Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A couple more things

Yes, dear readers, I've thought of a couple more things to update regarding my perambulations around the Rose City.  I know you are waiting impatiently for updates, I can tell by all of the eager comments you leave...  wait, what's that you say?  You've never left a comment?  Hmm.  You probably don't send your grandmother thank you cards either.  That's all I'm saying (at this point).

But, to get down to bidness...

That Damned Hill

If you worked on that damned Hill, or if you still work upon it, you must remember the two enormous water tanks at the bend in the road, just past the lonely apartment building in the dell.  Yes, I thought so.  Do you remember what they look like?  Ok, obviously large and round, thanks genius!  They were tan with water stains and black mold and frankly they looked shitty.  Now, however, they blend right in to the environment since they have been painted a lovely dark green color.  A color that always make me think "Norwegian Wood", you know, the Beatles song.  In the dark of night, when I am leaving the Hill, you can't see them at all.  The pumping station between them is still tan and stained looking, though.

Hawthorne Bridge/Grand Avenue

If you've crossed the Hawthorne Bridge lately you've noticed the construction in both the east- and west-bound directions.  At the east end of the bridge, the City, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to take out the rather convenient and efficient traffic moving turn lanes.  So, picture this: as you are traveling east-bound over the bridge, and over the elevated street section, you descend to Grand Avenue.  If you were to head north, you would get in the left lane and swoop down in your own turn lane to merge onto Grand.  Well, not anymore.  There's a curb there now and you'll have to queue up with the cars traveling up Hawthorne in order to make your left turn.  Same thing in trying to get on to the bridge in the west-bound direction.  There was a designated turn lane from Grand onto the bridge approach.  These are both being taken out.  I can only surmise that it is because of the east-side streetcar -- even though the streetcar tracks are on the other side of Grand.  I don't know about you, but I am not a fan of the streetcar.  I love public transportation but that damned streetcar bugs me.  They are super slow, for one thing.  The one that traverses the Pearl?  Yeah, you can walk faster than that.  I've tried it.  They might get up a little more speed on streets with fewer pedestrians, but by and large more buses would be a better investment.

Well, that's it for now.  There's probably more going on, but I haven't been keeping good track of things.  I'll do better, really I will.  And so will you.  I know you are reading this drivel; I do check my stats, you know.  Go ahead and leave me a comment!

Oh!  One more thing!  Just got my hair done...  what do you think???

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back, I guess, and sorta ready...

Well, dear readers, what can I say?  I haven't been blogging (my great capacity for stating the obvious) but I have been noticing some things around my stomping grounds.

Here's the thing: my darling mumsey has cancer and is slowing fading away before our eyes.  It's beyond sad and I've cried a river over it.  I'm not going to add more about that, though, because this is not the venue for sad family stories.  Just know that I have been distracted and busy and not neglecting you intentionally.

BUT!  I do want to get a few little tidbits noted and then I'll try to fill things out later.  To that end, I'll have to resort to bullets.

  • Occupy Portland!  Wow!  Have you seen all of those tents downtown?  How hilarious is it that they chose the park between the cop shop and courthouse?  I love it!  And, in true Portland fashion, when it looked like they were going to be in the way for the Portland Marathon, they moved.  And came right back.  We're civilized like that.
  • In the same neighborhood, the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building is finally looking like more than a steel skeleton.  There is some steel superstructure going up on the front and the south side is getting some skin.  I'll try to get some pictures.
  • In my neighborhood, the Gulch, that derelict brick building on 21st that almost fell into the freeway is being rehabbed.  What?!  Who would put money into that?  I don't know, but they are shoring up the south facing foundation and building a new exterior wall.  Go figure.  Again, pictures would be helpful.
  • The Slammer Tavern.  Someone has moved into the apartment above the tavern.  It's been vacant for as long as I can remember and always looked like hell, but now someone is living there.  I drive by on my way home from work and I can't help but stare as I'm stopped at the light (7th and Stark).  Weird, huh?
  • South Waterfront and the New Bridge.  The south waterfront is a freaking nightmare.  I don't know why they can't do some of that work at night.  It is hellish down there!  But, watching the progress on the new bridge over the Willamette is interesting.  The new bridge will be just upstream from OMSI and cross over to the yet-to-be-built new complex of education high rises.  OHSU, PSU, and OSU are combining forces and funding and building a shared campus.  The bridge will be adjacent.  The bridge will be for light rail (a new Max line to SE -- yes, Milwaukie), bicycles, and pedestrians.  No cars!  The view from the Hill is pretty good and sometimes I'll pause on the 8th floor and watch the bridge stuff going on.
I feel like there were a couple more things I wanted to make note of, but I can't remember right now.  I'll try to get back here before too much time elapses and update you, but in the meantime, I NEED A CAMERA!  My phone takes the crappiest pictures and my little digital snappy broke so I'm in the market for something easy and cheap.

Oh, and if you were paying attention, I said that on my drive home... sad to say, I'm not riding my bike much right now.  For one thing, it's wet out.  Really wet.  But the bigger issue is that I am working a swing shift and I just don't feel good about riding home in the wet, cold, dark night.  I sure do miss Helen though.  Sigh. But, if we have a break in the weather, I'll be pedaling.

I guess that's all I've got for now.