The temperature has dropped and so has the number of “travelers” camped along the waterfront. Last week they were spread out like a giant slumber party and this week they are gone. Not all, of course, there are some who are sticking it out in the mist and drizzle and low temps.
Under the Burnside Bridge was a popular spot. The city has built a new venue for the Saturday Market. I’d offer up a review of the space but I think I should visit it first. I can tell you a little bit about the part along the waterfront. There is a large open area with a glass cover. In this area and an adjacent circular area there are water features. These are not fountains in the sense of a bowl of water with some cascading tiers. These are the kind of water features that have jets at the ground level and shoot water up in varying displays. I believe that they designed this so that the homeless wouldn’t camp under the glass cover. I will visit the Saturday Market sometime this fall and get back to you about the rest of it.
Another popular camping spot is on the east side of the Steel Bridge, just south of the Rose Quarter transit center. If you are familiar with the area you’ll know that there is a series of paths and view points along the walkway to the bridge. One of these viewpoints was claimed by a group of homeless with lots of luggage. They kept their goods and chattels bundled up and stowed neatly in the overlook. One of the group would always be hanging out with the stuff in the afternoons; presumably the others were off making a living somewhere. They haven’t actually left the area, but they don’t sleep on the overlook anymore. They’ve moved up hill to be under the trees. I guess it’s just too cold on the exposed viewpoint.
I didn’t intend to write a blog post about the homeless in Portland. I was thinking more about the changing seasons but the tides of humanity reflect the weather here. It’s pretty mild in Portland but it does get cold and it certainly gets wet. We are coming to the season when they all move to California.
I was going to write about trees. You know how I love trees! The color change has begun. The native deciduous trees tend to be yellow or brown. Alders, maples – both vine maples and big leaf maples - oaks. We get the dramatic colors from the fancy fureigners. Outside my window at work is one – I can’t tell you what it is (until I walk over and check it out) but I can tell you that it is glorious. It is a ball of bright yellow and pale green. It is some days ahead of the trees around it, as far as changing color. On some streets in the neighborhood there is one tree that leads the pack and stands out in luminescent splendor. My street hasn’t started yet, but by next week I think we’ll see some color busting out. And after that, the yards, sidewalks and streets are filled with leaves. The raking season is just around the corner. More on that soon, no doubt.
Do you have a favorite tree? Are things starting to look like Autumn in your neighborhood?