. Those gracious water skiers in their retro polka dot attire will return along with some comic relief. The show will be start at 1:00 p.m. on Lakewood Bay.

5. Pancakes and hamburgers. In case you didn’t get your fill on the Fourth of July, you can grab some of the Lions Club’s infamous pancakes in George Rogers Park from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. before they start flipping burgers.

Lake Oswego has some classic homes for sale too. If you’re interested in taking a look, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’d love to show you around.

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Canal Front Homes Offer Waterfront Living for Less in Lake Oswego Oregon

This 2 bedroom 2 bath cottage on the Oswego Canal is listed at $995,000 and offers plenty of opportunity for remodeling or building your new dream home.

This 2 bedroom 2 bath cottage on the Oswego Canal is listed at $995,000 and offers plenty of opportunity for remodeling or building your new dream home.

This large level lot (.30 acre) is something that's hard to find on the main lake but a main selling point of living on the canal.

This large level lot (.30 acre) is something that’s hard to find on the main lake but a main selling point of living on the canal.

Sometimes I think Lake Oswegans are divided into two camps: water people and non-water folks. Just this week I was touring homes on the market with a client who informed me that living on the water wasn’t important to him. He is interested in being able to walk downtown and live in a brand new home. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, but you will pay significantly more when you add those amenities to a home that borders Oswego Lake. I on the other hand, moved to Lake Oswego to live on the lake. Or, I should say, on the canal. For that I may get a little less square footage or an older home, but in return I get to live the lake lifestyle.

And some of us who live on one of Oswego Lake’s canals may just say we get to live the better lake lifestyle. Why?

Oswego Canal entryBecause not only do we get access to the lake, but in many cases, we also get bigger yards, quieter streets, flatter lots which gives us more usable outdoor space, and neighborhoods. While we may not have a lake view outside our windows we do see the water in our canals and the wildlife that brings, as well as human life in the form of paddle boarders, canoers, boaters and kayakers.

Some clients of mine recently discovered this. They set out looking for main lake property but eventually bought on the canal when they realized they could get so much more house (and yard) for their money. Now they’re sold on canal front living and the amenities it brings like a quiet street and level backyard that holds a pool and outdoor entertainment center.

The numbers tell the story as well. Currently there are six canal front homes on the market ranging from $930,000 to $2,450,000. The price for entry of a lakefront home is $1,465,000 and tops out at $6,950,000.  Average listing price for homes currently for sale on the canal is $1,323,316; while the 18 lakefront homes average $3,326,333. So you can see that if you want to live on the water in Lake Oswego, the canals offer a cheaper way in. Once here, you may decide to stay put; however, if the main lake still calls you, know that the desirability of canal living will make moving on an easy transition.

Whether you fall into the water or non-water category, main lake or canal, I’d love to help you find a way to call Lake Oswego your home. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and put me to work for you.

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Here’s Your Game Plan for Lake Oswego’s Hot August Night 2015

hot august nightHot August Night is your neighborhood block party on water. Hundreds of waterfront and easement residents and their friends gather on the Northeast arm of the main lake for a concert every year. This year’s event is set for Saturday, August 8. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Buoy lines open at 5:00 p.m. with enough lines to accommodate 125 boats. The rest of the attendees will have to drop anchor.

2. Music starts at 6:30 p.m. on the stage at Pat and Pam Kearney’s home.

3. The Beatniks return for this year’s performance. Playing tunes that are instantly familiar from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, they get the crowd rocking (and dancing too on a floating dance floor).

4. Bring food and drink to share. It’s a neighborly gathering with folks boat hopping and swimming while they eat, drink, and enjoy the live music.

5. Bring your own transportation (paddle board, kayak) to get to and from the port-a-potties. The Lake Corporation will not be operating its taxi service this year.

6. Plan on getting hooked. Our oldest daughter went to her first about three years ago. She convinced her brother and his buddy to join her last year. They’re all returning for this year’s bash and now consider it a standing date like the 4th of July and Christmas.

There’s lots to enjoy living in Lake Oswego. My blog tries to introduce you to that. I’d love to do that in person. If you’re interested in living here or changing neighborhoods if you already call Lake Oswego home, give me a call at 503.939.9801.

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5 Things You Need to Know to Get the Most Out of the 2015 NW Natural Street of Dreams in Lake Oswego

Street of DreamsThe 2015 NW Natural Street of Dreams opens its doors in Lake Oswego for the third time in its 40th history this Saturday, August 1, and will run through August 30 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Highlands, located near the corner of Knaus Road and Goodall. Tickets are $17. Here are 5 things you should know to make sure you have a good time.

1. There will be nine homes to tour this year, including a remodel, which is a first for the Street of Dreams.

2. You’ll notice a trend of floor-to-ceiling windows to capitalize on the views of Mt. Hood and the Willamette Valley.

3. Depending on what your dream home looks like, you won’t want to miss the Pooja/Meditation Room in the Serenity house, the full secondary suite for multi-generational living on the first floor of the Sandhill Crane, a morning room with fireplace off the kitchen in the Highland Couture as well as several outdoor entertainment centers, theater room and a couple mid-century modern homes. Check out all the homes on the website.

4. Parking is offsite so plan ahead. During the week, you can catch the 5-7 minute shuttle ride from 2500 Country Club Road, and on Saturdays and Sundays, parking is located at 4000 Kruse Way Place. A trolley will also shuttle folks from 2nd and A Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego to the NW Natural Street of Dreams on weekends.

5. Plan your visit to time with some of the other events scheduled during the show:
August 11 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Style at the Street—fashion show, boutiques, gourmet treats, wine tasting.
August 17 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Dream for Doernbecker benefit – summer buffet at $50/person
August 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. – free admission for all current and former military members plus three of their family members
Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Come for wine and live music
Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Attend the Chef Series and get barbecue tips from professional chefs along with samples and wine tasting

If you’d like some help finding your dream home in Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801. I’d love to show you around.

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Movies in the Park Kick Off This Week

MoviesThere are lots of things to love about Lake Oswego’s summers, but our evenings vie for one of my favorites. The city of Lake Oswego has capitalized on that by scheduling outdoor movies in Millennium Plaza Park on four consecutive Thursdays, beginning this week, July 23, at dusk (between 8:30 to 9:00 p.m.). Here’s the schedule:

July 23 – Frozen Singalong (PG). Dress up as your favorite Frozen character and bring your singing voice.

July 30 – Big Hero 6 (PG). Added attractions include fun experiments to help you explore the magic of science.

August 6 – 101 Dalmations (Live Action) (G). Just one way to celebrate the dog days of summer.

August 13 – Cool Runnings (PG). Discover why Jamaican bobsledders is not an oxymoron.

Popcorn and other treats are available for purchase. Bring your blankets, pillows and low sand chairs so everyone can enjoy the show! Millennium Plaza Park is located at First and Evergreen.

If you haven’t already, click the “Sign me up” button in the right hand column to receive weekly updates on “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.”

Photo credit: Courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net.

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