Erik Spoelstra is one cool cat. Not only is he the head coach of the Miami Heat, he’s also the first Asian-American coach in the history of the NBA—not to mention the first Asian-American coach to win a championship. And he’s only getting cooler: Coach Spo has recently started his namesake basketball academy, and it’s not just a place for parents to drop their kids off in the summer. Erik Spoelstra Basketball Academy takes youth basketball seriously, with the primary focus on helping kids become well-rounded players with solid technical skills and a respect for teamwork and sportsmanship. more…

put a bird in it

Have you seen them? The 7 small works of art and avian architecture gracing leftbank’s lobby right now? I can’t walk by without hearing that They Might Be Giants song. You know the one? “Make a little birdhouse in your soul…

Why are there (supercool) birdhouses hanging in the lobby? It’s a project that WeMake manifested for PDX Design Week. What’s the WeMake connection with Leftbank? Yvonne Perez, AKA Creativegirl. Yvonne and her WeMake crew handed out birdhouse kits to local artists. Not just any birdhouse kits, but kits that added up to little midcentury modern homes – and kits that themselves served mostly as a jumping off point for the artists. The artists then took the birdhouses in every direction. There are some pictured on Creativegirl’s blog, some here, and 7 hanging in the lobby. Besides Yvonne, other Leftbankers including Sockeye and Fashionbuddha joined in on this. Both those 3rd floor tenants built houses.

The birdhouses are all over town at the moment, and they’ll come together again for an auction at Union Pine on October 12th. The auction supports arts and music education in the public schools of Portland and Multnomah County through All Hands Raised and First Octave.

Thank you, WeMake! Thank you, Yvonne! This is why I love Leftbank.

Leftbank giving

The vision for Leftbank is one of neighbors working together to further everyone’s impact. A lovely instance of exactly that has come together this month. First, Sockeye coordinated a donation drive for Oregon Food Bank. They brought barrels into the lobby and their own suite, and invited Leftbankers to join them in the effort to feed hungry Oregonians this season.

Upon seeing the barrels, Upstream Public Health started a conversation about how to expand participation and increase what we give as a community. Hoping to inform and inspire, Upstream put together the info below. They’re also working to secure donations from vendors, and hoping to fire up a little friendly competition in the building.

Leftbank Holiday Food Drive

Help us fill two barrels with food for Oregon’s hungry.

If every organization in the Leftbank building contributes 15 pounds of food – we can fill both of those huge barrels. That’s roughly just 15 cans per office!

Every month in Oregon, 240,000 people turn to emergency food boxes for meals. Of those, 33% are children. You can help make sure that all Oregonians have access to healthy meals this winter. Please bring in non-perishable foods between now and January 1st and drop them in one of the two barrels located in the Leftbank building. This Thursday’s happy hour would be a great time to get started filling those barrels, so bring some cans in with your holiday cheer!

Food donated during food drives like this one is some of the most nutritious food that the Food Bank receives. Here is a list of most needed foods:

  • Canned meats (ie: tuna, chicken and salmon)
  • Canned and boxed meals (ie: soup, chili, macaroni and cheese)
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned or dried beans and peas
  • Pasta, rice and cereal
  • Canned fruits

For more information about the Oregon Food Bank or to make a monetary donation, click here.

sharing this season

If you were at Leftbank this time last year, you may remember that we had barrels set up in the lobby to receive donations for CommunityWarehouse.  I loved putting that drive together and seeing so many Leftbankers pitch in.  This year Sockeye called to ask if they could set up a donation barrel for the Oregon Food Bank.  Well, uh… yeah! Please feel free to bring in some non-perishable food to share and spread the word.  You’ll find the donation barrel at the main door in the lobby.

community :: top 100 list

From FMYI’s blog:

At a reception held last [Thursday] night, the Portland Business Journal unveiled its 2010 Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Oregon. “Like a mighty salmon, these 100 businesses are King of the River and successfully made it upstream in this challenged economy,“ said Craig Wessel, Portland Business Journal Publisher. (more…)

Two of the Portland Business Journal’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Oregon are members of the Leftbank community. Sockeye came in at 57, and FMYI ranked lucky 13. Congratulations to both! Keep swimming upstream, you kings of the river. We’re cheering you on, here from the Leftbank.