Friday, November 30, 2012

East Side of the Hawthorne Bridge

What the heck are those metal things at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge?  Is it a pair of sculptures?  Are they some fancy new signage?  This calls for a photo!  I'll get back to you with that...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday eve

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and you know what that means.

The giant martini glass will be lit up on Friday!!!

It's a Portland tradition.  It's probably 20 feet tall, high up on the hill overlooking downtown PDX.

You know it's holiday time in Portland when the giant martini glass casts it's beneficent glow over us all.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Random Bike Stuff from the Streets of Portland

Bike Stuff

1.      Bike Commute Challenge

The Bike Commute Challenge took place during September here in Portland.  I didn’t manage a 100% biking rate this year, but I did pretty well.  I rode all but three days of the month.  I’ll have to be satisfied with that.

2.      12 people at the light this morning!  Didn’t all make it through the green!

The numbers are increasing.  There was actually a bicycle traffic jam at the intersection of Interstate and Oregon St, by the Rose Quarter.  Lots of people are riding to work and wearing real clothes, not bike gear.  
I like it! 

3.       Older Gal passing me up

Now, this is just funny.  On my ride to work, there is a street that has a gentle rise over the course of two blocks.  It’s a gentle rise but definitely noticeable.  I will either downshift or stand up and pedal.  So, I’m heading up the street one morning last week and behind me comes an older gal cruising along on her bicycle.  This, in itself, is not surprising.  People of all ages ride bikes, especially in Portland.  Nor is it surprising that she then passes me.  I get passed by people every day.  But, as she passes, I notice that she is both older and heavier than I am…  hmm… and, I’m in decent shape so how is she able to cruise right by?  Well, I don’t bother myself about it, but rather just keep on riding to work.  When I get to the bottom of the tram, I see that she is a couple of bikes ahead of me and we both ride up the hill.  After we disembark and walk through the building to the street, she hops on her bike, reaches down and clicks something.  The next thing I know there’s a gentle whirring sound and off she goes up the street.  It’s an electric assist bicycle!

4.       Need a bigger basket

As I mentioned before, I need to replace the basket on the front of Helen.  It got broken and bent in that crash.  And, it’s just too small.  I have been looking on line and at my local bike shops and I think I have one picked out.  BUT, I also have the collapsible rear basket on the right, which is where I put my backpack.  I asked my Pop if I could have the one off my mum’s bike to mount on the left side.  Then I will have three baskets and that’s enough cargo area for any trip to the store or the farmer’s market.  Ok, true, I usually walk to the store… but still!  And, just because Helen is such a beauty, I’m going to paint all the baskets brown to match her trim.  It’ll be a winter project.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Update

Things keep happening, even if you don't read about them here.  Sorry about that!

So, that development on Burnside and 12th (do I need to add 'East side'? No.)  According to the sign posted on the chain link fence, it's going to be a senior residence.  A green one, apparently.  I think it might be affiliated with the church that owned (owns?) the parking lot that has become the property site.  We shall see!

That Lloyd Center parking lot remodel pissed me off.  The whole thing is to add storm water drainage and plantings and whatever...  and so the first thing they did was cut down the trees that were living in little islands in the midst of all that asphalt.  Fuckers.  Cut down trees in order to plant trees.  Don't people understand that trees are living things that have as much right to exist as we do?  I feel a rant coming on...

The Farmer's Markets have been fantastic this year.  I have lost count of how many jars of jam I have made so far this year.  Well over 100.  That makes me happy!  We also put up two dozen jars of pickles.  This year we did the hot brine to refrigerator method rather than the water bath method.  The pickles are fantastic!  We bought a small fridge for the basement and it is chock full.  But now, we are worried.  The pickles are so good that we'll surely run out before cucumber season comes back.  Might have to make another dozen jars...

I crashed on my bike last week.  It was on the East Bank Esplanade, where the switchback from the transit center, the East Bank bikeway and the Steel Bridge bikeway all come together.  Another gal and I got our signals crossed and ran into each other.  Then, a woman behind me crashed trying to avoid us.  It was a mess.  Fortunately, no one was badly hurt ~ including our bikes.  I took Helen in to the bike shop to be checked out and she is just fine.  Well, they said she's fine and I rode to work today but she definitely feels a little loose in the front end.  I'll be keeping an eye on her, that's for sure.  Wrecked my front basket, though.  I'll need to replace that.

The new bridge across the Willamette is coming along, and the University buildings beside it.  According to new releases, the first phase of the school buildings will open next fall.  The year after that the Dental School will take up residence there.  What will happen to the dental school building on the Hill?  Probably tear it down and build something bigger.  The bridge itself is slated to be completed in the fall of 2015.  It will serve light rail, pedestrians and bicycles.

The grass at Waterfront Park is being rehabbed.  Large chunks of the park are fenced off to get the grass back in shape.  We use this park a lot and the grass really takes a beating.  There's still the Race for the Cure coming up, but I think this year it will be down at the other end of the park, near River Place.  The geese are loving the new grass!

Well, that's it for now, gentle reader.  I'll try harder to stay up to date on the doings of pdx...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lloyd Center follow up

Well, all I had to do was check the Lloyd Center website...

Seems that it will remain a parking lot, just a better parking lot.  Hmm.... a missed opportunity there, I think.
Here's what they say is happening:

The parking lot renovation happening in the Regal Cinema parking lot includes pedestrian connection, new landscaping, rain gardens and new and improved lighting.

At least there's new landscaping and rain gardens going in.  That's a good thing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lloyd Cinema stuff

What is happening in the Lloyd Cinema parking lot???


There is construction fencing around almost the whole thing and giant equipment is digging up the pavement.  It looks very much like there is a large building planned for the space.  It's being dug up in the north-west corner of the lot (by the bus stop).

If they were smart, they would invest in a pay parking lot.  Tons of people park there to take the Max to work or to walk to their jobs in the Lloyd District.  Illegally park there, I might add.  I can be sanctimonious about it since I don't do it...  :-)  But, really, if you think about it, they can charge anywhere from $5 to $12 per day, and an attendant would only cost about $80 per day.  If they put in spaces for say, 300 cars, it would make money hand over fist.

Not sure what is going on, but believe me, I'll be keeping an eye on this one!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Odds and Ends

Hey There Folks!

I know, I know, nobody reading this malarkey anymore... that's what happens when you neglect the fan base.  Oh, wait, there never was a fan base.  Oh well.

So, every day while I am riding to work on my bike I think about things that would make a decent blog post.  As we can tell, that's as far as I ever get.  Today, however, I will throw a few things out there for your consideration.

  • Waterfront Park  Busy!  The festival schedule is in full swing!  Last weekend was the Brewer's Fest and next weekend is The Bite.  It looks to me like they try to move the various festivals up and down the park to take the burden off the grass.  Sort of works.  Another thing, trash pick up.  Often after a big event there are park maintenance people out there supervising the homeless in trash pick up.  That's a good thing.  Trash gets picked up, the homeless earn some pocket money, it's a win/win.  And, let me tell you, there was so much trash left in the park on July 5th ~ I was shocked!  All gone by afternoon, though.
  • Keeping it Weird  Ok, this could be filed under Waterfront Park, but I thought it needed it's own entry.  One morning as I was riding along the waterfront I saw some park officials quietly observing a sleeping man.  He was completely naked and sleeping on the narrow shelf of concrete on the other side of the sea-wall fence.  Does that make sense?  Ok, no, it doesn't make sense, what I'm really asking is, Can you picture what I'm saying?  Park, sidewalk, fence, narrow strip, VERTICAL DROP OF 20 FEET TO THE RIVER!  Yes, he was sleeping there!  I think they were afraid to wake him in case he fell.  Like I said... Keeping it weird.
  • Construction Crane on the East Side You know that tricky intersection of Burnside, Sandy and 12th?  In what was once a parking lot a construction crane is raising up something big.  This is the lot that is between 12th and the restaurant called Old Wives Tale.  It was a parking lot for a church.  Not sure what's going in there, but apparently it will be tall.
  • Jam Season Yes, it's jam season.  So far I've made raspberry, apricot, blueberry, tayberry, strawberry and peach.  Sour cherry is coming up this weekend.  I'm driving out to Yamhill tomorrow to pick up my pail of sour cherries.  Then, let the canning marathon begin!  
  • Blackberries  Related to the above, I'm seeing blackberries growing all over.  Amazingly, there are none in my yard.  Well, not really amazing since my partner is in charge of the yard.  But, I have been thinking about taking a bucket out with me and picking blackberries for jam and maybe a pie.  Yum!
  • Bike Commute I'm seeing more and more people commuting in regular clothes, and I have to say that it makes me happy.  I don't like the notion of bike commuting being some kind of elitist activity and all of the gear and clothing make it seem so.  I love to see regular people wearing their work clothes and just tooling along.  
Well, there's more no doubt, but that's all I can think of for the moment.  I'll try to be better about posting but... you've heard that one before!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fun evening!

Tonight I am taking a canning class!

Last summer I found a great source for sour cherries and made gallons and gallons of sour cherry jam.  Zoe was in town and helped me with that and we had a fun, if steamy, time.  T and I put up 18 jars of pickles out of our garden.  In the past I have canned peaches and pears and sauces and jams of all sorts.  My mom and I used to make cherry plum jam every year and it was so good!  It's very satisfying to have all of those beautiful jars of jam all lined up in the pantry, very satisfying!

So, last summer I found a recipe for sour cherry jam on this site, Food In Jars. Marissa McClellan, the blogger and canner extraordinaire, is teaching the class.  She just published a cook book and is touring the country doing book signings and canning classes.  Oddly enough, though she lives in Pennsylvania now she is an Oregonian, specifically a Portlander!

We're going to be making strawberry lemon jam in the class.  I hope we get to take a jar home!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Climbing roses

I had the occasion to drive down SE 39th recently (excuse me, Cesar Chavez Blvd) and saw a lovely sight.  A large tree, might have been a magnolia, has light pink climbing roses growing way up through it's branches.  There are roses blooming 20 or 30 feet up in this tree!  So beautiful!

In my neighborhood, there is a red climbing rose growing up into a tree as well.  Not as high, but just as lovely.

Years ago I planted a native rose at the foot of our Chinese maple but it never climbed.  Probably didn't get enough sun, but also might not have been a climber.

One of these days I'll get a new phone with a good camera in it, and then I can have a show and tell...

Friday, June 1, 2012

New business, old location

Hi There, Blog Readers!  (or should I just say Z)

Big news round my particular 'hood: There's a comic store going in on NE Broadway!  I'm excited about that!  Where, where?  You all are clamoring to know!
It's in the building on the south side of the street, just before you turn to go to Freddy's, also known as NE 30th.  There was a photocopy/print shop there for a while, and something else, and something else before that, but it's been vacant for quite some time.  There is a nail salon in the other half of the building.

I'm really hoping that they have all the gay comics!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Keeping Portland as it should be...

Keep Portland Weird!

Yesterday, on Hawthorne and 43rd, one of my friends said, "Do you hear a bagpipe?"

Sure enough, here came an individual playing a bagpipe, wearing a kilt and a Darth Vader mask while riding a unicycle.

We applauded!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Occupy the Bus Stop

On Tuesday, at the bus stop, someone had posted three large flyers/posters (approximate size 18"x24").  They were glued to the glass of the bus shelter.  I can't recall seeing this method of posting flyers in Portland.  They are usually stapled onto utility poles.

The three posters were very artistic and well-designed.  All three are from the Occupy movement and you may have seen them around your neck of the woods.

  • Poster 1: Rainbow starburst on one side with the text 'General Strike' in the middle.  The other side was black and white with a floral patterned background, and 3 mask faces above the words 'Occupy Jakarta'.  Something like this one:

  • Poster 2: Colors of gold and brown on both sides.  One side said, 'Decolonize Wall Street' with a picture of a Native American.  The other side had a large leaf/flower/flame design.  There was more text on both sides, but mostly picture.  Kind of like these:

  • Poster 3: The Occupied Wall Street Journal.  I didn't have time to read any of it, but I really like the message on the back side which said, 'The Revolution will not be branded but it will be beautiful.' I like the sentiment.  Here's what it looked like:

On the first two posters, the light shining through blended the images beautifully.  All three were very well-conceived and stylish.  I imagine that you have seen them around your own city or town or on the interwebs.

Today they had been torn down.  Probably not by Trimet, our transit authority, because the glass walls of the bus shelter had not been washed and the ragged remains of the posters were still there.  Whoever tore them down threw the paper on the ground.  What had been beautiful was now simply a mess.  A bigger mess than just leaving them on the bus shelter.  

What prompts a person to do that?  A sanctimonious feeling of righteousness?  Or did they disagree with the message?  I've seen plenty of people who have made it their mission to tear down posters on poles and they do have an air of outrage and smugness about them.  But the people I have seen doing that regard the posters as trash and they put them in a trash bag.  They don't throw them on the ground.  They see themselves as a litter patrol, working on urban beautification.  I realize that not everyone will have the same taste in art and design.  But, if you don't like it and you tear it down, don't throw it on the ground.  Put it in a trash can, you heathen, and don't make our beautiful city trashy.  

You know it wasn't part of the 1% out there eradicating all evidence of the Occupy Movement.  Some maladjusted, hostile, disenfranchised hater who doesn't have anything better to do than rip down posters...  that's just sad.