By Kathy Eaton
with photos by Judy Nelson
See our Facebook album with more of Judy Nelson’s Vernon neighborhood photos here.
The Hollywood neighborhood is bound by I-84 on the south, by Northeast Tillamook Street on the north, by Northeast 37th Avenue on the west, and by Northeast 47th Avenue on the east. Surrounded by Laurelhurst and Rose City Park neighborhoods, Hollywood’s northern boundary between Northeast Tillamook and Thompson streets is shared with Grant Park. With a walking score of 95, Hollywood is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Portland.
Recorded plats show the area as Ralston’s Addition (1891) Vincent’s Business Addition (1915), Rossmere, and Menefee Addition, “but to everyone else it is, and always will be, Hollywood,” wrote Rod Paulson (Community Press).
Hollywood neighborhood businesses then and now
Paul Clark, principal broker with Township Properties, 4122 N.E. Broadway, moved to Portland from Astoria and has worked in the Hollywood district for 49 years. He owns two buildings: The Hollywood 42nd Street Station, 2000 N.E. 42nd Ave., which houses 12 businesses, and Chin’s Kitchen, 4132 N.E. Broadway, which is one of the oldest operating Chinese take-out restaurants in Portland, according to Clark.
“All roads led to Hollywood,” said Clark, noting that Hollywood’s transportation hub attracted service-oriented businesses and restaurants. The district also attracted and retained public sector businesses, including the Northeast Family YMCA (now Northeast Community Center), the library, public housing (Hollywood East), two post offices, three active churches and the Hollywood Senior Center which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
Clark, an active member of the Hollywood Boosters, delineates Hollywood’s business district from I-84 on the south to Northeast Tillamook on the north, between Northeast 28th and Northeast 57th avenues. Clark said everything changed when the Lloyd Center opened in the mid-1960s. “It sucked retail businesses right out of the neighborhoods,” said Clark.
Clark recalls the oldest businesses in Hollywood included Paulsen’s Pharmacy (since 1918), Poor Richards restaurant (since closed) and the Camera Shop, 4039 NE Sandy Blvd. Camera Shop owner Ed Schonneker recently said he’s been in business since 1953. The store caters to camera film buffs according to Steve Colburn, first chair of the Hollywood Neighborhood Association (HNA). “It’s a film camera store; analog photography is like vinyl is to records,” said Colburn.
Hollywood’s business district once had Albertsons (now Grocery Outlet), Safeway (now A-Boy’s), Kienows (now QFC) and today includes Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Hollywood West Fred Meyer, and the newly opened New Season’s Market at Grant Park Village. Hollywood also enjoys a vibrant Farmers Market on Saturdays between April and December.
When The Hollywood News shuttered in the mid-1980s, Clark and other concerned business owners invited Marcia Pry, co-owner of Pry Publishing, to meet at Sam’s Hollywood Billiards, 1845 N.E. 41st Ave., to restart a community newspaper. Pry agreed and began publishing The Hollywood Star in addition to other community newspapers. Mary DeHart, who went to work for Pry Publishing in 1989 as a sales representative for The Star, purchased the paper in 1994 and combined it with the East Bank Focus, renaming it The Hollywood Star News. The Star’s office is located in the Hollywood Professional Center, 3939 N.E. Hancock St., along with 27 other businesses , including counselors, attorneys, and financial planners.
The corner building with expansive windows at 4200 N.E. Sandy Blvd., which once showcased grand pianos, was purchased in 2009 by Chief Master Diwakar Dan Maharjan, who owns U.S. World Class Taekwondo Association Hollywood. The family martial arts center will celebrate 20 years in business in March 2015. Students range in age from three years old to 75. According to Master Dan, Taekwondo helps improve balance, focus and strength. When children participate, they learn core values of obeying and respecting their parents, telling the truth and being faithful to friends. For more information: Visit portlandtaekwondo.com or call (503) 284-7843.
Shortly after moving to Portland in 2005, Hollywood resident Betty Colburn started Betty’s Stitch, an in-home sewing business, where she did dress-making, alterations, etc. Although the business didn’t last, Betty continues making art quilts which have been displayed all over the country and internationally. In May 2014, Faye Cuneo opened Candace Clothing, 3552 N.E. Sandy Blvd. where she does custom sewing, alterations and clothing repairs. For more information: Visit candaceclothing.com or call (503) 985-2129.
Restaurants have come and gone in Hollywood, including Yaws, Pal’s Shanty and Arctic Circle. In June 2014, brothers Shin and Ted Nakato opened Soul Kitchen with an attached retail meat shop at 4118 N.E. Sandy Blvd. The building is an example of mixed-use development with ground-level retail below and residential apartments above. According to manager Ellen Chien, the Hollywood Theatre next door drives customers, especially on weekends. For more information: Visit ponofarm.com/portland/soul-kitchen-pdx or call (503) 889-0885.
Brooks Bromley, a developer who grew up in Portland, met his wife, Cellie, at Grant High School in 1972. They owned and operated the Lunch Den in Hollywood before developing a commercial property at 1910 N.E. 40th Ave. “Hollywood was home; we enjoyed good memories and felt comfortable there,” said Bromley. After a chance meeting with architect John Perkins, Bromley collaborated to build the Hancock-40, one of Hollywood’s first ground-level retail building with condo residences above. “We were planning to live in the new building, but once it was completed, we discovered we weren’t ready for condo living,” said Bromley. By fall 2003, seven of the eight residential units were pre-sold.
Pat Knott owned a house in Hollywood for 17 years before moving to The Beverly, 2025 N.E. 44th Ave., which houses 53 units above Whole Foods and Chase Bank. Initially built as a condo complex in 2008, the Beverly was converted to apartments when the condo market crashed the same year. “I enjoy the diversity of The Beverly residents who range in age from young working people to retired folks like me,” said Knott. She loves the convenience of living in Hollywood and decided to sell her car, bought a senior bus pass and relies on Zipcars. She also enjoys meeting neighbors for coffee at Wholesome Blends, 4615 N.E. Sandy Blvd., and likes the GF Chef (Real Food Gluten Free food cart on Northeast Sandy near 52rd Avenue.
Texas transplants Steve and Betty Colburn who moved to Hollywood from Austin, Texas where they’d lived for 30 years, appreciate the neighborhood’s diversity. “We see all sorts of flora and fauna of people from the dining room window inside our Northeast Halsey Street stucco home,” said Steve.
Steve, a consumer electronics business dealer for Triad, lobbied to work in Portland where the speaker equipment is manufactured. When he transferred to Portland, Steve began working in product development and training; “Mind and ears are in a lot of products,” he said. This job involves working with Triad engineers to evaluate prototype speakers.
Wise Counsel & Comfort
Lynne Joy Nesbit, born and raised in Portland, established Wise Counsel & Comfort in December 1999 and lives in Hollywood with her husband, Roger Nesbit, a retired natural resource attorney with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s solicitor’s office in Portland. After obtaining a master’s degree in counseling from Portland State, Nesbit sought to provide affordable counseling services and credits a counselor with inspiring her to go into the field. Nesbit discovered she could sublease office space to help pay for overhead costs. During the past decade, she expanded by leasing 18 office spaces throughout Portland, with one-third located in North/Northeast Portland.
Wise Counsel offers a full range of licensed professionals (counselors, social workers, psychologists). Of Wise Counsel’s 126 counselors, between eight and ten are wellness professionals exempt from licensure. They include life coaches, pastoral counselors and nutrition counselors.
A key to Nesbit’s business model is keeping services affordable for low- and middle-income uninsured clients by using a sliding-scale fee structure. Nesbit offers practitioners reduced rents if they keep their client costs between $25-40 per session. She enjoys bringing in new counselors who stay an average of one to three years, then leave to start their own business. Nesbit then replaces them with a new crop of counselors and the cycle repeats.
“Every conceivable issue causing emotional pain or distress is addressed at Wise Counsel,” said Nesbit, “whether it takes two appointments or weekly appointments for a month or longer.”
“Lynne’s intention to serve community is key to making health care affordable,” said Roger, “and I’m very proud of all she’s done to realize her dream.” Their newest location opens this month in Milwaukie. For more information: Visit portland-therapist.com or call (503) 282-0182.
Hollywood Neighborhood Association
For the past eight years, Jo Schaefer has held various offices and chaired the Hollywood Neighborhood Association (HNA). “I’ve learned more than I ever expected about city planning and land use,” said Schaefer, who grew up on a 62-acre farm in Helvetia, Oregon. She values the sense of community and neighborhood in Hollywood. The HNA has worked hard to involve residents in the 2035 Comprehensive Plan that will impact Hollywood’s future. Schaefer has forged a working relationship with the Hollywood Boosters to co-sponsor community events such as National Night Out and the annual Veterans’ Day parade and celebration. For more information: Visit hollywoodpdx.org.
A project replacing 21,300 feet of sewer pipes that are on average 100 years old and failing, is expected to start by June 2015 and last a year. For more information: Visit portlandoregon.gov/bes/hgp.
December’s column is dedicated to Hollywood Hank, the standard Boxer whose adventures were chronicled in The Hollywood Star News for five years. The canine ambassador enjoyed featuring a variety of Northeast Portland business owners, and he always brightened their day.
Look for the Rose City Park neighborhood to be featured in January.