Leaving the bustling downtown of Eugene and heading westbound on toward The Whiteaker feels like entering a new world. The hums and honks of speeding cars grows quieter and life seems to slow down just a little bit. Commercial buildings and grey pavement are replaced with old, classic homes and bright murals. Families are seen biking together and coffee-drinkers sit outside, trying to soak up a moment of sun. The Whiteaker is a destination for Eugene folk looking to escape from reality and take a break in a slow-paced and unique community.
Many flock to The Whiteaker for its plethora of restaurant and food cart options that cater to all restricted diets. Adam Tirella, a 20-year-old studying planning, public policy at the University of Oregon, said Papa’s Soul Food is “a must” when dining out.
Tirella said “so many good restaurants” are The Whiteaker’s best features.
Jessica Hesselgrave, a 22-year-old recent UO grad was walking out of The Wandering Goat Coffee Company, when she cited art, community and coffee as her favorite aspects of The Whiteaker.
Hesselgrave, a barista herself, swears by Wandering Goat coffee. “It’s worth the drive out here,” said Hesselgrave of the award-winning coffee.
When asked about possible improvements that could be made to the neighborhood, Hesselgrave said she wished there was even more art displayed throughout The Whiteaker. She said she loves the murals and art pieces found around the area, and only wished there was more to find.
“It can seem intimidating,” said Hyunwoo Jeane of The Whiteaker as he dismounted his bike outside of the Blair Avenue Laughing Planet.
Jeane, a 24-year-old gospel choir singer, spoke of the neighborhood’s tight community and said it can be easy to feel left out as a visitor. Despite this, Jeane said he loves The Whiteaker’s accessibility and says it’s only a short ride on his bike.
Between the many food options, quality coffee and community-displayed art, The Whiteaker is home to a creative and lucky group of residents.