5 Reasons to Check Out Lake Oswego’s First Crosstoberfest

crosstoberfest_logo_finalWhat do you get when you cross a costume party with a steeplechase race that looks like an adventure run on wheels? Something close to Lake Oswego’s first Crosstoberfest—a cyclocross race on Saturday, October 29, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm.

Here are 5 reasons why you should check it out.

  1. It’s beginner-friendly. Of the many bicycle race formats –road races, track cycling, time trials—cyclocross could be the most beginner friendly, according to race director, David Saltzberg. Instead of heading out for two hours to cover 60 miles in a road race, cyclocrossers tackle a course that’s less than two miles, with average heats lasting 45 minutes. Granted that course is riddled with challenges like different surfaces to navigate and obstacles that require riders to dismount and carry their bikes. But getting a little muddy or wet is part of what makes the race so entertaining for both participants and spectators.
  1. It’s fun. While it’s called a “race,” Saltzberg describes the atmosphere as more lighthearted than other bicycle races. “It’s very social,” he explains, with competitors getting to see each other every seven minutes or so as they lap around, providing lots of opportunity for jabbing, heckling and taunting.
  1. It’s spectator-friendly. No need to move around to catch sight of the cyclist you are rooting for. Since participants complete laps, you can cheer on your favorites from one vantage point and take in all the action from were you stand.
  1. There’s a free event for the kids. Kids 9 and under can spin their wheels on a modified course.
  1. It’s a great excuse for a party. It’s called “Crosstoberfest” for a reason—check out the food, drinks (including beer and cider provided by Ancestry Brewing), and music.

Register online. Entrants must join the Oregon Bicycle Race Association for a small fee in order to participate in this race.

Don’t miss out–subscribe to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego” by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.





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Lake Oswego Rolls Out the Green Carpet This Month with Special Events and an Invitation

green-handIn its effort to encourage Lake Oswegans to adopt more sustainable practices in the way they live, the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network is hosting two events this month that are worth checking out.

In addition, the city invites residents to participate in the annual Northwest Earth Institute EcoChallenge as a member of the Lake Ecoswego Team during its two week run from October 14 through October 28. Select a goal from a variety of categories—Food, Community, Health, Transportation—and make updates as to your progress to earn points.

SECOND ANNUAL ECO FILM FESTIVAL. Get educated and inspired while enjoying your choice of four free movies playing at the Lake Theater and Café on Sunday, October 16.

  • WALL-E. This PIXAR film is set 700 years in the future and focuses on a robot who is left behind on planet Earth to clean up all the garbage after humans have evacuated. Plays at 10:30 a.m.
  • More Than Honey addresses the threat to the world’s bee population posed by colony collapse disorder and its impact on all of us. Plays at 1:30 p.m.
  • Elemental profiles three environmentalists—one Asian, an Australian and a Canadian—as they do their best to save our planet. Plays at 4:00 p.m.
  • A River Between Us examines the historical conflict surrounding the Klamath River and points the way to resolution. Plays at 6:30 p.m.

The Theater is located at 106 N. State Street.

GREEN HOME TOUR.  When faced with the ramifications of global warming, many of us may think the only answer lies in big solutions on a government basis like the EPA’s greenhouse gas emissions standards or even Lake Oswego City Council’s approval of the residential composting program and delivery of food scrap pails to every household. But Lake Oswego’s Green Home Tour shows us the difference that one person can make, one household at a time. Four Lake Oswegans open their homes to let us see how they’ve integrated sustainability features into their residences. The tour takes place on Saturday, October 29 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Here’s a preview.

  • 208 Durham Street is open from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is a reconstructed home featuring a “Gold-rated” certified backyard habitat, cork floors, on-demand water heater, Heritage Tree and electric-assist bicycle in the garage.
  • 1960 Egan Way is open from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and features solar panels that provide 90 percent of the electric energy for their home and electric vehicles.
  • 111 Ladd Street is open from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is an example of adaptive reuse and resource conservation with LED lighting, use of materials from the Portland Rebuilding Center, energy efficient heating system, and a “Gold-rated” certified backyard.
  • 2090 Crest Drive is open from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is designated as the last stop in the tour where participants can enjoy refreshments and a beautiful view while watching a composting demonstration.

If you are looking for sustainable features in a home in Lake Oswego, give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website.  I’d love to show you around.

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Discover Ways to Cultivate Happiness at Second Annual Activating Happy Conference in Lake Oswego Oregon

activating happyRecently my wife and daughter got a sneak preview of this year’s Activating Happy! conference and from what they tell me, it promises to be full of good ideas about cultivating happiness within.

They attended a talk at the Lake Oswego Library given by one of this year’s featured speakers, Polly Campbell, a motivational speaker and author of several books including, How to Live an Awesome Life. While there were many takeaways, one of the most beneficial was stressing the importance of finding the awe in our lives to help us deal with stressful situations. A Stanford study found that awe expands our perception of time, leaving us feeling like we have more time in which to get things done which in turn, boosts our sense of well-being. Considering our how time-deprived most of us run around feeling these days, it makes good sense to take a few moments to savor a full moon, observe a spider web, or walk among the changing fall colors.

In addition to Campbell, this year’s lineup of speakers include:

  • Brad Pendergraft. Last year’s keynote speaker, Brad is also known as “Brain Coach Brad,” and is author of The Un-worried Brain: Achieve More, Stress Less and Turn Worry into Action with Practical Brain Science. This year he will speak to “Finding Your Way: What You Need to Know About Your Brain for Happiness and a Meaningful Life.”
  • Danielle Baker is a certified Body Language Trainer who will give attendees insight as to harness this inner superpower to improve their lives through her talk, “The Power of Nonverbal: Use Your Body Language to Feel More Confident, Capable & Happy.”
  • Henrik Bothe is an internationally renowned entertainer who will share the happiness knowledge he has gleaned over 25 years of performance experience in his presentation on “Want Happiness? Start Dropping the Ball.”
  • Dr. Larry Sherman, an acclaimed professor of neuroscience at OHSU, will offer his expertise when he discusses, “Sex, Chocolate and Prairie Voles: The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love.”
  • Dr. Nina Meledandri, a naturopathic physician and mindful eating educator hopes to change the way attendees experience their next meal with her presentation on “Tasting Happiness: How Mindful Eating Supports a Happier Life.”
  • Steven Linder is considered one of the top neurolinguistic programming trainers and will provide insight as to how this strategy can contribute to our overall sense of well being in his talk, “Happiness: A Neuro-Strategies Approach.”
  • Susan Shadburne will draw from her experience as a medical/emotional/intuitive/bio-energy healer as she shares her thoughts on, “How to be Happy, No Matter What.”
  • Andy Harrison is a Transformation Rock Musician as well as author of Grow Happy! The 5 Transforming Steps of Lasting Happiness. He writes music that is designed to increase our levels of happiness and will provide the lunch time entertainment.

The conference is set for Saturday, November 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Tickets are $89 and include lunch, coffee and tea as well as treats (and probably a few good laughs) throughout the day. Purchase them online and soon as last year’s event sold out.

Remember to subscribe to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego” by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Have a Fang-tastic Time at These Halloween Activities in Lake Oswego

halloweenLake Oswego has all kinds of special events planned to help you count down the days until Halloween. You’ll find something for everyone from a flashlight candy hunt for preschoolers at the Parks and Recreation Office to scary movie nights and of course, a guide to the best trick-or-treating neighborhoods in Lake Oswego. I’d say in most cases, you’re in for a treat!

Get Crafty with Pumpkins Workshop. Dress up a pumpkin or gourd using succulents and natural materials to add to your fall décor. $35 registration fee includes all materials. Saturday, October 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dennis’ 7 Dees Lake Oswego Garden Center, 1090 McVey Avenue. 503.636.4660

Oregon Ghostly Legends. Seasoned storytellers Anne Rutherford and Norm Brecke bring their bewitching powers to breathe spine-tingling life to Oregon mysteries and ghosts. Wednesday, October 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street, 503.636.7628.

Lakewood Theatre Company Costume Sale. Take advantage of the Lakewood Theatre’s “fall cleaning” and pick up some costumes from old shows or all the ingredients to create your own. In the past my wife found such gems as an adult size blue gingham dress from a Wizard of Oz production and a drum major hat. Friday, October 14 through Sunday, October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Lakewood Center for the Arts Community Room, 368 S. State Street. 503.635-3901

Pumpkin Carving Contest open to ages 11-17. See who can create the scariest and most original look. Supplies will be provided and prizes awarded. Friday, October 14 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the LO Teen Lounge, 1500 Greentree Rd., 503.675.2549.

Teen Movie Matinee. Let your teenagers get their spook on in time for Halloween. Saturday, October 22 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Public Library, 706 Fourth Street, 503.697.6580.

Zombie Garden Day. Don’t get spooked because the kids are out of school. Sign your 5 to 12 years olds up for a day of zombie fun complete with scary snacks, spooky face painting and zombie stomping to eerie music. Friday, October 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road. $60/Resident; $90/Non-Resident. Register for Class 14500 through Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation. 503.675.2549.

Scary Movie Night for ages 11-17. Enjoy all the makings of a spooktacular night: scary movie, s’mores and popcorn. Friday, October 28 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. LO Teen Lounge, 1500 Greentree Rd., 503.675.2549.

Crosstoberfest. Want some mud and hills of torture to get you in the Halloween spirit? Then register for or come out and watch Lake Oswego’s first cyclocross race. Riders will compete against the clock in a variety of categories including costume presentation! Participants as well as spectators can enjoy a barn party all day long with food and beverages available to purchase. A modified kiddie cross course will also be available for riders nine and under. Saturday, October 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Fees vary so register online. Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Road. 503.675.2549.

Palisades Spooktacular Indoor Trick-or-Treating for ages 0-12. Bring the fun inside where you know it’s safe and dry and warm as the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation offices open their doors to witches and goblins looking for goodies. 10:30 a.m.-Preschool Flaslight Candy Hunt; 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Indoor Trick-or-Treating through staff offices. 1500 Greentree Rd., 503.675.2549.

Neighborhood Trick-or-Treating. Check out my blog on best trick-or-treat neighborhoods in Lake Oswego.

Halloween Activities Not Far From Home. As I’ve mentioned before, Lake Oswego’s convenient location is another thing to love about living here. So this Halloween season, take advantage of some nearby Halloween happenings.

Lee Farms Harvest Festival. Bring the kids along for family-friendly entertainment including hayrides, corn maze, hay mazes and barrel wagon rides. Free admission on weekdays but activities are more limited and may cost extra. Weekend admission is $5 plus additional activity tickets that can be purchased separately. Monday through Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m.a to 6:00 p.m. 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin. 503.638.1869. Festival runs through October 31.

Wentzel Fantasy Trail. Explore over 1,000 feet of the spooky sights and sounds along a wooded walkway, including a 40 foot haunted castle, maze, crooked house, tunnel and suspension bridge. Hours: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Admission: $6/Adults; $5/Children 12 and under (cash only). 19754 South Ridge Road, Oregon City. 503.631.2047. Open through October 30.

Bauman Farms. Another Harvest Festival awaits you about 45 minutes south of Lake Oswego in Gervais. Activities include an animal barn, apple tasting, mazes, hay ride, and an apple sling shot. Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission: $3/weekdays; $5/weekends plus additional cost for some activities. 12989 Howell Prairie Rd., NE, Gervais. 503.792.3524. Runs through October 31.

13th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta. Here’s something you don’t see everyday–costumed characters paddling 1,000 pound pumpkins around a lake. Head over to the Tualatin Lake of the Common on Saturday, October 15 for a full lineup of fun. Races start at 2:00 p.m. but there are plenty of activities beforehand including a magic show, kids’ costume contest and fun run. Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 8325 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin. 503.691.3076.

If you want a real treat, sign up to be notified of when a new “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego” comes out by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Popular Breakfast Spots in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Celebrate National Breakfast MonthSeptember is National Breakfast Month and it’s something that’s easy to celebrate here in Lake Oswego. Check out some of our locals’ favorite spots to jump-start their day.

La Provence Boulangerie and Patisserie. Ever since this breakfast spot relocated to the renovated Lake Grove Shopping Village, it has been hopping. Get there before you’re starving as sometimes you’ll have to wait. What keeps the crowds lining up? Outdoor seating is popular as well as favorites like the Wild Northwest Salmon Hash, Risotto Cakes and Eggs, Roasted Oatmeal Brûlée, Croque Provence and their croissants. Gluten free options are available, including gluten-free bread. Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (breakfast from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 16350 Boones Ferry Road, 503.635.4533.

Babica Hen Café. Feel the love with fresh, from-scratch food, sourced locally. Goodies include: Lemon Berry Almond Crumble Waffles, Blueberry Brûlée French Toast, and Fire Roasted Tomato Eggs Benedict. Gluten free options (waffles and bread) mean no ones feels deprived. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Breakfast is served all day. 15964 Boones Ferry Road, 503.636.4012.

St. Honoré Boulangerie. See for yourself why this was voted the Best Bakery in Portland by Willamette Week readers. The Lake Oswego location serves brunch on the weekends from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with specials like Mimosa pitchers, Croque Monsieur and Brioche Cocotte. Several variations of croissants to choose from and don’t miss out on their café au lait. Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.). 315 1st Street, 503.496.5596.

Zeppo Restaurant. Come Saturday and Sunday, this popular lunch and dinner spot is open for breakfast serving up pancakes, frittatas and breakfast burritos. Gluten free pancakes are available as well as egg substitutes. Brunch Hours: Saturday and Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. 345 1st Street, Suite 105. 503.675.2726.

Lake Oswego Ice Creamery and Restaurant. Choose from traditional breakfast offerings like buttermilk pancakes, Belgian waffles, and omelettes. Be sure to request the marionberry syrup—a Northwest favorite. Breakfast hours: Monday-Saturday, 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.; Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

Nola Doughnuts. All the offerings here feature Nola’s signature La-ssant dough which is three days in the making. The exception is the New Orleans style beignet, that comes to  you soft and warm as it’s made-to-order. Be prepared to experience doughnuts like no other. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Closed on Monday. 365 N. State Street, 503.278.7312.

Chuck’s Place. Popular neighborhood spot for fresh baked goods and espresso drinks featuring illy coffee. Hours: 148 B Avenue, 503.675.7861.

Kyra’s Bake Shop. Gluten free eaters can have their breakfast and eat it too—everything here is 100% gluten free, and breakfast is served all day. Offerings include: a breakfast sandwich on housemade ciabatta bread, french toast, biscuits and gravy, quiche and yogurt parfaits. Sweet muffins may sound like dessert, but since they’ve won the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, you may want to try one. Hours: Sunday-Thursday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 599 A Avenue, 503.212.2979.

Blue Moon Coffee. Want a crafted cappuccino to start your day? Blue Moon features Stumptown in its offerings as well as all day breakfast, including their legendary breakfast cookies. Hours: Monday – Friday 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.,
Saturday and Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 73975 Mercantile Dr., 503.805.1883.

Biscuits Café. Breakfast eaters weigh in on Yelp with rave reviews for their biscuits, gravy, chicken fried steak and fresh strawberry jam. Hours: Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 4200 Mercantile Drive, #790, 503.305.8058.

If we missed one of your favorite spots, let us know by leaving a comment. Learn all there is to know about living in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and receive weekly updates to your inbox.



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Watch Artists at Work During the Third Annual Plein Air Lake Oswego This Week

jackiemccartin_luscher-farm-paintingOver 50 artists will show you how painting is done under cover of whatever kind of sky Mother Nature delivers September 22-25, as they capture local scenes set in the city’s plazas and parks from sun-up to sun-down.

Plein air, which translates to in open air, refers to a tradition begun in the early nineteenth century with the invention of portable painting equipment and supplies. Often associated with Impressionist painters, plein air artists take to the outdoors for inspiration as they complete their masterpieces while accounting for weather, changing light conditions, distractions, and interruptions.


Susan Kuznitsky captures a scene at the Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market. (photo taken by Connie Frank)

Nicole Nathan, Executive Director of the Arts Council explains, “Plein Air Lake Oswego is a unique opportunity for the community to delve into the artist’s process and see how an idea becomes reality.” Luckily, the area is home to many gifted artists, with an increasing number participating each year. That’s a boon to spectators who can watch them at work at these locations: Luscher Farm, Foothills Park, George Rogers Park, Roehr Park, Sundeleaf Plaza, Millennium Plaza, Lakewood Village, and the Lake Oswego boundary of Tryon Creek Natural Area along the Red Fox Trail (only Friday, September 23 for Tryon Creek).

The event will culminate in Art in the Garden, a seasonal farm dinner at Luscher Farm, on Sunday, September 25 beginning at 5:00 p.m. to benefit the Arts Council. Tickets are $85 and available online or by calling 503.534.5708.

Finished plein air artworks will be on display at 510 Museum and ARTspace, 510 First Street from October 7 through October 28.

Stay informed about what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column to subscribe to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.”

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Wine Walk LO Offers More of What You Want This Year

wine-glasses-1246240_640How do you improve an event that typically sells out? That’s the challenge organizers of Lake Oswego’s fourth annual Wine Walk were faced with when planning this year’s tasting set for Saturday, October 1, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The answer? Give the people more of what they want.

That means that wine walkers will get 12 tastings for their $40 admission fee, an increase from 8 in years past. Here’s what else you’ll find.

  • Wide selection of wines to choose from. This is a great opportunity to venture out from the regional favorites you might always gravitate towards. Wizer’s Fine Wines is making sure that wines from around the world will be represented. After you check in at the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, (459 Third Street, beginning at 1:30 p.m.) you’ll receive a map listing what venues are featuring which wines so you can plan your strategy.
  • A chance to get cultured. Besides sipping fine wine, you can listen to music and view artwork—that’s a lot of culture to absorb in one afternoon!
  • Goodies to eat. Each shop will not only be greeting you with wine to try but food to eat as well.
  • Meet up with neighbors and friends. Organizers are shooting for 500 participants so the Wine Walk LO promises to be a very social and very happy hour(s).

Wine Walk is just one reason to love Lake Oswego. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to discover more. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.


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