Articles by Jennifer Coughlin

Jennifer Coughlin

Jennifer Coughlin is a freelance writer and obsessive gardener. Hailing from New Jersey, she’s lived all around the Garden State, enjoyed a short stint on the Valley Isle (Maui), before taking root in the City of Roses in 2005. Here she’s found a place where she can enjoy all of her favorite things—a long growing season, a city as obsessed with good food and coffee as she is and a social climate that embraces creativity and forward thinking. Her career path has been a meandering one—she’s lived and worked on goat and living history farms, written for nonprofits and communication agencies, has done PR and marketing for businesses of all shapes and sizes and has been known to shake a mean martini in days when writing jobs are scarce. Jen’s life goals include writing the great American novel, helping small, innovative companies find their own voice and sharing with others the secret bliss that can be found in the growing and care of green things.

Artisan Hot Chocolate for Every Taste

It's that time of year when we Portlanders need to look on the BRIGHT side, despite the gloom that is overtaking our skies. I'm as sad as the next person that fall is slowly succumbing to winter, but I know that with the cold comes a fabulous excuse to indulge in a warm treat—hot chocolate! There are many reasons for loving this city, but let me add artisan hot chocolate to the list. Is that a real more...

Portland's Cannabis Café Closes. NORML to Woodlawn Neighbors: 'We Should Have Listened'

A quiet battle is being waged, virtually unknown to those outside of the medical marijuana community. After just six months in business, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law (NORML), closed the doors of its Cannabis Café on Northeast Dekum Street. Their quiet departure was a far cry from the uproar that accompanied the opening last fall, when members of the Woodlawn community expressed more...

Gluten-Free Cupcakes: Which Portland Bakery Takes the Cake?

Whether you’ve gone gluten-free because of a sensitivity to wheat or because you suffer from Celiac’s Disease (like me), giving up gluten can be tough, especially when it comes to saying no to sweets. And when it comes to sweets there is nothing more droolworthy and hard to resist than a cupcake. Fortunately, there are many Portland bakeries that offer gluten-free (and, often, vegan) cupcakes. Whether more...

Woodlawn School Hopes to Find a Principal with Passion, Experience, and an Understanding of Diversity

Woodlawn Elementary School, in the Northeast neighborhood of Woodlawn, is in the market for a new principal. The current principal, Lemil Speed, will finish this school year, but the process for finding his replacement is already underway. On Wednesday, April 28th, Cynthia Gilliam, Director of Administrative Hiring and Performance Management for Portland Public Schools, led a community meeting to discuss what more...

Rise in Portland Sewing Studios Answers Growing Interest in Art and Business of Making Clothes

Portland is the kind of city that embraces movements—big and little shifts that enrich our lives and connect us to new skills, to the past or future, and most of all, to each other. The newest such movement seems to be sewing—people of all walks of life coming together with machines and threads and really sharp scissors. They come for different reasons—to be more self-sufficient, to express their more...

5 Innovative Chicken Coops by Portland Designers

When you think of innovative architecture, you may think of the Netherlands, Barcelona or even Dubai, but those places can’t hold a candle to Portland, Oregon. At least not when it comes to innovative chicken coop design. It's no secret that animal husbandry is hot right now, but leave it to Portlanders to take chicken keeping to a new level. A bold group of Portland designers—many architects by more...

The Slabtown Plan: Neighbors Collaborate to Redesign Historic Area of Northwest District

UPDATED 11/16/2011 It is a rare opportunity to be able to redesign an area from the ground up—especially in the middle of a city—but that's exactly what's happening in the section of Portland's Northwest District historically referred to as Slabtown. The once bustling neighborhood has been buried under asphalt and industrial-use buildings for decades, but is now poised for a serious comeback. more...

Reexamination of North Portland Police Precinct Closure Highlights Community Concerns

The North Portland Precinct, located on Philadelphia Street in the St. Johns neighborhood, closed on June 9, 2009, after serving the North Portland area for 94 years. It was a sad goodbye, and one that the public fought against, but in the end, the need to make a 2.5 percent budget cut to the police budget was the deciding factor. Late last month, as the restructuring of the police department turned seven months old, more...

Growing Medical Marijuana: Bringing Crime to a Neighborhood Near You?

First the of possession of marijuana was decriminalized, then growing and using marijuana for medical purposes was legalized (with a permit), and then the nation’s first Cannabis Café, where card holders can go to socialize and smoke pot, opened in the Woodlawn neighborhood. So many groundbreaking changes to Oregon law in a relatively short time, I couldn’t help but wonder how things were going for more...

Southeast Stark Street Business District Revives Montavilla's Glory Days

So many Portland stories have something to do with creativity, forward-thought and collaboration. The story about the burgeoning Stark Street business district in the Montavilla neighborhood is just such a feel-good story that I’m eager to write. Part of the larger Montavilla/East Tabor Business Association, the area along SE Stark Street between 82nd and 75th has been experiencing explosive growth in the past more...