Vie de Boheme closing - another victim of Portlandiazation
More and more of Portland disappears, taking the music scene with it.
Another Portland music venue is going out of business, not due to poor attendance, but....well, we'll let the folks at Vie de Boheme tell you:
Last week we received a letter from our landlord's attorney terminating our current lease arrangement, and giving us until the end of September to vacate. The City of Portland has decided to come down hard on certain code issues related to our building, and though we were willing to bear a considerable burden of expense for the upgrades, our landlord is not willing to pay for the other improvements required that would allow us to stay. In addition, we were informed that any new lease signed would mean a near doubling of our rent.There is no way that we could absorb that kind of increase.
With our hands tied, we say goodbye to the beautiful dream that was VDB - a quirky, bohemian, Euro-inspired, multi-generational, TV-free dream zone for building community and sharing a wildly eclectic musical, cultural, and theatrical richness: opera, blues, jazz, rock, folk, Brazilian, African, French, Cajun, Cuban, and Greek music, pop, r&b, salsa, Big Band swing, cabaret, comedic improv theater, you name it. It was the kind of place you could meet new people in, or bring a date - the perfect setting to propose to someone in, then hold your wedding reception here, as often happened.
It's hard to express all the emotions that we're feeling at this time. We feel an immense debt of gratitude to all of the musicians, performers, patrons, and friends who have made such important contributions to the story and the spirit of VDB. It's a sad outcome for all the amazing artists we've had the honor to work with, not to mention the community groups and non-profits we have made it our business to support. As we wrote to our landlord:
"Look around Portland, and see all that is disappearing. What we feel is not just anger and sadness, not just pride in having made something beautiful, and unique. What we know is that what was created here was precious, and rare, and that the blow to this community is incalculable."
Sadly, we are now seeing this all over Portland, with live music venues steadily disappearing, along with many other small businesses and once affordable housing that gave this City its uniqueness and character. Unless the citizenry becomes more involved and vocal about the decisions being made and the direction things are headed, the Portland that we loved, the Portland of livable neighborhoods and entrepreneurial risk-taking, will be a distant memory. We will have allowed ourselves to be colonized.