La Vida Local: Irregular Notes on West End Life
Reiche Community Center is more than just an elementary school
by Rosanne Graef, Past President – WENA
First, A Note on Treacherous Sidewalks
Before starting on today’s topic about Reiche Community Center and the wonderful things to do there, I’d first like to thank all those considerate Portlanders who’ve done a bang-up job of clearing their sidewalks. Well done!
Unfortunately, there are still many, many icy, un-sanded areas. Also, there are plenty of low places, such as where driveways meet the street or curb cuts for handicap access, where water, slush and snow have repeatedly collected and refrozen. These areas are treacherous to traverse.
What’s the solution? Something that would help is the placement of more city sand barrels throughout the neighborhood, along with keeping them filled and covered so they don’t freeze. This would let people pick up sand to scatter on their regular walking routes, as well as at their own homes. Going out for a walk and purposefully carrying along a container of sand would be a helpful and easy way for anyone to participate in making our streets and sidewalks safer. How about it, Portland, more sand barrels? A low-tech approach whose time has come!
Today’s Topic: Blue? Bored? Lonely?
As we turn the page to 2017, are you feeling the need to get off the couch, meet new people and try something new close to home and not have to spend any or much money to do it? You may have noticed the new entrance to the Reiche Community Center on Clark Street. Maybe you even went to the ribbon cutting on December 14th. Well, there’s more to it than that. In the years since the Portland Public Library (PPL) branch at the Reiche Community Room closed, neighbors have wished for more activities there that could be enjoyed by the entire neighborhood. Some people who live in the West End are actually unaware that Reiche is more than an elementary school. In fact, many are completely unaware of the pool, gym, Book Nook and all the community room programs that go on there.
For the second year, Portland Rec is offering tai chi chih in the mornings, in addition to aquatics, basketball and other sports in the gym. Portland Adult Ed has two popular writing courses, as well as ukulele classes in the evenings. You can check out their respective web sites to see how to sign up.
For four years, volunteers from the West End Neighborhood Association (WENA) have opened the Book Nook for browsing and picking up already checked-out books from the PPL. Current hours are 8 to 10 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It’s a nice place to stop by when you’re out for a morning walk. No library card required.
Congress Square Park Moves Indoors
Also, WENA has now taken some activities that were happening at Congress Square Park in the summer and brought them inside. There’s Monday Crafternoons from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m., where you can get together with others and do your own thing. A good time to socialize and relax and make some progress on whatever project you’re working on.
Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5 p.m., come play games – board games, cards and word games.
Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11 a.m. is knitting. You can knit or crochet for Chase the Chill charity or make items for yourself. We’re not experts, but if you’re a rank beginner, we can get you started on a fun hobby.
And beginning Thursday, January 5th, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., we’ll be offering Just Dance. Here’s your chance to beat the afternoon slump and just have fun! All these activities are FREE. All you have to do is show up!
We’re really lucky to have Reiche Community Center in the neighborhood, but we need to use it to get the benefits of having it. Don’t sit home this winter, blue, bored and lonely. Come over to Reiche and try something old or new — and sprinkle some sand along your way!