Generally speaking, downtown Eugene is located along the boundaries of what was once the Downtown Commission, as well as the Whiteaker Community Council, the Jefferson Westside Neighbors, and the West University Neighborhood. Our group was anxious to head out on the cool, overcast afternoon yesterday to see what the area had to offer us.
After piling into my car and navigating our way through the seemingly endless one-way streets, we parked and immediately found the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. This facility is the home to seven different resident companies, including the Eugene Ballet Company, the Eugene Opera, and the Eugene Symphony. There is also a permanent art display featured in the Jacobs Gallery. It is a popular tourist attraction for visitors in the area, offering top performances and gallery tours to appease any lover of the arts.
Next, we came across Buffalo Exchange, a store that sells both new and recycled fashion. While shopping, you may hear the sounds of trains emitting from the Amtrak Station located just across the lot. This store is a very popular place for locals to come and barter for either in-store credit or cash for their old clothing. It is a great way for students to find good quality and fun clothing that also agrees with tight budgets.
Adjacent to Buffalo Exchange, we found M.E.C.C.A, or the Materials Exchange Center for the Community Arts. M.E.C.C.A is a nonprofit organization in Eugene that operates as a recycled art supply store. It is committed to providing low-cost art programs in Lane County and salvaging eclectic collections of materials from the trash. They also accept material donations.
You can’t make a stop in the downtown area without grabbing a Voodoo Doughnut. These deliciously unique pastries stand alone amongst others that we deign to call desserts, and as the store motto goes, “the magic is in the hole”. From the traditional glazed doughnut to the maple bacon bar, there is something for everyone’s taste buds at this local eatery. But if you play anything by Michelle Branch on the piano inside, you’re outta there!
Finally, we made the trek over to Eugene Station. Not unfamiliar to university students and local citizens alike, Eugene Station primarily serves as a bus station for the Lane Transit District (LTD). It is a free service for students with the use of their I.D. cards and a relatively inexpensive way for others to navigate throughout Eugene and the surrounding areas. Don’t have a car? No problem! There’s always a way to get to downtown and have a new adventure.
On Broadway and Willamette you may have to take another look when passing by these realistic statues. The Eugene Library sits across from this block. On a sunny day in Eugene this block will have many food vendors and people.