Axios Portland

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πŸ₯³ It's Wednesday, and officially spring! We've made it.

Today's weather: Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. High 57, low 47.

Today's newsletter is 800 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: An ultimate guide to PDX summer camps

Portland Parks & Recreation summer camp registrations open May 16, but most private camps are already taking names. Photo: Courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation

Summer camp sign-up season is here, which means parents should be doing their homework now.

Why it matters: Caregivers have to plan ahead or risk their kids being home alone over Oregon's 10-week school vacation that starts June 15.

How it works: In Portland the choices are between $100+ a day private camps and affordable, but more basic, ones run by Portland Parks & Recreation.

⏰ Set a timer for May 16 because PP&R camp registration will go live online for camps that take place in June and July. A second registration starts June 13 for camps that take place in August.

  • Parks & Rec spokesperson Mark Ross said via email that prices are $220 for one week, though low-income families can get discounts of up to 90%.
  • There are about 1,000 spots, and grades third through fifth usually have waiting lists, Craig Vanderbout, Southwest Community Center director and Summer Camp Division lead told Axios.

Of note: The city also offers Free Lunch + Play programs in many parks for four-hour periods, with no age limit.

If your city camp of choice fills up fast or you're just looking for something a bit different, here are other options:

πŸ”­ The Oregon Museum of Science & Industry has a large catalog of camps based on the belief that science is fun. Five-day camps in Portland are $595.

🏹 Trackers Portland is known for its survival and bushcraft camps, and its willingness to let kids play with fire and knives, sometimes together.

🎭 The Northwest Children's Theater and School teaches kids the skills of the actor and the tech so they can produce a show. The typical five-day camp, Monty Python's "Spamalot," is $864.

🎨 Grace Art Camp is a charming day camp with a theme (2024 is Hawaii) where kids make one lasting work of art to take home. $415 for five-day camps.

⚽ Nike Sports Camps are serious athletic camps. The five-day soccer camp at PSU is $485.

Tell a parent

2. Portland's mixed feelings on the Soho House

Soho House is located in the historic Troy Laundry building. Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Sturman

The new, ultra-exclusive Soho House opened its doors this week (but only to members), and even the New York Times thinks its arrival in Portland doesn't match up with the city's renowned crunchy ethos.

Driving the news: With a healthy waitlist of Portlanders eager to join, it seems Soho House is more than welcome in Rose City.

  • However, a majority of Axios readers (68%) who responded to our survey last week reported they are not considering applying.
  • 27% said they'd maybe consider a membership, while only 4% said they would definitely be applying. About 1% are already members.

What you're saying: "A big investment in the creative class in Portland is a boon for the city after years of decline," one reader wrote.

Yes, but: Soho House's reputation as a private club was a deterrent for some.

  • "I'm all for progress and developing our city in new and exciting ways, but it's hard to see how global brands that promote exclusive luxury are going to bring the sort of change we need," another reader wrote.

The intrigue: Over half of survey respondents (55%) said the $487.50 quarterly membership was reasonable, and most thought the rooftop terrace with an infinity pool sounded the most appealing out of Soho House's many amenities.

Flashback: Several readers brought up the Troy Laundry building's nearly four-decade history β€” starting around 1980 β€” as an artists' collective space. Over 50 artists were displaced when the building was sold in 2016.

Read more

3. Rose City Rundown

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

πŸ₯ Oregon Health & Science University and Legacy Health still have not presented their merger plan to state regulators. The two health care giants said they would do so over 100 days ago. (The Oregonian πŸ”’)

🍷 The Sweet Hereafter space on SE Belmont won't be vacant for long.

  • Bar Loon will open in early June with a wine-focused menu and European-style snack foods. (Eater Portland)

πŸ’° Three Oregon-based nonprofits are set to receive millions from billionaire MacKenzie Scott. Recipients include Raphael House, which provides housing for victims of domestic violence, and Latino health service provider Familias en AcciΓ³n. (OPB)

πŸ‹ Nearly 20,000 gray whales are making their way up to Alaska from Mexico and are expected to cruise by the Oregon coast this weekend. (Portland Monthly)

4. 🌸 1 photo to go: Blossoms in bloom

The cherry blossoms along the Willamette River in Tom McCall Waterfront Park are in bloom. Photo: Joseph Gallivan/Axios

β˜€οΈ Portlanders never waste a sunny day β€” and neither do our trees.

The latest: Ample sunshine and warm weather this past week brought the city's beloved cherry blossoms in Tom McCall Waterfront Park out of dormancy and into bloom.

  • You also can find varying shades of white and pink blossoms at the Portland Japanese Garden and around Washington Park.

If you go: Prepare for a crowd β€” rain or shine.

  • Cherry blossoms are more coveted here than Proud Mary's $150 coffee.

πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅ Meira is enjoying watching the new Hulu series "Shōgun" with her husband. She just wishes her basement couch was comfier and could adequately fit Joby, too.

🌸 Joseph is sitting under a pink magnolia tree's falling petals.

This newsletter was edited by Rachel La Corte and copy edited by Steven Patrick and Anjelica Tan.