By Gina Ginsberg
Between Washington/ Jefferson Park and the Willamette River is the historic Whiteaker Neighborhood. Highway 99 used to run through this part of town nourishing business and commerce to flow through what was initially farmland and then later became
industrialized. Previously a working-class area, and one of Eugene’s oldest neighborhoods, this accessible quirky area appealed to artists and activists and was a hub for the counter-culture movement in the 60s.
Today this colorful pocket of town is a glorious mixture of everything; a microcosm of what Eugene is known for. For a small city, Eugene has an incredible mixture of culture and diversity and this is well-represented as you walk through the streets of Whiteaker. Front yards proudly display their creativity garnished with brightly painted porches, bikes hanging from the trees as well as other exotic furnishings and landscaping. At the co-oops, community gardens, bars, and breweries, people of different generations and backgrounds enjoy the scene together. Popular spots include famous Ninkasi brewery, organic grocery The Red Barn, Sam Bond’s Garage for music, and if a Japanese whiskey bar were to exist it would undoubtedly be in this hood. Izakaya Meiji, across the street from splendid dive Tiny Tavern, is the steampunk Japanese whiskey bar Meiji, this neighborhood truly has it all.
Whiteaker is the heart and soul of what Eugene embodies; good food, art, awareness, community, and creativity.