Nike Advanced Product Creation Center

You may be asking yourself why I’m standing in front of the Nike Advanced Product Creation Center (APCC) first thing on a Saturday morning. Well, the answer is that several packages for me were delivered to the wrong building, so I missed them, and I’ve got plans for the boxes this weekend.

The front door of the APCC is formidable, with several layers of barrier. You can see the “NIKE” design in the middle wall divider.

According to press releases, the 125,000-square-foot APCC is for fostering the creation of customized consumer products. I have seen co-workers with one-of-a-kind sneakers; perhaps they’re products of the APCC.

There’s several obstacles in my way:

  1. People who decide to work on the weekends typically do so from home, so there’s no reception staff on-site.
  2. Each building has its own security protocol, and the APCC is especially “tight” (in Nike parlance). The warning against photography or social media inside, and the admonition to escort all visitors is one level up from the security in my building.

I call the after-hours number, explain my predicament, and stay in touch as security tries to confirm whether I’m allowed to step into the building off-hours and to contact the reception staff to find a key to the locked package vault. I hang outside for an hour and a half as they coordinate the resources, get an supervisor to the APCC, unlock the vault, and hand me the packages. Thank you, Nike Security!

On the way out I take a 360° photosphere of the new parking garage, the orange building. (I notice that the Google Maps photos are out-of-date; this edifice doesn’t appear.)

The west terminus of MAX

Beaverton is a collection of rural/suburban neighborhoods stretching from Hillsboro in the west to downtown Beaverton in the east, along with Marlene Village, Tanisbourne, Quatama, Orenco, Elmonica, Sommerset, Amberglen, Five Oaks, Triple Creek, and others. I’ve only seen three of them.

There’s not much to do around here, so I’ve been taking the MAX to the neighborhoods and then walking around, exploring. Today, as I head to the MAX station, I get a good view into the Elmonica Maintenance Yards entrance, usually gated.

My goal today is to hit the west terminus of the MAX line, the Hillsboro neighborhood. I was told there’s at least two or three blocks at its center, which is bigger than my neighborhood, so off I go. It’s about twenty minutes or so until I’m there; this 360° photosphere shows you exactly what I see after disembarking.

The Hillsboro Farmers Market

It’s with not a little surprise that I get out of the MAX station only to discover that the the Hillsboro Farmers Market is taking place! What a delight; foodie treats stretch out for two blocks before me, more than doubling the possibilities for this little neighborhood. There’s several different prepared food stands:

A meat monger, with some very tasty samples, including a very good bacon.

Chocolates in mint and traditional choices. We chat at length, and I suggest that his father, the chocolatier, think about adding some variants: perhaps Mexican Ibarra (with cinnamon) and spicy Aztec (with chili). I’ve had both of those as hot chocolates, and they’re wonderful.

Fresh local vegetables and flowers.

Ceramic garlic graters, shown to also work with ginger, lemon zest, hard cheese, and spicy peppers.

The Bennett Coffee Roasting Company, a family with a roaster in their backyard. Their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is superlative, a complex brew with major tastes of berries, so completely unlike almost all coffee imbibed in the USA that I’m blown away, my thoughts sent all the way to the same coffee that I had at the Pick ‘n Pay in South Africa. I’d forgotten what top-tier coffee tastes like…

The nut butter guy, with all the samples. The distinct tastes between the nuts are evident when there’s only a few ingredients and you can compare them side-by-side.

The ghee couple, with organic grass-fed ingredients and a brown butter ghee. I was skeptical, but came away impressed. Now they just need to pair up with the bread booth down the block…

My last discovery of the market was also my favorite: Carl’s Bitchin Biltong. While I liked his biltong (think sliced jerky from South Africa) it’s his droëwors (dry sausage) that wins the day! It’s made with local meats, per the law, but we both agree that we’re craving the kudu droëwors sold as a fundraiser in Kruger National ParkThat has a delightful taste that’s beyond description, or at least my ability to describe it.

As I walk down Main Street away from the market I come across this sculpture, which I correctly guess is part of the city’s public art program. From the online description: Walking Warrior, by Sharon Agnor (2016 – 2018), is a stainless steel, fused glass, and bronze sculpture which stands at 5’7”, the same height as the artist. It explores Agnor’s battle with stage 3 breast cancer.

Across the street is the Hillsboro Hobby Shop, with this wee train circling around in the window. I take a photo for my son, Isaac, because he’s a transportation maven. He’ll be identifying each of the cars in a few minutes…

The trains are his childhood. In the store window I see my childhood: Estes rockets. I remember the white delta-wing space shuttle-inspired rocket as being a much-coveted item. Good times.

This place has everything from tiny models to ones that wouldn’t comfortably on a living room coffee table, for toys of every budget, with some amazing things in the upper range.

Oh, and the staff are really enthusiastic and inviting, ensuring I’ll be bringing Isaac by the next time we’re near.

Further down the street is the Insomnia Coffee Company, where for the second time in one hour I’m blown away by Ethiopian coffee, this time one I’ve not heard of: Qonqona. The taste is exquisite!

The staff are friendly and knowledgable, and they’ve got several locations, so it’s a sure thing that I’ll be crossing paths with more Ethiopian coffee.

If you don’t like the weather just wait a minute

I’m done. That’s a lot of steps. So I’m back at the MAX line, waiting for the trolley. (My son would hasten to point out it’s a “light rail vehicle”, but that’s too long, and “train” gives the impression of a much bigger, diesel-powered behemoth.) You can tell by the shades that it’s sunny out, and there’s a bit of bokeh going on courtesy of Android camera software.

A short while later the shades are off, the rain jacket is being taxed by a downpour, the only hint of which is a sheen visible on the platform behind me.

Well, that’s my day of hunting for groceries. Between the various locations and incarnations of farmers markets, the Trader Joe’s in downtown Beaverton, the New Seasons Market in Cedar Hills, the Fred Meyer just north of me in Five Oaks, and the Costco down the street, I’m guaranteed lots of steps. Thanks for walking some of them with me.

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