We Are Whiteaker

A selection of residents who make the neighborhood, well, the best

They grow up so fast. The Whiteaker Block Party turns 10 this year and it’s bound to be one for the books — more than 120 years after Oregon’s first governor, John Whiteaker, procured 10 blocks in the neighborhood. To celebrate, EW pays homage to some of the people who keep the Whiteaker weird, whimsical, wayward and wonderful, as well as offering some tips to squeezing the most out of your block party experience. Here’s to the next 10 years.   Continue reading 

A Walk in Needle Park

On the eve of the Whiteaker Block Party, a look at the rise and fall of the neighborhood’s Scobert Gardens

Scobert Gardens Park

Bob Emmons looks like he wants to spit. Standing on sun-scorched grass in Scobert Gardens Park, Emmons is hardly able to endure the blighted landscape, littered with empty beer cans, cigarette packs and pizza boxes. Shoeless daysleepers stretch out flat in swaying blots of shade. Summer breezes tumbleweed a plastic grocery bag across the dusty lawn and leave it at his feet.  “It’s painful to see,” he says. Continue reading 

Sacred Images

Religion and art come together in beautification of Whiteaker church

Daniel Balter

Standing beneath the oculus of the church dome with lazy afternoon sunlight filtering through its circular opening, artist Daniel Balter points to a 6-foot-tall figure he sketched in charcoal on the walls the night before. It’s archangel Michael, complete with flowing robes, wings and halo.  Balter motions to the room and the iconostasis — a red-and-gold wall adorned with saints that traditionally separates a church’s nave from its sanctuary. It was in this room, he tells me, that he used to see punk bands play. Continue reading 

Get Whit It

Bands galore at the Block Party

Dick Dägger and the C Monsters

The real G-spot of the block party isn’t just at the G-Spot stage, but rather among all those dwellings lining the Whiteaker streets that host shows featuring everything from screamo country to good ol’ garage rock. Folks attending these renegade shows can be a bit rough around the edges, including the man with a tattooed head who told me last year that I have “crazy eyes.” But, in between the aerial ballet and the art auction, stop by one of the block party’s nine stages for tunes ranging from a marimba orchestra to EDM.    Continue reading 

The Bums Will Always Lose

The Whiteaker’s historic Shamrock House tells the story of the taming of Eugene’s wildest neighborhood

At one end, the blue-and-white Tacovore calavera grins down upon tattooed neo-yuppies lined up to swill cocktails and scarf quasi-Mexican style grub. Follow the acrid scent of fermenting mash north to where the brilliant Ninkasi marquee lights up the sidewalk. Late-model cars stamped with Lexus and Mercedes logos pepper the side streets along the way. On a Saturday evening, Eugeneans from all corners of the city crisscross the northern stretch of Blair Boulevard, comparing lengthy waiting lists at boutique restaurants. Continue reading 

Get Thee To The Whit

Music in eugene’s most famous neighborhood

Ask a certain segment of Eugene’s population and they’ll say the Whiteaker Block Party, now in its eighth year, eclipsed the Eugene Celebration in relevance a long time ago. And with the celebration on hiatus until 2015 (and folks pulling the Festival of Eugene together), the Block Party now gets its chance to shine as the premier civic blowout of 2014. Every year, music is a central part of the event, and this year the Block Party boasts a powerhouse of local talent.  Continue reading 

Parking in the Whit

WCC steps up to solve problems

During the Whiteaker Block Party, parking is usually a pain, with drivers scouring residential streets for a spot, sometimes giving up and parking illegally. This year, the Whiteaker Community Council is trying to alleviate the problem by opening up at least two gravel lots in the neighborhood for $5 per car. The WCC will use its share of the funds for a big long-term goal: a public parking lot in the Whit. Continue reading 

Bigger is Better

The Whiteaker Block Party celebrates Its eighth year

What started as a small crowd partying in an empty parking lot in the Whiteaker among amps and beer kegs has grown, in eight short years, into a neighborhood-encompassing celebration of community and unique Eugene culture. Featuring a couple dozen local bands, food and craft vendors, an art and kid zone, carnival games, a dunk tank, beer gardens and even a bike valet, on Saturday, Aug. 2, from noon to 10 pm — it’s the Whiteaker Block Party (WBP). Continue reading 

Needles, Volunteers and the Morning After

Block Party volunteers clean up the Whiteaker

When many residents of the Whiteaker are sound asleep recovering from Block Party, volunteers will gather Sunday, Aug. 4, to clean up after the event. “We try to have the neighborhood look cleaner than it did before the party,” says Zoe Gadsby, the event coordinator. “It’s really hard to get volunteers the next day.” The work of the volunteers at the Block Party cleanup points to an even bigger community effort: picking up needles.  Continue reading