My Journey to Whiteaker

EUGENE, Ore.– As I walked with my group exploring the streets of the Whiteaker neighborhood, there was not one boring or dull moment.

This colorful and vibrant mosaic sculpture is located in front of Pizza Research Institute on 3rd and Blaird

This colorful and vibrant mosaic sculpture is located in front of Pizza Research Institute on 3rd and Blair. Photo by Michaela Gilmer

Photo by Michaela Gilmer

Photo by Michaela Gilmer

We started our journey at the newest edition to the neighborhood; the outdoor skate park located under the Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge. The 23,000 square-foot outdoor skate park opened to the public on April 4, 2014. People from all ages enjoyed the numerous attractions the park features.

Eugene's new skatepark is located under the Washington Jefferson Bridge

Eugene’s new skatepark is located under the Washington Jefferson Bridge. Photo by Michaela Gilmer

The Whiteaker neighborhood offers a variety of businesses and restaurants that contribute to the area’s unique atmosphere. Papa Soul Food features classic soul food dishes and has been one of my favorite restaurants in Eugene for many years.

Papa Soul Food moved to the Whiteaker neighborhood in 2006.

Papa Soul Food moved to the Whiteaker neighborhood in May 2006. Photo by Michaela Gilmer

New to the Whiteaker neighborhood is Pizza Research Institute (PRI), located on 3rd and Blair. The restaurant recently relocated to the neighborhood and so far it has been a great success. “The biggest thing about our new location is we get much more foot traffic,” said Megan Wolf, a server at PRI who has worked at the restaurant since before its move. “The neighborhood is really coming alive.”

In addition to many restaurants, Whiteaker is the home to Ninkasi Brewery and more recently Hop Valley.

Ninkasi Brewing Company is located on 272 Van Buren Street. Photo by Michaela Gilmer

Ninkasi Brewing Company is located on 272 Van Buren Street. Photo by Michaela Gilmer

As we continued to explore, we couldn’t ignore the exciting atmosphere that filled the neighborhood such as the murals that covered many walls. We were surrounded by many groups of people whom, like us, were enjoying the beautiful and extraordinary 65-degree weather.

Photo by Michaela Gilmer

Photo by Michaela Gilmer

About Michaela Gilmer

I am a full-time student majoring in Journalism at the University of Oregon. I am passionate about working in either sports or music. For my entire life, I have wanted to develop my career around helping others and I plan on doing just that through reporting journalism. I believe journalism is a literary art form, but is also rooted in social action because journalists create ideas and stories that generate numerous responses and actions. For example, if I write a story about a low-budget high school where men’s basketball could no longer be offered, anyone who reads my story could take action on the issue I presented. Individuals may contact the school board and demand a meeting about the budget and the severity of cutting men’s basketball. I want to cover this aspect of journalism because I want to expose these issues in order to lead to action in changing them. I want to work in sports because there are many complexities with both amateur and professional sports. I want to write about ethics and politics within sports, specifically baseball, basketball and football. There needs to more research about NBA/NFL/MLB fines and how these fines are not the answer to fixing problems. Ultimately, my goal is to write and work for ESPN the Magazine. I am seeking work and internship opportunities in writing, reporting, branding, digital media, marketing, business journalism and event planning/organizing.
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