HIPFiSHmonthly has been serving alternative style journalism to the Columbia Pacific region since 1997. April 2011, marked a significant “return to the racks” for the publication after a devastating fire on the historic Astoria waterfront destroyed the multiplex office building No. 10 6th St., and adjoining restaurant, The Cannery Café. Both buildings were vintage cannery structures that had been renovated in the ‘90s to serve Astoria’s contemporary business, commerce and culture, while preserving and echoing the city’s colorfully rich past. HIPFiSH had held office space at NO. 10, since 2005.
Comprised of a small full-time/part-time staff, numerous longtime dedicated columnists and freelance contributors – prior to the fire event, HF had just produced a December 10/January 11 issue, enabling a one-month winter break for strategy planning and expansion of its services to the region. A month prior HIPFiSH introduced a new editorial section FOODGROOVE, with section editor in place, its mission to showcase the coastal region’s burgeoning local food movement, and with more plans of expansion for the publication in the hopper.
As a result of the fire, the publication’s physical properties were totally destroyed. The electronic files however were recovered from hard drives, and back-up systems. In late January, a community of friends and associates, including the regions musicians and artists, organized a fundraiser, HipAid, which helped to bridge the loss and re-start of the paper.
HIPFiSH will soon relocate to a storefront space in downtown Astoria. 1017 Marine Drive is yet another part of the burgeoning renaissance in Fish Town. Called the Occident Building, and renovated by Astoria natives Jason Palmberg and Jeff Canessa, encompassing a city block, The building houses LightBox Photographic Gallery, La Bohme Hair Salon, Bergerson Custom Tile, and now HIPFiSH.
HIPFISH has long partnered with various cultural organizations to present live events. With the new space, Editor/Publisher Dinah Urell is looking forward to participation in the monthly downtown Astoria art walks, and creating some cultural goodies for tourists and natives alike, as well as acknowledgment of Astoria’s 2011 Bicentennial. More will be announced about this HIPFiSH side venture.
In the fall of 1997 when an unmistakable renaissance of cultural reawakening was taking hold in the Columbia Pacific Region, HIPFiSH was a natural steward born to accompany the spirit of a burgeoning new scene; a growing scene now, that is evermore in need of an alternative, independent publication to represent the frontier edge; its voice, its heart, its integrity, its politics, its progressiveness – the art and culture unique to the Columbia Pacific Region.