My Lead Up to 2024

My History Leading up to in 2024

As I’ve been conjuring up and creating I got to thinking about all my past experiences that have led to this point. The more I think about it, the more I come up with. Here are the ones that have come to mind.

Habonim Youth Movement – Chugim (interest groups) at Camp Galil 1973-1979

I was part of a youth movement and summer camp experience for many years. As campers, we had a chance to pick an interest group to join. I remember learning massage and guitar, but probably was part of lots of other groups over the years, too.

Breitenbush Summer Solstice Healing Retreat – 1995-present (29 years with one year missed!)

At this annual event, there are usually 3-4 periods during the day when attendees host classes for one another. These are posted the night before and part of the fun is wandering to the list and discussing what you’re going to do next. The classes/activities are all offered by the participants and I’ve learned so much good information from people over the years via these offerings. I’ve also taught regularly, as well (small business practices; Re-evaluation Counseling basics; public speaking).

Burning Man – Who, What, Where Guide 2000-2016 (14 years)

When one arrives at Burning Man you’re handed a half-inch thick booklet called the Who, What, Where Guide. This guide has daily repeating activities and one-time events, as well. All of the activities are offered by participants and one can spend the day just moving from yoga classes to talks to bike rides and more. I haven’t tended to use the guide very much, but I’ve enjoyed happening upon many activities as they were starting and jumped right in! I’ve also offered a few activities over the year such as training at the Black Rock City Post Office.

The City Repair Project: Village Building Convergence

The Village Building Convergence, or VBC as it’s known here, is this amazing collection of events and building/creating opportunities that have been happening annually in Portland for 15 or more years. It’s a project of The City Repair Project. People come together to build cob benches, paint intersections, and more. I’ve played various roles and participated in many projects over the years and it continues to move me to see all the great work this organization and the community create each year. It’s part of what makes Portland Portland.

Planting trees with Friends of Trees; events; Other Community Events for 22 years in Portland and before that in Seattle…

Our Community University (Portland, Oregon) – 2 days of unconference that I created in 2013

This was 2 days with 4 classes per day that I instigated in 2013. You can learn more about these here and here.

World Domination Summit (WDS) 2018, 2019 and 2022

This conference took place in Portland, Oregon and happened 10 times. I lucked out and got to attend the last 3 of them. WDS helped me see how one can use the City as a canvas to create a series of events like what I’m hoping will look like.  In the articles I link to above are many keys pointing out what I am trying to do here. With help!

The future: in Spring 2024!

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Loving Your Local Businesses

DiMarco'sHere are 3+ Ways to Love the Businesses that are near you

There are lots of reasons to support local businesses. By shopping locally, for instance, we keep our money in our community. It also lessens the amount of (often noisy, often diesel, often idling) delivery vans clogging our streets. These are some obvious reasons, but I’ve been finding more gold in them there hills – read on for some further insights!  Here are 3+ ideas of ways to look at local businesses that you may not have thought of.

  1. Try this: Physically visit local businesses. If you need something, great. But even if you don’t, walk into your local businesses. Meet the people who have created little worlds all around you. Each local business has turned its shop into something special. Even if it doesn’t look like anything special is going on, hang out for a minute and I think you’ll see what I mean. Often it’s obvious. If you walk into a terrarium or flower shop the air is suddenly fresh and lovely. If you walk into a cat store, yes, we have one! Gifty Kitty on Mississippi. Go! When you walk in and are surrounded by all the joyful creations and the cat energy – it is transformative. Pistil, right down the street is very sweet, too.
  2. Get off track. It’s fine to take an afternoon and wander into a few stores. I like to find a good corner, but most are good – and walk into each store. Last week that included the Hollywood Market, Seven Virtues, Seagrape Apothocary, and Centaur Guitars – at 28th and Sandy in NE Portland, Oregon.  It was a delightful collection. My home set is Marino’s Coffee/Tropical Hut (little fishies, snakes, geckos)/Village Merchants – “well buy low and sell low”. – an amazing treasure house. These are located at 41st and Division in SE Portland. When Schavone’s is open it’s also a must-see Portland piece of history and fine “diner” food.
  3. Help any small business out. Leave them a review somewhere. Platform Examples
      1. Yelp!

      2. Google My Business

      3. Nextdoor (wow, hard to find a link!)

      4. Facebook

      5. Alignable

      6. these are links to my review sites – click on one and then use the search function to find a business you like.
    • But even better – get to know the owner/people who work at a small business and become friends. The rest will follow from there.
    • Bring gifts 🙂 I once brought the staff at Trade Up Music croissants from Le Petit Provence (they liked that)
    • Say, thank you. Take your time. Make a connection.

For Richmond, Portland, Oregon, USA, and Earth here are some of the small businesses I’d recommend visiting. I’ll do them in a clockwise fashion. This ties into the Birthday Game.  Thanks for reading. Enjoy!

TPK Brewing – Gamer (D&Dish) paradise. Live edge wooden tables. Great place to meet someone or cook up a revolution

Hinterland – Food cart pod 50th and Lincoln. The railing facing West is lovely at sunset.  5 food carts. All quite good.

The patio is across the street @ the Breathe Building. Yoga and all sorts of other goodies are going on again and there’s also a Burmese restaurant which is lovely. Esp. in warmer weather.

The Lot food cart pod – BenBearBeer holds this cart in a good way.  They have great tunes. Instruments on the walls.  Lots good to say.  5 food carts, all great. I love the Middle Eastern food. Namu. Yum!

Ethiopian Restaurant – just S. of Division and 50th (which should be repaved yesterday)

Mekong Restaurant – Delicious

The Typewriter Store!

Landmark Saloon – a great place to gather outdoors and covered. Spring, Summer, Fall – I go then. Has live music, blues, and country.

Across the street – the Bead Store.  Also will help you with attaching things to coats 🙂  See my bejeweled coat pulls.

Le Petit Provence. Fresh croissants and a whole more.

The place with the patches

The Bike Emporium – fun bike store – great place to get your bike fixed

Vintage shop

Trade Up Music – everyone should be visiting their stores. There’s also one on Alberta and 19th.  Especially if you are not a musician – buy some egg shakers!  But for musicians – and children – a fun place to visit.

Pic at the top is of DiMarco’s which has the best Philly-style food that I know of that is within walking distance for me. 45th and Hawthorne

The Turning Peel – a new restaurant featuring personal pizzas and a lot of lovely decor. I ate there yesterday and had a fantastic lunch. Can’t wait to return!

Stumptown Coffee (strongest coffee around) – 45th and Division

Marino’s Adriatic Cafe – best tasting coffee in town – 41st and Division – they use Caffe D’arte beans (which you can also buy by the pound). Belly Dancing on 2nd Saturday of the month

Tropical Hut – pet store – little fishies, geckos, snakes, mice – great for kids

Schavone’s – great “diner”. Only open on Thurs.-Sunday now, but still great food and it feels like you’re stepping into 1940’s Portland

Village Merchants – amazing thrift store at 41st and Division. Also, a place to consign things.

MyVice – Lincoln and Cesar Chavez – one of my favorite breakfast places in Portland. Delicious food. Lovey atmosphere

Joe Bike – great bike store next to MyVice

Cesar Chavez/Hawthorne headed East towards 51st

There are a ton of fun places to visit along this stretch – I’m only going to mention ones where I think it’s possible to gather with a few people for a meal or it’s a store one just must visit.

Opening to Life – a healthcare place – but also has a nice dance studio in the back (possible gathering space) – I just took an improv class there.

Bamboo House 40th and Hawthorne (N. side of the Street) – great food and a good gathering spot – spacious

Next Level Burger (vegan) 41st and Hawthorne

Fat Straw – Bubble Tea – 42nd and Hawthorne – potential gathering spot

Ladda Thai (vegetarian) – next to Fat Straw – easily possible to move tables together for a group – very tasty!

Common Grounds Coffeehouse – great coffee, busy place, 42nd and Hawthorne.

Roosevelt’s Terrariums – 44th and Hawthorne – across from Kure. Amazing place – great oxygen and inspiring. Also holds classes in terrarium making

Khao Thai – 46th – quiet and tasty. Great place for a group to gather

Por Que No? 47th – Best Mexican food around. Fun space

Space Room 48th and Hawthorne – huge place. Fun interior. Great place for breakfast or to grab an outdoor or indoor pint.

Quarterworld Arcade – across the street from Space Room.

Mellow Mood – pipe and bong shop – but also home to the best glass work in this field. Also features a very interesting interior.

Sapphire Hotel – 50th and Hawthorne – opens at 4 pm. One of the best date spots in town.  Great food. Lovely decor.

Albina Press – great coffee.  Chill atmosphere.

And back to TPK Brewing – see above!  A loop has been made.  Enjoy! 

I’m planning a funconference in this neighborhood – a series of daytime activities on a couple of days this Spring. There may also be a virtual component. To learn more…


If you’re Single and seeking – start by loving your city! or 89.1 on the radio in Portlandia


Love Your City

If you’re Single (or not), Love Your Home


I’ve been pretty much single for the past 6 years.  I had a thought yesterday while out running errands, that for those of us who are single and seeking, we might as well offer some love to our hometown. I’ve been doing this ever since I moved to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle in 1995 and Portland 2002-present). This region is pretty easy to love and has caught many peoples’ eyes and hearts. I’ve never lived anywhere in the world (maybe besides NYC) where I’ve heard more people say “I love Portland”. My previous partner and I used to say this out loud frequently, and it’s still true. I love Portland. I also love Portlandia 🙂  Feel free to comment below. One day I’ll write an article on that, and perhaps it’s all related.

As someone who has chosen ideation as a profession, I think in concepts a lot. Sometimes I consider myself an amateur sociologist. An inventor. Here are some of my ideas over the years (feel free to borrow from this list in any way you choose – my work is Albert-source 🙂  The concept I want to share here is the value of loving your place. We all hear the message on repeat that you have to start with loving yourself. I believe that is true and it probably makes our lives go better and makes us more attractive for prospective matches. But perhaps we can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can love myself (eat well, rest, hydrate, exercise, etc.) and also spend time loving my town.

Ways to Love Where You Live

My version of this has been this list of ways to make my neighborhood and region more livable. I use my marketing skills to share these ideas with anyone who will listen. The result has been a quieter, sweeter slice of paradise than I envisioned when I started.  A friend once offered to bring me to his town to teach his town council what I was putting out into the universe. That didn’t happen (yet – looking at you, Antioch, CA), but maybe one day. And that’s left me to keep trying to make where I live better and better. It’s worked. My neighborhood of Richmond, Portland, Oregon is kinda dreamy. Maybe it always was. Maybe what I did didn’t have the effect I think it did. There’s no easy way to quantify what I’ve done/said/activated towards. But I have a hunch that even lessening the amount of gas-powered leaf blowers has been a huge help to our community.

As an aside, I have this idea of creating a postcard that says – here are 11 ways to make your paradise a little more paradisical. I know there are great challenges in our midst – homelessness/drug addiction/mental health problems. There are people working on these issues and everything I’m suggesting in this article will just make that work go better. Do you think people who live on the streets are helped by glaring LED lights or gas-powered leaf blowers? No, it just makes their lives even worse.  So, back to that postcard.  There are thousands of places that could be improved by easy changes that people can make – see the article I link to above.  Now back to loving our City.

If you’re single and seeking – by loving your home you’re exercising your heart. You’re possibly being out in the world picking up garbage; planting a tree; starting a new community garden; removing graffiti – and who knows who you’ll meet while you do that. Maybe you’ll decide to serve on a neighborhood council or run for office as a way to share your love. Maybe it could be through mentoring a small business on how to improve their lighting or helping paint a wall.

And just like everything in life, you may make a mistake. Or two. Not everyone is up for receiving help. Not every offer you make in the world is received in the way you’d hope. Don’t give up. Write back if any of this resonates or if you have ideas to add. Thanks!

For a better world,


PS – I’ve been adding songs to the end of my newsletters and so … here ya go!

PPS – I’m going to expand into ways to show your love to local businesses here.



The other day I posted on Alignable: “I was on a local Smart Connect today for the Portland, Oregon area and we were discussing the current contest.” That brought me to a comment that I hadn’t realized I was going to make regarding the value of Alignable.

For many of us, it can take a while to figure out what Alignable can be useful for. There are the obvious “more business”, leads, and stronger network kinds of things (See my recent stats top right!). But I think that there are hidden gems which, after being busy on here for 6 months, are only now coming into view. Things like learning new processes/ways of doing things. Book recommendations. And even how one might tailor their profile better.

I’m curious about what you’ve found valuable about Alignable. I often tout it as a way to get clearer on what you’re doing in business. Improving one’s presentation skills. But there are riches that keep popping up on a regular basis. I feel lucky to be here now. There is a new energy on Alignable that wasn’t here in 2016 when I signed up. Maybe it’s the Smart Connects. Maybe it’s new leadership.

So, what are you finding that’s valuable?  Thanks.”


And Jesus had this great response which I think is on point:

Jesus Devesa  • 

I agree that Alignable has evolved significantly since 2016, and the new energy you mentioned is palpable. For me, the value of Alignable lies in several key areas:

Local Business Networking: Alignable has provided a fantastic platform for connecting with other local businesses. This has been invaluable for understanding local market trends and establishing collaborative relationships.

Referral Opportunities: One of the most significant benefits I’ve experienced is the ability to both give and receive referrals. This aspect of mutual support within the community is not just about growing our businesses but also about building trust and reputation.

Learning and Sharing Insights: The platform has been a great place for learning from others and sharing my own insights. The diversity of businesses on Alignable means there’s always something new to learn.

Improving Online Presence: I’ve found Alignable helpful in strengthening my business’s online presence. Engaging with others, responding to queries, and participating in discussions have enhanced my visibility and brand recognition.

Smart Connects and New Features: Like you, I’ve noticed the impact of features like Smart Connects. They’ve made networking more dynamic and targeted, allowing for more meaningful connections.

Feedback and Reviews: The opportunity to receive genuine feedback and reviews has been crucial for refining my business offerings. It’s also a great way to gauge customer satisfaction and loyalty.

New Leadership and Direction: The changes in leadership and direction at Alignable have been noticeable and appreciated. The platform seems more user-centric and geared towards real business growth.

In summary, Alignable has become more than just a networking site; it’s a community where businesses can grow, learn, and support each other in tangible ways. I’m keen to see how it continues to evolve and aid in our business journeys.

And.. another entry by James

I’m teaching classes and hosting Smart Connects on Alignable. To stay in the loop, click here. Here’s one of the groups I co-lead on Alignable.

About Last Night – Portland Folk Festival 2024

Portland Folk Festival 2024

A fun thing happened last night – and it couldn’t have without a lot of different things coming together at once. It all started with an email yesterday afternoon.

I was preparing for an evening of pre-storm pj’s and a movie. Cozy. Warm. Home. Instead, I said “Yes!” and off I headed into a night of fun and adventure. Normally, receiving some gifted tickets to something wouldn’t warrant a blog entry, but there’s more fun to share.  On the way to the show, I got a follow-up email that there was a second ticket available. This led to me scrambling to find someone to go with.

I turned to my Constant Contact mobile app (I was on the bus into town at this point) and sent a note to my “Tag along at the last minute” list – to see if anyone wanted to join me. That only turned up a friend from Seattle saying hi. But the fact that I could do this felt very fun and sometimes it works like a charm.

I got into the Crystal Ballroom and there were vendors and seating and fewer people than I’d ever shared that room and dance floor with. It was super sweet and people were in a great mood. The music was lovely, too. I got to hobnob with some Portland music legends – Worth, and Louie Longmier – both folks I’d been wanting to meet over the years. The artists also seemed really pleased to be playing for this festival. The Festival raises money for homeless projects around Portland.

Music Portland was there and I got to speak with one of their board members, Rose Gerber, who shared what the organization needs volunteer-wise. I may plug in and help.  Also, $ raised by the event is going to All Good Northwest.

I ended up talking to the folks at Shady Pines Radio and they invited one of their staff to take the extra ticket and she showed up with a big smile on her face!

At the end of the night, the person who had gifted me the ticket introduced herself and we shared a Lyft home.  What a fine way to spend the evening than home alone! And a Folk Festival – in Winter! I hope they do a Summer one – I’ll help and volunteer!!!

They’ve canceled tonight (Saturday’s show), but intend to pull it all together for Sunday. I’ll likely go! Join me!

It all started because someone I don’t know but who is on my email list (who receives my newsletters) reached out to me. Albert smiling.

PS – I did some live streaming (not fantastic quality, but hey) on my Facebook account here.

PPS – Here’s a Spotify playlist of the many groups that play this festival!

Plushrooms! the vendors were great!

Here’s a write-up of part two which was smooshed into one day a few weeks later. It was a great day and I took some pics and videos located here.

song a day

you can give Song a Day a try. A new song every day for 232 days.



Why I Ran

To the SE Examiner (March 5, 2023)

I wanted to share why and how I’m running for the upcoming Multnomah County Council District 3 Special Election Race coming up soon!

I first learned about the vacant seat on the Multnomah County Council through an article in the NYT featuring Ana Del Rocio who was the first candidate to declare in January. I have been thinking about running for public office in Portland for years, but this special election which has a very short time frame coincided for me with a time in my life when I am available for the time and effort to run a campaign. I always figured my first run would be for the Portland City Council, but when a door opens at the right time I figure it’s time to open it.
So, I paid the $50 filing fee, filled out the paperwork, and got started building in WordPress. I have been working for the past 15 years as a marketing professional, teaching small businesses and nonprofits how to use email marketing and social media. Given that this is a short-window campaign, I figured I would be able to lean on those skills and my name recognition in the region instead of paying people to do that work. I also feel that money is part of the problem in our political system so I have chosen not to take donations for this race. Friends who are politically savvy have advised me that this is a questionable move, but it has given me a lot of freedom to call the shots and not run my campaign by committee. Speaking of money, I next had to write and then file my voter’s pamphlet statement and pay $100 to have my 325 words printed and distributed! For a general or mid-term election, the cost for this is $300.
Next up has been reaching out to organizations for their endorsements. I had a great interview with the Oregon League for Conservation Voters (OLCV) where I learned about that important group’s priorities and I got to share my thoughts about the environment. It also brought forth a memory that I had somewhat forgotten about. When I first moved to Oregon in 2002 one of my first jobs (and a great way to learn the lay of the land) was as a canvasser for OLCV. I spent months walking through East Multnomah County sharing information and talking to voters.

I have interviews with the gray Panthers and the firefighters coming up this week, and I’m looking forward to talking and learning. That’s what this campaign has really taught me – about various perspectives. Depending on the organization, the priorities can really differ. Then there are my priorities. I’ve been a community organizer in Portland for years and I have started and worked on many campaigns. Some have been initiatives and some have been supporting candidates. Then there have been campaigns to plant more trees and ban gas-powered leaf blowers ( I guess I love politics and organizing people to take action.

I thought it would be valuable for people to know what kinds of things are involved in running for office. I wish more people would take the step forward and throw their hats into the ring. This area has attracted some very smart and capable people. Our lives would be improved by having more people considering spending some years in public service.
Here’s to a better Portland – we can bring our region into a better future together. I just know it.
Albert KaufmanAlbert Kaufman - Multnomah County Commissioner District 3 Candidate