Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Downtown views

So, it's dark out there before 7am.  You may not have noticed that, since few people get up as early as I do.  Oh, I'm not complaining (much).  At least, not about your habit of sleeping later than me.  My point, and I do have one, is that it's hard to observe a lot of the changes that happen in our fair city when you can't see it because it's too dark.  Or too rainy.

However!  Traveling up the newly reformatted transit mall on the old Number 8, I can make out a few indistinct shapes in the gloom.  One thing I have seen and think is pretty cool is a coffee stand.  I can just hear you now ~ Wow! A coffee stand!  In Portland, of all places!  Ok, ok, quit with the sarcasm.  It's not that there is a coffee stand, it's the stand itself that caught my eye.

Do you remember those curvy, mushroom shaped bus shelters that spoke so eloquently of the '70's?

By the '90's, most were closed up and vandalized with just a few left functioning along the bus mall.  In the past decade they have almost all been replaced by the new variety of streamlined, hi-tech style bus shelters.

Well, along 5th Avenue, between Madison and Jefferson (I think) is one of the old bus shelters that has been converted to a coffee stand.  It looks quite cozy and cheerful!  The funny thing is, I think it was moved to this location expressly to be a coffee stand.  I don't think it was there before.  At any rate, I can't locate it on Google street view at its current location.  Interesting, no?  Yes, I thought so too.  This might need some further investigation!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sometimes we are out and about

Blue Sky Gallery, on the North Park Blocks.  What a fantastic installation!

Photo courtesy: tlc

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Observations from the commute

Ok, it's dark out when I go to work, but I do catch a glimpse of a few things.  Most recently, the absence of a thing.

Do you remember the auto shop parking lot in old town, on the corner of 5th and Glisan?  It's kitty-corner across from the back of the Greyhound bus terminal.  Directly across from a homeless shelter.  I believe that it has changed owners and apparently the new owners are not *art* lovers.  Or, they needed the space.

Missing from the lot is a large (and by large I mean about 15 to 20 feet tall) metal sculpture of a hand.  Reaching skyward, was it beseeching the heavens for alms?  Was it showing us the way?  Come to think of it, what the hell shape was it in?  My first thought was that it was reaching upwards, then I thought no, it was a fist.  Now I think it might have been an 'a-ok'.  Frustratingly, I can't find a picture of it on the interwebs.  Why don't one of you faithful readers refresh my memory... one of the two of you ought to remember!  Please comment!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blog Blast for Peace

Dona Nobis Pacem

From my family to yours...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Like Our Bikes!

Helen Meets Mr Darcy

Our friend Chris rode her new bike over last weekend to watch some football with us.   Look how pretty Mr Darcy is!  He and Helen look very well together!  That's Helen on the right, with the basket.

They both have the green/brown color scheme and are very close in color.

We like our bikes!  Well, in my case it's love...


Monday, November 1, 2010

Update from Hawthorne

Just a quick update to let you know that the new New Seasons market on Hawthorne has opened.  Instead of going with the model used by Whole Foods in the Hollywood District, ie: retail on the ground floor and several floors of condos above; the new New Seasons went with the old Fred Meyer model, ie: retail on the ground floor and parking on the roof.  But, wait!  I can hear your cries of outrage already!  What about a green roof?!?!  I mean, this is Portland, people! 

I’ll have to examine this further.  I can’t tell what they are doing with their runoff water.  But, by gum, I’ll find out.

Oh, and I haven’t actually been in the store yet.  They do claim to be the friendliest alternative grocery store in town though, so maybe they won’t mind my urgent questions about green roofs too terribly much.

I’ll let you know, because you shouldn’t have to wait with bated breath for too long.

The Ol' Number 8

I rode the bus to work today.  No, that is not headline worthy news, it’s just that it’s been a while, a long while, and I noticed something that I thought I would share with you all.  I see that as part of my job.

The route has changed!  Yes, it still goes to the Hill.  But it gets there a different way and I was not prepared for that. 

My guess is that the route change is related to the new Green line Max that goes to PSU.  I think that stirred up a few changes on the downtown transit mall.

So, cut to the chase already! 

Back in the days of yore, the number 8 would come up the transit mall on 5th, turn right on Jefferson, and left on Broadway (A pointless aside: it used to turn on Clay).  It would pass Portland State and continue up the street, crossing the 405 freeway and slipping downhill two or so blocks to turn right on 6th (which becomes Terwilliger).

Now, the new route goes up 5th ALL THE WAY TO THE FREEWAY!  AND THEN ACROSS IT!  I know!  It’s astounding!  After crossing the freeway, the bus bears to the left where 5th, Broadway and Barbur are all muddled together, and then turns right on Carruthers.  It goes one block and then turns left on 6th and motors on up the hill.

I realize that this bus route change is insignificant in any measure of, well, anything, but never let it be said that the Portland Report wasn’t staying on top of the insignificant. 

No squirrels or goats were observed on this ride.  Probably because it was dark out.