Last Thursday after class, my group and I ventured off into the Jefferson Westside neighborhood of Eugene for a couple hours. The area is only a short bus ride west of campus and includes the areas between 7th and 18th avenues and Chambers and Lawrence and Willamette streets.
One of our first stops was at a park on Monroe Street, between 10th Avenue and Broadway. The park is perfect for families with children in the area. It includes a large grassy field that makes up most of the park. The field also includes a grassy hill, which would be perfect for sledding during infrequent instances of snowfall in Eugene.
Like many of the streets in the neighborhood, the park is lined with many trees, some still rich with their green pine needles, others bare and waiting to bloom.
Also included in the park is a play area and unique basketball court. The play area includes a swing set and play structure. Much to many parents’ delight, spread along the ground in the play area are wood chips, adding to the safety of children. The basketball court is like none I’ve ever seen before in that it has three basketball hoops and is in the shape of a triangle. If three teams in a pick-up game couldn’t decide on two teams to play, this is the place they should come to.
The park is very family oriented. While we were walking through the park, a father and daughter were shooting hoops on the basketball court and a mother was pushing her infant in the swing set. The park includes several benches and tables, which would be perfect for picnics. I would be very surprised if the park didn’t have more activity during the spring and summer months when the weather is warmer.
Another stop we made was at the New Frontier Market, which nestles in a residential area on the corner of 8th Avenue and Van Buren Street. Walking in, one can immediately notice the antiquated vibe set by the wooden shelving and flooring of the interior and the Beatles’ jams playing in softly throughout.
From Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to your favorite brand of beer, New Frontier Market has many things a grocery store would have. The market also has many organic products, including an organic produce section. For wine enthusiasts, the market has a wide selection of wines for sale. If you’re trying to save a few bucks, the market is also holding a coloring contest in which the winner receives a $5 gift certificate.
Jefferson Westside appears to be a very quiet neighborhood with a somewhat quaint atmosphere. It has a certain charm to it and I look forward to learning more about it.