Saturday, June 25, 2011

A View From My Youth #1

  It has been said that most humans do not recall much, if any at all, of their memories prior to the first two years of life. I like to think that it's because there wasn't really much to remember. I for one do not wish to remember sitting around in my own excrement while getting talked down to in baby voices. After all I have blurry memories of nights drinking heavily to remember that by. Like a lot of species our first memories are encouraged by our environment, our surroundings. I loved my surroundings growing up.
  I remember that at an early age I was frightened of the mice mascots at The Organ Grinder. Eventually I grew out of that. The memories of it being a treat to go to Bob's Big Boy when it resided on SE 82nd and Raymond, which subsequently was across the street from The Organ Grinder. One place that forever will be ingrained into my memory however is Kern Park. Outside of the Pacific Ocean, the National Forests of Oregon and my own house and yard, I have early, very great memories of that park. As cliché as it sounds,  that is an entire post all on it's own.

Age 2 at Kern Park looking like a cross between Oliver Twist and a greaser.
  As I wandered into an age where I was able to go out into the neighborhood with friends, I discovered how lucky I was. Countless hours spent playing, scraping ourselves up, making imaginary forts in the bushes in the alleyways that were curiously scattered throughout the blocks in my neighborhood. Planned trips to Elle's Thriftway during the afternoon for candy or whatever. Going to Elle's usually garnered a visit to Phoenix Rexall right next door, to look at comics and cheap trinkets.
It's weird to look at it now, my neighborhood. To see the changes through grown eyes seems like an injustice to the memories of my younger years here. I also know that things change, they come and go. What use would a memory be after all if everything was still the same? Nothing.

One of the many alley ways by my old house. Good memories of tag and "guns" in this alley in particular.
  There are things that stick out more of course. I remember the smell of Mt. Scott's Community Pool (which wasn't always a good thing) and the skating rink. The awkward ass skating rink. It's still there, the roller rink, with it's perilous posts wrapped in matting. It's where ankles go to die. I'm purposely leaving things out here because I want subject matter for later on. Obviously, I am not simply forgetting Allen Video, Penny Saver, Essex Park, and Eastport Plaza. There are too many things to focus on. Like I said before, I don't necessarily want this to be all memories and history. Although I will touch on things from time to time of memorable places from days past.  There is a lot of great things here now. That being said, there were lot of great places that are gone now. They currently house businesses that mock the memories of my childhood.

Many tokens, time and memories here.  Now it is a Super King Buffet or something.

Thanks for coming by. Until next time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stray Snapshot

  Ahhh, it's a stray snapshot! Stray snapshots will be on here from time to time. They will be anything from being historic or timely to a guy sleeping on MAX or a lady stepping in a puddle. Maybe even an occasional food wrapper? I'll stick pretty much anything in the Stray Snapshot, as long as it's in or around Portland. You get the picture.

Today's Stray Snapshot is the side entrance and breezeway between Renner's in Multnomah.

I can't count how many times I have walked out this way blurry and slurry.

Until next time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The rain helps with the chaffing.

  There's been many, many things we have all seen that we wish we could "un-see" right? I know I have my fair share of them. Some of them ungodly, misshapen images I tuck away somewhere hoping they never resurface. Some of them are tolerable because they are oddly fascinating in a funny, quirky, maybe even have a moroseness to them. The latter is how I feel about thousands and thousands of people riding bicycles naked through Portland.
  It's that time of year again (like there needs to be an excuse) for the World Naked Bike Ride! I don't really feel like it's all that weird of a thing to do. What I did wonder though is exactly what kind of  city ordinances do they break? How many of them? How are they going to stop a team of thousands of slippery nudies? Why would they? While these questions don't keep me up at night. I did start to wonder about Portland's obscure city ordinances, some which date back to the city's earliest days. A lot of cities have some fairly unknown laws. Mind you some of these are outdated and haven't really been modified. Some are not too dated at all. Here are a few from the surrounding areas:

  • In Myrtle Creek, Oregon you may not box with a Kangaroo.
  • In Stanfield, Oregon no more than 2 people can share a drink, also, animals are not allowed to have sex in city limits.
  • Ministers are forbidden from eating garlic or onions before delivering a sermon in Marion.
  • It is illegal to predict the future in Yamhill, Oregon! So don't try it! Do NOT try leaving your cellar doors open. Cellar doors ARE NOT to remain open! That too is a no-no.
These bastards are in trouble. There better not be a soothsayer down there!

  While I know all laws have a time and place. For the most part laws and ordinances keep things in line. I always thought the "no cruising" law here was not broad enough. Especially with as many one way streets as we have. All across the world there are fantastically lame or bizarre regulations. By comparison, Portland's are pretty tame. Many of the noteworthy laws were structured by city officials with little or no expertise. So I guess it's for the best that I don't plan on raising bears, lions or crocodiles in the city. I am curious as to why I cannot tie a chicken to my doorstep during Lent though? While I agree that it's a good law to not be able to carry a baby on a hood, fender or running board of a moving vehicle,  I don't see the harm in whistling underwater.

Thankfully 'Patience' was recorded above the water's surface.

  Now let's get back to the undraped cyclists, skateboarders, pogo-ballers and free spirits that roamed the streets earlier in the week. Oregon law states that "indecent exposure" is regarded as so only when it is intended for public arousal. Within the last couple years Portland revised it's own ordinance which included exposed genitalia to that law. There is no law that bans women from baring their boobs in public spaces.
  There were obviously a lot of various appendages free in the wind the other night, I didn't see anyone freak out or look like they were aroused. Essentially, there is a loop-hole for it. Which I think is fantastic. Doing a moderate amount of research on these basic, and at times obscure laws made me realize a couple things.
For one, there are a ton of laws that should be rewritten or thrown out all together to reflect the modern day. Secondly, a lot of these laws are not general knowledge to anyone including some on our own police force and people in political chairs.
Which brings me to my last thought. Before you start climbing up the soap box to scold someone for a minor infraction, think to yourself - "Did I break a law today?" - Odds are, you probably did.

Now, if you will excuse me, I must hurry and unload these dishes. I would hate to get a citation for not letting them drip dry.

Definitely watch out for this hardened criminal. Eating ice cream on a Sunday is as hard-core as it gets. 

Until next time.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A little, teeny bit of history.

I love Portland.

  My love for this city is unwavering. I guess in retrospect this city has been more like a surrogate parent.  All the feelings I have associated with the city I was born and raised in seem to encompass that. The wanting to leave and be apart, the missing it to tears, the frustration, the disappointment, the growth, the loss, the happiness and everything between the cracks.
   Over the years I have tried to learn as much about this ever evolving city as I possibly can. In this infinite search I have discovered a common theme: It's nearly impossible. Like a lot of cities throughout this planet, it grows in different forms and shapes. It's politics get scattered, people come and go, as do the trends. Buildings are raised and razed sometimes in the same day. Meanwhile, there are pieces of this town that are timeless, some that are untouched.
  There is rich history and enormous tragedy everywhere in the Rose City. At times they have occurred at the same place and time. While I don't have a true idea of the direction this blog will take, I have a faintly drawn 'blue-print' of sorts. I would like it to be a bit of everything in no particular order. No timeline to follow. There are many sites and books for that. I don't want to put a period on it.
I imagine it more like an amoeba like creature. The solid thing is the subject. I have no worries about that.

1960's Postcard from Portland picturing Harbor Drive. It is what is now part of Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

 I don't feel it's necessary to give a whole bio about who I am or anything. I'm not really a writer, I can tell you that. For now I think I will just post the following information about myself:

  • I was born and raised in Southeast Portland.
  • I take too many pictures.
  • I don't take enough pictures.
  • I think the Hydro-Tubes should still be running at Eastport Plaza.
  • I'll never grow out of field trips.
  • I still live in Portland.
  • I will always have a place in Portland.
Thank you for your time. Keeping coming by or follow.

Would it not be great if we could still speed uncontrollably down these contraptions inside of a quickly built structure  like a lovely 1980's mall?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Welcome, welcome, welcome

Hello there everybody! Thank you for stopping by. This is the first Portlandism post.
I think for my first post I'll keep it simple.

Just posting a quick photo before bed.

It's late/early.

See you soon!

Portland panorama circa 1894.