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This is interesting–I’ve never had someone use my writing in an article quite in this way before…

From the article “Fearing for a Neighborhood on the Brink,” by Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett

About halfway through, she has this to say:

A sobering overview of Hawthorne ran in the Portland Tribune last month. Reporter Shanna Germain succinctly captured Hawthorne as a winning mix of funky, reliable, and hip—posh bistros, determinedly shabby taverns, with boutique goodies alongside the requisite incense and India-print textiles. (This admittedly mawkish You Tube take on the area grows on you if you watch it a couple of times.)

Germain sent chills down this writer’s spine with this description:

While upscale businesses … are joining the boulevard, several longtime businesses have either closed or are in the process of closing their doors. Some business owners are retiring. Others are moving elsewhere, citing rent increases, lack of business and an increase in crime and panhandling.

She quotes Paul Niedergang, president of the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association:

Over the next few years, it’s time for us to refocus. … We’re looking at how to rebrand Hawthorne. The idea is to create a sense of coherency in terms of the brand name Hawthorne, which is tough because it’s such an eclectic community.

Germain has it right, as well, when she sums up the area’s complex challenge:

The front-runner for street revitalization, Hawthorne is now trying to hold onto its crown. And it’s not just an identity crisis that it’s struggling with: Combine the tough economy, an increase in crime and panhandling, and competition from up-and-coming streets like Northeast Alberta and nearby Southeast Division streets, and it’s easy to see what Hawthorne’s contending with.

Interesting, no? The thing that’s odd is that I wrote this article years ago, so unless the Tribune re-ran it, I’m not sure how the timing matches up. But it’s flattering somehow as well…