LO Reads Offers Stimulating Lineup of Programs on Racism

Entering its 15th year of initiating community discussion around the themes of one particular book, the Lake Oswego Reads program has shown its proclivity for asking Lake Oswegans to take a long, hard look at themselves in relation to hot topics. This year’s selection, Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson follows last year’s book dealing with climate change and the one prior to that addressing immigration.

“America is like an old house,” Wilkerson writes. “Like other old houses, America has an unseen skeleton, a caste system that is as central to its operations as are the studs and joists that we cannot see in the physical buildings we call home. Caste is the infrastructure of our divisions.”

Wilkerson assigns blame for this caste system to all of us, by allowing it through our actions and the meaning we attach to differences. Her attempt, through her book, and the Lake Oswego Reads attempt, through their programming, is to awaken all of us to this underlying force and then to encourage us to make a choice as to how we will proceed.

We are into week two of programming. Here are some of the upcoming opportunities for gaining insight into this insidious force that has shaped our worldview both globally, locally, and personally.

“RACIAL HYGIENE” IN NAZI GERMANY. There are lessons to be learned from history and Professor Maureen Healy of the Department of History at Lewis & Clark College will glean some from Nazi Germany. Learn about the policies and laws that were implemented that set the stage for the Holocaust and how German Jews coped with their shrinking legal and civic identities. Thursday, February 11 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pre-registration required.

THE POLITICS OF RACIAL DIVISIVENESS. Hear Portland State Political Science professor, Dr. Jack Miller, explore the political, economic and psychological dynamics that contributed to the process of assembling a racist power structure ion the United States. Tuesday, February 16 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pre-registration required.

WHEN JUST US, GET NO JUSTICE.  Professor Shirley A. Jackson gives a talk focused on the intersecting caste-like system of race and gender that works to silence and restrain Black women’s voices. Wednesday, February 17, 7:00 p.m. Zoom. Pre-registration required.

COOKING WITH A CITY COUNCILOR. Join our newest Lake Oswego City Councilor, Massene Mboup, as he teaches viewers how to cook his favorite Senegalese Chicken and Rice dish. Recipe will be provided with sign-up for this virtual event. Saturday, February 20 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Pre-registration required.

UNLEARNING & RE-EDUCATING: WHY LO NEEDS CURRICULUM REFORM. Hear it from the students themselves—listen in on this panel discussion with Lake Oswego School District students on the need for anti-racist curriculum in Lake Oswego schools. Sunday, February 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pre-registration required.

HEAR AUTHOR ISABEL WILKERSON. Listen in as this year’s Lake Oswego Reads author examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. Tuesday, February 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pre-registration required.

Check the full schedule for other events, including facilitated book discussions.

Keep up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” tab in the right hand column.

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7 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day During COVID in Lake Oswego

When it comes to celebrating holidays during COVID, we’ve all had to get creative so Valentine’s Day should be no different.

Here are a few ideas for fun ways to honor the occasion with your sweetheart in Lake Oswego.

MY FUNNY VALENTINE. Sign up for this online musical comedy revue hosted by Lakewood Theatre favorite, Joan Freed, and featuring some of Theatre Company’s star performers.  From songs that will have you regaling the charms and challenges of romance to engaging audience participation games to behind-the-scenes theatre stories, you and your valentine will be thoroughly entertained from the comfort and the safety of home. Screening is complimentary but donations are encouraged. Viewing is available February 12 through February 18.

ZUPAN’S FLORL DESIGN AND WINE. Instead of delivering flowers this year, why not give an interactive class that teaches her how to put her own arrangement together featuring spring flowers like tulips, daffodils and hyacinth! This popular workshop often sells out and is only limited to 10 so sign up early. Cost is $125 and includes floral materials, cheese & charcuterie plate, and wine (to be picked up before class).  Sunday, February 21 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

LOVE STRUCK DRIVE-IN. The quickest way to a woman’s heart is through rom-coms and tear-jerkers which will be showing at this pop-up drive-in theater at Washington Square Mall from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. February 12 through February 14. Admission starts at $74.99 plus fees. Different packages include film admission only to two films with add-ons to include dinner for two delivered to your car (additional meals can be ordered at checkout if your car is loaded up), and a bottle of wine from Willamette Valley Vineyards to be enjoyed at home. Here’s the lineup:

February 12: P.S. I Love You and The Proposal

February 13: 10 Things I Hate About You and She’s All That

February 14: The Notebook and A Walk to Remember

APHRODISIAC VALENTINE’S DAY ONLINE COOKING CLASS. Tired of wearing a mask to go out to eat? Bring the food and the romance in with this virtual cooking class with an emphasis on enjoying cooking as a couple while learning what foods can raise your temperature in more ways than one. Sign up for a two-hour time slot February 12 through February 14. The class is $49.99 plus fees. You’ll receive a list of ingredients, recipes, music playlist all before class starts.  

SUPPORT A LOCAL HOMEGROWN FLORIST. Brenna Burnett grew up in Lake Oswego and runs a local floral design business. COVID has hit her business hard with weddings being cancelled, postponed, or trimmed down. But she has an incredible flair for arranging beautiful bouquets that our family has benefitted from during this pandemic thanks to special orders placed by one of our daughters who is currently living in Washington, D.C. and Brenna’s delivery service. She is taking Valentine’s Day orders and let me assure you, you (and the flowers’ recipient) won’t be disappointed. Deadline for delivery orders is February 10; February 12 for pickup.

HANDCRAFTED COCKTAIL MIXERS. Here’s a great way to mix things up on Valentine’s day literally for either him or her! This award-winning bartender offers a rotating list of craft cocktail mixes out of her Airstream trailer at the Sellwood Community House, 1436 SE Spokane Street Wednesdays through Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. My daughter received a couple recently for her birthday and let’s just say they were a big hit. You can place an order online to pick up during regular hours or just show up and see what’s available.

SUPPORT A LOCAL ETSY SHOP. No need to go out and try to find the perfect valentine’s day card to send to family and friends or give to your housemate. Head over to my wife and daughter’s Etsy shop, Heartspun Printables and select one of their printable card designs. They are sure to have one that fits your needs and that you can access from the safety and comfort of your home.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date on what to do in Lake Oswego and why moving to Lake Oswego or living in Lake Oswego is a great idea! Click the “Sign me up” tab in the right-hand column.

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Last Year’s Best Pandemic Pivots in Lake Oswego

The pandemic has called upon all of us to do things differently. From working-at-home to working out via online classes, business has been nothing but the usual.

With little notice, local businesses have been forced to find new ways of delivering their goods and services in order to weather this crisis. From curbside pickup to finish-at-home meals, mastering the art of the pivot has become a survival skill.

I’d like to give a shout-out to a few shining examples of the saying, “necessity is the mother of invention.”

Tavern on Kruse. Owner Kent Lewis has shared his journey with regulars and subscribers to his emails. In the beginning, he called upon those of us who could afford to eat out, to help support those who couldn’t by offering free meals to unemployed restaurant workers for every regular meal ordered by customers. He recalls being overcome with emotion seeing both employed and unemployed workers standing six feet apart in line waiting for their food and seeing the appreciation they each held for each other—“It was about community,” he writes. In the summer, he provided nightly jazz music outdoors to packed patios as customers took full advantage of the opportunity to dine out while still abiding by the governor’s safety guidelines. Now he’s looking into adapting 14 of his outdoor tables into heated tables and working on a custom-built, large, clear vinyl canopy that will accommodate outdoor dining come rain or shine.

Other local restaurants deserve shout-outs too as they find ways to encourage patrons to brave the elements outside with tabletop fireplaces, outdoor fire pits, patio heaters and of course, those winter cocktails that warm you up from the inside.

Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department. While many of our favorite summer programs this year were canceled, many were not, thanks to the pivoting ingenuity of the Parks and Recreation staff. From a Farmers Market that regulated capacity both in terms of vendors to shoppers to a Halloween trick-or-treat party that morphed into a drive-through trick or treat event to offering virtual classes, staff did their best to keep us “Living Well in LO.”

Hunger Fighters Oregon. With an increased need, this nonprofit organization has had to rethink how they do things quickly to both increase their outreach while keeping everyone safe. Some of their pivots have included serving pre-packed groceries curbside based on family size as well as providing a delivery service. And for Advent, they suggested volunteers try a “reverse” Advent calendar, adding different items each day (December 1 – cereal, December 2 – peanut butter)  to a box to be donated on Christmas Eve.  

La Provence. This popular spot improvised in several ways to keep patrons coming through their doors including offering finish-at-home meals where the chef gives you a head start but lets you finish baking at home so it’s hot and ready when you are. Entrees have included Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken and Northwest Salmon Risotto. Another new service is their Le Petit Market, offering items like U-bake baguettes, croissants or cookie dough as well as a French Onion Soup kit that you can make at home at your convenience.

Lakewood Center for the Arts. What do you do when an annual event you host that draws in close to 25,000 people from the region has to be canceled? You pivot, if you’re the Lakewood Center for the Arts, and you take one big event and break it down into a series of smaller ones. From “Art in the Bubble,” a monthly artist talk series offered via Zoom, to a week of Color Art workshop videos, the festival has stayed true to its mission to provide arts education and celebrate culture and community through art.

My daughter and wife. What happens when you quarantine two creative people under the same roof? Well one, my daughter Riley, wrote a second book to follow up her first, Waiting at Hayden’s, which was named a best beach reads of 2019. Then, she and my wife paired their talents to create an Etsy shop called Heartspun Printables featuring wall art, greeting cards and bookmarks that you can download on your computer and print at home or your local print shop! They opened it on New Year’s Eve, 2020 in hopes of ushering in the new year with something positive. Check it out!

As a Realtor in Lake Oswego, I’ve had to do my own share of pivoting this year too, ensuring that both home sellers and home buyers have a safe and positive experience. Here’s hoping that 2021 provides opportunities for all of us to thrive.

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6 New Things to Try in January in Lake Oswego

  1. A new bakery. We all have our favorites when it comes to satisfying our sweet tooth, but often we tend to seek out what’s closest to us. I’d like to recommend a fairly new bakery in town that’s in my neck of the woods and is tucked away off the main drag, so you may not know about it. Too Sweet Cakes added Lake Oswego to its lineup last year although you may have also seen their exquisitely decorated cakes in Zupan’s Market in Lake Grove. Be sure to leave your willpower at the door as the display case will dazzle you with a selection of cookies, pastries and cakes, many of which are also available in gluten-free and vegan options. Check out their Instagram feed—it’s as beautiful as their offerings are delicious. 5755 Willow Lane, Suite B, 503.305.8381.
  2. A new restaurant. Here again, we have our favorites or we stick to the ones on the main drag. Venture out a bit and consider neighborhood spots like Aji Tram owned by two local Lake Oswego boys who returned to their roots after graduating from Oregon State and U of O. They brought with them their love of Asian cuisine to which they’ve added their own exciting culinary twist. 4477 SW Lakeview Blvd., 503.342.6249.
  3. A new park. Watch for a soft opening of Iron Mountain Park at 2401 Iron Mountain Road. Crews have been at work all fall and winter long to transform this 51-acre natural area into a park complete with nature play area, pathways and a bridge leading to the new trailhead to the Iron Mountain Park Trail.  A more formal grand opening will take place in the spring. This is a great excuse to explore the Iron Mountain Park Trail. It’s quite a hike but if you continue up to the viewing platform, the reward is pretty spectacular!
  4. A new book. We have the good fortune of having an artist in residence living with us right now, my daughter Riley, a women’s fiction author whose first book, Waiting at Hayden’s, was named a Best Beach Reads of 2019 by Shereads.com. Her Christmas gift to me was a draft of her next book, One Perfect Weekend which I have started and am already hooked. While One Perfect Weekend is not available for purchase yet, Waiting at Hayden’s is, so check it out and support a local homegrown author.
  5. A new class. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is offering new outdoor recreation opportunities with workshops on birding (both beginner and advanced classes) beekeeping, and how to make products from all that honey!
  6. A new business. My wife and daughter have opened a new Etsy shop featuring printable wall art, greeting cards and bookmarks. You can print their designs right from your home computer or send the file they send you upon purchase, to your local print shop. In this time of COVID, it’s a convenient option, especially for those last-minute occasions you forgot to buy a card for. Check them out at HeartspunPrintables.

If a new home is part of your 2021 plans, then be sure to give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I’ve been a Lake Oswego Realtor for over 30 years helping people move in, out, and around Lake Oswego. I’d love to put that experience to work for you!

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Remembering Mike Hasson

On December 31, a light went out in Lake Oswego. Mike Hasson, the founder of Hasson Company Realtors, passed away after a 10-year-battle with mesothelioma. He took on the challenge of fighting that disease like he took on all the challenges he faced—with a positive attitude and a resilience that inspired all around him.

I joined Mike’s company in 1989 when it was still under the banner of Handel, Hasson and Jones, two years before he broke away and founded the Hasson Company Realtors. I was drawn to the integrity he brought to the business and his emphasis on doing business the right way.

But our relationship wasn’t just a professional one, as most Realtors who work at the company would admit. Our personal lives followed the same trajectory. At the time when I joined Mike, there was a group of us at the company just starting to have kids. So not only were we sharing our professional ups and downs, we were also on the same roller coaster ride of becoming parents for the first, second, and third times. And turns out Mike was a hands-on Dad like me. We were high achievers at the office, but not at the expense of spending time with our kids. He went on to coach two of my daughters in soccer and I watched as he took those same principles he applied in the office and put them to work on the soccer field. He expected the best out of his players but he also equipped them with the right training, strategies and support to produce at a very high level. To this day, my youngest daughter, who trained under Mike for many seasons, considers him one of her most important mentors.

One of my family’s favorite travel memories is of a trip we took to Orlando, Florida, with Mike and his daughter Jenna. He was coaching our daughters’ 3v3 soccer team who had qualified for the national finals in Disney World. The week was filled with excursions to the Magic Kingdom, Disney Hollywood, Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach Water Park, (along with a few brownie sundaes thrown in there for dessert) which wasn’t probably a recommended training regimen before an important game. The girls put up a good fight, but did lose in the playoffs. That’s not what any of us remember though. It’s more like the ten times we rode the Kali River Rapids, sometimes without even having to get off the ride at the end because the park was so deserted (it was January, 2002 and the tourism industry hadn’t yet recovered from 9/11). Or how scared the kids were to ride the Tower of Terror, only to exit it quickly after the 13-story drop and line up to do it all over again.

Our entire family was stunned to learn of Mike’s passing as we, like most of the rest of his circle (which was a widely cast one) thought he was invincible. My wife captured the essence of his personal gift by describing his ability to be “fully present whenever you talked to him.” Here was a man who, as one colleague described him, couldn’t walk around town without being greeted by just about everyone, but still managed to tune out the background noise to truly listen to what you had to say, to check in with how our kids were, to see how we were doing.

Last week our company held a virtual memorial in-house so everyone would have a chance to reminisce and pay tribute to Mike. Tears were shed, laughter was shared, but the recurring theme was this—Mike valued relationships and went out of his way to touch as many lives as he could while he was with us. “Be like Mike,” became the recurring mantra as we all realized that if everyone was, this world would be a much better place.

Rest in peace, my friend. You will be missed.

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5 Things We Love About Lake Oswego in January

  1. Lake Oswego Reads Kickoff Free Book Giveaway. This year’s community book selection is the New York Times bestseller, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson. The author provides a well-researched lens through which to examine caste systems and their impact in three societies: America, Germany and India and continues the discussion on race relations that recent events have triggered in the U.S. as well as within our own community. Following Covid-19 guidelines, the library will be giving away 800 free copies of the book to Lake Oswego library cardholders on January 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the library, 706 Fourth Street.
  2. Art in the Bubble: Pablo Picasso presented by Bernie Taylor. Have you ever stared at a Picasso and wondered, “What was he thinking?” If so, here’s an opportunity to get your questions answered. International art scholar Bernie Taylor will be exploring what influenced the artwork of Pablo Picasso as part of the Lakewood Center for the Arts “Art in the Bubble” series, the revamped program lineup of the 2020 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts in the wake of COVID-19. This Zoom event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20. Registration is free but donations are encouraged.
  3. Cats 101. Unlike dogs, cats seem to prefer remaining a bit mysterious to us humans, even though we’ve been hanging around together for almost 10,000 years. If you’d like to understand your feline companion more, then sign up for this new virtual class offered through the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department. There are two sections of the class, one geared for ages 12 and older (January 11 through February 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m) and another for kids 6-11 (January 13 through February 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration is $15 for residents/$22 for non-residents and available online. AND if you’d like to learn how to train your cat (yes, it is possible), then sign up for that class, #22099 which runs from January 11 through February 22 from 7:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Fee is $22 for residents/$30 for non-residents.
  4. Floral Design and Wine. Zupan’s is hosting another of their popular floral design classes virtually on January 24 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Using flowers on the bulb and early blooming branches, your design will not only be fun to create, but also to watch as it blossoms and develops! Price is $125 and includes all materials as well as cheese, charcuterie and wine which must be picked up prior to class. Register online.
  5. Green Thumb Planning. Dreaming of when you can get back out in your garden? Well, the time to start planning that garden is now and between the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department and Dennis’ 7 Dees, you should be well prepared. The city is offering Garden Planning 101 on Saturday, January 23 at Luscher Farm ($12 residents/$18 non-residents) and 7 Dees is offering a free Seed Starting for Beginners as a livestream event on January 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Be sure to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in Lake Oswego by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Good Tidings About the Lake Oswego Housing Market

  1. The Lake Oswego housing market is ending the year strong. By November’s end, we saw an 8.6% increase in home sales values and a cumulative increase of 316.3% increase in value since 1997. A total of 694 homes had sold over the course of the year, slightly besting last year’s total of 681.
  2. The Month’s of Inventory (or MOI) tells us we are still in a seller’s market as the number was 1.4 for single-family homes and 1.3 for condos or attached homes. The MOI speaks to how long the current inventory of homes on the market can last relative to demand and traditionally, inventories of four months or less are considered a seller’s market. Anything above six months is a buyer’s market and a balanced market looks at an inventory between four to six months.
  3. Despite it being a seller’s market, mortgage rates are working in the buyer’s favor hovering at a record low, 2.72 for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. Realtor.com predicts they will tick up by the end of 2021 to the vicinity of 3.4% so buyers need to weigh that into the timing of any decision they make.
  4. The maximum conforming loan limits have been raised for single-family properties from $510,400 to $548,250 which is good news for people looking to buy a home in Lake Oswego where property values tend to be higher. Why is that? Anything over the conforming loan limit kicks a loan into the “jumbo loan” category which is considered riskier for lenders because they are not guaranteed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. As a result, the underwriting criteria for a jumbo loan are stricter including: higher credit score, cash reserves, and larger down payments. The interest rates charged can be a little higher too as well as the closing costs. The higher limit on conforming loans gives buyers a little more wiggle room, especially in a market like Lake Oswego.
  5. Personally, I am seeing the lure of suburban living drawing newcomers to Lake Oswego. Just in the past month, I’ve worked with a couple buyers looking to move out of Portland and a couple others moving out of the San Francisco Bay Area. Every week I tout the benefits of living in Lake Oswego on this blog because it really does have so much to offer. From the sheer physical beauty to the highly rated school district to its location, I am never surprised when it is “discovered” by homebuyers looking for a place to settle.

If you or anyone you know is looking to move in or around Lake Oswego, please have them give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I’ve been helping buyers call Lake Oswego home for over 30 years and I’d love to do the same for you!   

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Let the Lakewood Center Put Some Merry in Your Holiday Week

Looking to add something new to your Christmas entertainment lineup? The Lakewood Center for the Arts has come to the rescue with a host of Covid-friendly offerings to ensure that even though this holiday season may be different for all of us, it can still be merry.   

SANTA’S CHRISTMAS CARDS. This virtual production brings us into Santa’s home while he is enjoying a well-deserved break from all his Christmas preparations. Like us, he’s had a lot of time to shelter in place so he finds himself ahead of schedule with time to sit back and reflect on how much his trusty elf, Tillie (Lisa Knox) has helped him this year. Then his thoughts turn to some of the Christmas cards he has received and the wonderful families who have sent them. We’ll get to meet the Corwin’s and Schultz’s and get a big dose of their holiday spirit through song and dance. Tickets are $20 per household. Upon your purchase, you’ll receive an email receipt with a link to view the performance. Viewing is available until December 31.

THE PEPPERMINT BEAR ANTHOLOGY. The Lakewood Center’s Holiday Magic Breakfast Theatre has been a favorite family tradition for years. The Center has found a way to keep the magic alive by making three past performances of The Peppermint Bear Show available for viewing during the holiday season. Tickets are $10 per household for each show and can be ordered online. You can buy one or all three!

Peppermint Bear: The Taming of the Shoe (from 2015). Christmas is just around the corner and the head elf, Mert, is attempting to rehearse the big parade with Gert and Mort when our young friend, Charlie, arrives at the North Pole. It seems there is some electronic problem with toy making machinery and Santa needs Peppermint Bear’s help!

Peppermint Bear and the Giant Elf (from 2017). Santa’s workshop is in a tizzy when his chair and magic jingle bells go missing. A giant slips in with plans to become the new, much bigger Santa Claus, and uses the magic jingle bells to take control of the elves! Sally, a young girl whose father assists at the north pole, and Peppermint Bear learn to use teamwork to make everything right before Christmas is ruined.

Peppermint Bear: Who Needs Sneeds? (from 2018). Peppermint Bear is helping Santa’s elves rehearse for their annual Christmas show when the evil Sneed brothers show up plotting to take Santa’s Christmas gifts before his sleigh ride on Christmas Eve. It’s up to Peppermint Bear to save Christmas again!

SANTA WISH LISTS. Since children can’t visit with Santa in person at this year’s Holiday Magic Breakfast, he has made special arrangements to connect with kids via video. General messages are $5 (delivered 1-2 business days after receipt) and personalized ones are $10 (you may be too late for this one as it can take up to 5 days for delivery). After purchasing either message, a receipt will be emailed to you with a link to a video from Santa requesting a wish list so he and his elves can get to work on the gifts as soon as possible. Send the wish list by email to: santa@lakewood-center.org.

Wishing all of you a Merry Christmas!

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Where You Can Catch Covid-Approved Holiday Lights This Year in the Portland Metro Area

Some of our most treasured holiday lights displays in the Portland metro area have fallen victim to Covid-19 including Peacock Lane. But others have reinvented themselves to still find a way to light up the season and as the Christmas Ships website says, “offer some form of normalcy in such an abnormal time.” Here’s a rundown of Christmas lights you can still enjoy.

Oregon Zoo ZooLights. The show must go on…just in a different way. This year, holiday revelers can enjoy the 1.5 million light display from the comfort and safety of their cars as the zoo opens up its gates to drive-through traffic for a Covid-safe event. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and are made available on a 7-day rolling schedule. You can also pre-order snacks or gifts which will be delivered to you at check-in. Face masks must be worn when interacting with staff, but not while you are enjoying the display from your vehicle. Ticket prices vary, depending on the date.

The Grotto. The Grotto’s gift shop is the only thing open right now given the Multnomah County Covid-19 mandate. Daily mass is also being offered to only 25 people who must register online. And a virtual Advent celebration is available with activities, reflections, recipes and crafts to those who register online. After December 16, the Grotto hopes to re-open its gardens and grounds to daytime visitors and resume its Sanctuary Lantern Tours that guide a maximum of 8 people at a time through the Via Matris and its cultural shrines, as well as St. Anne’s Chapel and the Meditation Chapel. Tickets are $25/person and available online.  

Winter Wonderland. Since this has always been a drive-through event, the only thing that has changed this year is that tickets must be purchased online and there can only be a maximum of six people in a car. Tickets for what is considered the largest light show in the Northwest are $28 Monday through Thursday, $33 on Friday and Sunday and $39 on Saturdays. Check online for hours.

Lights at the Oregon Garden Resort. The popular Christmas in the Garden has been postponed until 2021 but the Oregon Garden Resort is offering a more intimate holiday light experience for its overnight guests. When you book a room between November 27 and January 2 (excluding December 24-25), your amenities include entry to Lights at the Oregon Garden Resort for 1.5 hours. This year’s display will feature a one way path surrounding the lodge and winding through the gardens and include the magical candy lane tunnel of lights. It is not open to the general public. Accommodations start at $169 for two people and also include breakfast the next morning.  

Christmas Ships. Catch up to 60 boats decked out in their holiday brightest on two different fleets parading both the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Check online for a complete schedule and best viewing spots including the seven nights the combined fleet sets out. Operates 15 nights from December 4 through December 22 (excluding December 14 and 15).  The combined fleet will make a trek from the Riverplace Marina down to George Rogers Park on December 19, with expected arrival around 6:00 p.m. Lake Oswego viewing spots include Foothills Park, Roehr Park and George Rogers Park. Spectators are asked to maintain a safe distance from other viewers and to wear masks. FREE.

And for local lights here in Lake Oswego, check out the nextdoor app reflecting spots neighbors have recommended. One spot you have to be sure to include on your list of local Lake Oswego homes to check out for holiday lights is the house on the corner of Indian Springs Rd. and SW Childs Rd. After our holiday lights tour of Lake Oswego, we deemed them the winner!

Be sure to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in and around Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the right hand column and receive weekly updates.

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Holiday Shopping in Lake Oswego

Shopping local is always encouraged but especially this holiday season as our local businesses continue to pivot to accommodate for the changes mandated by the pandemic.

The city of Lake Oswego has even developed an “Open for Business” map to help shoppers in their quest. Pamplin Media is also offering “Shop Local Challenges” each week and encouraging shoppers to post photos of themselves at local businesses on their website. Each week, they’ll draw one lucky winner from all the entries to win a $50 gift card.

If that isn’t enough incentive, take a look at all the treasures local retailers offer. Here’s a roundup of some of the favorites.  

ADORN. This Portland based shop features brands like Rails, Bella Dahl, Sadie and Sage and Sam Edelman. You’ll find everything from jackets to jumpsuits along with accessories like jewelry by Portland artist Ayumi Angel. Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 369 First Street. 503.303.5614.

DREAM CLOUD BOHEMIAN MARKET. This new kid on the block has been calling Lake Oswego home since November 12 after moving from their Portland location. Hopefully we can give them a warm welcome. They specialize in artisan-made goods from apparel to handmade rugs with a focus on fair trade and all-natural fibers and sustainability. Unique gift items include meditation, self-care and wellness kits. From now until December 15, you can receive 15% off one item when you donate $10, $15 or $20 to the Toys for Tots drive which the store is supporting. They are also offering curbside pickup or local drop-off if you live within eight miles of the boutique. Check them out online or visit their store. Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. 364 First Street, 503.477.9798.

MAPEL BOUTIQUE. This locally owned boutique carries national brands like Z Supply, 7 for All Mankind and BB Dakota as well as local and independent designers like Sela and Sage and Saressa Designs. Mixed in there are fun and festive discoveries to make your holiday shopping much merrier. You’ll find Pacific Northwest-themed puzzles, holiday graphic tees, and Puffin beverage holders that make any drink look merry. They are also offering free same-day/next day shipping on all local web orders. Check them out online or visit their store at 390 N. State Street, Suite 124. Hours Monday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 503.344.4573.

LUCKY ME. This store gets its name from the expression shoppers say when they visit. It’s filled to the brim with lots of bling and holiday décor including ornaments, Christmas attired stuffed dogs and naughty and nice pillows. Their usual PJ Salvage offerings are joined by festive holiday-themed PJ sets. If you prefer a private shopping experience, you can book an appointment with Marie, the owner, to peruse the shop all by yourself. Times are available Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. before the store opens. Just email her at marieluckyme@me.com. Hours: Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. As Christmas approaches, hours will be extended so call for updates. 385 First Street, Suite 115. 503.636.9595.

RAIN SPARK GALLERY. This seasonal art gallery has gone virtual this year displaying the work of 30 member-artists. The wide selection includes glass, ceramics, fiber, paper, metal, wood and mixed media.  You will find throws, rugs, and wearable art, jewelry, sculpture for the garden, and a wide range of art for the wall including paintings, woodcuts, photography, and more. In addition, Rain Spark is carrying on its tradition of hiding 60 handmade porcelain ornaments throughout Lake Oswego as part of the Lake Oswego Community Treasure Hunt.  This year all ornaments can be found in city parks and outside of local businesses. Look for clues on Rain Spark Gallery’s website and Facebook page.

HOLIDAY MARKETPLACE. The Arts Council of Lake Oswego will be featuring over 30 artists’ work in its ARTspace Gallery as part of its fourth annual Holiday Marketplace running until December 30, 2020. Choose from fine woodworking, ceramics, fine art, wearable textiles, handcrafted soaps and lotions, candles, jewelry, confections, and more! Shopping will be available in person with safety protocols, along with online offerings. Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5::00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 510 First Street, 503.675.3738.  

GRAPEVINE. Name dropping is encouraged here. That’s why you’ll find fashions by Splendid, 7 for all mankind, Rails, Vince, Citizens of Humanity and Eileen Fisher just to mention a few. Visit the store during regular hours or schedule an appointment for a private experience by emailing info@grapevinefashioin.com. Hours: Monday through Saturday 11L00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 310 N. State Street, #112, 503.635.6009

GLASSYBABY.  Glassybaby sells hand-blown votive holders that each come with a story. With names like Miracle, Cream and Silver Lining, I imagine there is a votive that would speak to the friends and family on your list. A portion of all sales go towards the glassybaby foundation to support causes close to glassybaby’s mission: support organizations that promote hope and healing. Social distancing has made the hand-blowing process even longer so the selection is more limited than usual as they strive to produce enough of each color. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 390 N. State Street, 503.804.5415.

CHICO’S. Whether you’re looking for holiday red, all that shimmers or comfy and cozy, Chico’s has it. Lake Oswego managed to garner one of the 600 locations of this franchise and the location seems to be a good match—Chico’s was one of the original Lake View Village tenants. The company prides itself on personal stylists who work with you to select the right style with the right fit. They’ve taken their personal service virtual so you can get all that advice from the comfort and safety of your home! Share a little with one of their stylists about your recipient—what colors does she like…are there certain styles she gravitates towards…is machine washable a requirement…and let her go to work for you, letting you look good when she opens her gift. Right now they’re offering special deals every day as part of their 12 Days of Chic through December 13. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 385 1st Street, #119, 503.675.6655.

WISHBONE HOME DESIGN. Dress up your home for the holidays with seasonal décor that includes elegant ornaments, festive pillows, wreaths and holiday candles. Gift items include jewelry (including statement pieces by Julie Vos), candlesticks, frames and gift cards. Pick up a little decorating advice while you’re at it from the experts on hand. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 385 1st Street, 503.636.1229.

CITY HOME. This is one of those places that makes shopping fun with its blend of vintage, repurposed and reclaimed furnishings and decorative home pieces. Hostess gifts include spirit-themed tea cups, a boat in a bottle kit, a Made with Love stoneware baker, and holiday soy candles in scents like tree farm, peppermint and homemade gingerbread. For all those homeschool teachers these year, a light-up vintage sign that spells out Classroom or Class in Session might be the perfect gift. Other finds include a six foot kid’s growth ruler, Sun Please lumbar pillow and a host of furniture and wall art to choose from. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 180 A Avenue, 503.519.7712.

THE GROVE. Instead of their evening Holiday Party, The Grove is highlighting its makers with popup displays all month long. Follow the Instagram and Facebook accounts for announcements as to who will be showing up and when. This past week featured Heather McMaster, owner of the Girl in the Pearl, Obsessed Home with a pillow popup and Mary Martinez with Paper Moon Shop helping customers order custom note pads. Owner Molly Walton reports that Christmas décor and home accessories are popular this year as well as gift baskets which are perfect for contact free delivery on recipients’ front porches. Hours: Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Also offering private shopping during closed hours and curbside and local front porch delivery. 4473 Lakeview Boulevard, 503.697.9999.

PASTICHE FRAME SHOP AND GALLERY. Located just around the corner from The Grove, this spot is for the adventurous shopper who likes fun surprises. Walking into this eclectic mix of repurposed and new home décor and gift items, you can rest assured the person on your gift list is going to receive something unique. Hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 16780 Bryant Road, (503) 636-0208.

PAPER CAPER. From stocking stuffers to hostess gifts you can check a lot of people off your list at this store. Children’s pop-up books, holiday face masks, ornaments, scarves and head warmers, and Christmas chocolates are just some of the treasures you’ll find in addition to their wide selection of greeting cards and wrapping paper. Speaking of wrapping paper, they provide that service during this busy holiday season. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 16829 65th Avenue, 503.620.9460.

When looking to buy or sell a home in Lake Oswego, be sure to work with a local Realtor like myself who knows the area best. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 and/or check out my website. I’d love to help you with your next move!

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