first Intersection Repair grew out of one man?s despair, strategic and unified neighborhood action, and a little bit of luck. In the early 1990s, Mark Lakeman, one of City Repair?s founders, returned to Portland after living with indigenous Mayan people in southern Mexico. ?I was in culture shock,? Lakeman recalls. ?The only way I could begin to survive was to try to recreate places where people could begin to talk with each other. I was living in this neighborhood where no one was talking, no one was interacting on the street, and I had just come from places where the commons was everywhere.? In response, Lakeman and a few friends constructed a ?renegade teahouse? in a backyard in Southeast Portland?s Sellwood neighborhood?an inviting, transparent structure made from recycled wood and plastic sheeting?and began opening it up to neighborhood residents for weekly potlucks.