Scrapbook of a Future Nobleman

Whiteaker Block Party (Part 1)

A lot of friends have asked me what it’s like living in Oregon since I moved here a year ago. Honestly, I find it kind of hard to describe the culture shock I’ve had to deal with moving to Eugene. This city is small – next to Martos, it’s the smallest town I’ve ever lived in – but, despite the glaringly obvious (and, frankly, disturbing) lack of racial diversity, there is a surprisingly wide array of things to do and see. People here intrigue me, because Oregon is such a place of contradictions – on the one hand you have the hipsters of Portland and the hippies who never left (as well as many people who want to be hippies), and on the other you have gun-toting conservative christian TEA Party members; you have huge trees and tons of rain, yet you turn the corner to find the dunes or cross a mountain range to find barren desert; you’ve got peace activists and bike riders and angry pickup drivers; you’ve got drunk football fans and people who don’t know the first thing about the game… and I’ve only just scratched the surface.

Like I said… Intriguing.

In December I moved out to a neighborhood called the Whiteaker that I like a lot, partly to get away from the “blast radius” around campus and partly to be closer to some friends from architecture. Named for the first governor of the state of Oregon, John Whiteaker, it is home to some of the more eclectic, artistic, and liberal people living in Eugene, an appropriate karmic reversal to that politician’s outspoken pro-slavery stance. If you were to visit, I could point you in the direction of at least three communes, a park full of junkies across from a dive bar, some of the coolest late night spots in town, a hostel that hosts art shows, and some of the best taquerias in town, just to name a few of the things keeping my neighborhood interesting.

As a celebration of the neighborhood’s character, each year they hold the Whiteaker Block Party, with street vendors, food, drinks, live music, and general good vibes free for all. Especially compared to the Eugene Celebration (an annual overpriced snooze-fest), it is a vibrant and lively day-long summer festival.

Here are some photos. And stay tuned for more from Adventure Galley’s performance at the Ninkasi Brewery and night-time fire dancing.

[flickr id=”6101304568″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

Rope dancing with a giant teddy bear and no pads.

[flickr id=”6100758199″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

[flickr id=”6101304682″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

[flickr id=”6101305938″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

A giant triceratops-mobile guards the food court.

[flickr id=”6100758403″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”medium” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

This gentleman had a barbeque built into one of his bicycles and was selling roast corn on the cob.

[flickr id=”6100758233″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

[flickr id=”6100758301″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

The Ninkasi Ninja got you into the beer garden.

[flickr id=”6100758599″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

[flickr id=”6101304848″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]

[flickr id=”6100758519″ thumbnail=”original” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”wbp” align=”none”]