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Ellen Schlesinger (revisited)

October 2000: Trained as a painter in her native New York and in Paris, Ellen Schlesinger became a writer in 1970, the moment she hit the West Coast. "I wrote a piece about coming to California — the culture shock," she says. "It was published as an op-ed in the New York Times." Schlesinger wrote art criticism for Bay Area publications until 1994, when she and her journalist husband retired to Eugene's Whiteaker neighborhood. "I love Eugene — it's the perfect place to be a gardener," she says. Besides her own gardening, Schlesinger writes for Fine Gardening and other green-thumb journals. She came up with the idea for a neighborhood plant sale in 1998 — sale proceeds brought public Tai Chi lessons to Scobert Park the following summer.
2010 update: "Whiteaker is the 'hot hood,' very trendy now," says Schlesinger, whose gardening column has appeared in the R-G for 12 years. "In June of 2011, the KLCC Garden Tour will be here." Also known as the neighborhood's go-to person for stray cats and dogs, Schlesinger has a new Whiteaker project (as yet undisclosed) in the works. "Ellen is a special person," says her neighbor, Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. "She is a star and a real gift to our community.".

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 14 October 2010

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