26 June 2008

[bike_diary] Baja Gresham in Macro Focus


More bicycling fun, in the cool before the heat. And see how fuzzy everything is when we forget to switch the camera out of Macro?

This pic shows a street sign that dates from when this whole area was in Multnomah County. Quite a few of thises still exist. I find them very charming.

Another sign, this on SE 117th at Washington. Hard to say if the parking prohibition is still in effect ... or, if so, when it applies. But it's charming in the way the last sign was.


I love the corner of SE 122nd and Stark. There's nothing particularly amazing to recommend it ... except maybe the Burgerville ... but you know how some corners of your life make you feel like you're home? That's 122nd and Stark to me.

Just before you get there, though, there's the first place you won't see after the last thing you do see. I always thought a funeral home named "Omega" was just a little crass, but that's me for you.

This view of SE 122nd is looking south from SE Main Street, just a touch south of the Midland Library. That dropoff in the distance is more important than you'd think. Where I was standing drains (watershed-wise) to the Willamette. That crest you see in the distance is a divide; water off that direction actually runs to Johnson Creek.


... As this sign just south of Market Street on 122nd will tell you.

And if it's Hispanic, you'll find it at the strip on the corner of 122nd and Market. For those who don't know, tienda is a regular corner store, carneceria is a meat market, panaderia is a bakery, and muebliera is a furniture store. There's also a clothing shop there that will sell quinceñera (XV Años) dresses for the young ladies.

And, at SE 125th Ct and Market Street, there's a sign for a private drive. We've seen others, but this one is not only privately funded, it's privately manufactured as well.

Good thing this is habit-forming. With the price of gas (and the need to reduce the width of my wide load), this is going to be essential pretty soon. We plan on enjoying it. There was a time in my life that I went everywhere on two-wheels ... for many reasons; to be smug about it, because I liked being in shape, because I just love being on two wheels.

Bikes are cool.

But I find myself having to get my bike legs back. Of course, I still remember the first lesson of riding (forget how to fall down), but the rest is a little slower in coming. But not for long.

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stan said...

I'm really enjoying these photos, Sam. The first one really hit home, because we had a sign just like that in the corner of our yard on 165th & Holladay. Wood post, wood signs. I'm sure they'e replaced all of the signs in the neighborhood with metal on metal, but it's good to know that there are a few tree-origined survivors out there. Growing up in that 'hood, I can remember when we'd venture out to other parts of town, closer to the river in Portland proper, and I'd stare in wonder at those metal sign blades. What oddities they were! I can also remember being fascinated by those right hand lanes that sometimes doubled as parallel parking lanes depending on what time of day it was. The pediatrician was in Hollywood and we'd go to and from there via Glisan.

The Omega Funeral Parlor started out as a parlor by a different name, then it went out of business some time in the 90's, replaced soon after by (shudder) a ballroom called, I think, The Fountains. Seriously, that was creepy. Fortunately, that place only lasted a couple of years.

I used to go to church right there on Stark at Eastgate Bible Chapel, during those first glorious years behind the wheel. I'd pass by the old funeral home on the way between Burgerville and, here it comes, Max Mart. (The fountain drinks were way cheap then!)

Keep riding and snapping those pics, buddy! Maybe you can venture over to my old hood sometime - plenty of good hills for strength training, lots of Doug Firs still around! Anywhere between Glisan & Halsey, from 162nd to 172nd would be great for me. :)

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Thanks for the feedback, Stan, and thanks for the suggestion. I'll work up to this; I am currently, to be charitable, out. of. shape. Waaaaay out of shape.

The city doesn't seem to be too anxious to clear up the last of these old County issued wooden signs, especially as they are very close in style to the standard Portland blade and many of them are still quite readable.

I had the same experience growing up in Silverton and going down to salem occaisionaly for something. Salem was the big sit-AY, and there were not only those metal signs with block numbers looking all uptown, bu they were actually mounted on concrete signposts. I loved them.

I'll keep you posted on my progress and when I feel like I can get out that far, I'll let you know and go out looking for things you want me to find.