What’s this? Twinkly lights wrapped around trees? Christmas songs in stores? People with an inherent lack of holiday cheer raging about red coffee cups? We must be nearing December!
It’s a time of rampant commercialism, but don’t fear — by buying local, you can find one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones while also making a contribution to Lane County’s economy. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite gift ideas for all the eclectic characters in your life. Dive in and see what’s out there.
Downtown Springfield is buzzing with revitalization and, as December approaches, the Willamalane Adult Activity Center will soon kick off its annual Holiday Marketplace, bringing together a variety of local artists and crafts people, each with their own twist on the idea of “handmade gift.”
With the holidays just around the corner, finding the right gifts for family and friends can be a daunting task. But what if I told you this could be accomplished from home, in your pajamas, all while benefitting the local economy?
When the holidays roll around, families can feel the financial pinch as folks scramble to buy presents while still making ends meet. Local Kayla Powell saw a way to make holiday “shopping” fun again — and the annual “Swap Don’t Shop” began.
Every year, a local conservation group turns an otherwise staid meeting hall into a winter wonderland. It’s not so much the decorations — if there are any, aside from nicely draped tables, I’ve never noticed — but rather the spirit with which the 300 or so attendees show up ready to enjoy themselves and spend money to support Cascadia Wildlands and its work to preserve Oregon’s forests and ecosystems.
It’s the holiday season, and all across town, stages start to sparkle with gyrating gumdrops, spinning snowflakes and leaping lions. So grab a hot cocoa in the lobby and settle in for a nice break from your to-do list as you take in some of this shimmery season of dance.
Raising the Barre: Big Dreams, False Starts, & My Midlife Quest to Dance the Nutcracker (Da Capo Press) by local author Lauren Kessler begins with the moment, a little over a year ago, when — in the midst of her middle-aged working-mom life — Kessler gets a bee in her bonnet to dance The Nutcracker with the Eugene Ballet Company.
There’s no excuse for staying home — well, OK, that’s allowed, but should you want to venture out, there are plenty of world-class options this season at Eugene’s Hult Center for the arts lover in all of us.
In this month’s Symphony magazine cover story detailing the resurgence of new music in American orchestras, three of the dozen or so featured orchestras — in Baltimore, Nashville and Eugene (the only Oregon orchestra listed) — are led by current or former Eugene Symphony music directors.
With the protracted death rattle and final expiring sigh of the Whiteaker’s seediest bar now just another piece of Eugene folk history, the question “what will become of Tiny’s?” has at last been answered: It will be a restaurant, of course.
Bubble tea is the coffee of Taiwan. That’s why Shuang Han and Crystal Zhao, owners of The Rabbit Hole Tea Bar, decided to open shop last year and bring the authentic Taiwanese bubble tea experience, as well as other kinds of tea, to Eugene. Real bubble tea is a rarity in the U.S., they say.
Hands wrist-deep in masa harina, Mayra Medina thinks back to when she was little and her mother worked in a cramped kitchen behind a tiny eatery in Morelia, the city in central Mexico where Medina grew up. The modest comedor was so small it didn’t even warrant a name. Though the place was a lonely hole in the wall, Medina’s mother cooked with the same ardor she applied to preparing meals for her family at home.
Walking through the dense, cherry-wood front door of The Pint Pot Public House, you’re greeted by many things: the sound of bagpipes, the smell of hearty spices, snug armchairs in dimly lit corners, stacks of board games and smiles from welcoming strangers.
Living in Lane County can be a charming mix of city culture and country life. For example, a short drive west from the city of Eugene is Our Daily Bread Restaurant in Veneta. Located in a renovated ’40s-era church, Our Daily Bread is a full-service restaurant offering home-style comfort with a fine dining twist.
When Aaron and Mariah Kastrava acquired The Divine Cupcake in early May, they were ready for a challenge. Previously, the married couple had planned to open a coffee house, but when an opportunity for something sweeter arrived, they went all in.
Cori Haines-Tutrone and her family took a leap of faith when they decided to switch their business from coffee to waffles and ice cream. For years, she ran Aroma Café out of the Gateway Mall, but after the mall underwent remodeling, Haines-Tutrone and her family chose to move on to creamier, more waffle-y pastures — in this case, a food truck called I Scream for Waffles.
Nathan Bernard strolls through the third-story lookout and swings open the door. Salty breezes from the sea float over the tiny town of Yachats and up to the rooftop. Bernard steps out to the middle of the flat roof, built into the side of a cliff. “This is where the tap house will eventually be,” he says, motioning to the open air and pointing to where a bar and wood-fired oven will sit.