Sunday, February 8, 2009
Strolling on a Sunday afternoon
Sorry it's been a little while since I've written - I haven't been feeling well the last week or so and it's been taxing my energy. I've pretty much just been going to work and coming home and crashing - last weekend I moved into the basement TV room and just stayed there. It was fun.
But now I'm back up and about and after a Saturday filled with chore-y things, I was able to take some time today and take a walk into downtown Portland and check out some of my favorite sights. And I thought of you all, I did, and I took some photos.
I know I've mentioned to you all before about how much I appreciate Portland neighborhoods - you never really know what you're going to come across at any given moment. It pays to be vigilant and not just stroll on by.
You could miss this little guy -- we mostly see horses tied up to these - toy horses of course. A few years ago, a local guy started using these old horse post rings to tie up little toy horses as sort of an, I don't know, fun artistic statement. They're all over Portland now and I love coming across them. Someone here decided to expand the genre and include safari animals to the repertoire. Good on them.
Not that we are shirking our duty to represent horses...
Whaddya wanna bet a bunch of young guys live here?
Here's a City Repair Project bench. Every year a group of volunteers, urban planners, designers and architects get together for a ten day symposium to talk about all methods of alternative building in urban settings. They also go out into the streets and do projects such as these:
This sheltered bench, made out of cob, is artsy, fun and place for neighborhood residents to gather. You will find most of these projects in SE Portland right now, but I know they do other projects all over the city. I love coming across these as much as I do those little toy animals!
Eventually, I made it to one of the seven bridges that will bring traffic, foot and otherwise, into Downtown Portland. This is the entrance to the Hawthorne Bridge - the oldest vertical lift bridge in the country. It'll celebrate it's 100th year in 2010. It's also one of our busiest bridges, especially for bicycle commuters. Portland is known for being a bicycle friendly city - but we're proud of the fact that we have more bike commuters than any other city of our size in the U.S. Most of that is due to things like improving and widening sidewalks on bridges to accommodate bikes. The Hawthorne Bridge sees about 5000 cycle commuters daily and another 11,000 or so make it to work using other routes. Pretty nifty factoid - yay us.
Here's that "vertical lift" thing in action. On my way home I just happened to catch it while they were doing a lift drill. The Steel Bridge, three bridges down, opens like this too.
The Morrison Bridge is high enough to accommodate the tall ships that pass through from time to time (particularly for Fleet Week when we get all those Navy Ships in town) - the Burnside Bridge has a pretty long section that will flip up - it's impressive to see - - if you like that sort of thing. Which I do.
Okay, moving on.
I love Powell's. Most book nerds love Powells. Tourists come to Powells. It's the City of Books. 68,000 square feet - four stories, a city block full of books. They have a coffeeshop in here, which is good - you could easily spend the day. I come here a lot to get ideas and then cruise just few blocks south and hit the library where I can usually borrow those books from the good folks there. Smart thinking, eh?
Okay, well I'll have to pick this up tomorrow - it's getting late and my day starts early.......I'll try to finish it up - not leave you hanging at the library - so much more to see........