This last few years in White Salmon we have seen a delightful resurgance of Community. Uptown businesses, Bingen White Salmon Business Partners, and the Arts Council, along with various individuals, have been working to encourage community gathering and involvement through outdoor events like “Nights in White Salmon”, Christmas tree lighting, and Concerts in the Parks. We have a beautifully lit Christmas tree thanks to individuals such as Sharon McCormack here in the community who helped make it happen. Some mysterious group of community members even decorated Dock Grade with Beautiful cheerful ornaments hanging from trees high over the road! These are wonderful because although they have come to be known as Christmas Ornaments, they are older even than Christianity. Really they are symbols of joy not specific only to any culture or religion, but common to many groups of people throughout history and place. They are bright spots of hope like apples hanging from bare winter trees, bringing color and light into the dark times of Winter.
We need those brights spots of hope, all of us… no matter what religion or culture, all together we make community as varied and colorful as baskets full of beads or farm produce during harvest season.
Here in White Salmon and Bingen are many lovely Cafe’s, Brewery and Coffee shops, Book stores, Gallery stores featuring local artists,who can showcase and sell their creative works. Places like The Inn of The White Salmon support local businesses and artists and encourage their out of town guests to shop locally. The White Salmon Glassblowing and Artisan’s Jewelery and Gallery features many local artisans as well as their own products. Solstice Wood Fired Pizza in Bingen feature artists and photographers on their walls, and local musicians play music regularly as well.
Our town now has more warm happy places to gather with friends over drink and nourishment (such as Katrina’s Cafe and Everybody’s Brewing) or a good book (the local Library as well as “The Book Peddler”. Many of these places are working hard to create community and encourage one another.
One such place, Ten Speed Coffee (now rebranded as North Shore Cafe by owner Amber Nelson) has become a delightful spot to spend time. Amber and Jana, the owner and manager respectively, want to nourish body, mind and spirit… not only through delicious hot and cold beverages and nourishing pastries and meals, but also through music and art. Amber states in her mission statement; “at North Shore Cafe we are dedicated to providing a warm comfortable and creative environment while making customer service our number one priority.”
One current ongoing event at North Shore Cafe is Open Mic music night on Wednesdays at 7:00 to 10:00 pm. In the long term vision, Amber speaks of encouraging the use of this space after hours for events,music, potlucks, meetings.
North Shore Cafe also provides a location for many local artists to get a start by hanging gallery shows. Currently displayed is artwork by Cyndi Strid of whimsical little faces created with slices of garden produce; along with Sienna toned Garden Vignettes by Carl Warren Photography.
My own photography was featured here earlier in the year, and you can come see my work as “Starlisa Black Photography” at North Shore Cafe Wed, Dec 12 and 19th during the evening Open Mic nights, on Friday, December 14th all day from 9am to 4 pm. (Yes, I am slipping in a promo for my work in the middle of all this!) Also Amber is providing a place for a handful of local artists like me to come set up and sell our artistic wares for Holiday presents on Thursday December 20 from 4:00 to 7:30 pm. She is doing this at no charge to us, but simply to create more community events to draw people together in a warm cozy place. Come on our and visit!!!
Together we as community can help keep each other strong… and around here winter months are tough for local businesses to survive as well as being tough on many individuals. WE can help sustain our local businesses and our neighbors make it through the dark times by shopping locally among our many lovely shops and artisans to support your friends and neighbors that are business owners, as well as by bringing your smiles to share at the cafes and coffee shops during winter blahs, encouraging one another during hard times and joyous times, and lending a helping hand to others when times are tough. Yay for Community!