Last week, the seventh annual Around the World in 82 Dishesbegan along the entire length of 82nd Avenue in Portland. The business district’s promotion runs for two weeks, concluding on November 6th. The event highlights a wide selection of dining destinations on 82nd Avenue with a focus on multicultural flavors found along the busy roadway. As an incentive, the event organizers created a contest that enters participants into a drawing for multiple $50 gift cards.
Although any food and drink-related business on 82nd Avenue is eligible for the contest, a group of Montavilla eateries are featured participants in this year’s event. Most of the food carts at The Yard at Montavilla are on that list, along with Sebastiano’s. That level of participation yields increased promotional exposure and includes free digital menu services from Foodi-Menus. Ads for the event are currently running in local news publications like Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury, along with Instagram. Koin 6 News featured the event last Wednesday, showing off foods from vendors at the neighborhood food cart pod.
The contest is just one part of this event, presented by the 82nd Avenue Business Association with funding from the American Rescue Plan and Portland’s Bureau of Transportation. The two-week-long food celebration focuses on the diversity of Portland by exploring tastes from cultures across the globe. Many establishments are owned by immigrants that bring their culinary skills and enthusiasm to the foods they serve. Around the World in 82 Dishes seeks to spotlight those businesses and bring people out to East Portland during the traditionally slow season for restaurants.
The appreciation of food alone is not the only motivator for people to participate. The contest for $50 gift cards is a strong incentive to draw people out to the district, even during rainy weather. Interested contestants can use the BabbleBuy mobile app to find locations and post on social media with the hashtags #82ndFoodies and #82Dishes. Those who want to avoid using the mobile app can post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok using the two hashtags.
There are only a few days left before the event concludes, but that leaves plenty of time to get out and visit your favorite location or experience someplace new. Keep up to date on the event at 82dishes.com, and bookmark that site to stay informed about next year’s Around the World in 82 Dishes.
Disclosure: Montavilla News is a member of the 82nd Avenue Business Association and the author of this article serves on the board.
Saturday’s Jade District Dumpster Day and Solve Oregon cleanup attracted dozens of volunteers and a stream of vehicles dropping off large trash items. Within the first hour of operation, people filled 30-yard dumpsters at two drop-off sites. Instead of closing three hours early, the events coordinator, Alisa Kajikawa, picked up her phone and arranged for additional dumpsters. Before the day was done, yet another cycle of dumpsters rolled in to accommodate the overwhelming demand for trash disposal.
Kajikawa, the Jade District Manager, organized this one-day event with funds from Oregon Metro and support from the 82nd Avenue Business Association. The four-hour-long program included a community cleanup and open dumpster access for neighborhood disposal of bulky items.
Volunteers with Solve ventured out with 33-gallon carts to collect trash throughout the area and bring back items of all sizes to the primary dumpster site, located in the Unicorn Inn’s parking lot at 3040 SE 82nd Avenue. Nearby campers used shopping carts to roll in trash from their area and help clean up the streets.
The dumpster on SE 82nd Avenue, and one on SE 92nd Avenue, were open to residents seeking a free place to dispose of items not collected through curbside trash pickup. Demand for dumpster use far exceeded expectations, and both sites eventually had to turn people away. Even after staff filled the five 30-yard trash containers to capacity, a stack of mattresses remained awaiting pickup by a recycler.
The dumpster demand seen over the weekend signals a great need in Portland for more events like the Jade District Dumpster Day. In 2020, The City canceled a long-running program that worked with Neighborhood Associations to host dumpster days across Portland. These events acted as an annual trash release valve that reduced the number of illegal dumps. Now groups like the Jade District are scrambling to find funding to meet the demand for trash disposal.
The original budget for the event only included funds for two dumpsters. The added cost of the three extra dumpsters will need to come from grant reserves and other funds within the organization. The success of the cleanup is measurable by the tonnage of rubbish collected. However, it barely makes a dent in Portland’s trash problem. Based on the demand seen Saturday and the piles of illegally dumped items across the City, an event like this could run every month for years without slowing down.
Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the boards of the 82nd Avenue Business Association and Montavilla Neighborhood Association. He also volunteered at this event.
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